It’s at epidemic proportions. 70 million Americans and over 1 billion worldwide have hypertension. Conventional doctors are trained to address your blood pressure in a way that prevents you from dying, which is a blessing. They work from the perspective of management in order to save your life. This is great! However, there is a downside when people are just given a pill and told to limit their sodium intake.
Unless your doctor is certified in Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine, or Naturopathic Medicine, they are probably not educated (or have the time) to talk to you about how to fix it. Why is this important to know? Because the drugs given to manage hypertension are also detrimental to your overall health. High blood pressure is a symptom that something else is going on in your body. For many people, changes in lifestyle can manage this symptom in a healthy way, and many times, can even allow you to go off of the medication. Of course, this must be monitored, and you need to work in conjunction with your doctor. If your doctor does not want to support you in actually fixing your high blood pressure, and doesn’t believe that lifestyle changes can decrease your dependency on a drug, I would find a doctor with the above mentioned credentials.
First, lets talk about what high blood pressure medication does. It contributes to creating nutrient deficiencies. Potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium and folate are all necessary for vascular health. A deficiency in these nutrients can actually be one cause of high blood pressure. And yet, medication for hypertension actually depletes them further. This leads to other issues within other body systems. It’s self perpetuating cycle with negative side effects. Inflammation, weight, and sugar consumption are a few of the other culprits that play a part in elevating blood pressure.
Before getting into natural ways to manage your blood pressure, I would like to help debunk the myth of sodium being the bad guy. A study found in JAMA shows that it is “garbage salt” ie: sodium chloride with iodine added (your average table salt) that has a connection to raising blood pressure. And even then, barely. Sea salt, pink salt, black salts, the other natural non-processed salts that are rich in minerals, tend to have no effect on blood pressure. Of course, if your body is storing sodium due to excessive sugar consumption, not enough hydration, and insulin resistance…sodium plays more of a role because it isn’t being excreted. But in general, just like the fat scare from 2-3 decades ago, the sodium scare is now being found to be mis-leading, and a body not getting enough sodium leads to another can of worms.
Today, lets cover 7 natural ways to improve blood pressure.
If you have blood pressure issues, whether you are on medication or not, I encourage you to obtain a personal blood pressure cuff. Check your pressure throughout the day, starting after you wake up and are still in bed. Use the tips above, and see how it affects your pressure. Also, work with your doctor so that your meds are at the right level for your new lifestyle. Eventually you may even be able to stop your body’s reliance on them!
By the way, if you haven’t checked out My Beautiful Lent 2017, this year we have added a meal plan for special needs…such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and High Cholesterol. This may help you during the Lenten period!