High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most commonly diagnosed condition in medical practices. It affects 1 billion people worldwide, 50 million alone in US. 1 in 4 people suffer from high blood pressure and its incidence is increasing. The treatment typically involves taking one or more drugs to ‘manage’ the symptoms. Rarely is non-drug treatment discussed.
But in the fields of clinical nutrition and naturopathy, successful treatment without the use of drugs is widespread and very effective through normalizing the function of the organ(s) responsible for blood pressure. Let’s explore…
The main function of blood in our bodies is to transport oxygen and nutrients to all cells and carry carbon dioxide and other waste materials from the cells to the appropriate disposal sites (lungs, liver, kidneys, skin). When transporting oxygen to cells the blood travels through your blood vessels known as arteries. The heart pumps blood into the aorta (the largest artery in the body) and the blood then has to travel to all the organs and ultimately to the cells. The pressure of the blood against the arterial walls is what is measured as your ‘blood pressure’.
In order for the blood to make it to all the branches of the artery, the heart has to pump with a large force so that the pressure is maintained until all arterioles (smaller arteries) are filled with blood.
The arteries, veins, and capillaries are the tubes that function as the transit system for your blood. There is pressure detecting cells lining the arterial walls that constantly monitor the level of blood pressure.
If the pressure begins to drop, thus, possibly compromising nutrient and oxygen delivery to the cells, a complex set of reactions will occur that will result in the heart pumping blood with a much stronger force. This will cause an increase in blood pressure.
The most common answers that you would find online regarding the cause of high blood pressure or hypertension would include something along the following lines:
• You are stressed
• You have high cholesterol
• You eat too much salt
• You have a genetic predisposition, meaning it runs in your family
The above may be partially accurate but it doesn’t say how to prevent it nor what you can do naturally to correct the problem.
In clinical nutrition, we understand that high blood pressure is a reflection of worsening health. The symptom of high blood pressure could be the result of imbalanced stress glands, a liver or kidney that is overburdened with toxins, a poor circulatory system, or a malfunctioning nervous system.
Each patient that comes to see us with high blood pressure is evaluated from the perspective that some part(s) of the body is malfunctioning and it is our job to determine which and correct it. When that is accomplished, blood pressure will normalize, usually without the need for continued medication.
Are you stressed? Many people are. Is the solution to simply stop being stressed? Relax? If it was that easy no one would have the problem!
You have a stress gland in your body called the adrenal glands – there are two of them, one above each kidney. When you are under stress, the adrenal gland produces a set of hormones to help you deal with the stress. These hormones, particularly one called cortisol, have specific effects on different organs.
One of the effects that cortisol creates is an increase in blood pressure. The purpose behind this is to ensure that in times of stress, all body cells receive adequate nutrition and oxygen. So cortisol is not necessarily bad in this context, especially if the stress is only temporary.
However, if the stress becomes chronic and high levels of cortisol continue flowing through your system – this will be a problem as your blood pressure will continue to be elevated. You may be told to manage your stress through exercise, but that won”t normalize malfunctioning adrenal glands.
In our clinical nutrition department, we perform a lab test to discover the degree of malfunction present and then develop a dietary and nutritional program to normalize the adrenal glands. The beauty of such a program is that it involves no dangerous drugs or surgery; its completely natural while being highly effective.
The organs of detoxification including the liver and kidneys are a known contributor to high blood pressure when the toxic load placed upon them is excessive. While you may not have liver or kidney disease, that doesn’t mean that these organs are functioning optimally.
Sometimes high blood pressure is an early warning sign that the toxic level of the body is rising. Discovering the cause of excessive toxins can unravel and solve the mystery of high blood pressure. Such causes include:
• food sensitivities
• a poor diet
• nutritional deficiencies
• heavy metal toxicity
Malfunction may be due to more than one cause, but once properly addressed the level of toxins will diminish and blood pressure will normalize. This program is also a natural one, requiring no medications.
