The Health Corner Vol. 57 – Blood Pressure I
I’ve noticed that the subject of blood pressure seems to carry with it a great deal of emotional attachment. I see patients all the time who are very concerned about their ‘high’ blood pressure. Some of them may not even technically have high blood pressure but have been told they are pre-hypertensive and need medication to ‘get it under control’. They are eventually brought into compliance when their healthcare practitioner tells them that high blood pressure is responsible for strokes, heart attacks, heart damage, etc… As the fear of dying from a sudden coronary or stroke increases this nurtured fear, many people agree to a steadily increasing regimen of heart medications to ‘control’ their condition. The truth of the matter is that once this happens the individual is destined to an ever increasing amount of hypertension medication. This is because as time progresses the blood pressure continues to rise, even with the medication they are taking. So, the dosages are increased, more meds are added to the program, or stronger meds replace the present meds to maintain the so-called normal limits.
While this makes both patient and doctor feel more comfortable, nothing is really done to help the patient toward better health. This is because health is not the goal with these medications, but simply the manipulation of the numbers. Fear is a powerful thing and it can cause an individual to fall into the trap of trying to force the body to do unnatural things to get those numbers down. But what is not commonly known is that the patient on these powerful drugs will die of the adverse reactions caused by the medications before he ever dies of the events associated with high blood pressure.
The truth is that with all of this importance ascribed to hypertension and the drugs used to lower what is considered high blood pressure, the medical establishment has absolutely no idea as to why the blood pressure is elevated 80% of the time. In this large group the term essential hypertension is the name given when no other pathological reason can be found for this ‘abnormal condition’. The cause of essential hypertension is defined as high blood pressure of unknown origin. (Note the assumption is that the high blood pressure, even when no pathological cause can be determined, is considered to be abnormal.)
So, I ask the question, why would the blood pressure be elevated in someone when no pathological condition exists? Could it be that the body is just doing what it needs to do in order to survive? And if so, why would it elevate the blood pressure? If the body is designed to heal and regulate itself, could there not be a need for the blood pressure to be elevated in order to achieve this healing? And if this is the case then would not the forced lowering of the blood pressure only cause the body further distress?
To answer these questions we must first consider the function of the blood and its circulation throughout the body. Blood carries oxygen from the lungs to the many cells of the body. In addition it carries the carbon dioxide produced in the cells (the waste products of the energy producing organelles) from the cells of the body and returns it to the lungs for removal from the body. So in essence, it is the food distribution and sanitation system of the body working together at the same time. This is a very efficient design. As oxygen is dropped off to the cell, carbon dioxide is picked up and carried to the lungs where it is exchanged for more oxygen. So the system goes on, all of your breathing life. With a system so ingeniously designed doesn’t it seem possible that if there is a deficiency of oxygen or an excess of carbon dioxide or both that the heart would naturally work harder and possibly even faster to see that the deficit or excess is properly handled? Could that not account for the 80% of people who have so-called essential hypertension? Could it really be that simple?
In the next article I will describe the pros and cons of the four most widely used anti-hypertensives. I think you will find this discussion very interesting … and eye-opening as well.
Until then, here’s to your good health.
Dr. Jon R. Link