Blood Pressure Check – Never Too Late

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Blood pressure related illness is killing and maiming too many every single day. And guess what? It has NOTHING to do with cholesterol. Yet statins are actually linked to strokes and other BP associated issues.

More here – statins raise stroke risk and horrific side effects of BP medications

Yet for the most part this damage is needless – whether you have plaque, fatty deposits or blood clots; whether your blood is thicker than it should be; whether it is sticky; whether your circulatory system is weak or damaged; whether your heart has insufficiencies – in fact any abnormality that can affect your blood pressure, the correct diet and lifestyle can dramatically improve your health – blood pressure notwithstanding. Inflammation is caused by lifestyle – diet, habits, toxic exposure – and both cholesterol and blood pressure is linked to various inflammatory processes.

Rather than go to a doctor for ‘a’ symptom or one issue, we need to address our entire being. Blood pressure, aches and pains, obesity, diabetes, etc, etc, etc – none of these things just appear. They take years to appear and are the culmination of ignoring warning signs. Much like the person with indigestion who takes mylanta for 10 years is shocked to ‘suddenly’ have diverticulitis or colon cancer. Seriously? Doctors and media have trained the public to bandaid symptoms rather than address them.  But back to the issue at hand…

I can already hear excuses and gnashing of the teeth. Coming from a medical background I never thought this possible, until I saw it with my own eyes. While you may not need all of these, chances are you will need more than one or two.

So many easy steps are possible –

  1. Simple acupressure exercises
  2. Passive and weight-bearing/resistance exercises
  3. Removal of toxic chemicals from the house and personal care
  4. Diet attention
  5. Reduction in side-effect laden medications (almost half the cases tested were caused by medication side effects)
  6. Reduction of addictive substances – including coffee, alcohol, etc
  7. The right natural therapies and supplements.

This list may look simplistic but millions of individual cases (termed anecdotal by medicine, despite their vast numbers) are proving that success can be achieved, where medicine is failing. We hear of sad stories every day – many avoidable. But what we don’t hear of is the number of people who still die of blood pressure and stroke related cases despite the ‘best’ medical attention.

  • The simple acupressure technique used by millions of health experts and individuals worldwide to not just reduce or increase blood pressure but correct it permanently can be done at home with the end of a finger or blunt object like a pen end. It is as simple as massage on one acupuncture point –

– to reduce blood pressure in cases of hypertension (high blood pressure) you simply rotate clockwise

– to increase blood pressure in a person with hypotension (low blood pressure) you rotate anti-clockwise to tonify the point

I have proven this many times clinically with my blood pressure patients by taking BP prior to commencing treatment, and then once again 15 minutes later. I am yet to see one person not respond 100%. The more this is repeated, the longer the results. I recommend 3 minutes, 3 times a day for mild bloodpressure irregularities, both chronic and acute, and as often as you like – say hourly – in dangerously high/low blood pressure.

To find your homeostatic point

Acupressure is as beneficial as acupuncture and for needle-phobics it has added benefits. Termed LI11 (large intestine 11) you find it by bending the elbow – the highest (or fattiest) point of the crease at the end of the fold. Some feel happier drawing a dot at the point with a non-toxic permanent marker for easier location. You can take your BP at home to monitor change, or check at your pharmacy each time you are nearby.

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2. Every single one of us benefits from exercise – it increases blood movement around the body. Some find that blood pressure can increase or decrease with excessive exercise so should always adjust accordingly. I have clinically and personally witnessed patients come close to death simply by ignoring this, and the reason is often dietary. By removing the foods responsible, they could return once again to their favourite activities. Weight bearing exercise has shown for some time that minerals and other vital micro nutrients, enzymes and elements are relocated to their true place in cellular health. This is true also with resistance exercise like water activities, band-type fitness, even walking with small ankle weights or lifting small weights. Another major benefit here is that it encourages calcium back into the bones and out of soft tissues – including blood vessels (plaque).

(fantastic study largely overlooked)

(general advice)

(inspiring medical article which I wish more experts would adopt)!

3. Our skin is our largest organ and it goes over our heads (and that of our doctors) that what we are surrounded by is absorbed through our skin into our bodies 24/7. This can be anything from organ damage, tissue damage, right through to cancer and death. Millions die this way every year, but rather than lay blame at the feet of the companies responsible, each case is given some fancy terminology to cover up, even unwittingly, just why the individual has died. This includes some natural and even officially tagged by our leading groups as healthy. Molecular structure of our skin care and cleaning products for example can be so small that it passes the blood barrier – including absorption into the heart and brain. These particles are transported via our blood and often become part of the sticky mess that is plaque. This mess is not a mystery – it is formed by wayward calcium (thanks to mismanagement of supplementation by people who are not trained in either dietetics or nutrition), lack of sunlight (low vitamin D causes release of calcium into the blood ie brittle bones and rheumatism), toxic chemicals, fatty deposits caused by over eating processed foods. It is simply not as easy as popping a pill and having your blood pressure checked!

