27 Wolcott Street, Everett, MA, 02149
AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOUR HEALTH
*We base this page on two different articles; Murphree R, "Healthier Ways of Treating and Beating High Blood Pressure," The Amer. Chiro., Vol. 31 (6), June 2009; and Willacy H, "Hypertension," EMIS, June, 2009.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is thus one of, if not the most important preventable causes of premature morbidity and mortality. The hidden isssue with hypertension and indeed most aspects of cardiovascular diseases is that they are silent and symptom-less. In fact, the most common symptom for a heart attack is death. That's right. Death is the #1 most common symptom of a heart attack with the crushing chest pain/left arm pain being the second most common symptom.
HYPERTENSION BY THE NUMBERS:
Blood Pressure (BP) has a rather skewed "normal" distribution in the population but the currently and generally accepted model is as follows:
OPTIMAL: 120/80 mm/Hg (millimeters of Mercury pressure)
NORMAL: >130/>85 mm/Hg
HIGH NORMAL: 130-139/ 85-89 mm/Hg
@The Hypertension Range:
MILD HYPERTENSION: Grade 1 140-159/90-99 mm/Hg
MODERATE HYPERTENSION: Grade 2 160-179/100-109 mm/Hg
SEVERE HYPERTENSION: Grade 3 180/110 mm/Hg
Although there are geographical differences in BP, the relative increase in long-term mortality due to CVD for a given elevated BP is similar. Bear in mind that Hypertension is only ONE of a number of cardiovascular risk factors and assessment of the overall risk is very important. These other factors such as cholesterol, weight, exercise, partical O2 consumption, etc. will affect BP.
According to Dr. Murphree over 50 Million Americans suffer from Hypertension. That is a staggering number of people; about 1 in every 4. Almost 43,000 Americans die from hypertension each year. Add to that, another 227,000 deaths from causes related to hypertension. We mentioned cardiovascular disease earlier in this report; as such, over 1 Million Americans are dying each year from heart attacks. This figure dwarfts AIDS, Auto Accident deaths and Gunshot deaths. The leading cause of death to Americans is Medical Errors that kills over ONE MILLION people a year. Cardiovascular Diseasae is a close second. The next figure is total cancer deaths in the U.S. which averages about 740,000 total deaths from all cancers each year.
The arteries in our bodies have thick, elastic, muscular walls that relax and open wide as blood flows through. The layers of the arterial wall also include what is called the "endothelium" which serves as a physical barrier between the actual flowing blood and the next layer in the artery called the "media."
The endothelium is a complex arrangement. As a matter of fact, it is the largest organ in the body and weighs nearly five pounds. If one could lay the endothelium out flat, it would consume 14,000 square feet of surface space. This would be the equivalent of over six tennis courts.
The media, on the other hand, is a layer of smooth muscle that contracts or relaxes on demand. The tightening or relaxation of the media obviously controls how narrow or wide the blood vessel is at a given moment.
Definition of Hypertension:
An excess in BP increases the amount of force exerted by the blood it courses through the arteries. This increased force may damage the endothelial lining of the arterial wall. Damage to the blood vessel wall leads to further damage and health issues such as atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries."
Common Anti-Hypertensive Medications and Their Problems:
1) Calcium Channel Blockers: Increase the risk of heart attack and death by five-fold and may cause fatigue, flushing, swelling of the abdomen, ankles, or feet, heartburn, tachycardia or bradycardia, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, numbness of the hands/feet and GI bleeding.
2) Beta-Blockers: Have several potential side effects including congestive heart failure, shortness of breath, heart block, fatigue, lethargy, drowsiness, depression, insomnia, headaches, vertigo, tingling in hands/feet, wheezing, bronchial spasm, increased severity of asthma or chronic pulmonoary obstuctive disease (DPOD), lessened sex drive, muscle fatigue, reduced HDL (good cholesterol), increased LDL/triglycerides.
3)Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: Side effects here include dry cough, GI pain, numbness in hands/feet, joint pain, lightheadedness, fatigue.
4) Diuretics: Can and do cause excessive uric acid in the blood (aka gout), magnesium deficiency, K deficiency, electrolyte imbalance, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, lowered HDL, excessive sugar in the blood that can turn into diabetes, fever, rash, irregular menstrual cycle, impotence, excessive urination and thirst.
HELP IS HERE! NOW, NATURAL, WHOLISTIC APPROACHES TO REDUCING HYPERTENSION:
1) AmealPeptide: Is a completely natural ingrediant derived from nonfat milk that acts as a natural inhibitor of angiotensin. It is also found in yogurt and cheese. 14 double blind studies have confirmed that it lowers BP and maintains healthier levels.
2) Fish Oil: Reduces BP/inflammation/fibrinogen/irregular heart beats/athersclerosis/triglycerides and platelet aggregation. The famed NE Journal of Medicine found that taking 15 grams of fish oil daily reduced BP significantly.
3)CoQ10: 225/mg per day significantly reduced BP.
4)Lose Weight: We've talked about this before elsewhere in this WEB site. For every extra pound of fat we lug around, the body creates up to two miles of cappilaries to bring blood to that tissue. That means, if you are say, 20 pounds overweight, the heart has to push blood an extra 40 miles on each beat!! Also known as peripheral resistance, this is just too much work for the heart over the course of years and can lead to high BP and heart attacks.
5) Low Salt Diet: American typically consume around 6-10 grams of salt per day. What we actually need is 500 mg a day. Up to 60% of hypertensive patients are salt sensitive. Processed foods account for nearly 75% of a person's daily salt intake. Studies have shown that salt restricted diets can reduce systolic pressure by over 11 points and it can lower the diastolic number by 6.8 points.
Drug companies love to promote their so called miracle drugs for this and many other health care issues. What they don't want you to know are all the side effects: and all drugs have side effects, some more profound than others. Barring absolute contraindications, please consider a natural, wholistic approach to your health, diet and lifestyle; especially with this crucial but silent killer.