One of the most common causes discussed for high blood pressure is high cholesterol. With heart disease being the number one killer of men and women, this is obviously an important issue to address. Cholesterol deposits can narrow the size of the veins and arteries through which blood flows. This narrowing will raise the pressure of the blood flow flowing through the vessels.
A common treatment for high cholesterol is a medication that, once again, is fraught with dangerous side effects and doesn’t truly solve the cause of the problem. What is the cause of high cholesterol? While there may be some genetic predisposition in the family tree, we usually find that the clinical nutrition approach of correcting the diet and augmenting with good nutrition can offset most genetic inclinations. With such a program, ‘bad’ cholesterol decreases, ‘good’ cholesterol rises, and the vessels are able to heal themselves with the end result of cholesterol deposits reabsorbing and blood pressure normalizing.
Another factor affecting blood pressure is the nervous system. There is a part of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system which operates the automatic functions in the body such as breathing and heart rate.
Increased activity of this system releases excess neurotransmitters (chemicals released by the nervous system) that cause constriction of the blood vessels that in turn will raise the blood pressure. If the sympathetic nervous system is dominant or overactive it can result in chronic high blood pressure.
The factors that cause a dominance are things such as emotional stress, allergic reactions, pain, toxic reactions, or chemical sensitivity. These are common root causes of an overactive sympathetic nervous system.
Our clinical nutrition department addresses the root cause of this problem by making appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes and addressing ant pain through physical therapy and chiropractic treatment.
It is true that a family history of hypertension predisposes you to have the same problem. However, having a predisposition is just that – it does not indicate that you WILL develop it. Proper preventative strategies including a healthy diet and exercise routine can avert the onset of high blood pressure and clinical nutrition programs have excellent success in doing just that.
High blood pressure is a serious problem that requires a tailor-made program designed to address the particular area(s) of the body that are malfunctioning. As we mentioned earlier, masking high blood pressure with medication as your sole strategy is a potentially fatal mistake. It’s like putting a band-aid on a volcano. Your health and your life deserve more respect than such a flimsy treatment.
With that said, there are some simple tips you can start implementing right away that can aid you while you find a clinician who can address the issues that specifically pertain to you and your underlying root cause:
1) BREATHE! There are multiple studies that indicate that deep breathing exercises can help lower your blood pressure. This makes sense since it allows for better oxygen saturation of the blood.
2) Increase the intake of fruits and veggies – less salt. More fruits and veggies just mean a super load of nutrients being delivered to your blood. Keep up your water intake but cut down on the salt.
3) Get a good night’s sleep! Your body gets a good break from external stressors when you sleep. Quality of sleep is of utmost importance. If you have trouble sleeping, snore a lot, or do not feel rested in the mornings – talk to your clinical nutritionist or other health care provider to improve your sleep.
I hope this was helpful. High blood pressure is a serious condition but it doesn’t have to be a life-long problem. Natural solutions exist to handle it as well as the precipitating factors causing it. The problem is that not enough doctors offer this safe, effective approach to their patients. Please contact me with any questions you may have. This program has helped hundreds of patients and we would be delighted to help you, your family, and friends. Root Cause Medical is a destination clinic seeing patients from across the country as well as internationally. Let us know what we can do to help you, your friends, and your family.
We have the diagnostic and testing tools, the clinical experience, and a different medical approach to discovering the root cause of why you have the symptoms that are bothering you. As long as you are ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes, we can help you. We will "hold your hand" through the changes, step by step, to make each step an easy one. We are located in Clearwater, FL, at 1000 S Ft Harrison, at the corner of Ft. Harrison Ave. and Magnolia St. There is plenty of parking space directly accessible from Ft Harrison. If it is not convenient for you to come to Root Cause Medical Clinic, we offer telehealth/telemedicine consultations to residents of certain states. Call us for details.
Contact us for a Consultation – Call 727-335-0400
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.
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