High Blood Pressure: The Most Popular Club In Town

Stress and hbpAccording to the journal, Circulation 2015, 1 out of 3 adults has hypertension (high blood pressure.) It also states that 1 out of three adults has pre-hypertension (borderline high blood pressure.) With such a large percentage of the population suffering these health conditions, what is the consumers perspective of these diagnoses? In most cases they believe:

  1. it isn’t terribly dangerous because it rarely produces significant symptoms

  2. prescription medication normalizes blood pressure

  3. it runs in the family and is likely genetic

  4. it just happens as we age

  5. is a common disorder that doctors treat on a regular basis

How accurate is the consumer’s view about this disorder? The following will address each of the 5 points mentioned above:

1. Most people are unaware they have high blood pressure because this condition frequently lacks symptoms. This is why it is known in the health care field as:

THE SILENT KILLER!

The consumer equates good health as a state of health that lacks symptoms. This is a very dangerous belief. The body will attempt to compensate for developing problems, but this doesn’t mean that underlying problems do not exist. If blood vessels become damaged or blocked, the heart will work harder to pump more blood to compensate for the restricted flow. This strain on the heart causes it to enlarge (because it is a muscle) and thicken reducing its ability to efficiently and effectively circulate blood throughout the body. This, however, does not produce pain or other identifiable symptoms early in the process. Ultimately, conditions begin to manifest that create dangerous life altering outcomes including: (a) clots from plaque damage to the arteries that migrate to the heart and brain causing heart attack and stroke, (b) arterial rupture from internal pressure causing dissecting aneurysms, and (c) kidney destruction from decreased blood flow causing irreversible damage to the kidney filtering system resulting in toxicity and death. Most people are unaware of all these facts and these complications from high blood pressure; a condition perceived as not very dangerous.

2.  Prescription medication ALTERS THE NORMAL FUNCTION of the body in an attempt to reduce the risks associated with hypertension. Prescription medication does NOT FIX HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE! The average person believes if medication keeps their blood pressure values within “normal ranges,” their problem has been resolved. It is important to realize the ROOT CAUSE of this hypertensive state remains unaddressed. The medication COMPETES with your body and over time often requires adjustments. This includes some combination of quantity and/or entirely different medications. In many cases multiple medications are prescribed to achieve the “desired medical results.” Common sense should question whether this approach BY ITSELF makes any sense. If the underlying causes of hypertension go unresolved, the potential for “hidden” (without symptoms) damage to occur is likely even though blood pressure values improve. The consumer must become aware that GOOD HEALTH is based on more than just numbers and lab values. How often have you heard stories about chronically sick debilitated people with normal blood pressures and lab values? Is our job as doctors to ignore the patient’s presentation if their lab values are normal? As we begin to view GOOD HEALTH in a more encompassing package including physical, mental and spiritual, we begin to recognize the weaknesses within the traditional paradigms and approaches to health care. “Controlled” blood pressure is NOT THE SAME AS NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE.

3. According to the NIH (National Institute of Health,) “genetic factors only account for 2 to 3 percent of all cases.” Many consumers confuse the terms genetic and familial. Familial is a pattern found within a family structure, HOWEVER, environment becomes the dominant cause of these patterns. This means that individuals can avoid familial patterns by altering LIFESTYLE PATTERNS. Obesity is a classic example. A child with one obese parent has a 40% chance of becoming obese. A child with two obese parents has an 80% chance. These odds are not based on genetics, but rather environment and lifestyles.

4. In most cases in life, “things” DON’T JUST HAPPEN. Since most people in life follow destructive lifestyle patterns (often entirely unaware how damaging these lifestyles truly are) the results of these patterns eventually emerge over time. AGE is NOT the underlying cause of high blood pressure; lifestyle (in most cases) IS. There are certainly factors we can’t control such as pollution and genetics, but there are many factors we can control and need to begin assuming responsibility for them. Some of these include: (a) eating healthier diets (80%-90% of the time,) (b) exercising on a regular basis (at least 3-4 times/week), (c) drinking adequate amounts of water daily (64oz+ for the average person without health conditions requiring modifications to this amount,) (d) stress reduction, (e) proper restful sleep (6-9 hours/night) (f) social interaction (with family, friends, and community.)

5. High blood pressure is a common disorder that people go to the doctor with. This doesn’t mean this is the best course of action; it only means it is the most common. Am I suggesting the population should stop going to medical doctors for prescription blood pressure medications?

NO!

I’m suggesting each of us determine the value we place on our own personal lives and the effort we are willing to put forth to maximize the quality of our individual lives to:

PREVENT DEVELOPING HYPERTENSION!

PREVENT DEVELOPING HIGH CHOLESTEROL!

PREVENT DEVELOPING CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE!

PREVENT DEVELOPING DIABETES!

PREVENT DEVELOPING OBESITY!

PREVENT DEVELOPING CANCER!

