What the numbers mean and different factors that influence your blood pressure
The Systolic Pressure (the top number) is the force that your heart needs to exert to move blood from the heart into the rest of your circulatory system, and thus represents arterial resistance.
The Diastolic Pressure (the bottom number) is the arterial pressure when the ventricles of your heart are relaxing and filling with blood.
Class Systolic mmHg /Diastolic mmHg
Normal <120 / <80
Pre-HTN 120-139 / 80-89
Mild HTN 140-160 / 90-104
Mod HTN 140-180 / 105-114
Severe HTN >160 / >115
Repeated measurements are important. A single high measurement does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure. On the other hand, a single normal measurement does not necessarily mean that you don’t have high blood pressure.
Complications of High Blood Pressure (HTN)
- Major risk for Myocardial Infarction
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Renal Complications / Failure
- Retinal Disorders / Blindness
Your blood pressure is one of the many indicators of health. High blood pressure is not a disease in and of itself, but a sign that your body is under stress.
The following are factors that may be contributing to high blood pressure:
Dietary factors: low fiber/ high sugar diet, high saturated fat / low essential fat intake, diet low in calcium, magnesium and vitamin C, sodium/potassium ratio out of balance (too much sodium not enough potassium), food sensitivities
Exposure to heavy metals (lead)
Lifestyle factors: alcohol intake, coffee consumption, lack of exercise, smoking, stress
Naturopathic Treatment Options
Most cases of borderline to moderate hypertension can be brought into normal range with changes in lifestyle and diet including:
- Addressing and managing daily stresses in life
- Following a whole foods diet
- Identifying potential food sensitivities or exposure to environmental toxins
- Implementing time each day for relaxation
- Limiting or eliminating coffee and alcohol
- Modifying current exercise regimen
- Supplementing nutrient deficiencies
- Weight loss
Additional support for the cardiovascular system may include the use of acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, medicinal herbs and orthomolecular medicine.
An individualized program addressing your specific requirements should be proposed and monitored by your naturopath or physician.
For those whose blood pressure does not respond to the above measures a more extensive testing and treatment protocol may be necessary.
Testing may include cardiovascular specific genetic testing, heavy metal testing, nutritional testing (NutrEval), salivary hormone and adrenal stress testing.
A comprehensive intravenous therapy program offers effective options for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. This includes chelation therapy to remove toxic heavy metals, phosphatidylcholine administration and nutrient replacement.