(toxic chemicals to avoid – just the beginning)

(where to source healthy and safe, well-researched personal care and cleaning products)

4. The right food is vital. How many athletes are falling apart, aging before their time? Fitness is no indicator of health and even that will fail eventually. I personally know many ex athletes who died long before their time – blood pressure linked and riddled with arthritis and heart disease. It is NOT okay to eat in moderation – that lie was formulated by medical experts not trained in diet – or the ability to fight temptation. Likewise, it is NOT okay to follow dietary advice from medical experts who are not trained in it. Sadly, many of today’s dietitians are trained, learning from the same books that our school home economics teachers learn from – the same books written by the industries who stand to gain the most (which also happen to be the foods we should not eat IF we want to be healthy) – meat, wheat, sugar, dairy….

Our diet must be plant based. Not just because it is God’s first diet. Any other diet is not going to offer enough protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, anti oxidants or any of the vital nutrients we need. It really is that simple. Any other argument simply reflects addiction and habit. The standard western diet is acidic – these acids form all manner of toxic compounds while causing inflammation of various bodily systems – circulatory system is just one of them. Please see my extensive posts on alkaline diet.

(proof of the link between an acidic diet and hypertension/stroke)

For more information on the healthy way to eat, written by a naturopath with a background in medicine and career in healthy living and teaching the public how to turn their health around using a plant-based diet – order e-book here

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5. One of the reasons I opted out of med school and studied ‘alternatives’ instead was because I never understood why anyone who took the hippocratic oath could offer options that cause more side effects than they cure. Sure, get into medicine to cure and heal, but what then? Ignore the reason you did it in the first place? And patients are somehow hoodwinked into believing that new disease has nothing to do with side effects! Speak to your health professional about alternatives if you have side effects. Or see an alternative health care professional. You should never have to take one medication to stop the side effects of another one – especially if you are then ‘diagnosed’ with a disorder that was caused by medication.

One of my most frustrating cases involved an octogenarian who was vitally healthy and fit thanks to a largely natural lifestyle, but had recently fallen many metres from a rooftop and caused a hairline fracture of his pelvis. He had continued to walk around for 2 weeks before the pain forced him to a doctor – the fracture was detected and he was duly put on a whole range of meds. The doctor insisted ‘at your age you must have hypertension, brittle bones, cholesterol and pre-diabetes’. He called me days later, unable to walk due to excessive fluid retention, had skin bleeds, was too dizzy to stand, his eyelids were swollen and was crying. He thought he was going to die – all of these symptoms were known side effects of the drugs he had been put on. He went back to the doctor who took one look at him and said “I told you that you must be unwell at your age.” He stopped them that day and called me a week later – totally free of his symptoms. A course of good supplements and spending time outside without sunglasses raised his vitamin D levels and assisted the healing of his pelvis. He is just one case in so many similar stories. Anecdotes as medicine calls it, as if individuals do not matter.

(side effects of anti-hypertensives)

6. Addictive substances can alter our bodies in ways that many of us never consider. Alcohol can thicken your blood simply by acting as a modified diuretic. This is dangerous especially alongside medications. Coffee works in much the same way. This can include addictive substances that are prescription drugs such as opiates.

(opiate induced hypertension)

(Mayo Clinic Q & A)

(Lancet extract)

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7. With the recent wave of pharmacies getting on board, and post PAN crisis, many nutraceutical companies have been bought out by pharma and are often synthetic, badly combined (aka not synergistically blended or formulated) and filled with nothing but fillers to bulk up the tablets. Reading contents lists on today’s OTC supplements (and even some so-called practitioner only brands) fills me with dread. There are actually few companies I would even recommend but for those I do, it means a synergistically formulated range which contains whole and superfoods and ingredients that are known and well researched with documented evidence to prove that it can not only heal but cure. Legally we are not meant to claim this – and the company sure isn’t allowed to. But as I no longer practice, I am free to share what I know to be true. I would 100% recommend the following for blood pressure and circulatory disease in general.

* to tone the circulatory/cardiac system, herbal formulations that will be the spark that keeps your heart in top health.

