Simmering Down a Boiling Blood Pressure

Good Saturday to you!

No doubt you are emerging from the fog of the working week and hopefully entering in to the weekend with the kind of languid pace of a sloth that your weekends are meant to afford you!

Sure some weekends are like this (not many I hear you say?) - maybe a restructure is in order to allow form some timeless RnR in the name of self preservation. Speaking of which, high blood pressure is considered a common degenerative effect of ageing mostly helped along by a family inherited trait, and once that assumption is arrived at - most will default to a lifetime of medication without investigating other possible and treatable-without-side-effect causes.

To hang your hat on your heart and say that "its in my family so I am destined to have it too" maybe a possible copout on your health - just because your mum or dad had it, doesn't mean you will too!

There are well and truly more than 30 (actually quite a lot more) possible reasons why your blood pressure may elevate - here is a snap shot on some:

  1. Fragile membranes on the vessel wall due to poor nitric oxide production - contributed to by reduced exercise, certain nutrients and presence of inflammatory products.
  2. Bacterial plaque formation on the walls reducing the diameter of the wall for blood to push through - oral bacteria have been found in these plaque - see a holistic dentist who understands how to manage this!
  3. Deficiency of magnesium, taurine, B6, B12 and an activated form of folic acid (see next point)
  4. Genetically poor homocysteine (many GP's don't test for this or consider it important) conversion after it is made from methionine rich foods (meat mainly) which needs B6, B12 and an activated form of folic acid - this activation step requires an enzyme that many of us have  gene fault in producing.  This is one of the reasons why a semi vegetarian diet for high blood pressure patients may be helpful alongside these nutrients.
  5. Elevated sodium intake - salt has never been a popular ally in the plight to pull blood pressure down - to counteract this potassium and magnesium rich foods are preferred (celery, green leafy vegetables, squash, mushrooms, avocado, bananas).  If you eat well from these food categories you won't need to add any!  Avoid salted foods - crisps, nuts, pastries).
  6. Incorrect fatty acid intake - the trans fatty acids found in margarine, pastries, doughnuts, pies and other processed foods (think vegetable oils that have been made hard by chemical processes) are considered inflammatory to the vessels that carry your blood around.  You need a balance of omega 3:6:9 fatty acids for healthy arterial walls.  This is especially important for athletes and people already on blood pressure medication!  Think fish oils, evening primrose oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut oils.
  7. Adrenal and nervous system hormones - these produced under the stress or flight and fight response (anxiety, anger, frustration, irritability, worry, fear, shame, guilt all generate these) will exert a chemical impact on your vessels to create inflammatory outcomes.  Herbs like passionflower, lavender, oats, Californian poppy, hops, vervain, marigold, zizyphus and many others are great at offering a balance to this.  So would a shorter to do list, a less packed calendar of events and permission to embark on yoga, meditation, long walks on the beach and gentle work practices.

Permission granted!

I've only listed a few of the possible reasons why your blood pressure could be elevating - hopefully you will have an opportunity to check some of these and more out with your practitioner and discuss a holistic approach to managing your ticker!

Nicky offers comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment appointments and can offer guidance on what you can do to support your heart health.  Book your appointment here:

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