One Facebook friend (and a family member) put up a chart depicting what ‘normal’ Blood Pressure should be as we age, which raised my eyebrows to a certain extent because after taking more than 20,000 tests in my Cardac Profiles I’m still unsure of what ‘normal’ is. I say that because there are so many factors that effect it and it is an antiquated way of measuring it.
And I am guilty of sending people off to their doctor when they had a test that I considered high. I admit to revising that as I gained experience in that I took a series of tests and recording it over several weeks but I deemed the key information was gained by asking them a series of questions in determining what was causing the blood pressure to be high.
So what causes the blood pressure to rise?
- Pain. If someone is suffering some physical discomfort, this will raise their blood pressure. This was particularly so when they had back or neck problems.
- Stress. I noticed that if there were psychological factors that raised their stress levels, there was a corresponding rise in blood pressure.
- Other disease. If they had kidney or liver problems, then this would increase their blood pressure. Even the common cold and flu can cause the blood pressure to rise.
- Anti Inflammatories. If they had been on anti inflammatory drugs over a long period of time, there was an increase in blood pressure. (If someone takes more than 22 anti inflammatory pills a month there is an 86% increase in their chances of getting high blood pressure!)
- Dehydration. If they did not drink plain, unadulterated water throughout their day, their blood pressure was generally higher.
- Exercise. If they had been exercising within an hour of having a test, their blood pressure was higher than it normally was. Interestingly if they were slightly stressed from a work situation I used to get them to take a short walk, which tended to drop it…
So what else causes high blood pressure? An obvious one is if they had clogged arteries through poor nutritional choices, smoking and lack of regular exercise. (Can I also say that headaches are not caused by high blood pressure, but either dehydration and/or neck problems…so get either a chiropractor or osteopath to check your neck alignment if increasing your water intake doesn’t do the trick!)
What doesn’t cause high blood pressure is Genetic Predisposition. Other factors such as other disease (diabetes for example) and many medications cause a change in gene expression when looking at high blood pressure and Cardiac Risk. So taking common over-the-counter drugs such as Aspirin will cause the blood pressure to actually rise because it is the leading cause of Kidney disease and when the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, there is a corresponding rise in blood pressure as I have already stated.
Another thing I was guilty of is asking older people to ask their doctor to send them to get an Angiogram to check their heart function when the test is only accurate 22% of the time…Reverse that, inaccurate 78% of the time! So,was I guilty of sending people off to their general medical practitioner so that they could be medicated when they didn’t need to? Of course. If you look at the results of the Helsinki Study who looked at a very large group of middle aged men who had high blood pressure. They found that there was a 400% chance of the study population who were medicated dying of some disease compared with those who weren’t, those results paint a strong picture against not medicating blood pressure? (People die of other diseases that are a side effect of the initial medication that they are taking such as blood pressure medication.)
So the fact is that high blood pressure does not cause stokes or heart attacks but is a symptom of some underlying issue…particularly clogged arteries – which in turn are caused by poor nutritional habits (keep away from proceeded foods), smoking, high stress and lack of regular exercise. So for example if you eat one more serving of fruits and one extra portion of vegetables a day, within two weeks there will be a corresponding decrease in blood pressure. If you add regular walks and increase your water intake if they aren’t what they should be, there will be a further decrease in blood pressure. Not Rocket Science!
If I can, I want to strongly advise you to check with a physician if you have any concerns about high blood pressure, but the key to obtaining the right advice is asking the right questions! If you have ticked off all other causes of high blood pressure and have made the necessary lifestyle changes first, then keep on asking the questions until you find the actual cause.
Believe nothing of what I have said until you have asked all the questions and done your own research.