There are at least 14 causes of high blood pressure.
I was in my mid-forties, working as a Certified Nurse Midwife when I started experiencing floaters (like the trails of a sparkler on the 4th of July) in my visual field. Working in obstetrics, I knew that pregnant women with high blood pressure sometimes experience “visual disturbances”. I checked my BP (blood pressure) and it was in the 140s over 90’s. I had previously had occasional elevated blood pressure. My family had a history of high blood pressure so I went to the doctor and she prescribed medicine and I never thought much more about it.
About 18 years later I had gained a lot of weight and was working a high-stress (but excellent paying) job. I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep. There was lots of stress in between these times but ……………
I lost the job (actually a good thing) and never went back to work (as an advanced practice nurse) again. I started seeing a chiropractor who did “muscle testing” and started taking supplements.
My weight went down about 10 pounds just from getting more sleep and leaving the stress.
I started feeling dizzy every once in a while and resolved it with drinking water. Hmmmmm said I. My BP was getting low enough to cause symptoms. So… I weaned off my BP meds (don’t do this without guidance) and have not looked back.
High blood pressure is frequently one of the first health issues that people have as they age. It’s been my observation that it shows up around 40 years of age. That’s usually when people also notice that their weight is increasing.
There is a difference between high blood pressure and hypertension. High BP is sporadic, like at the doctor’s office. Hypertension is all the time. At least that’s how I differentiate it. Most providers use the terms interchangeably.
The AHA (American Heart Association) defines hypertension as great than 130/80. The guidelines recommend treating a blood pressure with medication if it is consistently higher than this
However, medication to lower blood pressure is not always needed. It depends on why it is high.
In the photo at the top of the page, I have listed 14 possible causes of hypertension.
If you know your root cause, lifestyle changes that may include diet, exercise, stress management and more may be employed to keep you off of the medicine.
What should you do?
Check your blood pressure at home with a blood pressure cuff (affiliate link).
How to check your blood pressure:
- sit with your feet on the floor in a relaxed manner for about 10 minutes before taking you blood pressure ( I know they don’t do this in the doctors office).
- Rest your arm at heart level (don’t hold it out straight. I know the docs office does it different, they are wrong).
- Have the machine at about the same level as your arm.
- Take a deep breath
- Push the button (or pump up the cuff). Don’t move your fingers around or anything.
- If it is higher than you like to see it, wait a few minutes and try again
One of my favorite tricks is to inhale a good grade Lavender Essential Oil. That will usually relax you enough to lower your pressure. If you are in a medical office these days, put a drop or two on your mask.
If you would like to know more about hypertension and your root cause, send me an email at Theresalohman00@gmail.com. You can also find me on Facebook at Choose Health (my group page).
Above all, remember that you do have a choice.