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High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer

By TJ Williams, DC, PhD

High blood pressure—medically known as hypertension—affects about 30 percent of adults. If untreated, it increases your risks for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and dementia. Often the cause of high blood pressure is due to many factors, including a combination of diet and lifestyle factors. 

In his book What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About: Hypertension, Mark Houston, MD, says hypertension is the third leading cause of death in the country. The higher your blood pressure, the lower your life expectancy. 

Unfortunately, high blood pressure is a silent killer. Left untreated, it can severely damage your quality of life and set the stage for heart disease, kidney complications, or a stroke. 

When you have healthy arteries, blood flows freely to your brain, heart, lungs, and other organs, delivering nutrients and oxygen. High blood pressure means increased blood flow or pressure, creating arterial damage and restricting blood flow to vital organs.

The Problem with the Conventional Medicine Approach

The current thinking in conventional medicine about how to treat and prevent high blood pressure is at best misguided, and at worst harmful.

According to Houston, physicians often resort to anti-hypertensive medications. Sadly, the drugs are not that successful and over half of people with hypertension do not have their blood pressure under control. 

A Different Way to Treat High Blood Pressure

Unfortunately, conventional medicine does not address the root cause of hypertension. Rather than using medication and other invasive measures, the real question becomes what causes high blood pressure in the first place. This is where functional medicine thrives.

Finding the root cause of hypertension is imperative. Blood pressure rises due to several factors that must be addressed. Some of these include:

  1. Toxic Chemical level
  2. Toxic Metal level
  3. Nutrient Status (levels of vitamins and minerals in the body)
  4. Liver function/dysfunction
  5. Other disease states such as diabetes
  6. Overall vascular health (advanced cardiovascular testing)
  7. Inflammation
  8. Diet
  9. Exercise
  10. Stress / cortisol levels
  11. Hormone levels and hormone function

If you are interested in a new, and dare we say better, way to treat high blood pressure, look into treatment with a functional medicine practitioner. Functional medicine looks into why a condition is present and finds the best ways to correct it—be it lifestyle changes, natural interventions, or, if necessary, medication.

If you would like more information regarding any of the treatments, therapies, or services offered at The Institute of Natural Health, please contact us at (314) 293-8123 or visit us at inhstl.com. Dr. TJ Williams is the Clinic Director for the Institute of Natural Health and the host of the radio program Wellness 101, which provides common-sense, science-based strategies for a healthy life. Wellness 101 airs Sundays at 2:00pm on FM NewsTalk 97.1.

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