I am celebrating yet another client getting rid of her hypertension – from Three medications to None.
What did we recommend for Jane in particular? Step-by-step, primarily 6 things…
- Decreased her sodium intake? Nope. But Jane did need more potassium. In her cells. She was eating enough potassium via fruits and vegetables, but not absorbing enough at the cellular level. Her diuretic medication was actually causing this imbalance. So we increased her magnesium dramatically which increases cellular potassium absorption.
- Increased her exercise? Nope. In fact, exercising too often and too intensely was a big part of Jane’s imbalance. For her unique body, she was focused too much on aerobic exercise, primarily with daily runs. We found out her cortisol levels were too high and exacerbated by too much running. High stress hormone levels are very often part of the hypertension puzzle. Jane took up moderate yoga and loves how it makes her feel. She also started a morning meditation habit (love it!). We also did an inventory of stressors in her life. Jane chose to drop a couple of volunteer activities that had been causing too much stress and taking time away from (necessary!) relaxation and rejuvenation given her busy family and work life. Stress relief (not just talking about it, but actually doing it) is a critical part of healing from any hypertension.
- Decreased saturated fat in her diet? Nope. We increased it. Unbeknownst to her, Jane’s labwork revealed evidence of insulin resistance for the past four years in a row. Her doc had never mentioned it. We took grains entirely out of her diet, increased overall fat intake, and made sure she consumed a rich variety of low-glycemic carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein. Despite many myths otherwise, higher natural fat intake often improves blood pressure. Her HbA1c went from 5.9% to 5.3%.
- Stopped her calcium supplements. What? Surprised? In fact, much research confirms the cardiovascular dangers of excessive calcium supplements, especially when taken without Vitamin D, magnesium, and Vitamin K2. (I have written about this many times before.) Prior MD-recommended testing clearly showed atherosclerotic plaque, but the only guidance Jane was given was to reduce dietary fat (’nuff said on that one). Jane started taking high-quality Fish oil and Vitamin K2 supplements (MK-7 form) twice daily and increased dark leafy greens and tahini to get plenty of food-based calcium.
- Increased nitrates in her diet. Yes! Those things people are usually harping on negatively in bacon and other preserved foods. In fact, nitrates are key for producing nitric acid which is what naturally causes blood vessel dilation. But we wanted to focus on natural nitrates. Jane started having a (blended! not juiced) smoothie every morning with celery, cucumber, various greens, and a small beet or apple. She added both lemon and ylangylang essential oils to this too.
- Recommended she ask her doctor if a statin drug is right for her? Ha – nope. But her beta blocker medication had definitely been depleting her body’s level of CoQ10 (just like statins do). We started her using 100mg CoQ10 (ubiquinol) twice daily. CoQ10 is critical for endothelial function in the lining of blood vessels. It is also a necessary cofactor for optimal energy production in every cell of the body! Definitely not something you want to be depleted.
by:Tracy Harrison (www.SchoolAFM.com)