A question we often receive in both the comments and via email is why the safe limit for high blood pressure keeps on changing.
Why is it that 20 years ago blood pressure of 130/90 was considered normal but now doctors want to put you on medications with that same reading?
So in today’s feature article I’m going to shed some light on the reality behind these numbers and what you should really be shooting for.
First of all lets look at the basics.
What are these mysterious numbers really?
Blood pressure is measured as systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the pressure on the arteries when the heart is pumping, and is the top number. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure on the arteries when the heart is resting.
As we age, systolic pressure especially tends to rise. And there has actually been quite a lot of controversy regarding whether high systolic pressure is really as dangerous as high diastolic pressure. Some studies actually indicate that in rare cases of elderly, fragile people, they may indeed benefit from having high systolic blood pressure.
But for most part, there is really no disagreement IF it’s harmful to have high blood pressure. After all, having the blood constantly banging on arterial walls causes hardening and thickening of the arterial tissue, as well as inflammation throughout the body.
The question is HOW high is too high. And that’s something that keeps changing.
And the answer is simple. More and more, repeated studies prove without a doubt how dangerous high blood pressure really is. It’s been traditionally linked to only heart attack and stroke, but as we study this better, we now know it contributes to almost all diseases.
About 20-30 years ago, normal blood pressure was considered anything below 130/90. With more long term studies coming out, we’ve now learned that risk factors of high blood pressure begin to develop at around 110/75.
If you’d look at a graph, the risk doesn’t rise in a straight, steady line. It gets much steeper around 120/80 and then really takes off around 130/90. So for every point over 120/80 your blood pressure rises, your risk of developing chronic diseases rises tremendously.
One thing that’s interesting about high blood pressure is that there is no debate about its harming effects.
This is different from high cholesterol, for example, where the metrics are constantly changing. First doctors just looked at overall cholesterol. Then they discovered “good cholesterol” (HDL) and “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and now they’re measuring even different subtypes within each of those. Plus there is great debate about whether or not high cholesterol even has any harmful effects.
For step-by-step plan to get your cholesterol under control, click here…
However, nobody argues that hypertension kills. And studies seem to be steadily going in one direction – make the blood pressure limits lower. I’d not be surprised if in a few years doctors recommended 110/75 as healthy blood pressure.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m far from being so naïve as to think there is no ulterior motive. As the numbers are pushed down, more and more people are “diagnosed” with high blood pressure. And since the only tool doctors have are medications, lower numbers mean more coins in the big pharma pockets.
And that’s where we need to fight back. We can acknowledge the problem by setting our goals at 120/80. But there are so many things that you can do to reach that goal naturally.
Lets take a few examples:
1) Juicing 250mg of beet juice immediately lowers blood pressure 5 points. Eating blueberries (and other antioxidant- rich foods), yogurt and using rice bran and sesame oils are a few more examples of foods that lower blood pressure.
2) Cutting out processed food alone (which is especially high in sodium) can bring blood pressure down to a healthy level.
3) Listening to relaxation music or relaxing classical music for 12 minutes a day generates a 7-9 point drop in blood pressure.
4) Doing a high intensity workout for 15 minutes, three times a week, lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease at least 25% and lower your blood pressure 10 points.
These are just a few examples of things you can do today to lower your blood pressure. If you add up the benefits listed above, you can see that lowering your blood pressure 15 – 20 points is very much possible using only simple, natural approaches. For more tips on tackling various conditions click the “Browse by Topic” button at the top of this page.
The simplest, easiest method I know, and the method I used to finally get my blood pressure under control is the simple blood pressure exercise program I developed a few years ago.
These exercises have now helped thousands of people just like you to drop their blood pressure below 120/80, usually within a week. Many people experience their blood pressure go down to normal the very first time they do these exercises.
For more information and to test drive the blood pressure exercises, click here…
But first of all, what are your thoughts on this topic? Please leave your comment below.