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May 2007

Blood pressure numbers

At the mention of blood pressure numbers, most people think of the official standards established for healthy blood pressure - 115 to 125 systolic by 70 to 80 diastolic, with 145/90 being dividing line between pre-hypertension and hypertension. But there is another kind of blood pressure numbers, much more dynamic and disturbing: number of people affected by high blood pressure (hypertension), and significant increase in mortality associated with it.

The estimates are that nearly 1 billion people worldwide suffer from this disease. And that it isn't going to get any better in the next decade, or two - to the contrary. While the world population by 2025 is expected be about 30% larger,

number of people suffering from hypertension is expected
to
increase by nearly 60%

Most of it due to the western-type lifestyle (unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, high stress levels) and toxic contamination. These are not only persisting in affluent countries, but expanding to the developing countries, especially highly populated ones like China and India. Also, what makes hypertension difficult to control is the relative absence of symptoms - until the damage is already done.

One important reason for this hypertension epidemic is treatment inefficiency. Typically, if low-salt diet doesn't work for you - and the chances it will to a significant degree are about 1 in 3 - you will be prescribed pressure-lowering medications. This not only leaves the cause of your hypertension out, inevitably to worsen, it also exposes you to a

number of possible side effects,

some of them directly contributing to the disease.

For instance, common diuretic drugs for hypertension will cause loss of potassium and magnesium (among other minerals) - low levels of which may have been the cause of your hypertension in the first place - while commonly increasing blood-vessel-damaging homocysteine.

Longer-term use of calcium-channel blockers shrinks both, brain and its functionality, and also promotes cancers, by interfering with normal functions of the cell membrane. As if it wasn't enough, longer-term use of pressure lowering drugs links to higher incidence of diabetes and elevated tryglicerides12.

The solution is, obviously, to pinpoint and address

the cause of high blood pressure.

And - surprise, surprise - the cause is always diseased blood vessel system, commonly a result of combined nutritional deficiencies/imbalances and toxic contamination. That makes establishing one's nutritional status mandatory for treating hypertension (just as it should be for any serious disease, in particular degenerative diseases). But not by assessing the usual plasma level, which is plain unreliable. The red blood cell (RBC) test, while still not perfect, does much better job of presenting your actual nutrient level.

If you are not convinced yet, consider that low levels of only three nutrients, vitamins A, C and E, are much better predictor of dying from heart attack than either elevated total cholesterol or blood pressure12.

Possible cause of hypertension may be elevated ADMA (asymmetrical dimethyl arginine), preventing your blood vessels from relaxing. It is remedied with L-arginine supplementation12.

Yet another frequent cause of high blood pressure are toxic metals, particularly mercury. Another could be phthalates from plastics, by damaging the glands. Or it can be magnesium deficiency, or vitamin D, Omega-3 essential fatty acids, phosphatidyl choline deficiency, or long-term side-effect of your NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) painkiller.

There is a number of possible causative factors of hypertension, and they all can, and should be tested for as appropriate, in order to cure the disease ("The high blood pressure hoax", S.A. Rogers, M.D.). The problem is: it is not a part of the "accepted medical practices", seemingly perfectly happy to remain limited to "treating" symptoms, even if it takes one's lifetime.

What makes all this more sad is that good portion of this knowledge is a decade, or more, old, but just wasn't able to make it into the practices of symptom-treating medicine of today. Almost as if someone benefits from people getting sick, staying sick, and getting sicker.

Wonder who that could be... 

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