Many people believe that time is the major factor controlling our level of function as we age but is this actually true? Healthy kids are usually carefree and pain-free, possessing the ability to run and play with seemingly endless energy. These abilities exist in children who have decent diets and normal internal functions, but even healthy children may act like aging adults when their nutritional needs aren’t met.
Fortunately, the body is forgiving and many problems can be reversed no matter what our age. Of course, the earlier we start the better results we can get. One of the markers used to assess health is blood pressure. Blood pressure readings measure how much pressure is being exerted against arterial walls.
Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers, one over the other. These numbers, systolic and diastolic, represent the pressure in blood vessels at two points of the heart’s pumping action. When the heart contracts and pushes blood through the arteries the pressure is highest. This is the systolic or top number. When the heart relaxes, arterial pressure drops to the lower pressure, the diastolic or lower number. (Example: 120/70.)
Of these two pressures, the diastolic is perhaps most important as it represents the standing or lowest constant pressure in the arteries. A sustained pressure that’s higher than ideal can damage the lining of the arteries and increase the rate at which arterial plaque builds up. Plaque is made up of fatty deposits, calcium, cellular waste and blood clotting materials, such as fibrin.
The body depends upon circulatory health for oxygen, nutrients, water, hormones, etc. to get into the cells of the body. This is why good circulation and blood flow is essential for good health and for avoiding disease.
Blood flow and circulation start to decline as early as our thirties when nitric oxide (N-O) levels start dropping. Nitric oxide is a gas produced in every tissue and organ in the body, specifically in the lining of blood vessels. N-O tells arteries to relax which leads to increased oxygen and better blood flow. When the body doesn’t produce enough N-O, we must obtain it from the diet. Besides the ideal combination of exercise and diet, the only other way to increase N-O production is through dangerous and basically ineffective drugs that come with a host of side effects. It’s prudent to point out that N-O is always best when combined with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds (Blaylock Wellness Report, July 2018.)
Poor blood flow is essentially poor circulation which is caused by arterial plaque buildup. Unfortunately for many people, the first warning sign of plaque buildup is a heart attack. A CDC (Centers for Disease Control) 2015 US study shows that about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year, accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths, and about 735,000 people have heart attacks. Other signs of poor blood flow/circulation include high blood pressure, brain fog, achy joints, cold hands and feet, and numbness.
Excess sugars, grains, and other irritants also cause inflammation resulting in blockages in arteries. In fact, they may cause blockages even faster than plaques and disappear so quickly they can’t be tracked as the source of the problem.
Arteries need to be flexible so they can expand and contract in order to help maintain good blood pressure. If arteries are stiff with trash due to a lack of nutrients they can’t expand to accept extra fluids taken into the body.
Arteries expand and contract because they have muscle layers within them. If they don’t contract properly, you may get dizzy when rising from lying or sitting. This function is tied to the release of adrenal gland hormones. As your heart monitors your blood pressure and the pressure rises too high, the heart releases hormones that go to the kidneys to tell them to expel excess fluids to reduce the pressure.
The kidneys also monitor sodium and potassium levels. Ingestion of processed table salt typically leads to fluid retention because the mineral ratios of sodium and potassium and other trace minerals aren’t recognized by the body as what it needs. The infinite wisdom of the body knows that potassium and sodium are so essential for normal functioning that when the proper ratios aren’t provided, the kidneys won’t release fluid.
Proper blood pressure is also necessary for the kidneys to push fluid through them to filter the blood. On blood tests, this function is referred to as GFR or glomerular filtration rate. A number that’s too low indicates reduced functions due to some type of blockage.
Blood pressure that is too high can have devastating effects on the brain. Excess blood in a given area of the brain may cause a “wet” or hemorrhagic stroke, resulting in large areas of damage to brain tissue. (Anyone wanting to hang upside down, such as on an inverter table, should be checked for blood vessel integrity first so they don’t accidentally cause this.) The most common stroke is a “dry” or ischemic stroke caused by a lack of blood flow to a given area due to a downstream blockage of a blood vessel, such as a clot.
Low blood pressure can cause you to pass out. You should have 40 to 50 points between your systolic and diastolic numbers. Blood vessel walls that are too thin can result in a loss of pressure and accumulation of fluid especially in the lower parts of the body.
Now that you understand the importance of proper blood flow, circulation, and healthy blood vessels, are you ready to give your body the nutrition it needs? If you’d like a jump-start, come to the September 20th workshop and try a sample of a new chewable whole food supplement that we recently brought into the office. It is formulated with synergistic nutrients that trigger arteries to relax and become more flexible which helps restore healthy blood flow and clear out plaque. It tastes delicious and we’ll have samples! Hope to see you there, but be sure to register as seating is limited.
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C., is a Brimhall Certified Wellness Doctor with over 35 years of experience helping people obtain optimal health. Attend Dr. Karl’s FREE workshop on September 20, at 7 pm, “Blood Pressure, Heart Health & Brain Function.” Visit www.KarlWellnessCenter.com for more information. RSVP workshop: 734-425-8220.