VARIABLE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE INCREASES RISK OF STROKES
VARIABLE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE AND STROKE RISK
The research is from an article by Dr. Gabe Mirkin in his Fitness and Health E-Zine: March 21, 2010
Four studies in the British medical journals, Lancet and Lancet Neurology (March 10, 2010), show that people whose blood pressures go up and down are up to six times more likely to suffer strokes than those who have more stable high blood pressures. The greater the variability in blood pressure, the higher the risk. This is astounding because doctors usually reassure people with intermittent high blood pressure and often do not treat them.
- High blood pressure is a powerful risk factor for strokes and heart attacks.
- Lifestyle changes lower high blood pressure to markedly reduce these risks.
- Blood pressures that vary over time markedly increase risk for stroke.
91 % of Americans will have high blood pressure during their lifetime!
While cancer and cardiovascular ailments top the list of causes for death, high blood pressure probably tops the list of serious chronic ills that trigger a visit to a doctor.
Lifestyle changes for high and variable blood pressure
High blood pressure can be reversed and eliminated, not just controlled, with significant lifestyle changes:
- Add lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts to the diet
- Reduce meat, dairy and refined sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Exercise regularly
- Begin a weight loss program if overweight
- Reduce of salt intake
- Avoid of tobacco smoke and alcohol
What you should do
- Buy a blood pressure cuff - Check your blood pressure each night before you go to bed. If your systolic blood pressure is above 120, you have high blood pressure and are at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. If your systolic blood pressure varies from 120 to 135 or higher, you are at greater risk for a stroke. The greater the variance, the greater the risk
- Make the above lifestyle changes.
- Slowly reduce the taking of drugs – A meta-analysis of 389 randomized trials involving different classes of anti-hypertensive medications found that calcium channel blockers were the only ones likely to protect against blood pressure variability, but ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and angiotensin receptor antagonists tended to cause wide swings in blood pressure.
COMMENT - A problem with calcium channel blockers is that they are weak blood-pressure-lowerers so they almost always have to be given in combination with toxic drugs to become effective. We recommend slowly winding down drug usage (radical changes can be harmful or dangerous) and as you apply more of the natural approach. If you have a serious condition, be sure you make changes under the guidance of a health professional. See our article on supreme heart health for more detailed suggestions.