Dr. Philip A. Pappas, Ph.D
It’s Heart Month and time to think about your blood pressure. High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. “Blood pressure” (BP) is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over-time, damage to organs may result. About 1 in 3 adults in the United States has HBP. HBP itself usually has no symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing. This is why knowing your blood pressure numbers is important, even when you’re feeling fine.
There is no specific physiological cause for most cases of high blood pressure. Physicians from the time of Hippocrates have suggested that stress may be the aggravating factor. There are significant physiological reasons that point to stress. First, the physiological response to stress is elevation of BP. Second, stress disrupts normal hormone function causing changes in the kidneys and thyroid gland and other organs. This can lead to a rise in BP. Third, the lack of a good explanation other than stress, makes stress a likely reason for HBP. When stress is lowered using stress reduction therapies the BP generally goes down. Being overweight is a risk factor for HBP and it is also a form of damaging physiological stress. Obesity and weight gain are often a result of stress. Losing weight usually results in lower BP.
Most individuals have higher BP in the physician’s office and lower BP at home (white coat syndrome). This also supports the role of stress in HBP. It has been demonstrated that stress reduction often works as well as drugs in lowering HBP. So why isn’t this the treatment of choice? Stress reduction has no profit potential for corporations and most physicians aren’t up to speed with this type of therapy. It is not paid for by insurance so most individuals won’t consider it as treatment. Above all it means an active effort by the patient. Some individuals can’t be bothered with simple, healthy, lifesaving stress exercises and would rather risk serious and possibly fatal side effects of pharmaceuticals. Stress reduction therapy is easy and fun. The cost and effort are minimal. Attitude is everything and a bad attitude is a risk factor for HBP.
A new non-drug therapy, known as Heart Rate Variability Training (HRVT), is available for blood pressure control. The FDA approved this technique in 2001 for the treatment of HBP. It is safe and can even be done at home after in-office training. For questions and information about HBP and stress reduction contact Dr. Pappas, see below.
Dr. Pappas is a certified nutritionist with 20 years of experience in natural health. He also has 25 years of experience in the health care industry. To learn more about Dr. Pappas and his Natural Food Store in Bucks County, PA
Please visit his site at: http://www.earthfoods.us
or call 1-215-794-5311
or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Earth Foods is more than your regular natural food store, they offer a wide range of products and services not found in most natural and health food stores.
Copyright – Dr. Phil Pappas – used with permission.