Hypertension isn't because you're getting older
Shelly was stunned when she heard the doctor's words. "You have hypertension, Shelly. Your blood pressure is too high. You need to start taking medication right away."
She looked at the doctor with pleading eyes. "But why? What caused this? Is there anything I can do to reverse it?"
The doctor shook his head sympathetically. "I'm sorry, Shelly. Hypertension is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It's often genetic and age-related. There's no cure for it, only management. You'll have to take medication for the rest of your life to keep your blood pressure under control.
Shelly felt a wave of despair wash over her. She remembered her father, who had also suffered from hypertension and died of a heart attack when he was 64 years old. She couldn't stop thinking that she was following in his footsteps, that she was doomed to have the same fate.
She felt tears welling up in her eyes as she left the doctor's office with a prescription in her hand.
She drove home in silence, feeling numb and hopeless.
She didn't know how to break the news to her husband and two kids, who were waiting for her at home.
She didn't know how to cope with this new reality that had suddenly turned her life upside down.
She didn't know what to do next.
The next few weeks were hard for Shelly.
She started taking the medication as prescribed, but she hated it.
She hated the way it made her feel: tired, dizzy, nauseous.
She hated the way it reminded her every day that she had a chronic and progressive disease that could kill her at any moment.
She hated the way it limited her activities: she couldn't exercise as much as before, she couldn't drink coffee or alcohol anymore, and she couldn't eat salty or spicy foods anymore.
She hated the way it changed her mood: she became more irritable, anxious, and depressed.
She felt like she had lost control over her own body and life.
Her husband tried to be supportive and understanding, but he didn't really get what she was going through.
He told her to look on the bright side, to be grateful that she had caught the disease early, to be optimistic that the medication would work, and to be hopeful that she would live a long and happy life despite her condition.
He meant well, but his words only made her feel worse.
He didn't understand how scared she was, how sad she was, how overwhelmed she was by this diagnosis that changed everything for her.
Her kids were also confused and worried about their mom.
They noticed that she wasn't as cheerful or energetic as before, that she often snapped at them for no reason, and that she sometimes cried in her room when she thought they weren't looking.
They wanted to help their mom, but they didn't know how.
They missed their old mom, the one who used to play with them, laugh with them, and hug them tight every night before bed.
Shelly felt guilty for making them suffer too, but she couldn't help it. She was scared, overwhelmed, and confused.
Can you relate?
Unfortunately, Shelly's story is a common one. More and more people are being diagnosed every year with high blood pressure. I don't want to add to the fear of hypertension, but hypertension dramatically increases the likelihood of developing heart disease. After all heart disease isn't really just one condition – it includes lots of different conditions that affect our heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure, thickening of the heart muscle, plaque forming in blood vessels, and more.
Hypertension is no joke. As the pressure in your blood vessels increases, your heart has to work harder and harder and it can only do this for so long. Imagine sprinting for 10 seconds only to find out that you can't stop and have to keep sprinting for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour …. Eventually, you just can't do it anymore and you collapse. High blood pressure left treated will end with your heart failing.
But there is good news. Hypertension is NOT a chronic and progressive disease and does NOT require a lifetime of pharmaceuticals to "manage". Hypertension is also NOT age-related or genetic but rather caused by insulin resistance and high insulin levels.
How? Let's get nerdy for a quick second here: High insulin levels stimulate sodium reabsorption in the kidneys, which increases water retention and blood volume. High insulin levels also cause inflammation and oxidative stress in the blood vessels, which makes them more rigid and narrow. These factors combined, raise blood pressure.
Hypertension is reversible with lifestyle changes, especially dietary changes. Since we know that certain foods spike blood glucose, which then spikes insulin, causing damage to the cells and organs over time, removing those foods from your diet is the best way to lower insulin levels naturally. Not only that, but it will reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, improve vascular health, and yes …. lower blood pressure.
You feel better.
You have more energy.
You lose fat.
You're less moody.
And yes … your blood pressure will drop, your medication dosage will decrease, and eventually be deprescribed.
Your doctor will be surprised and impressed.
Your partner will be proud.
Your kids will be relieved.
And you will be able to share with others how you reversed your hypertension naturally and you regained control over your body and your life.
If you don't make time for your health,by Author
you'll be forced to make time for your illness.