Many people may know they have high blood pressure, but they don’t understand the risk. They don’t think it’s a big deal, and this attitude will not serve them well when they later discover that hypertension has taken its toll on their body. Without proper blood circulation, damage accumulates in your organs and other parts of your body, all of which rely on blood flow to function properly.
High Blood Pressure and Your BodyHigh blood pressure can negatively impact nearly all parts of your body. This includes everything from your heart and arteries to your kidneys, eyes, and even your brain.
Artery DamageHigh blood pressure damages the muscles in the walls of your arteries. It also narrows your arteries and makes them more susceptible to plaque build-up. Eventually, blood won’t be able to easily pass through them, which means your other organs won’t get the blood and oxygen they need. In many cases, continued forceful pressure on your artery walls from hypertension results in coronary artery disease.
Heart HealthYour arteries and veins are responsible for bringing blood to and from your heart. If you damage them, your heart might not get the oxygen it needs to function properly, which can accelerate heart disease. Additionally, high blood pressure means your heart has to pump harder to circulate your blood. This puts a lot of strain on it, eventually decreasing its efficiency even as your heart gets larger. If this is left unchecked for a long time, it can lead to heart failure.
Kidney DiseaseHypertension is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease. Without proper blood flow, your kidneys have to strain to maintain their regular function. Over time, they’ll become less efficient, just like your heart. Another common outcome is kidney scarring, which is when certain kidney blood vessels no longer function. This is known as glomerulosclerosis. Your body may lose protein more rapidly, and this can often lead to swelling and eventually end-stage renal disease. Diseased kidneys have more trouble eliminating salt, excess minerals, and other waste from your body, which causes a build-up of these materials in your blood. Eventually, they may become so damaged that kidney failure results.
Hypertension can interfere with regular brain function as well. Your brain needs good blood flow. Without it, your whole body is at risk of shutting down. High blood pressure makes you significantly more likely to have a stroke, which can result from damaged and blocked blood vessels. It may also increase your risk of TIAs (Transient Ischemic Attacks) or ‘ministrokes,’ which mimic strokes, but often, no actual damage to the brain occurs. TIAs often predate the real thing. In some cases, very high blood pressure maintained for a long period can interfere with your regular cognitive function. You may experience memory issues and have more trouble focusing, and this condition can progress to vascular dementia if left untreated.
Vision DamageYou might not think of your eyes when you think of parts of your body that would be impacted by hypertension, but they’re susceptible nonetheless. There are very small blood vessels in your eyes, and they’re fairly delicate, which means they’re at a higher risk of being damaged. You might experience fluid build-up under your retina, damage to your optic nerve, or retina damage, especially if you also suffer from diabetes. These conditions can cause blurry or distorted vision.
Prevention Through Addressing High Blood Pressure CausesThe most effective way to reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure isn’t to manage the symptoms but instead to address the causes. While some medications and procedures might help you stall kidney damage or improve the function of your heart, the real problem is your high blood pressure. Unless you control the blood pressure, the other problems only get worse. Common high blood pressure causes include not being physically active, undergoing extended periods of stress, and eating foods with high salt content or saturated fats. Making adjustments to these areas of your life can help prevent further organ damage and alleviate any painful or uncomfortable symptoms.
Food For ThoughtEvery system in your body is interconnected to many other areas. What affects one organ often affects another, and your entire body is especially susceptible to cardiovascular disruptions. It’s important to remember that high blood pressure is never a single problem. It is also the cause of numerous different diseases and conditions, many of which can detract from your quality of life Even if you don’t have symptoms from hypertension, the effects of its damage will make themselves known sooner or later unless you take steps to lower your blood pressure from the start.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
There is a common saying, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.” This is especially true when it comes to heart health. Diet is sooooo very important… Did you know that your diet could be the key to a healthy heart? It’s true – what you eat (and don’t eat) can have a big impact on your cardiovascular health. So, if you’re looking to keep your heart in tip-top shape, make sure you pay attention to what you put on your plate.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to eat a healthy diet in this day and age. It is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you need extra help in getting the nutrients you need, and/or are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Healthy Heart Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Heart Health Supplements to use! This Healthy Heart Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you lose weight and improve your heart health, naturally.
For best results make sure you use my heart health supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
It’s very important to monitor your blood pressure. I often recommend an automatic upper arm blood pressure cuff, but a wrist blood pressure monitor is also acceptable.
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Taking Charge Of Your Heart Health
Heart health is a big topic. It’s in the news, on our minds, and for good reason; heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But what if there was something you could do proactively to help protect your heart from future problems? Enter the CardiaX test—a revolutionary new way to take charge of your heart health!
What is CardiaX?
CardiaX is a comprehensive genetic testing panel that looks at mutations associated with common cardiovascular risks. It can be used to determine if there are any genetic factors at play in your heart health, and it can also identify potential areas of risk that may require further action. With this knowledge, you can make informed choices about your health today with the aim of improving long-term heart health outcomes.
Who Might Benefit from CardiaX?
If you have been diagnosed with or are at risk for atherosclerosis, abnormal cholesterol production, hypertension, stroke risk, and risk for heart attack then you may benefit from this test. Additionally, anyone who wants to know more about their genetic predispositions for common cardiovascular risks may also want to consider taking this test as well.
What Can I Do With My Results?
Your results will give you an indication of whether or not there are any potential genetic markers playing a role in your risk for developing certain conditions related to heart health. From there, you can work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan that takes into account these findings and helps you develop strategies for managing them going forward. In addition to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise modification, selecting medications that are tailored specifically to your genetics could be beneficial as well.
In A Nutshell…
The CardiaX test is an exciting new way to take charge of your heart health by learning more about how genetics might be playing a role in certain cardiovascular risks. With this knowledge in hand, patients can make decisions informed by their own unique genetic profile that will help reduce their overall risk for developing certain conditions associated with heart disease. This type of proactive approach is key when it comes to protecting ourselves against this all-too-common affliction—so don’t wait another minute! Take control of your future and get started with the CardiaX test today!
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
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