- High blood pressure is a common problem and affects about 41% of the US population
- Heart disease resulting from high blood pressure is the leading cause of death in the United States
- Blood pressure problems usually do not have symptoms and many people don’t know they have them until something major happens.
- There are many causes for blood pressure problems including inflammation, stress, lack of exercise, smoking, and adrenal issues.
- Blood pressure problems can be addressed naturally by reducing inflammation and addressing other causal factors.
Most people are familiar with the idea that high blood pressure can harm you over time. It’s common these days to hear people say they are taking high blood pressure medication and that they need to watch their salt intake.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), “An estimated 103 million US adults have high blood pressure.” Given the adult population of about 250 million adults in the US, this equates to approximately 41% of the population. Between 2005 and 2015 deaths increased by almost 11% due to high blood pressure and the resulting cardiovascular diseases, a rise of almost 38%. Considering that cardiovascular disease is the leading overall cause of death in the world, clearly blood pressure problems are a significant concern for much of the population and need to be addressed.1
Let’s explore what normal blood pressure looks like, the two types of blood pressure problems, their symptoms, causes, and what can be done naturally to address these issues.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure?
When blood pressure readings are taken, patients are given two numbers such as 125 over 89. The top number is called your systolic measurement which shows the amount of pressure in the arteries while the heart is contracting. The bottom number is called your diastolic measurement which shows the blood pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
Traditionally, a normal blood pressure range for an adult was considered to be between 100 to 140 for the top number (systolic) and 60 to 90 for the bottom number (diastolic) with a general target blood pressure of 120 over 80. However, in November of 2017 the American College of Cardiology (ACC) posted new blood pressure guidelines2, reducing the numbers for high blood pressure, also called hypertension. The new numbers are as follows:
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80.
- Elevated blood pressure is considered at 120 to 129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic.
- Stage 1 hypertension is between 130 and 139 systolic and 80 to 89 diastolic.
- Stage 2 hypertension is considered a systolic pressure of 140 to 159 and a diastolic pressure of 90 to 99.
The new guidelines require lifestyle changes and sometimes medication for patients earlier than was previously thought necessary.
Types and Symptoms of Blood Pressure Problems
Abnormally high blood pressure is known as hypertension and usually requires treatment. It is an invisible disease and many people are completed unaware that they have it, as most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms. However, some may experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or ringing in the ears.
High blood pressure is considered more dangerous than low blood pressure. If high blood pressure continues unchecked, it can contribute to serious conditions such as angina, heart attack, stroke, haemorrhage, or kidney complaints. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and strokes are the number five cause of death.3
Low blood pressure is called hypotension. Low blood pressure can have little to no symptoms as well, and most people don’t know they have it. It mostly affects elderly people or people of certain nationalities with very fair skin, and is usually temporary. The symptoms, if there are any, include
- Momentary giddiness
- Blurry vision
- Fainting on standing up suddenly after the person has been sitting or lying down
- Temporary confusion
The main threat with hypotension is injury from falling. People with low blood pressure are more susceptible to symptoms when their already low blood pressure drops even more due to a virus or dehydration.
Dr. George Springer Talks About Blood Pressure
Causes of Blood Pressure Problems
Most cases of hypertension result from a combination of factors. Any one or more of the following can cause high blood pressure:
- Being overweight
- Drinking too much
- Eating too much salt
- Too little potassium which balances sodium in the blood
- Insufficient exercise
- Hardening of the arteries
- Taking the contraceptive pill
- Drug use
- Hereditary factors
In rare cases, the cause may be a kidney disorder, diabetes, or from sleep apnea. Some pregnant women also may develop dangerously high blood pressure.
Dr. Minkoff Talks About Inflammation & Hypertension
Hypotension, or low blood pressure, may be caused by:
- Underactive adrenal gland
- Thyroid problems
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Loss of blood due to an injury, whether internal or external
- Septic shock which is the result of a bacterial infection where the bacteria get into the bloodstream
- Heart issues such as a heart attack, bradycardia (an abnormally low heart rate), and issues with heart valves
- Certain drugs such as diuretics mentioned above, and others such as heart medications, drugs used for Parkinson’s disease, certain antidepressants, or mixing drugs and alcohol with prescription drugs
- Pregnancy can cause low blood pressure, especially in the first half of the pregnancy
- An allergic reaction to a medication or food that causes anaphylactic shock
- Lying down too much, such as those who are sick for an extended time or are on bed rest due to pregnancy or other complications
- Standing too long
These are some of the causes4 we look into and address at LifeWorks.
How We Treat Blood Pressure Problems Naturally at LifeWorks
At LifeWorks we believe that high blood pressure problems are an inflammation issue. The blood vessels are not relaxing or there is inflammation that is not allowing them to relax. Because inflammation is an immune system issue and over 80% of the immune system resides in the gut, we first take a look at the patient’s digestive system. We look for food allergies, overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, and leaky gut. Other factors that may cause inflammation are pesticides, heavy metals, and hormones such as insulin and cortisol.
Dr. Minkoff Discusses the Role of Leaky Gut in Autoimmune Disease
For patients with low blood pressure we look at the adrenals and other factors that may be contributing to the issue such as electrolyte imbalance, iron deficiency, or too little salt in the diet.
No matter the blood pressure problem, we will conduct a functional evaluation to assess your overall health. Each person is unique and we address each patient individually. We tailor a program specifically designed to help you address your blood pressure problems.
For example, some patients may need to lose weight, quit smoking, or reduce their stress. Others may need to reboot their gut and receive ozone therapy to reverse blood pressure issues. Still others may have nutritional deficiencies, hormonal issues, or need to detox from heavy metals. Treatment plans vary depending on the individual.
Get Your Blood Pressure Under Control Naturally at LifeWorks
If you are looking for natural treatments for blood pressure problems, we would love to work with you to naturally resolve them.
To discuss your health issue or to schedule an appointment, call us at our Clearwater clinic at 727-466-6789 or submit an online patient inquiry.
- American Heart Association News, (2018) More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says.
- American College of Cardiology, ACC News Story, (2017), New ACC/AHA High Blood Pressure Guidelines Lower Definition of Hypertension.
- American Heart Association News, (2018), More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says
- American Heart Association News, (2016), Low Blood Pressure - When Blood Pressure is Too Low.
*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.