Western medicine refers to elevated blood as essential hypertension, which is a somewhat confusing term, but it means that a patient has a high blood pressure of unknown cause.
Approaching hypertension appropriately requires uncovering why a person has high blood pressure before assuming it’s due to an unknown cause. Here is our approach.
The most common form of hypertension is idiopathic hypertension which Western Medicine calls essential hypertension.
This distinguishes it from secondary hypertension, which has various other causes:
- kidney disease
- hormone imbalances
However, many clinicians will argue that most of this essential hypertension, in fact, has other known causes which aren’t addressed.
Our Heart Health Coaching addresses hypertension by reviewing its major risk factors. Both in terms of what can cause it and the major risks of living with elevated blood pressure.
Our goal is in the neighborhood of 120/80, depending on various risk factors and family history.
Liposuction won’t solve obesity-induced hypertension. The lifestyle changes leading to weight loss seem to be the curative factors for bringing blood pressure back to normal.
2. Elevated Uric Acid
Alcohol, especially regular alcohol use, tends to elevate uric acid levels as well.
Some experts recommend keeping this value under 6 mg/dl; others want it as low as 4.
3. Elevated Blood Sugars
It’s hard to know whether elevated blood sugars or elevated insulin levels are the main cause of elevated blood pressure. Either way, we recommend our clients have optimal levels before considering that the blood pressure problem is idiopathic.
4. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea goes undiagnosed quite frequently. Good home tests are available these days, but the treatment – sleep apnea device – often has a low compliance rate.
Sleep apnea can cause elevated blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, and difficulty focusing.
5. Fatty Liver
Visceral fat, in general, especially fat around the liver, seems to cause a disruption in the normal hormone cycles of the body.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is bidirectionally associated with other metabolic disorders. Therefore, we screen for NAFLD in our decision algorithm.
In most, doing even some work towards improving the factors above is likely to yield good blood pressure improvements.
The obvious method is regularly checking blood pressure numbers, focusing on a daily average called ambulatory blood pressure.