I watched a brief video which I found quite interesting. In it, a known doctor discusses ways to decrease blood pressure naturally. He points out that most "idiopathic" hypertension has a known cause, contrary to common belief, and is linked to an overproduction of insulin. Apparently, as the levels of insulin rise, so does the blood pressure, and insulin resistance starts to develop. He strongly recommends that people with hypertension have fasting insulin level test done. I had this test done not long ago only to find my fasting insulin level out of range. So, at least in my case, this appears to be correct and, if present initially, may have contributed to my hypertension. Insulin levels can be lowered by certain lifestyle changes. Lower, healthy insulin levels often result in a normalized blood pressure. The lifestyle changes mentioned are, not surprisingly, exercise and weight loss, avoiding foods that our bodies quickly convert to sugars (bread, pasta, potatoes...), avoiding eating too many fruits and getting enough vitamin D, omega3s and 6s.
Many thanks for the post. I read a lot of Machaon posts and yours only back it up more. I still eat a lot of bread unfortunately. I'm also looking into Hypoglycemic diets which seems to be linked to a million health problems. I can post the guys name, but I don't think I'm allowed.
At the moment I am free from medication.
Last edited by marantz1935; 02-05-2009 at 06:42 AM.
... Insulin levels can be lowered by certain lifestyle changes. Lower, healthy insulin levels often result in a normalized blood pressure. ...
The most dramatic improvement in my health and in my blood pressure came after I went on a diet targeting Insulin Resistance. For me, it not only greatly improved my quality of life, but also has helped to save my life.
I started documenting my "Insulin Resistance Diet" journey on Healthboards on January 14, 2005, under the Title: Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?
I have been following the diet, more or less, since Dec 2004, although it keeps changing somewhat. I find myself cheating on the diet, suffering higher blood pressure, and then having to adhere more religiously to the diet.
I eat seven times per day, about 230 calories (not including fiber-calories) per meal/snack and about 1600 total daily calories. Not an easy diet, but it pays off big time in how well I feel, and in my blood pressure and blood sugar readings. Near age 70 I am getting the best, most stable blood glucose readings ever!
Diet all by itself, however, is not enough to combat high blood pressure and related illness. Good health also requires proper exercise, the most effective medication taken during the most effective times of the day, and avoiding things which are unhealthy.
Keep up the good work, and your interesting research, FlowerGirl!
Weight Watchers has a segment of their program that sort of targets something along these lines. It used to be called Core, now it is "filling foods". I am blown away by how much more full I actually feel when I am on this diet - it's just so hard to commit to it because I'm always thinking I'm going to miss my bread. After I'm on the diet for a day or so though, I am always surprised at just how little I miss my junk. I assume these "whole" foods are more filling because they are not creating chaos with our insulin & sugar levels? It's worth looking into.
(Also - "The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." Voltaire. - that is about the best quote I've ever run across! lol)
Very interesting stuff. I noticed, after age 40, that when my blood sugar hit levels of around 100-110, my BP also rose from a fabulous low all my life into the pre-hypertensive range. I'm not at all surprised by the connection.
I've tried dealing with it by eating low on the glycemic index and taking supplements that (supposedly) stabilize blood sugar, namely Chromium GTF, alpha lipic acid, cinnamon, bitter melon, and drinking diulted apple cider vinegar after meals (slows the absorbtion of carbs).
My problem is, I also try to follow the DASH diet (to a degree) and am confounded by the 7-8 servings of grains a day they recommend!!! I try and eat only whole grains, barley, etc. and leave out the white rice, pasta, etc. but I wonder if it really helps. Anyway I'd like to think it does!
Thank you for your comments. It is great to see how many people take their health seriously and are willing to do everything in their power to improve it.
The amount of information available regarding this topic is simply amazing. I read a lecture given several years ago by a well known doctor titled: Insulin and its metabolic effects. It was an eye opener and I know I'll read it again.
I was also able to find a description of the mechanism through which the insulin raises blood pressure. This is how it happens:
Insulin helps store excess nutrients. One of those nutrients is magnesium. Insulin is essential for its proper storage. When the cells develop resistance to insulin, they become unable to store magnesium. The body then loses it through urine. Intracellular magnesium relaxes muscles. Without the intracellular magnesium the blood vessels constrict and the blood pressure rises.
Insulin also causes our bodies to retain sodium. Increased insulin levels induce sodium retention by increasing distal tubular sodium reabsorption in the kidneys, which results in fluid retention. Fluid retention leads to high blood pressure and other health problems.
Decreased sensitivity or responsiveness to insulin is an important factor of hypertension, coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis, all of which are characterized by endothelial dysfunction. It is amazing how everything seems to be linked in some way to the effects of insulin.
Last edited by flowergirl2day; 02-05-2009 at 10:37 PM.
Reason: adding a paragraph