Hypertension -Twelve Simple Things You Can Do To Lower Your Blood Pressure
Nearly a quarter of American adults just got diagnosed with a new disorder: pre-hypertension. Is your blood pressure low enough?
Nearly 23% of people over the age of 18 have pre-hypertension (blood pressure over 120/80 and less than 140/90). Another 25% of those over 18 have full-blown hypertension (blood pressure over 140/90).
At age 34 I had to have an insurance exam. I weighed 175 pounds on a 5'6" frame and for the first time in my life, had elevated blood pressure, 140/90, up from 118/78. That was one of the first major health warnings my body gave me.
Back in those days hypertension was considered anything above 140/90. Today we have the diagnosis of "pre-hypertension" which is any elevation of blood pressure over 120/80. Starting as low as 115/75 the risk of heart attack or stroke doubles for every 20 point increase in systolic pressure (the higher of the two, when the left ventricle of the heart actually pumps blood out into the body) and for every 10 point increase in diastolic pressure (when the heart is resting in between pulses). Between the pressures of 120/80 and 140/90 there is a fourfold increase in heart attack, compared to people with normal blood pressure. According to Aram Chobanian, M.D. Dean of Boston University School of Medicine, people over 54 years old have a 90% chance of developing hypertension at some time.
Aging does not necessarily correlate to hypertension.
For some reason especially here in America, there has been the idea that there is a normal increase in blood pressure as one gets older. That has been proven to be false. There are many populations around the world that reach old age and beyond without any increase in blood pressure. The idea that blood pressure goes up with age is based on studying the American population where it does in most cases. However, this does not mean that it is normal and is most likely a reflection of the eating habits and lifestyle of most Americans. I can still remember when a serum cholesterol was considered normal if it was less than 275, hardly normal for anyone.
Prevention is the best approach.
Better to not get hypertension than to try to control it with drugs once you have it. This means lifestyle changes that to some, are not really what they want to do. No free lunch here. If you want to prevent hypertension or control it once you have it, diet and exercise are the answer. Below are twelve simple lifestyle changes you can make to help keep your blood pressure under control.
Drinks lots of water
Dietary modification to decrease animal products and sugar and increase fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. (The sugar-free vegan MericleDiet is the optimal diet to help you control your weight, blood pressure and risk for serious disease).
Reduce salt intake
Increase potassium intake (bananas, melons, potatoes)
Reduce or stop alcohol intake
Reduce or stop caffeine
Avoid drugs ... recreational (cocaine, ecstasy), birth control pills, some over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines
Relax, as much as you can.
If you want sweet -use Stevia. It has been shown to be the safest sweetener today and in well designed experiments it has reduced blood pressure.
The MericleDiet and Hypertension.
Current dietary recommendations for hypertension are a low salt diet that restricts saturated fat, cholesterol and total fats and emphasizes fruits, grains and low-fat dairy. This diet, however, still allows fish, chicken, dairy and insulin stimulating sugars such as sucrose and maple syrup. While there is no doubt that cutting down on these will improve your blood pressure, it would be best to stop them. Also, there has been some difficulty with adherence to these dietary recommendations. Why not learn to transition completely away from all hypertension causing meats, dairy and sugars with the MericleDiet, which also is much easier to adhere to. It is the only 100% organic sugar-free diet there is today. To visit the MericleDiet please follow the link below:
The Mericle Diet and Me
I have been reading about diet and health since 1986, but The MericleDiet has definitely helped me the most. After following Dr. Mericle's suggestions for over 15 months, I can truthfully say I will never stray from his program. One of the unseen benefits has been the reduction of blood pressure medicine I take. Although I have never been a big consumer of sugar, I now consume even less since I now understand the importance of keeping your insulin levels low. I am now able to keep my blood pressure at an optimal level with half the medication of my pre-MericleDiet days. And, the ease of this program! I always have something yummy and ready to eat! For the first time in my adult life I no longer suffer, and I do mean suffer, from the yo-yo syndrome!
This is absolutely the best program for me and my family...
If you would like to take stevia for a test drive or just purchase some online, the link below will take you to Carol Bond Health Foods. Just search stevia or "Stevita" when you get there.
Please stay tuned for next week when we will discuss in more detail the twelve recommendations for controlling your blood pressure.
Thanks for your time.
Copyright © 2005 John Mericle M.D. All Rights Reserved
DrMericle.com is devoted to achieving optimal health and peak performance through diet and lifestyle change. Dr. Mericle brings together a unique blend of formal training in organic chemistry and biochemistry, medical education, 29 marathons, 3 Hawaii Ironman competitions and a lot of practical real life experience.
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