Hypertension – The Silent Killer
High Blood pressure is defined as readings of
Systolic: (top number) Greater than 140 mm/Hg (millimeters mercury)
Diastolic: (bottom number) Greater than 90 mm/Hg
Systolic blood pressure is the pressure of the PULSE after a heart beats.
Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure ALWAYS in the system (i.e. baseline or background pressure)
- It’s worse to have a high diastolic reading because that constant pressure degrades the elasticity of arteries. The arteries then stretch and weaken.
- High blood pressure (HBP, hypertension) is the silent killer. The name “silent killer” is an excellent description of the slow changes that hypertension causes. High blood pressure damages the heart, weakens the arteries and destroys kidney function. The major events caused by HBP are heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
- The diagnosis of HBP is usually made during a routine physical.
- You may experience symptoms of high blood pressure including headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, blurred vision, nose bleeds, blood in the urine or ringing ears.
DO NOT IGNORE THE SIGNS OF HYPERTENSION.
- Hypertension must be treated to avoid long-term damage.
- Some natural treatments are useful in hypertension, but if your blood pressure does not normalize, see a doctor to get a treatment that’s effective for you.
- There are stronger natural treatments then those described here but they must by prescribed by a professional natural therapist, such as a naturopath.
- You should buy a blood pressure monitor and monitor your pressure daily. Keep a chart.
- Consumer Reports has printed lists of blood pressure monitors, and the information can be found on their website.
- Bring your blood pressure chart to your doctor’s appointment.
You’ll know if your treatment is working by monitoring your normal blood pressure. Nothing could be easier than keeping track of your health and seeing results!
The heart rhythm is dependant on the movement of minerals across the heart lining. The heart is trigged to beat by this movement. Arteries and veins are lined with muscle, which also responds to mineral treatments.
Women who supplement only with calcium or people who eat a standard American diet are typically deficient in magnesium. A standard American diet consists of high sugar, high-refined carbohydrates, low protein, and high fat.
Always supplement calcium with magnesium and use a 1:1 ratio of calcium and magnesium if you tend to have high blood pressure, restless leg syndrome, headaches or muscle cramps. Otherwise have a 1:2 ratio of magnesium to calcium. This means with 1500 mg of calcium per day, you should use 750-1500 mg magnesium on the same day.
Magnesium relaxes muscle cells and helps regulate heart rhythm. It does, however, tend to cause diarrhea, and some forms cause looser stools than others.
Which form of magnesium to use?
Constipation: If you don’t have a complete bowel movement daily use magnesium citrate which helps relax bowel spasms and is an osmotic laxative (see the section on constipation for more information). Magnesium citrate is a non-addictive and gentle laxative. To determine the level of magnesium citrate to take, start with 1/day with or without food. Then daily, increase by 1. Stop when stools are normal. For instance, 1-2 magnesium citrate 1-2X/day is a common dosage.
Regular bowel movements: If you tend to be regular or have loose stools, use magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurate.
Dosage of magnesium: anywhere from 100-1500mg/day depending on blood pressure.
Taurine is an amino acid normally made in the liver. Unlike most amino acids, which are hooked together to make proteins, taurine’s function is to shuttle minerals into the heart. It improves your body’s sensitivity to the minerals you obtain from diet or supplements.
Taurine is especially useful for people who use many medications, or who use medications that damage liver function (e.g. heart medicines including beta blockers and cholesterol medicines.)
It is also useful for those who have adrenal stress, malabsorption, excessive perspiration, or people who have eaten a poor diet all their lives, and currently experience inefficient mineral use.
Taurine dosage: 500-1000mg up to 3 times a day, based on blood pressure, cramping or muscle twitching.
CoQ10 is a molecule necessary for the production of energy in the body. The body has a series of molecules that shuffle electrons from one to the next (called the electron transport chain). This shuttle of electrons (electricity) is used to make energy for the body. The last molecule in this energy transfer is CoQ10. The molecule made for energy storage is called ATP. CoQ10 feeds the ATP producing molecule, which causes stores of bodily fuel to be built up.
Muscles require ATP to relax, not contract. This means muscles contract “for free”, but then need energy to relax again. This is why deceased people with rigor mortis become “stiff”. After death, energy production ceases, as does the relaxation of muscles.
CoQ10 supplies energy to the muscles to help them function.
Beta-blockers and some cholesterol lowering medication deplete the body of CoQ10, therefore depleting the body of energy.
Your heart medicines and cholesterol medicines may be harming your heart by depleting its energy! The very treatment you use to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol can be giving you cramps and robbing your heart of energy.
CoQ10 is a very unstable molecule, and easily becomes rancid.
Always buy a good quality CoQ10.
Either buy one in an oil base or take it with vitamin E.
Vitaline makes a chewable CoQ10 that tastes good, and is proven in scientific studies to have a good rate of absorption (it works well).
CoQ10 dosage: 30-100 milligrams 1-3X/day (total of 20-300mg/day), depending on the severity of the heart problem. If you are medicated with beta-blockers or cholesterol drugs, 100mg/day is usually enough. You may notice that CoQ10 relieves certain heart/cholesterol treatment side effects like cramping.
Herbs & Nutrients
There are a variety of herbs and nutrients that can help with high blood pressure.
Herbal treatments are used to:
- Increase the heart’s energy
- Induce relaxation (mentally or physically)
- Relax arteries and veins to lower resistance (which lowers pressure)
Hawthorne improves the output of the heart, and decreases the energy requirements of the muscle. Hawthorne also helps strengthen arteries, due to its high flavinoid content.
Hawthorne solid extract is a tasty, concentrated source of hawthorne. It can be used to “flavor” teas, mixed into water or taken plain. People tend to like hawthorne as a sweet, fruity treat. Hawthorne can also be taken in tea, tincture or pill forms.
Hawthorne Solid Extract dosage: Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon 1 – 3 times per day.
HTN Complex is a gentle blood pressure reducing blend of herbs, minerals and amino acids. It is a slight diuretic, has taurine, minerals and heart-balancing herbs.
Monitor your pressure while taking HTN Complex, and adjust your dosage accordingly.
HTN Complex dosage: 1-2 caps 1-3X/day (total of 1-6/day).
Please see the section about stress/relaxation for blood pressure created by stress.