According to America’s “Great Salt Myth,” high salt intake causes high blood pressure (hypertension). And the most common methods conventional doctors recommend for lowering your blood pressure are dramatically restricting your salt intake and taking prescription drugs.
But that’s simply not true.
Salt isn’t the end-all, be-all of blood pressure. And restricting it certainly isn’t the answer, despite what the government and its co-dependents would like us to think.
In fact, many studies now link low salt intake to increased risk of heart disease!
Of course, the mainstream also lectures us about alcohol intake, exercise, smoking, and weight. But none of those “hold any salt” when it really comes to controlling your blood pressure.
On the other hand, there are nine hidden causes of high blood pressure that your doctor most likely hasn’t told you about.
As I often report, stress is the No. 1 silent killer behind high blood pressure, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Stress is part of the body’s “fight or flight” response, which circulates more blood, oxygen, and energy throughout your body in response to perceived danger.
Of course, this protective reaction helps get you “pumped up” to meet, or to flee, danger — when you really need to. But it also raises your blood pressure. And in today’s world, you may perceive danger frequently, which can lead to chronically elevated blood pressure.
To relieve stress and reduce blood pressure naturally, I recommend trying a mind-body therapy, such as acupuncture or meditation. Find out which kind of mind-body approaches will work best for you by taking my short quiz.
2.) Bisphenol A (BPA)
Research also links BPA, a common chemical found in cans and plastic bottles, to increased blood pressure. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Hypertension found that just two hours after drinking two beverages from cans lined with BPA, blood pressure increased by 5 mmHg.
In my view, you should always avoid drinking from cans and plastic bottles. But as I reported in the July 2016 issue of Insiders’ Cures (“The slimy secret water companies don’t want you to know”), there are many other types of bottled water that are safer and healthier for you.
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Caffeine can temporarily elevate blood pressure. And some people are certainly more sensitive to it than others. But studies show that moderate coffee consumption has significant health benefits for the brain, heart, and cardiovascular system, as I’ve often reported.
I recommend enjoying three to four cups of coffee a day for the associated health benefits. And go ahead and add some organic, grass-fed half & half or full-fat milk. Just make sure to skip the sweetened creamers.
4.) OTC medications
A lot of research shows that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can raise blood pressure — especially acetaminophen (Tylenol). In fact, according to a recent Swiss study, taking Tylenol resulted in “significant” increases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Decongestants for colds and flus can also do the same. You’re better off just avoiding them altogether, and instead, relying on natural supplementation. And, of course, never take Tylenol. Period.
Today, licorice root is often used as a sweetener in candies and beverages. People have also used it for centuries as a natural remedy for colic, heartburn, and other conditions. But beware of regular consumption, as the glycyrrhizinic acid in licorice can raise blood pressure.
There are deglycyrrhizinated (or DGL) licorice supplements on the market that have had the blood pressure-raising acids removed. As with any supplement, it’s best to check with your healthcare professional prior to adding anything new to your daily regimen.
According to a really interesting study from the University of Chicago, lonely people have blood pressure readings that are as much as 30 points higher than non-lonely people, even when other factors such as depressive symptoms or perceived stress are taken into account. This finding makes a lot of sense to me, as I often write about the studies linking social isolation to chronic disease. I’ll give more details in next month’s Daily Dispatch.
As an anthropologist, I know human survival — from infancy to adulthood — depends on belonging to a nuclear family, extended family, and community. These groups help provide physical safety and sustenance. Plus, as this study suggests, they help sustain you emotionally and mentally.
7.) Sleep apnea
Experts estimate 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, a serious condition whereby you stop breathing during periods of sleep. It also results in decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide in your blood, which sends signals to your brain to increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
This reaction also temporarily increases blood flow to the brain and other organs such as kidneys, to compensate until you spontaneously start breathing again.
According to a study published in the journal Open Heart, sugar poses a serious danger for blood pressure. In fact, as I’ve been reporting for years, sugar is the real culprit behind many chronic diseases — including heart disease, Type II diabetes, and even cancer. So, if you haven’t already, make 2019 the year you kick sugar out of your diet.
9.) Thyroid problems
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, often goes hand-in-hand with both hyperthyroid (an overactive thyroid) and hypothyroid (an underactive thyroid). So, if you have hypertension, make sure your doctor regularly checks your thyroid function during any blood testing.
In addition, if you’ve had a biopsy or surgery on your thyroid gland, it can incidentally damage the parathyroid glands, which can also raise blood pressure.
In the end, while these nine problems are associated with high blood pressure, there are many natural steps you can take — starting today — to counteract them. You can learn all about these many natural approaches for preventing and reversing high blood pressure and heart disease (without risky prescription heart medications or surgeries) in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. Click here to enroll or learn more today.
“Acetaminophen increases blood pressure in patients with coronary artery disease,” Circulation 2010 Nov 2;122(18):1789-96
“Licorice abuse: time to send a warning message,” Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Aug; 3(4): 125–138
“Loneliness Predicts Increased Blood Pressure: Five-Year Cross-Lagged Analyses in Middle-Aged and Older Adults,” Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar; 25(1): 132–141
“Loneliness is a unique predictor of age-related differences in systolic blood pressure,” Psychol Aging. 2006 Mar;21(1):152-64
“Exposure to Bisphenol A From Drinking Canned Beverages Increases Blood Pressure,” Hypertension. 2014;65:313–319