By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Hypertension Information You Should Know
1 in 3 U.S. adults has high blood pressure or hypertension. This means over 100 million people in this country have high blood pressure! Hypertension has been on our radar recently because it is one of the comorbidities of the coronavirus. It weakens the immune system and may make us more susceptible to the complications caused by viruses.
Hypertension often goes undetected for years and may not present signs or symptoms. But even without symptoms, high blood pressure can damage your heart, blood vessels and kidneys, to name a few.
So how do you know if you’re at risk? We have addressed these issues in earlier articles but let me summarize. Let's find the answers to these critical questions here.
What is normal blood pressure?
Generally normal blood pressure should be around 120/80; however, normal values may vary for individual people. Some people, especially with a smaller build, are perfectly fine with pressures like 100/60. But measurements are more than just numbers. Your blood pressure reading usually reflects your lifestyle.
Factors that influence blood pressure include:
- A healthy body weight and body fat percentage
- Adequate amounts of physical activity
- Genetic predispositions and age
- Cumulative exposure to environmental toxins, chemicals, alcohol and recreational drugs
- Ability to cope with stress and proper breathing
- Levels of certain minerals and vitamins in your cells
- Amount of sleep and sleep apnea
- Health of personal relationships
- Side effects of medications or energy drinks
- Secondary illnesses such as diabetes
- Various lung, kidney and heart diseases
- Hormonal abnormalities
What does a blood pressure number mean?
The key is not a single measurement but repeat measurements during different times of the day. A single “spike” because of being nervous or having a “bad day” is far less important than otherwise consistent readings over time. However, certain single blood pressure readings do raise concern. For example if someone has a single reading of 180/105, it is very likely that this person has a blood pressure problem. If someone is a little nervous in the doctor’s office and reads 142/92, it may be completely normal if the person relaxes and gets used to the process just a few minutes later. To monitor yourself, buy a good quality blood pressure device for your home, because some less expensive devices may give inaccurate readings or measurements may need calibration over time.
So, how does high blood pressure develop?
Usually, it happens gradually over years. The typical scenarios are closely linked to poor food choices and increases in body fat, decreases in physical activity, more stressors, aging and accumulating exposure to environmental toxins. Small arteries start to constrict or tighten, and in turn, force the heart to pump harder. When the heart pumps harder persistently, it causes these smaller arteries to become more “muscular” or “stiffer,” leading to a vicious cycle that further increases blood pressure.
What can one do to reduce the likelihood of high blood pressure?
Proactive Health Labs has many ways for you to optimize your blood pressure naturally. Whether you have high or normal blood pressure, you can start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a healthy body fat percentage? If you have excess fat, you may even benefit from just a 5% change in body fat. Test your body fat percentage with our state-of-art InBody 720. Remove excess fat where appropriate using our Cryo T-Shock technology.
- Do you have at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day? Take our health quiz to see if your diet and lifestyle are alkaline or too acidic.
- Learn about food choices. Plan to reduce sugar, unhealthy fats, excess calories and excess carbohydrates. Eat more unprocessed food and drink plenty of water (recommended: the number of your weight divided by 2 = ounces of water you should have every day).
- Do you get enough weekly exercise? 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week makes a big difference. Track your movements with the latest wearable technology, like our water-friendly Polar Loop.
- Evaluate your body for minerals, vitamins and other deficiencies. Treat deficiencies with supplements. Especially when you consume a lot of salt, the reduced potassium level can exacerbate blood pressure problems. Potassium and magnesium supplements can be useful in lowering high blood pressure. This is because excess sodium can deplete potassium levels. Your blood pressure-regulating enzymes need adequate levels of zinc and copper to work properly. Not sure if you’re getting enough? We offer a wide range of specialty lab tests that are not available in a typical doctor’s office.
- Use non-toxic and healthy products, and control your exposure to harmful substances. Harmful metals like cadmium and mercury push beneficial zinc and copper out of their places in body enzymes, resulting in a multi-pronged blood pressure increase.
- Learn techniques to cope with stressful situations, or try to reduce or eliminate them where you can.
When it comes to hypertension, it’s always best to discuss your health concerns with a qualified health care professional. To schedule your appointment online or call us at 855-PHLABS1.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.