Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a silent killer, rarely producing obvious symptoms, but shortening the lives of millions. Disconcerting statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate a huge epidemic: About one-third of Americans are unknowingly walking around right now with blood pressure high enough to shorten their lives. Blood pressure complications sent over 40 million Americans to the doctor last year. In addition, more than half of all nursing home residents suffer from blood pressure that’s too high.
When blood pressure climbs, it exerts undue force against artery walls, compelling the heart to pump more strenuously than normal to circulate blood throughout the body. Undiagnosed or untreated high blood pressure therefore puts you at risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure, as well as other potentially life-threatening conditions.
Without specific symptoms, hypertension is frequently detected too late, often only after your blood pressure has skyrocketed to a potentially lethal height. When blood pressure climbs this high, it can bring on debilitating headaches, fatigue, confusion, chest pain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine, and pounding in your chest, neck, or ears.
The scariest thing about hypertension is that it often kills before its specific signs are recognized. This is why hypertension is labeled “The Silent Killer.”
Hypertension is difficult to diagnose without actually measuring your blood pressure regularly. What’s more, it can strike just about anyone. Getting a handle on early warning signs by knowing your risk factors can help you head off hypertension before it threatens your life.
Risk factors to be aware of include:
Genetics: High blood pressure can be inherited. If your parents, siblings, or close relatives have (or have had) hypertension you are at increased risk.
Ethnicity: African Americans and Native-Americans are more likely to develop hypertension than are Caucasian-Americans and Mexican Americans. They also often develop it earlier in life.
Gender: Men are more likely to develop hypertension at an earlier age than women. But beginning at age 65, women are at higher risk than men because their blood vessels stiffen.
Make The Right Choices
Lifestyle choices play a major role in the development of hypertension throughout your life. So you have the ability, through actions and choices, to reverse and prevent this potentially life-threatening condition.
Lifestyle risk factors include:
Overweight: If you are overweight or obese, you are at very high risk of hypertension. It has repeatedly been shown that losing weight can lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number) by about five points per 10 pounds of weight loss. If your body mass index, or BMI, is 25 or greater, you are more likely to have high blood pressure.
High Salt Consumption: A high salt diet puts you at high risk for hypertension. Your kidneys can’t process huge amounts of excessive salt. But reduce your salt by avoiding processed foods, and your blood pressure will also be reduced.
Alcohol Consumption: Studies show that having more than three alcoholic beverages per day raises your blood pressure. Cut back on excessive alcohol consumption, and it will lower your blood pressure.
Smoking: You increase your hypertension risk every time you inhale tobacco smoke. Smoking temporarily elevates systolic blood pressure by five to 10 points for about 30 minutes. If you smoke a pack a day, and already have high blood pressure, you exponentially increase your risk of death.
Poor Diet: A diet high in calories, trans fats, and sugar can cause weight gain and bring on hypertension. Moreover, vitamin D deficiency in women, along with consumption of fructose and high fructose corn syrup, is associated with an elevated risk of hypertension.
Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle and a general lack of daily exercise increase not only your risk of hypertension but also of developing obesity and heart disease. Regular exercise helps to control blood pressure, thus making it one of the best options for preventing and curing this disease.
Stress: Studies show that people with heightened anxiety, intense anger, and suppressed expression of anger run a higher risk of high blood pressure.
Here are the best natural nutritional supplements to lower your blood pressure:
Fish oil (omega 3’s) at 3-4 grams daily reduces blood pressure on average by eight mmHg systolic and five mmHg diastolic (8/5 mmHg); it also lowers heart rate six beats/minute and lowers endothelial inflammation.
Amino-Flo represents the gold standard in Nitric Oxide nutritional support. Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator with endothelial anti-inflammatory effects. Amino-Flo contains targeted, precise ingredients aimed at blood vessel support. Both Citrulline and Arginine play a role in Nitric Oxide production itself, and Proline and Lysine both lend direct support to the integrity of the blood vessel wall. In this formula, L-Proline acts like “Teflon” in the blood vessels inhibiting the stickiness of Lipoproteins, fatty globules, thus preventing the buildup of plaque. L-Proline may help release already deposited fatty globules from the vessel walls back into the bloodstream.
Vascular Support BP is a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbals designed to support blood pressure within normal ranges. Vascular Support BP is in that its formulation targets multiple pathways and important metabolic functions, including the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the enzyme that produces nitric oxide, aids in healthy heart function, lowers blood pressure, and supports healthy blood flow. Vascular Support BP also contains Hawthorn, which has ACE inhibition effect and Grape Seed Extract, which also aids in the production of Nitric Oxide.
Polyphenols: Resveratrol, quercetin, flavonoids, red wine (6 oz. twice weekly), dealcoholized red wine, dark chocolate, and other plant-derived polyphenols have been shown to safely reduce endothelial inflammation, increase nitric oxide (a vasodilator), and thereby lower both blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Taurine has pronounced beneficial heart health effects, including its blood pressure-lowering effect.
R (alpha) lipoic acid lowers blood pressure and improves endothelial dysfunction through beneficial effects on nitric oxide (the vasodilator).