Treat High Blood Pressure’s Root Causes
High blood pressure is treated like an illness…yet it’s really a symptom of an underlying problem that no drug actually addresses.
It’s hard to turn on the TV these days without seeing another ad for a blood pressure medication. And many doctors treat these drugs as the catch-all, cure-all for anyone with high blood pressure, and the associated cardiovascular risks.
Don’t believe it. There are healthier, safer natural remedies for high blood pressure. In this case, drugs are almost never the answer.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
There’s no doubt, high blood pressure is a huge, growing problem in America.
And there are three main reasons we’re seeing an uptick in blood pressure problems—none of which is an absence of drugs.
Americans are eating more and more salt-laden packaged foods. And that’s hurting our hearts.
Eating too much sodium, most of which enters our diet as salt, wrecks the body’s balance. Extra sodium in your blood interferes with your kidney’s ability to draw water out of your blood—leading to that bloated feeling you get after a salty meal. Think about that bloating inside your body—it creates pressure. And up goes your blood pressure.
And you’d be shocked by how much salt is in processed foods—even those you wouldn’t think of. A plain medium bagel, for instance, has 430 mg of salt—almost 20% of your recommended daily intake. Four pancakes have 730 mg of salt. A slice of white bread has 240 mg, and even a cup of cottage cheese contains 819 mg of salt!
Those aren’t foods you think of as salty—but they are. Since salt is a natural preservative, you’ll find it in high quantities in anything that isn’t sold fresh.
But salt isn’t the only danger packaged foods bring. Bisphenol A—BPA—is a chemical used in making plastics, cans, and a variety of other containers. Many of which are used for food.
And one study found that 92% of Americans have BPA in their blood. Little wonder, since it’s been found in our food too—things like canned soups or canned green beans.
The problem with that? BPA mimics estrogen in your body—and estrogen plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. So all that BPA is driving America’s numbers up.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg with BPA, but it’s a very important tip.
2) Stress & Cortisol
Are you feeling overwhelmed by…everything?
You’re not alone.
The modern world is constantly vying for your attention from eighteen different places. Since the Great Recession, more people are worried about their jobs, their finances.
All this pressure creates stress. Stress creates cortisol.
And cortisol is a hormone that controls blood pressure. More stress equals higher readings.
3) Lack of Sleep or Poor Sleep
45% of Americans report not getting enough sleep over the previous week.
35% say the sleep they do get isn’t any good.
And when you don’t sleep enough, your body doesn’t regulate your stress hormones properly.
That is part of the reason you feel bad, and are more irritable when you don’t get proper sleep.
But it also causes your blood pressure to rise.
How to treat High Blood Pressure Naturally?
Blood pressure medications can lower your blood pressure. But it doesn’t address the root issues causing your high blood pressure.
It’s like using a dam to fight a flood. Yes, you might hold the water at bay. But sooner or later, something’s going to give.
What’s more, blood pressure medications come with a variety of harmful side effects—from kidney damage to fainting caused by unnaturally low blood pressure!
You’ll be much healthier and happier, if you tackle the true causes of high blood pressure at the source.
Luckily, with four easy steps, it’s simple to do.
1. Diet for High Blood Pressure
A fresh piece of fruit, or a vegetable, doesn’t have any added sodium. And it isn’t stored in a BPA-filled package either.
The more whole foods you eat, the less damaging sodium salt you’ll take in. To keep your sodium levels at bay, you want to have less than 2300 mg of sodium a day—or 1500 mg if you’re 51 or older.
That’s easy to do eating fresh, whole foods. And it’s nearly impossible to do eating lots of packaged goods.
At the very least, check the nutrition label of packaged foods. You’ll often be shocked how much sodium is hiding in places you’d never think to look.
2. Get Plenty Of Sleep
In the modern world, this can sometimes feel like a big ask.
But really all you need is a re-frame of the way you think about sleep.
Sleep isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. And if you aren’t getting at least seven hours a night, you’re only hurting yourself.
Not getting enough sleep hurts your health—especially over the long run. It hurts your happiness—in as little as a night.
And you can’t perform your best when you’re always tired. You’ll get more done when well-rested, so saying you don’t have the time just isn’t a reasonable excuse. It’s the quality of the time you spend working, playing, and with family, more than the quantity.
3. Practice Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
EFT refers to a whole host of methods to reduce emotional stress, and bring your body into a more comfortable balance.
There are plenty of techniques, but today, I want you to focus on taking an emotional inventory.
Check in with yourself once a day. Examine how you are feeling. Try to address any issues that are pestering you.
Most importantly, make a conscious effort to carve out some quiet time to spend in peaceful meditation. Focus on your breathing, and calm yourself.
The modern world doesn’t lend itself to moments of introspection. You have to actively create them for yourself.
4. Tap your sole
It may sound silly, but just tapping the soles of your feet has been shown to bring down blood pressure.
This is probably because it relaxes a major blood vessel that travels down to your feet—especially the arch.
Tapping releases tension in this blood vessel, increases blood flow to your feet, and then has a cascade effect throughout your body.
Simply tap the arch of your bare feet 100 times each, three times a day. It should only take a couple of minutes total.
Think of this like a mini-massage you can do for yourself. And, like all good massages, the benefits are enormous.
Do these four things, and any problems you have with high blood pressure should fade over time. And you’ll have done all this by attacking the root causes of stress—without exposing yourself to the dangers of drugs.
- Women’s Nutrition Connection, “Bring Down Blood Pressure With Diet”, Weill Cornell Medical College, Apr 2016 19:4:1-6
- Nicholas Kristof, Chemicals In Our Foods, And Bodies, The New York Times, Nov 7 2009
- Blood Pressure UK, Salt’s effects on your body
- Karen Borsari, High Sodium Food Shockers, Shape
- National Sleep Foundation, Lack of Sleep Is Affecting Americans, Finds The National Sleep Foundation, Dec 2014
- Sheldon G. Sheps, MD, Is it true that sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure?, Mayo Clinic
Last Updated: May 4, 2021
Originally Published: August 8, 2016