* to remove the toxic build up in your digestive system and circulatory system, a strong detox which affects waste and heavy metal deposits, herbal and dietary detox is my favourite choice by far.

See your natural health practitioner for more information – and see below for more studies and information on alternatives –

(Pubmed link)

(Homeopathy and more)

(Alternative remedies for hypertension)

– and for goodness sake, going by the sheer amount of money being spent on google alone to discredit safe and effective alternatives, work it out for yourself. The answers are here – but they wont make pharma any money. If they do, they all of a sudden become very popular in medicine and eventually overpriced and out of reach by those of us who have prescribed them in the past.

© Lulu Langford 2016

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Is SALT friend or foe?

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What if I told you that eating less salt CAUSES heart disease? No doctor will admit those studies were flawed. Not when patients still have heart disease – at a greater rate than when the ‘discovery’ first came about. Not when sales of salt pills and special drinks – and hypertension pills are under threat. The fact is, it is irrefutable that the less salt people eat, “the higher their levels of a substance secreted by the kidneys, called renin, which set off a physiological cascade of events that seemed to end with an increased risk of heart disease. In this scenario: eat less salt, secrete more renin, get heart disease, die prematurely.” And when you have an intake of a beneficial salt – sea, Celtic, Himalayan, not only does your blood balance, your organs work, but you wont need electrolyte therapy which is a side effect of doctors playing around with processed salt… 

 

By GARY TAUBESPublished: June 2, 2012

Oakland, Calif. THE first time I questioned the conventional wisdom on the nature of a healthy diet, I was in my salad days, almost 40 years ago, and the subject was salt. Researchers were claiming that salt supplementation was unnecessary after strenuous exercise, and this advice was being passed on by health reporters. All I knew was that I had played high school football in suburban Maryland, sweating profusely through double sessions in the swamplike 90-degree days of August. Without salt pills, I couldn’t make it through a two-hour practice; I couldn’t walk across the parking lot afterward without cramping.

While sports nutritionists have since come around to recommend that we should indeed replenish salt when we sweat it out in physical activity, the message that we should avoid salt at all other times remains strong. Salt consumption is said to raise blood pressure, cause hypertension and increase the risk of premature death. This is why the Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines still consider salt Public Enemy No. 1, coming before fats, sugars and alcohol. It’s why the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested that reducing salt consumption is as critical to long-term health as quitting cigarettes.

And yet, this eat-less-salt argument has been surprisingly controversial — and difficult to defend. Not because the food industry opposes it, but because the actual evidence to support it has always been so weak.

When I spent the better part of a year researching the state of the salt science back in 1998 — already a quarter century into the eat-less-salt recommendations — journal editors and public health administrators were still remarkably candid in their assessment of how flimsy the evidence was implicating salt as the cause of hypertension.

“You can say without any shadow of a doubt,” as I was told then by Drummond Rennie, an editor for The Journal of the American Medical Association, that the authorities pushing the eat-less-salt message had “made a commitment to salt education that goes way beyond the scientific facts. ”While, back then, the evidence merely failed to demonstrate that salt was harmful, the evidence from studies published over the past two years actually suggests that restricting how much salt we eat can increase our likelihood of dying prematurely. Put simply, the possibility has been raised that if we were to eat as little salt as the U.S.D.A. and the C.D.C. recommend, we’d be harming rather than helping ourselves.

WHY have we been told that salt is so deadly? Well, the advice has always sounded reasonable. It has what nutritionists like to call “biological plausibility.” Eat more salt and your body retains water to maintain a stable concentration of sodium in your blood. This is why eating salty food tends to make us thirsty: we drink more; we retain water. The result can be a temporary increase in blood pressure, which will persist until our kidneys eliminate both salt and water.

The scientific question is whether this temporary phenomenon translates to chronic problems: if we eat too much salt for years, does it raise our blood pressure, cause hypertension, then strokes, and then kill us prematurely? It makes sense, but it’s only a hypothesis. The reason scientists do experiments is to find out if hypotheses are true.

In 1972, when the National Institutes of Health introduced the National High Blood Pressure Education Program to help prevent hypertension, no meaningful experiments had yet been done. The best evidence on the connection between salt and hypertension came from two pieces of research. One was the observation that populations that ate little salt had virtually no hypertension. But those populations didn’t eat a lot of things — sugar, for instance — and any one of those could have been the causal factor. The second was a strain of “salt-sensitive” rats that reliably developed hypertension on a high-salt diet. The catch was that “high salt” to these rats was 60 times more than what the average American consumes.

