Discover the top five takeaways from my webinar, 8 Steps to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally — including how to reduce high blood pressure naturally, the dangers of diastolic dysfunction, and more.
As many of you know, I recently presented a webinar—8 Steps to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally.
Since reducing high blood pressure is such an important topic, I also want to share some of the top moments from my webinar so you can benefit from the most vital information.
1.Too much salt—and not enough salt—are both causes for high blood pressure. It’s clear that if you have high blood pressure ingesting too much sodium is harmful. For example, if you go to a fast food restaurant and eat flame-broiled chicken you get 1,300 mg of sodium. Throw in a dill pickle, and you get another 1,000 mg of sodium. That’s clearly too much.
However, a very low sodium diet (less than 1.8 grams of sodium a day) can also be a disaster, especially if you have congestive heart failure. That’s because too little sodium can have a hormonal interaction with the kidney that can easily become a cause for high blood pressure to go even higher.
What scientists have found is that with sodium, there’s clearly a sweet spot. My recommendation is to reduce sodium to less than 2.5 grams daily
. But if you have heart failure, do not be overly aggressive in omitting sodium in your diet altogether because a dip in sodium levels can cause high blood pressure.
2. Why high blood pressure truly is the “silent killer.” Blood pressure is the work your heart needs to do—squeezing blood through your vessels and into the great aorta and peripheral vessels. That work creates pressure, and if that pressure is high it can cause the heart to grow in size. Doctors call this condition left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).
3. Many doctors treat just half of the problem. Frequently, doctors only focus on diastolic high blood pressure. A condition that is frequently ignored is isolated systolic hypertension, in which the patient has a high systolic pressure, but a reasonable diastolic pressure.
I like to reduce high blood pressure whenever possible. For example, systolic blood pressures greater than 130 mmHg should be aggressively treated by the clinician, despite the fact that the diastolic pressure is less than 80 mmHg. The optimum goal is to achieve a blood pressure of less than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) mmHg
4. With high blood pressure, women are at higher risk.
Many people still think of blood pressure as a man’s concern, yet women are more likely to have high blood pressure.
One reason is that women are more likely to have diastolic dysfunction
, a cause for high blood pressure. Diastolic dysfunction occurs when the left ventricle of the heart—the chamber that generates your systolic blood pressure—becomes stiff. Women tend to be more vulnerable to diastolic dysfunction because they have smaller blood vessels than men. In fact, diastolic dysfunction is the number one cause of heart failure in women.
Metabolic cardiology is the solution for diastolic dysfunction, since the heart is starving for energy. I recommend a nutrient combination I call the “Awesome Foursome”: CoQ10 (200 mg), broad-spectrum carnitine (1 g), magnesium (200 mg), and ribose (5 g). Together, these nutrients provide the energy substrates for generating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—the energy of life. Increased ATP helps energize the heart and reduce high blood pressure.
5. Many doctors ignore the importance of lifestyle in reducing high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will most likely want to use a pharmaceutical intervention. I have no problem with that. If, during the process of doing your blood pressure workup your doctor finds out that you have kidney impairment, blood pressure medications are a must.
But in addition to taking blood pressure medications, you need to use lifestyle interventions
. Taking nutritional supplements can be an important part of heart health. Also, removing causes for high blood pressure from your diet — such as foods high in salt — can help reduce high blood pressure. Exercise and reducing stressors in your life will provide physical and psychological benefits to your blood pressure as well.
Now it’s your turn: Did any of these high blood pressure facts surprise you?
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