By Joe Barton
Sally, an entrepreneur with a small company in Portland, Oregon, was stunned to discover she had high blood pressure.
“I was only 38 at the time,” she says, “I thought I was in fairly good shape, and felt absolutely fine. How could I have high blood pressure?”
Many women would agree with Sally. We usually think of high blood pressure as a “man's disease”, striking overweight, middle-aged male executives. You know, the suit-wearing, scotch-drinking, cigar-smoking guys with high-pressure jobs.
That’s just not the reality.
Here are some surprising facts about high blood pressure that will keep you awake at night:
1. High blood pressure is not just a “man’s disease”. While the numbers vary, most studies agree that high blood pressure is at least as common in women as in men, and some suggest it’s more common in women than previously suspected.
2. In most cases, the cause of high blood pressure is never discovered. According to the American Heart Association, the cause of high blood pressure in 90 to 95% of cases is completely unknown. This means it’s not easy to know how likely you are to get it.
3. High blood pressure kills. While it may seem like high blood pressure is merely an “inconvenient” condition, it can kill you. The American Heart Association says that in a typical year more than 50,000 people will die as a direct result of high blood pressure. Imagine your kids facing the trauma of losing their mother, and you begin to see the importance of preventing or treating high blood pressure.
“I went home after that doctors visit,” says Sally, “looked at my two kids playing in the backyard, and realized I felt totally helpless. I didn’t want to take drugs, or live on a bland, restricted diet… but it seemed like if I wanted to be around for my babies, that’s what I was stuck with.”
Sally also discovered another unexpected downside of high blood pressure: sometimes people feel the need to “blame” you for having the disease.
“Nobody came right out with it,” she says, “but it wasn’t hard to interpret the cutting remarks. A lot of people seem to think it was careless eating, or not exercising, or some other character flaw, that caused my high blood pressure.”
“I felt alone, angry, and ashamed.”
Sally Takes Control Of Her Health,
And Just Says No to Drugs
Sally decided she was not happy with the situation and was determined to change it. She was also terrified of the potential side effects of the drugs her doctor prescribed.
She began to research other treatment alternatives, and was discouraged at first.
“It was hard to know who to trust,” she says. “There are so many opinions, and many of them contradict one another. But over time, the science and the results people were getting showed me: I could control this high blood pressure thing, without medicine.”
In just a few months, Sally’s blood pressure went from 155/90 down to an astounding 119/75! How did she do it? Did she follow some excruciatingly painful exercise routine, and eat nothing but shredded lettuce? Far from it.
Sally followed a combination of sound eating and living habits, coupled with proper supplementation; and you can do the same.
Even if you don’t have high blood pressure now, these simple changes can prevent your developing the disease later... and preventing high blood pressure is far better than having to treat it!
Five Simple Steps That Get Your
Blood Pressure Under Control
1. Lose weight. The very best thing you can do for your body, and for your blood pressure, is to lose weight (if you are overweight). Not only does losing weight improve the health of your heart, it makes your whole body work better and reduces your risk of many other diseases.
2. Get physically active. No matter what you weigh, exercise will help your high blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity is the single biggest key to strengthening your heart. A strong heart pumps more blood with less effort, and that lowers your blood pressure-without doing anything else. A simple walk is good enough.
3. Eat a healthy diet. You don’t have to eat a bland diet, and you don’t have to be a vegetarian. But eating lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains will dramatically improve your health, according to the National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute.
4. Seek emotional stability. This is a challenge for most working moms, as there are many emotional demands in your life. The fact is, the slightest emotional upset can send your blood pressure numbers soaring. You need to counteract the stress in your life. Spend just a few minutes a day sitting quietly, with your eyes closed. Imagine a pleasant scene or place. This can make a big difference in how you process stress through the rest of your day.
5. Take the right supplements. Most of us simply are not capable of eating enough of the right foods to get the nutrients we need. At the very least, take a good multivitamin that includes potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals are vitally important for helping keep your blood pressure in check.
There are further steps you can take, and if you already have high blood pressure you should be more aggressive in the changes you make. Sally’s story certainly proves you can make a dramatic impact on your blood pressure through simple lifestyle changes.
Do your homework, don’t fall for fad diets, but make healthy changes. One good resource is this report by Barton Publishing, which is a natural remedy research firm.
Regardless of what steps you take, perhaps the most important factor is your motivation in making change stick. For Sally, it was her kids.
“I imagined the look on their little faces if they saw me carried off in an ambulance, with a heart attack or something. That was enough for me. There was no option other than to take care of this problem now.”
If you’re determined to get your blood pressure under control, or to prevent it from getting out of control in the first place, start with making a list of the reasons why it’s important to you.
Hang on to that list. You may need it to help keep you motivated to stick with your plan.
The best part is, you can get started right now with the five steps from this article.
About the Author:
Barton Publishing is a homegrown company based in South Dakota. Since 2004, we’ve believed food is medicine, and that the human body is designed to heal itself. We believe there are natural home remedies to most ailments and illnesses, that you can find most health solutions at a grocery store, and that our job is to help you find them.