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Lower Blood Pressure Naturally


This is not just a caution because I think I should say it.  I really believe it.  Do not discontinue any prescription medications without working with your physician.

 

Let me start with a story: 

 

A person had sore feet, so they started taking a daily pain medication.  The pain went away, but in a couple of years they developed bunions that required surgery.  It was eventually determined that the cause of the original sore feet were shoes that were too tight.  The pain medication masked the underlying cause, and it was not discovered until it caused damage.

 

Why this topic?

I saw a study that showed that while blood pressure medications were effective at lowering blood pressure, they did not lower all-cause mortality.  Hmm.  Lower blood pressure is proven to be associated with lower mortality.  Blood pressure medication is effective at lowering blood pressure but does not lower mortality.  That could be enough, but we could dig a little deeper.

 

I found two things:

First, the difference between the diastolic (the bottom number in your blood pressure) and systolic (the first or upper number) pressures is called post pressure.  We want this difference to be small.  When this number is large, it can show that our blood vessels are losing their elasticity.  Blood pressure mediations not only lower systolic blood pressure, but also diastolic which can cause the blood to not effectively return to the heart.

 

Secondly, high blood pressure is the symptom, not the problem, just like the foot pain. Medication does not address the cause of the problem.  There are some different ideas about causes, but most believe the two main causes of high blood pressure are inflammation and oxidative stress.  You may be covering up the underlying problem with medication and giving yourself a false sense of security.

In some of the suggestions below, we talk about nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide is a chemical in your body that relaxes blood vessels which lowers blood pressure.

 

Ways to lower blood pressure:

·         Hydrate well, especially by eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state which are full of water.

·         Get some level 2 exercise.  Level 2 exercise is where you can breathe through your nose.  Some examples are yoga, tai chi, body weight floor exercises, walking, and stretching.  Level 2 exercise has been shown to be just as good at lower blood pressure than high intensity exercise. 

·         Produce nitric oxide in your own body.  The above exercise is great for this, but you also produce nitric oxide when you breathe through your nose.  Find breathing exercises online that you like.  Eat vegetables high in nitrate such as celery, lettuce, arugula, and spinach.

·         Here is a surprising one: Quit using mouthwash.  It kills bacteria in your mouth and some of that bacteria is good bacteria that is needed for your body to produce nitric oxide.

·         Reduce sodium intake (you knew this one was coming).  Limit the salt but watch labels too.  Canned and processed food can put the saltshaker to shame.

·         Reduce stress if that is a problem for you.  Breathing exercises can give you a double helping here by increasing nitric oxide production and also helping with stress.

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