Think of your blood vessels as being like a non-stick frying pan. That lining should be very slippery to allow blood flow to move without being impeded. When the vessels become damaged and calcified, they become less flexible, making it harder for blood to move through. Add in some inflammation and you have the reasoning for hypertension.
As blood pressure begins to rise, so does inflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are oxidants that create damage to tissues. The cells of the blood vessels become dysfunctional and the cycle repeats itself.
The main causes of high blood pressure are obesity, poor diet, electrolyte imbalance, gut issues, thyroid dysfunction, chronic stress, and insulin resistance. Over 90% of high blood pressure cases are lifestyle issues so they are curable and preventable. There are four main areas where individuals have the power to change, making a direct impact on their blood pressure.
First, I would suggest that people start with food. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to lower blood pressure. Total fat intake does not affect blood pressure, just be sure to eat good fats, not trans fats. You should avoid corn, soy, sugar, and gluten. What this really means is – eat real food. Food will really speed up the healing process if it is the right food. If you eat the wrong foods you will slow the healing process and cause more damage.
Second, make a few simple changes to your exercise regiment. The best would be to start with walking and concentrating on body-weight style lifting. Things like squats, deadlifts, push-ups, and rowing exercises are great places to start. As you build muscle you do a couple of things – you start to control your blood sugar and you reduce total body fat.
Next, we want to address stress. It is estimated that 90% of all doctor visits are due to stress. We need to find ways to calm our minds, do some mindful thinking, and be grateful for what we have in life. You can use specific herbs to help with your body’s stress response as you get better at the other areas in your life.
Lastly, we can use specific nitrous oxide boosters to help “open up” the blood vessels. This will allow the blood to flow more easily, reducing the pressure against the walls of the vessels. Beet Juice has been known to help lower your blood pressure, in addition to Grape Seen Extract and L-arginine.
You don’t have to live with high blood pressure. Just because you have a family history of it does not mean YOU have to. There are many ways to help yourself – start with the food you eat and you will see huge changes in your overall health. Add in some walking each day, do some other strength-building exercises, find ways to manage your stress and add a few supplements to your diet so you can start the path to healing.
-Dr. Brian Opp D.C.