Gary - can you point me in the direction on your site for any articles on management of blood pressure without medication. Mine went up in March and has increased on checking a week ago - need to find out more and hopefully get it under control/management - going away for holiday for 3 weeks - Dr wants to check on return with view to medication if it has not gone down. I would really like to see what you say about BP.
Gary Moller Comments:
M's letter is typical of frequent inquiries about BP and it does disappoint that the only medical answer to the "problem" is medication that deals with the symptoms and not the cause. I will begin by making the observation that the Centenarians of Okinawa seem to do very well going through life with as good as zero medication. It must be to do with their diet and lifestyle. We can learn much from them.
The first thing to do is to find out what you are dealing with.
- Is the blood pressure consistently raised above about 150/100?
- Does it vary during the day and during the week?
- What is your baseline (basal) BP (resting before you get out of bed in the am)?
- Are there any events that elevate your BP, like going to the Dr?
- If female, does it vary during your menstrual cycle?
- Is it related to menopausal changes?
- Is it increasing over the months and years or remaining relatively stable
Have a general medical checkup and find out the following from your Dr:
- Are your magensium levels healthy?
- What is your cholesterol profile?
- What is your vitamin D level?
- Are you going through menopause?
- Are your kidneys in good health?
Learning about your BP is best done with a personal heart rate monitor that you can use wherever you happen to be. If you are making decisions about BP with just a handful of measures from your Dr you are doing so from a position of very poor information. BP is dynamic and can vary enormously from moment to moment, hour to hour and so on for a whole variety of reasons and it might just be your bad luck that the Dr's measures happened when it was at the upper levels of any fluctuations. Get to properly know your blood pressure and then you will be able to make informed decisions.
Then see what happens to your BP when you:
- Do 20-30 minutes of invigorating exercise
- Take a long, hot bath while listening to relaxing music
- Do 20-30 minutes of slow, deep breathing, relaxing and stretching
If any of these measures has an effect on BP, then find out how many hours the effect lasts. If, for example, exercise or a hot bath reduces BP for several hours you might plan to do this each day at about the time that BP tends to become raised.
Take your time
If BP is mostly below 150/100 and especially if your basal pressures are consistently about 120/80 or lower, then you need not rush onto medication. Give yourself a year or so to learn more about your BP and to give time for natural measures to kick in. They need time. You cannot reverse years of gradual deterioration overnight - Got the idea? OK?
If BP is consistently 150/100, then commencing a course of temporary medication while other measures kick in might be prudent.
Next, and depending on your Dr's medical results and advice, try this nutritional advice:
- Take 6 fish oil (the ones with vitamin E) capsules per day spread through the day and with food
- Take other sources of Omega 3 oils including flax seed and olive oil
- Take up to 800mg of magnesium daily for 3 months
- Take supplementary calcium and trace minerals daily (about 1500mg Ca/day)
- Take a daily B and C vitamin supplement
- Eat fish 3 x weekly and reduce animal fats
- Get rid of refined grains and heavily processed foods
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables daily
- Consume dark anti-oxidant rich berries daily
- If you are going through meonpause, use phytocalcium as your source of calcium and consider regular use of Menolife as a natural way to manage any unpleasant symptoms
If you have a belly that pokes out, or overhangs the belt due to fat deposits, use exercise and a healthy diet to gradually flatten and tighten the waist.
In summary; when it comes to BP, relax and take your time. Study - Get to know what you are dealing with by proper monitoring and find out what affects it, what works and what doesn't. Natural measures take a long time, so give them time to kick in. Do not panic!
Note: I run educational workshops for companies about BP and other health matters. Contact me if you would like to learn more.