Mon | Sep 25, 2017

The four-step blood pressure cure

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 2:00 AM

The World Health Organization claims that one third of all adults has elevated blood pressure and that nine out of 10 of us, as we age, will eventually have high blood pressure.

Amazingly, conventional medical wisdom states that 90 per cent of all cases of high blood pressure have no known cause, and label this disease essential hypertension. Just imagine this situation - billions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with a very mysterious killer disease.

Doctors declare the condition incurable and insist that their patients must take medication indefinitely. I believe that high blood pressure is not a disease in and of itself, but rather a symptom with known causes. We should address the underlying cause and not just treat the numbers on the blood pressure machine, as is customary.

There are many lifestyle factors associated with high blood pressure, but unfortunately, the emphasis is on managing the problem with drugs. Many of these lifestyle issues can be corrected, resulting in a lowering of the blood pressure. Here are four major issues that those with high blood pressure should first focus on.

NUTRITION

Most hypertensives have an imbalanced diet and do not eat enough vegetables and fruit while consuming too much processed food. This results in a lack of many vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, with an excess of others like sodium. This can most definitely elevate your blood pressure.

Combined with a healthy diet, taking vitamins B, C, E and D, the minerals magnesium and potassium, the omega 3 fatty acids, and herbs like garlic and hawthorn berry is most helpful. I advocate a programme of supplements called Cellular Nutrition. In addition, juicing fresh, preferably organic, vegetables and fruit such as beet, kale, cucumbers, callaloo, celery, carrots, apples, papaya and pineapple is beneficial.

The relationship between obesity and high blood pressure is very well known. No overweight or obese individual with high blood pressure should be taking blood pressure medication without also being on a structured weight-loss programme.

The Cellular Nutrition programme is extremely effective for correcting obesity.

What about salt? Detailed research published in the American Journal of Hypertension found little evidence that just cutting salt intake reduces blood pressure problems. Less than 15 per cent of people with high blood pressure are really salt sensitive. Rather than severely reducing your sodium intake, create a healthy balance between magnesium, potassium and sodium in your food. Most hypertensives are magnesium deficient rather than oversupplied with sodium. Use sea salt moderately.

The lower your levels of vitamin D, the greater your risk of high blood pressure. A daily sunbath and/or a vitamin D supplement could be the missing link in your hypertension-correction programme.

EXERCISE

What do accountants, office workers, computer programmers, artists and drivers have in common? They, like many of us, though dedicated and hard-working, sit a lot and have increased risk of high blood pressure.

South Korean researchers found that office workers who spent long hours at their desks had a greater risk of developing hypertension. Working more than 60 hours per week doubled the risk of high blood pressure, compared to working less than 52 hours. Australian research suggests that more than four hours of sitting per day increases your risk of high blood pressure.

If you work eight hours per day for five days a week, enjoy watching television or using your computer at home, you may be sitting for almost 100 hours per week! Fortunately, a little daily exercise (even 15 minutes, three or four times per week) can help lower your blood pressure.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress, whether emotional, physical or environmental, often contributes to high blood pressure. Sometimes, the stress originated way back in your childhood and may be now buried deep in your subconscious mind.

In addition to identifying your stressors, it is important to modify how you respond to them. Learn to relax for even a few minutes each day to allow your body to reset itself to a lower normal blood pressure. Yes, you can use relaxation to lower your blood pressure as I teach on my CD, A Time to Relax. There are several other powerful mind-body exercises that help lower blood pressure.

Enough good-quality sleep is vital and will have a positive impact on your blood pressure, as it is during sleep that your body heals and repairs itself.

DETOXIFY

Several polluting chemicals in our modern environment damage our circulation and elevate blood pressure. Detoxification techniques play a very useful part in the hypertension cure. These include chelation therapy, infrared sauna baths, and colon hydrotherapy.

Be cautious with drugs. The list of drugs for high blood pressure is very long, and research has shown that which drug a doctor prescribes is influenced more by drug company propaganda than by scientific rationale. A big study to compare the effectiveness of different high blood pressure medications was published in 2002. It reported that cheaper, older drugs were often more effective than some of the newer expensive drugs to lower high blood pressure. The side effects of blood pressure medications are many. Some, like erectile dysfunction, are well known, but others like, increased cancer risk, have been kept secret.

Finally, check your medicine cabinet as many other drugs increase blood pressure as a side effect. Antidepressants, birth control drugs, steroids, anti-inflammatory painkillers and decongestants in cold, flu and sinus medicines are a few common examples.

n You may email Dr Vendryes at tonyvendryes@gmail.com or listen to 'An Ounce of Prevention' on POWER 106 FM on Fridays at 8:15 p.m. Details of his books and articles are available at www.tonyvendryes.com.