High Blood Pressure

Hypertension as many of you know is high blood pressure. The systolic pressure is when the heart is contracting and pushing blood into the body so it is the measure of the pumping force of the heart muscle and the diastolic pressure is in between beats so it is the measure of blood vessel resistance to the blood flow. Both of these pressures we want them to be in range. You can refer to the chart to see where you sit.

However, you must remember that blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day in response to the changing demands of the environment such as from physical activity, excitement, stress/stimulants, a full bladder, feeling the cold and decongestant meds. So it is important to take this into consideration when taking your blood pressure reading and it should be done in a relaxed state when you haven’t just ran to your doctor’s office and you’re desperate for a wee.

Blood pressure should fall again once these challenges have passed but if blood pressure elevating environmental inputs remain high over the long term, blood pressure can stay too high for long enough for the body and mind to interpret this as the new resting state.

NHS estimates that 25% of adults in the UK have high blood pressure!

The problem with high blood pressure is that is causes mechanical injury to the arterial endothelium which causes inflammation and oxidation which then leads to endothelial dysfunction. This is an issue because the endothelial tone determines a person’s blood pressure and the inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis that further increases blood pressure. When this happens it stops a chemical called nitric oxide (NO) in artery walls from working properly which is another problem because this chemical helps the blood vessels to dilate so if this chemical can’t be released then the blood vessels can’t dilate correctly. The endothelial dysfunction increases the permeability of the vessel wall to LDL cholesterol and it promotes its retention which causes arterial calcification and further elevates blood pressure.

Without a doubt nutrition is very supportive when it comes to high blood pressure. There will always be other imbalances that need addressing as it is highly unlikely that an individual will only suffer from high blood pressure even if the other issues have not been identified yet or they are subclinical imbalances. I take a holistic approach and work towards addressing the root causes of high blood pressure in your individual case.

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