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High Blood Pressure: A Symptom Versus Disease

High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder and will put additional stress on the body, the organs and the arteries.  High blood pressure is also called hypertension.  Uncontrolled hypertension will increase the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and damage to the eyes. 

Blood pressure constantly changes throughout the day.  It is commonly low during sleep and in the morning while it is high in the afternoon and during exercise.  Fluctuation in blood pressure is a normal occurrence.  If you have one abnormal blood pressure reading, it does not mean that you are hypertensive. 

The important concept to understand is that blood pressure is a response to a given situation.  Physical, chemical and emotional stress will play a significant role in the determination of one’s blood pressure. 

What is the Cause?

It is common for healthcare professionals to state that high blood pressure can create headaches, dizziness and problems with their vision.  The reverse is also true.  Headaches, poor vision and inadequate lifestyle choices can cause high blood pressure.  High blood pressure is not a lack of medications; it is a symptom of how one’s body cannot respond to stress. 

It is common for individuals to develop hypertension as they age, but it is not normal.  The culprit is the body’s diminished ability to handle and respond to stress.  Cumulative lifestyle factors such as a poor diet, lack of exercise and stress accumulation will depress the body’s natural ability to respond to stress.  This is commonly called aging.  Age is just a number, not a health status.

90 Percent Unknown

The cause in over 90 percent of high blood pressure cases is unknown.  It is unknown because it is not a lack of medications.  It is known that a poor diet, lack of exercise and compounding stress increases the symptoms of high blood pressure.  This is great news because you can change lifestyle factors.

There is a greater risk of developing hypertension if one is overweight, smokes, and has high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes.  All of these conditions are lifestyle related.  The same reasoning can be applied to these health conditions.  High blood pressure does not create obesity but poor lifestyle will create obesity and hypertension.   

High blood pressure will also affect the arteries.  Arteries can become scarred, hardened and less elastic.  This means that the normal fluctuation of blood pressure throughout the day is diminished.  What controls the diameter of the arteries?  The neurology of the body controls and regulates blood pressure and the diameter of the arteries. 

Physical, chemical and emotional stress all impact the neurology of the body.  When the neurology cannot respond to the stimulus or stress, it will elevate blood pressure.  This is the reason that a stressful conversation, injury or poor dietary choice will impact one’s blood pressure. 

A Minimum of 3

The only way of determining one’s blood pressure is to have it checked.  One blood pressure reading is not reflective of the true condition of your heart, arteries and cardiovascular system.  The most accurate way is to have your blood pressure taken at different times of the day over a period of several weeks.  A minimum of three readings is needed to determine an average blood pressure.

Blood pressure is not a lack of medication.  However, once you are diagnosed it is common to take medication the rest of your life.  You can manage blood pressure naturally if you reduce stress, improve lifestyle factors and enhance your body’s response to stress.

Quick Nutritional Tips

-Avoid and eliminate sugar.
-Avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG)
-Avoid trans-fat and processed meats
-Eat more fruits and vegetables
-Drink more water.

Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard


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