Volume 9, Issue 6

Why Keeping Track of Your Blood Pressure Makes Sense

Last month, we discussed metabolic syndrome, and one of its major components is high blood pressure or hypertension. This month, we look at hypertension in more detail, since it is very common. Because it's mostly symptom-free, it is important to understand how important it is to keep track of your blood pressure so that you can take action to lower it if necessary. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step toward longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®


What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body. Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure. 

  • Systolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart beats or pumps the blood
  • Diastolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.

A blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg is read as '120 over 80 milligrams of mercury' (or just 120 over 80).

Normal blood pressure is defined as under 120/80 mmHg. However, it should be at least 90/60; lower than that is defined as hypotension (low blood pressure).

Prehypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 - 139 and/or diastolic blood pressure of 80 - 89 mmHg.

High blood pressure stage 1 is defined as systolic blood pressure of 140 - 159 and/or diastolic blood pressure of 90 - 99.

High blood pressure stage 2 is defined as systolic blood pressure of 160 or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 100 or more.


What are the dangers of high blood pressure?

Excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body. The higher your blood pressure is, and the longer it stays high, the more likely you are to suffer ill effects.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack or stroke - High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
  • Aneurysm - Increased blood pressure can cause blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
  • Heart failure - To pump blood against the higher pressure in your blood vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have difficulty pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys can prevent them from functioning normally.
  • Metabolic syndrome - High blood pressure is one of the disorders that is part of metabolic syndrome. See our newsletter of August 2017 for more detail.
  • Peripheral artery disease - High blood pressure can involve the build-up of plaque in leg arteries, and can affect the flow of blood in the legs. The most common symptoms are pain, cramping, numbness, aching, or heaviness in the legs, feet and buttocks, especially after walking or climbing stairs.
  • Trouble with memory and understanding - Uncontrolled blood pressure can affect your ability to think, remember and learn.

High blood pressure is known as 'the silent killer' because it is mostly symptom-free. Very high blood pressure, known as malignant hypertension, is very dangerous, and symptoms can include:

  • severe headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • confusion
  • vision changes
  • nosebleeds

Who is more likely to develop high blood pressure?

While the causes of high blood pressure are not precisely known, there are a number of risk factors for it, including:

  • smoking
  • being overweight or obese
  • stress and anxiety
  • lack of physical activity
  • too much processed salt in the diet
  • added sugars - cutting processed foods from your diet may help not only by reducing refined salt but also by reducing sugar
  • too little potassium in your diet
  • too little vitamin D
  • too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • older age
  • genetics
  • family history of high blood pressure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • sleep apnea
  • some medicines, such as asthma or hormone therapies, including birth control pills and estrogen, as well as over-the-counter medicines, e.g. for the relief of colds

How can I prevent or manage high blood pressure?

Many risk factors for high blood pressure are modifiable. There's a lot you can do to help control your blood pressure yourself, including:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, including potassium and fibre. As always, it's important to eat lots of vegetables, as well as legumes and fruit, and limit added sugars. Garlic helps to lower blood pressure.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.
  • Manage stress effectively. Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to reduce stress; physical activity also reduces stress levels.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight - a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women.
  • Use Himalayan salt or sea salt in moderation. Avoid processed foods with the typically excessive amounts of processed salt.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to stiff arteries.
  • Optimize your omega 6:3 ratio. Most North Americans get too much omega 6 and too little omega-3. While we need both, too much omega-6 causes inflammation. Omega-6 fats are found in corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oil - they should be consumed in limited quantities. The best source of omega-3 is a safe source of fish, or krill oil.
  • Take CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10).
  • Optimize your gut flora. Consuming probiotics has been shown to help lower blood pressure. The best way to optimize your gut flora is to avoid sugar and processed foods. Fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables are very helpful.
  • Maintain an optimal sodium-potassium ratio.
  • Vitamins C and E may help to lower blood pressure.

If you have done all you can to control your blood pressure, but are still experiencing problems, please seek medical help. I would be glad to see you and recommend supplements. Please call 613.829.0429 for an appointment.



  1. High blood pressure. New York Times, Monday, July 24, 2017, nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/hypertension/overview.html Accessed July 31, 2017.
  2. Description of high blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp Accessed July 24, 2017.
  3. Hypotension. Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypotension Accessed July 31, 2017.
  4. High blood pressure (hypertension). Mayo Clinic mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580 Accessed July 31, 2017.
  5. Mercola J. Study suggests sugar is worse than salt for blood pressure. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/25/sugar-blood-pressure.aspx Accessed July 24, 2017.
  6. Axe J. 5 natural ways to lower blood pressure. draxe.com/natural-ways-to-lower-blood-pressure/ Accessed July 24, 2017.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.


There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Blood pressurex
  • CardioxLDL
  • CoQ10
  • Garlic, High Potency
  • Grapine
  • Hawthorn
  • Passionflower
  • Super Omega-3
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin E with Selenium
  • Zerenity

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For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

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