Still, the program was founded to help prevent hypertension, and prevention programs require preventive measures to recommend. Eating less salt seemed to be the only available option at the time, short of losing weight. Although researchers quietly acknowledged that the data were “inconclusive and contradictory” or “inconsistent and contradictory” — two quotes from the cardiologist Jeremiah Stamler, a leading proponent of the eat-less-salt campaign, in 1967 and 1981 — publicly, the link between salt and blood pressure was upgraded from hypothesis to fact.

In the years since, the N.I.H. has spent enormous sums of money on studies to test the hypothesis, and those studies have singularly failed to make the evidence any more conclusive. Instead, the organizations advocating salt restriction today — the U.S.D.A., the Institute of Medicine, the C.D.C. and the N.I.H. — all essentially rely on the results from a 30-day trial of salt, the 2001 DASH-Sodium study. It suggested that eating significantly less salt would modestly lower blood pressure; it said nothing about whether this would reduce hypertension, prevent heart disease or lengthen life.

While influential, that trial was just one of many. When researchers have looked at all the relevant trials and tried to make sense of them, they’ve continued to support Dr. Stamler’s “inconsistent and contradictory” assessment. Last year, two such “meta-analyses” were published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international nonprofit organization founded to conduct unbiased reviews of medical evidence. The first of the two reviews concluded that cutting back “the amount of salt eaten reduces blood pressure, but there is insufficient evidence to confirm the predicted reductions in people dying prematurely or suffering cardiovascular disease.” The second concluded that “we do not know if low salt diets improve or worsen health outcomes.”

The idea that eating less salt can worsen health outcomes may sound bizarre, but it also has biological plausibility and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, too. A 1972 paper in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that the less salt people ate, the higher their levels of a substance secreted by the kidneys, called renin, which set off a physiological cascade of events that seemed to end with an increased risk of heart disease. In this scenario: eat less salt, secrete more renin, get heart disease, die prematurely.

With nearly everyone focused on the supposed benefits of salt restriction, little research was done to look at the potential dangers. But four years ago, Italian researchers began publishing the results from a series of clinical trials, all of which reported that, among patients with heart failure, reducing salt consumption increased the risk of death.

Those trials have been followed by a slew of studies suggesting that reducing sodium to anything like what government policy refers to as a “safe upper limit” is likely to do more harm than good. These covered some 100,000 people in more than 30 countries and showed that salt consumption is remarkably stable among populations over time. In the United States, for instance, it has remained constant for the last 50 years, despite 40 years of the eat-less-salt message. The average salt intake in these populations — what could be called the normal salt intake — was one and a half teaspoons a day, almost 50 percent above what federal agencies consider a safe upper limit for healthy Americans under 50, and more than double what the policy advises for those who aren’t so young or healthy. This consistency, between populations and over time, suggests that how much salt we eat is determined by physiological demands, not diet choices.

One could still argue that all these people should reduce their salt intake to prevent hypertension, except for the fact that four of these studies — involving Type 1 diabetics, Type 2 diabetics, healthy Europeans and patients with chronic heart failure — reported that the people eating salt at the lower limit of normal were more likely to have heart disease than those eating smack in the middle of the normal range. Effectively what the 1972 paper would have predicted.

Proponents of the eat-less-salt campaign tend to deal with this contradictory evidence by implying that anyone raising it is a shill for the food industry and doesn’t care about saving lives. An N.I.H. administrator told me back in 1998 that to publicly question the science on salt was to play into the hands of the industry. “As long as there are things in the media that say the salt controversy continues,” he said, “they win.”

When several agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, held a hearing last November to discuss how to go about getting Americans to eat less salt (as opposed to whether or not we should eat less salt), these proponents argued that the latest reports suggesting damage from lower-salt diets should simply be ignored. Lawrence Appel, an epidemiologist and a co-author of the DASH-Sodium trial, said “there is nothing really new.” According to the cardiologist Graham MacGregor, who has been promoting low-salt diets since the 1980s, the studies were no more than “a minor irritation that causes us a bit of aggravation.”

This attitude that studies that go against prevailing beliefs should be ignored on the basis that, well, they go against prevailing beliefs, has been the norm for the anti-salt campaign for decades. Maybe now the prevailing beliefs should be changed. The British scientist and educator Thomas Huxley, known as Darwin’s bulldog for his advocacy of evolution, may have put it best back in 1860. “My business,” he wrote, “is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.”

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Independent Investigator in Health Policy Research and the author of “Why We Get Fat.”

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So, onto the Himalayan salt then!