Lifestyle is the biggest factor WE CAN CONTROL in preventing disease and enhancing the quality of our lives. With anti depressant medication the third most prevalent prescription written today, we must wake up to the fact that our current patterns in life are failing to promote the lifestyles we wish to live. Normally I profess that “change” is difficult, but the reality is our current approach to life is even more difficult for most people. There is a better path to follow, but it takes more than nodding your head in agreement. It requires a commitment to THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON ON THIS PLANET:

YOU,

for it you don’t care enough to improve the path you follow, who else will?

Please, don’t just read this article and acknowledge its content with a head nod. Let it help guide you from your current path (if dissatisfied with your current path) onto a new healthier and happier path. I will gladly offer  suggestions if you have any questions. Slowly, gaining back control over one’s life adds a quality of happiness and self confidence everyone is entitled to experience.

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39 comments

  1. I check mine regulary. Even have my own monitor at home. Thankf ro this post on this silent killer. Be well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re a smart man. Hope the cervical surgery is healing well. Take good care.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes the recovery is going well. Thanks. Started more exercises as well. Also, walking everyday. So, happy to be more active. Be well.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Life is good then. It is nice to be able to appreciate small things in life that make us feel so good. Stay well my friend.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes it is. Thanks.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Frustrated but making the most of each day. There is a lot of energy inside his body without a clear path on how to utilize it. Patience is not a strong point, but needed to permit his brain to heal. He would much prefer an instant lotto scratch-off healing! His recovery will require anywhere from 6 months to a year.
      Thank you for your concern.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I had been thinking of you and your father for a while. Speedy recovery!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your dad sounds like me 😀 Surely there should be an “easy button” or quick option, no?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If there is, my research has been unsuccessful at finding it. It seems the words easy and quick are more often associated with detrimental outcomes than long term success. Even most lotto winners that become millionaires overnight lose their fortunes relatively quickly and their lives in many cases. I think I’ll stick with my Tortoise Model to live by. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe one has to act—not just read and agree. This is one club that I don’t want to join!! Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read the article. I hope my approach to health and the solutions I offer resonate with my fellow readers. Improving one’s health opens new doors to a quality of life few experience. Glad to hear you don’t qualify to join this club! 🙂
      Stay healthy and happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post Doc. I will always be amazed at how Dodged that bullet given the amount of weight I was carrying but dodge it I did and I am internally grateful for it as I regularly post 120/80….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear your pressure is healthy, however, it is only one component in the big picture. Arterial inflammation is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and is not typically measured in a lab analysis. Arterial inflammation is caused by poor nutrition (you seem to have this in your favor as well), stress (something to work on), environmental toxins (household cleaning agents are an example), etc… All of us (regardless of shape and condition) need to work at achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle until the end of life. We must never become complacent.

      Like

  4. I used to get really discouraged by my big weight loss goal (okay, sometimes I still do). I would think, what’s the point, the damage is already done. My friend DK always tells me that the body is very versatile and wants to be healthy. So, yes, I’ve made mistakes, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t reverse the damage and get myself onto a good path. It’s not “too late” and I need to control the factors in my life and health that I can because the rest is kind of a crap-shoot.

    I do still get mad at myself for letting myself get to the point that I’m at weight-wise (and often I still can’t believe it even happened…sounds crazy, but it’s true), but at the same time I need to give myself some credit for coming as far as I have back towards good health. It’s a long, slow process that I’m always wishing I could just speed up already but all I can do is take things one day at a time and make good daily choices that will serve my long term goals (read: not getting sick or diseased from my own doing!).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First, you’re starting to evaluate natural remedies objectively rather than ruling them out as a total skeptic; now you’re starting to accept a patient approach to better health and wellness (even if you’d prefer to speed the process up!)

      I will bet you will be greatly surprised with the gradual outcome. I like the path you’re following. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve put blogging on the back burner for a while and moved on to podcasting. When you get a minute check out my show at jasonatkinson.podbean.com I’d love to have you on as a guest to discuss this article. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds interesting. I’ll check out your podcast this weekend. My email address is JNCtheDC93@yahoo.com. Why don’t we communicate via email about the details. I appreciate your offer. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have had high blood pressure at times but it is never consistent. My Dad has suffered the same, but he went on medication about 5 years ago. I discovered that the emotion behind high blood pressure is simply putting too much pressure on ourselves and often seeking the approval of others, which takes up a lot of energy and effort. This is has been true for me and I have found that meditation and letting go of this belief has really help stablize my BP. A very important message here Jonathan as it is a silent killer and we need to be aware.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment confirms my opinion about health imbalances including high blood pressure. Doctors are fixated on numbers instead of underlying mechanisms that cause numbers to deviate from “normal values.” Using chemicals and drugs to relax muscle tone or reduce the body of excess fluids will reduce blood pressure, but will never allow the body to regain functional control over itself. Creating a state of relaxation (through meditation and yoga ) can effectively reduce certain causes of high blood pressure without ANY pharmaceutical agents. You are a walking testimony proving this point. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Good stuff here as always. My blood pressure is usually pretty good except sometimes it goes up a good amount when I get it checked at the doctors office. I’m thinking of buying my own device to check it more often and see how it fluctuates when I’m under stress.

