The hardest part about my battle with high blood pressure is that no one can tell me exactly what it is. By definition, blood pressure is the force of blood exerted against the wall of the arteries in your body, measured in millimeters of mercury, and recorded as two numbers called the systolic and the diastolic. That’s all fine and dandy, but when I asked the question “what is blood pressure” I was looking for one of the following.
- · Is it a hardening of the arteries causing the elasticity of the tissue not to expand?
- · Is it a thickening of the blood?
- · Is it physical dilation of the arteries themselves?
- · Is it a form of dehydration inside the arterial tissue?
- · Is it a lack of proper oxygen to the tissues?
I guess the best answer I could give you is “all of the above.”
My own personal stance on bad health is to go straight to the source. I don’t believe is masking the symptoms. I am always on the lookout for natural cures, and rarely do I go to the pharmacy. So the challenge with my high blood pressure was because no one could pinpoint for me exactly what is was, I wouldn’t be able to battle it at the source. I needed a way to lower my blood pressure without drugs. I began doing my research, and to be honest with you, I was sadly disappointed.
The literature on decreasing your blood pressure naturally is like listening to a CD with a scratch on it. The same thing is being said over and over. According to almost everything ever written on high blood pressure, the best way to reduce your numbers are to do the following.
- · Decrease your weight. Clinical trials have shown that for every one kilogram of weight that is lost, the systolic blood pressure goes down by 1.6 millimeters of mercury, and the diastolic blood pressure goes down by 1.1 millimeters of mercury.
- · Watch your nutrition. High fat in your diet causes your arteries to clog.
- · Exercise, exercise, exercise. Exercise lowers your triglycerides, blood sugar, and LDL cholesterol.
- · Avoid Alcohol.
- · Limit caffeine
- · Watch out for salt.
My disappointment comes from the fact that if any of these things were easy, I would have been doing them all along, and wouldn’t have high blood pressure in the first place. Not that I am blaming anyone for my high blood pressure, but I needed a way to bring the numbers down and I needed it now.
It wasn’t until I came across a lecture in The Great Courses series produced by the teaching company that I got my answer. Aptly titled “The Science of Natural Healing,” my answer was to be found in lecture 11 subtitled, “Treating High Blood Pressure Naturally.” Cardiologist Mimi Guarneri from the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine spoke of alternative ways beyond the exercise and diet lecture you get from most medical professionals. From this lecture I took 6 methods that helped me lower my blood pressure 10 points.
- 1. Four cloves of garlic every day. Four cloves of garlic every day will lower your systolic blood pressure by 10 points. I take two in the morning, and two in the afternoon. I give them a little chew and then swallow them down like pills. The hardest part for me is peeling the paper off the cloves.
- 2. Consume 3 grams of high quality, dried wakame or seaweed. Try to avoid packaged seaweed which has a lot of oil and sodium. Simple enough and it makes a tasty snack.
- 3. Drink 30 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein. This has been shown to lower your systolic blood pressure by 11 points.
- 4. Take 10,000 international units of vitamin D. I work indoors, and it never occurred to me that there was a link between a lack of sunshine and high blood pressure. Since I don’t get outdoors as often I like, I knew a vitamin D supplement couldn’t hurt me. I found one with 5000 IU’ so I take them twice a day.
- 5. Increase CoQ10. Research shows that taking 200 to 400 milligrams of CoQ10 per day can lower your systolic blood pressure by 11 points
- 6. Add more omega-3. Research shows that 4 grams of omega-3 will lower your blood pressure by around eight millimeters of mercury.
And there you have it. Within a few days I was successfully able to lower my blood pressure, and nothing breeds motivation like success. I’m still stuck with the question “what exactly is high blood pressure?” I may not find a silver bullet answer that will allow me to tackle it at the source, but at least I won’t have a heart attack trying.