Raising your blood pressure (BP) may also lower your intelligence! Almost half of the adults in America have high blood pressure (hypertension) or are on medication to keep a lid on blood pressure. Hypertension does damage to the tiny blood vessels in the brain, resulting in degenerating brain function. It can also damage the kidneys and the eyes where tiny blood vessels predominate. Since the heart has to work harder to maintain the high blood pressure, it can also lead to heart failure.
All blood pressure medications have side effects and shift the body away from its ideal hydration, mineral levels, nervous system reaction, heart activity, or oxygenation of tissues. Something is signaling the body that greater blood pressure is needed to get sufficient blood flow throughout the body when BP rises. Inhibiting that natural reaction will, at the very least, deprive the body of proper oxygenation or removal of toxins from tissues. If you are on blood pressure medication, you may succeed in protecting tiny blood vessels from rupturing, but you also are compromising your health in other ways.
Published in Hypertension (an American Heart Association journal), research at the Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil showed that systolic readings between 121 and 139, and diastolic between 81 and 89, accelerated cognitive decline in older individuals, even for short durations. “Our results also reinforce the need to maintain lower blood pressure levels throughout life, since even prehypertension levels were associated with cognitive decline.” It doesn’t take long to rupture tiny blood vessels, which is one reason high blood pressure is not acceptable.
Why high blood pressure?
The most common cause is need: the body needs to push more blood through the body to maintain proper oxygenation, toxin removal, and nutrition. Obesity is a prime example: when overweight, the sheer amount of blood flow needed by all that extra fat tissue requires a greater effort by the circulatory system. Plaque build-up in blood vessels is another example, which means greater force is needed to get the normal amount of blood flow through the narrowed arteries. Chronic stress might cause hypertension, as the body senses the need for continued extra blood flow due to the “emergency” that the stress is signaling. For these or other reasons, the body believes that it has to work harder than normal to maintain the vital flow of blood throughout your body, and overriding that with medication will have consequences.
The good news is: if you fix the underlying reason that is causing the body to sense the need for higher blood pressure, hypertension will disappear without medication. Blood pressure readings are a great health indicator, telling you if you are making progress in improving your health, and are easily taken with a home device.
What is normal?
Blood pressure has two readings: the “systolic” pressure which occurs when the heart beats and pumps blood, and the “diastolic” pressure, which is the resting, non-pumping pressure. Normal blood pressure is a systolic reading under 120 and diastolic reading below 80, but not going lower than 90/60. However, until recent times, higher numbers were considered “normal” at older ages, raising the limits to 130 (female) and 143.5 (male) after age 61.
One of the “silly” excuses for high blood pressure is age. Yes, as we age, we are statistically more likely to have plaque build-up in our arteries or become more sedentary, but those things are not requirements of getting older. The “normal” levels that accommodate higher readings are merely reflecting the lowered health that average people experience with age, rather than stating that those higher levels are actually required by age. Recently, Harvard Medical school has published guidelines that readings above 120/80 are elevated, regardless of age, citing a study of 9250 participants at or over the age of 50 listed at the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In that study, which showed increased cases of dementia, renal disease, and heart disease with chronically higher blood pressure readings, the concept that higher readings are OK at higher ages was debunked. High blood pressure does the same damage at any age.
What is best?
We have the guidelines for “normal”. So what is optimal? When the lower “normal” level of 90/60 is not reached consistently, it is difficult for the body to provide sufficient oxygenation, which can be dangerous. Low blood pressure can be a health warning sign. Medication can artificially lower BP, and lightheadedness or dizziness is the most common symptom. But few of us have naturally low blood pressure.
Another indicator of health is the difference between the systolic and diastolic readings, called the “pulse width”. A difference between those readings around 40 is normal, and above 60 is considered a heart risk. A strong and slower pulse should be able to produce a wide difference, near 40, for good health. A weakened heart would have difficulty producing a wide range.
Optimum blood pressure is the lowest level that still gets the job of sufficient blood flow accomplished. Lower pressure which is still providing you health and energy is generally a good thing. If your cardiovascular system can fully support you at a lower resting pulse rate and lower BP, that is usually a sign of health and physical conditioning.
Fixing the problem
Abnormal blood pressure is a symptom. When your numbers are off, something in your body is off — perhaps you have more than one cause contributing to the problem. Blood pressure is automatically regulated in the body based upon its need to provide you with consistently sufficient blood flow. Abnormal readings point to a problem which needs to be addressed to fix your health, and if the readings are consistently off, you may want to act quickly to protect your body and brain.
Dr. Nemec’s Comments:
Treat the cause, not the effect. This applies to every aspect of your healths: from cancer to diabetes to autoimmune disease to high cholesterol to high blood pressure. Medication should be taken short term (2 months or less) unless there is organ or gland damage. Everyone is quick to go on medications, instead of seeking the cause and becoming healthier once they address that cause or causes. One of our patients had uncontrollable high blood pressure. Even with medications (three of them) it was still 250/150. This was a high stroke or heart attack risk. Once they started our treatment and teaching program it completely normalized within 3 months without needing any medications. We treated all the causes of inflammation in the body and then the body did what it always does (if it has the support to do it) — it heals.
If you need help in your journey to find the cause of your health challenge, here are the options:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.