I always find it interesting, during an appointment with a new client, when I begin to address their heart & blood-vessel dysfunction (if they’ve indicated that they are medicated for having high blood-pressure or high cholesterol). I’m quickly informed that I’m essentially wasting my time.
In most cases they say, “Oh, but I’m fine now! My high blood pressure is stable and my cholesterol levels are normal. The problem is well in hand. You don’t have to worry about that.”
Oh, but I do worry. And really – so should you!
Being medicated can give you the false assurance that you no longer have a problem. So much so that you think you don’t have to do anything else for yourself, such as engage in regular exercise, eat better, manage your life to minimise chronic stress, or to supplement your diet with the necessary nutrients required for heart-health.
I actually do have the heart to tell you this
It’s my job to remind you that while it looks like you no longer have a problem on the sphygmomanometer (the device that measures blood pressure) or on your blood-test results (for your cholesterol) that you did not ‘come right’ on your own. You needed the help of medication to achieve this. Unfortunately, only the obvious conditions have been treated, not the underlying cause. Therefore, you still have a problem, even though your heart & blood-vessel issue appears to be under control.
I also have to explain that these two indicators are not the be-all and end-all. Science has identified hundreds of risk factors that could be responsible for the poor health of your ‘cogs and ticker’. These include: chronic lack of sleep, increased intake of omega-6 fatty acids, and certain nutrient deficiencies (Vitamins C, E and K).
We’re leading with our hearts
Circulatory failure is still the leading cause of death in the Western world. This is despite all the low fat diets, cholesterol lowering drugs, blood-pressure lowering drugs and fancy surgical procedures that fix blocked arteries.
While yes, high blood pressure and cholesterol issues do contribute to these circulation complications, they are generally a symptom and not the actual cause of our heart & blood vessel problems. Oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and blood-sugar deregulation are the LEADING CAUSES of the LEADING CAUSE of death. This is because they have a direct impact on the health of our blood vessels – which is where the whole problem stems from.
Therefore it’s vital that our blood vessels are well nourished, so that they may be:
- Pink and healthy (not inflamed or sticky)
- Strong and flexible (not leaky, stiff, or thick)
- Energised (that they have fully functioning mitochondrion)
- Responsive (to blood-sugar regulation as well as immune regulation).
You can improve the health of your heart and blood vessels with some simple changes to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle. And, you can further insure your health by taking 1-2 basic (albeit important) dietary supplements.
Address any excess weight around your middle region.
If you’re a woman: your goal should be to sit under 80 cm.
If you’re a man: your goal should be to sit under 94 cm.
Note: If this is a real problem for you, I would recommend that you consult with your Naturopath or Nutritionist about effective weight management.
Minimise your processed food intake
These types of “foods” contain trans-fats (aka hydrogenated oil). This substance is one of the leading causes of heart issues. Processed food also often contains omega-6, a fat that creates platelet stickiness, which can lead to the hardening of the arteries.
It’s important to perform regular mild to moderate exercise
Aim to go for at least three or four 40 minute walks on a weekly basis
Give up smoking
Just do it.
Ensure you create a good social network
This helps to manage chronic stress.
Our body relies heavily on this substance to create the energy necessary to simultaneously run all the different parts of our body efficiently. When we’re lacking in energy we can start experiencing problems with all sorts of seemingly unrelated health conditions such as blood-pressure, blood-sugar levels, oxidative stress, and poor gum-health.
Note: Chronic oral gum infection is a significant determinant of poor heart-health.
This wonderful mineral helps to keep our blood vessels supple and it supports cholesterol management. Magnesium also helps the body by supporting healthy blood pressure, and blood sugar. It also offers antioxidant protection and supports us when we experience stress.
While we need to be aware of symptoms such as cholesterol irregularities and variances in blood pressure, it is more important that we focus on the real underlying cause of unhealthy blood vessels. If we can do this, then the symptoms may sort themselves out.
TAPS Code: PP1959
Lisa Fitzgibbon, Naturopath & Medical Herbalist
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath + Medical Herbalist. She draws on her professional training + experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice. Lisa writes the popular health blog: www.lisasaid.so