    Glad you’re back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a condition known as “White Coat Hypertension.” This is a condition that occurs as a result of increased stress in a doctor’s office. It is a good idea to monitor your own BP over a course of 10 days to 2 weeks. This will give a truer average and determine whether blood pressure issues actually exist. If they don’t call your doctor’s office and insist he or she wear Bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt at your next visit. This should create a more relaxed environment and improve your blood pressure results. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bermuda shorts and a Hawain shirt for my doctor, I like that idea! Or perhaps I should just schedule all my appointments in Bermuda and I would be awfully relaxed. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. as always another great post….something that runs in our family…..the MD has me on Hctz and is enough to keep me iin a good range…plus loosing weight has helped…thanks for the information….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keep up the good work. As your weight and health improve, you may find the need for blood pressure medication changes. I have seen many patients over the years reduce the need for pharmaceutical intervention as their lifestyles corrected the underlying issues.

      Like

      1. I certainly hope so…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I just remembered I wanted your opinion on Vitamin D supplement….since we are in the desert and the its sunny everyday…we are thinking we can back off the vitamin…??? according to Dr. Google, it takes 20 minutes of sun a day to get the correct amount of D you need….no problem down here…we are out in the sun at least 1/2 our waking hours…any thoughts on the subject???/ Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vitamin D is an important vitamin that warrants a blood test. A fat soluble vitamin can cause a toxic outcome if consumed in the wrong quantity. If your body is converting adequate amounts from sun exposure you shouldn’t need supplementation. A blood test is the gold standard to determine where you stand.

      Like

      1. that’s kinds what I was thinking…I am having blood test in july…I wasn’t low before, just on the low side of the scale…but still in the okay zone…I will be curious to see what it is….thanks…kat

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for this article. My dad died at 47 of a massive heart attack, so I have always been pretty mindful of my heart. My blood pressure has been high, but through some lifestyle changes it is now between normal and borderline. It always seems to climb when I am stressed and/or not getting enough sleep. These 2 things I really need to work on.

    I have a doctor who is more pro lifestyle change over liberally prescribing medications. After reading this article, I am really grateful he is that way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a wise man taking your health into your own hands. It sounds like you found a good doctor to work with as well. In my 20+ years in practice, my patients consistently expressed a greater concern about quality of life than quantity of life. Naturally, most people would like to live a long life, but not if their days are spent confined to a hospital on life support. No one will ever care more about your health than YOU. People must recognize this and create REALISTIC plans to modify unhealthy lifestyles. They must also learn NOT to rely on medications to “make them well.” Medications (in many cases) simply attempt to prevent or delay the degradation of health. They do NOT FIX chronic issues.
      In the case of high blood pressure, all factors associated with it should be addressed. These would include (but not be limited to) hydration, salt consumption, stress, hormone imbalances, kidney health precautions, nutrition, exercise, proper restful sleep, etc… We need to begin looking at lifestyles rather than attempting to match a prescription with a health imbalance (such as high blood pressure.) There certainly are times when pharmaceutical intervention is justified, but often it is the first and ONLY thing the patient uses to address this imbalance. This attitude must change to help people restore their body’s health to an optimal level.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There really is so many factors that do affect a person’s blood pressure. Thank you for your encouragement, it makes me want to be even more diligent!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. […] respect) Doctor Jonathan (who was a long time practicing chiropractic physician) is called “High Blood Pressure: The Most Popular Club in Town.” He mentions “that prescription medications do not fix high blood pressure.  It is […]

    Like

  12. Hi Doc, am so glad I got to your blog. I was thinking of writing a post about when I used to monitor my bp daily. Twice in my life I have had to do that because the doctors were concerned. The second time that is kind off two years ago; I decided to search for what was going on and to work hard towards stopping that homework of monitoring that Bp daily. I found that work depressing to say it mild. I came to the conclusion my bp was rising each time I was full of anxiety, stressed and depressed. Weight probably the first time like 6 years ago, but the second time I did that dreary homework I at 73 Kgs. One of the first things I did was wean myself off sleeping pills which made me sleep long and awful and wake up terrible and be a but for another hrs. I also started making efforts to worry less, smile more, love myself more and etc. Today, I not onlu do notThanks for this ppst

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you realized the importance in becoming part of the SOLUTION yourself. You took CONTROL and discovered the ROOT CAUSES of your BP issues. Notice the ROOT CAUSE wasn’t a deficiency in BP medication!

      You should be proud of your commitment to yourself and your family. Keep up the good work!

      Stay healthy and happy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed doc, that’s my personal homework 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I wanted to add that I don’t do that daily homework again and the last time I checked I was good to go in the bp zone

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yesterday I got a huge shock when my mother told me my nephew, mid twenties, was on meds for HBP. And why do medicos prescribe meds so easily without giving ‘homework’ to improve ones lifestyle! Very sad and he looks to be a fit young man who has never drunk alcohol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Outward aesthetics often hides internal dysfunction. Until SYMPTOMS begin to manifest (example-high blood pressure) we tend to assume we’re healthy. The “absence of symptomatic disease” is often used as the definition of GOOD HEALTH. It is BOTH, untrue and potentially dangerous to believe.

      Liked by 1 person

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