There was a time not to long ago that my blood pressure seemed to never get below 153/95 and this was on a good day. Most days it was 165/101. I eat incredibility well. I manage my stress the best that I can and I exercise. My weight isn’t high. I stay between my normal range of 143-150 and my height is 5’6. Why is my blood pressure so high? My doctor knows how I am about medications. He kept saying,” Watch those #’s if it doesn’t come down after the next few visits you will need to go on blood pressure medication” . My mother had a stroke from high blood pressure, so, I was very well aware of what high blood pressure can do. So much aware that I was driving my family crazy with always checking my blood pressure morning , noon and night. Before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I took my blood pressure upon waking.
The American Heart Association defines normal blood pressure as a systolic reading less than 120 mmHg and a diastolic reading less than 80 mmHg. Prehypertension is defined as a systolic reading of 120 to 139 mmHg or a diastolic reading of 80 to 90 mmHg. High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension is defined as a systolic reading greater than 140 mmHg or a diastolic reading greater than 90 mmHg (stage 1).
I believe that most medications Americans rely upon can be hazardous to their health. According to the CDC around 300,000 people are rushed each year to the ER because of adverse drug reactions. I also believe that we are guinea pigs to the drug companies who allow drugs on the market before really knowing the possible side effects and the FDA allows this to happen and meanwhile they are getting rich off our sickness.
It is estimated that over 200,000 people die each year from medication-related deaths which makes the third or fourth leading cause of death in this country. Doesn’t the magical bean or pill sound so much worse than actually having the disorder or disease?
I know, my thyroid plays a very important role in my body. It talks to all the cells in our bodies instructing them on what they need to do.
Every Cell in your body responds to the foods you eat, the products you put on your body to the house hold chemicals that you purchase for your home. All of these things have a direct impact on your hormones and in return your hormones have a direct impact on every major system in your body. Not to mention that our body is lacking certain nutrients that heavily influence the function of every cell in our body. The foods that we consume, oh, the foods we consume.
Previous studies have shown that there is a common link between hypothyroidism and diastolic hypertension aka High Blood Pressure.
Hypertension is something to be taken very seriously. According to the American Heart Association, about 77.9 million adults have high blood pressure . This means that about 1 out of every 3 people in the United States has this condition. Hypertension contributes to one out of every seven deaths in the United States, and approximately 70% of those who have a first heart attack or stroke or who have heart failure have hypertension. And while medication can effectively help to manage hypertension in many cases, according to the statistics, 47.5 percent of people with high blood pressure do not have it controlled.
Most people with hypothyroidism have lower blood pressure.
I was prescribed the thyroid drug Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium). I’ve been taking it for years. Synthroid (levothyroxine), a synthetic thyroid hormone that is actually the fourth most prescribed medication in the United States. Synthroid only replaces T4, leaving your body to convert this to T3 (triiodothyronine, the biologically active form of the hormone). Most people cannot effectively convert the T4 in synthetic thyroid preparations to T3, which may explain why research has shown that a combination of T4 and T3 is often more effective than T4 alone.
The conversion to T3 can be halted by nutritional deficiencies such as low selenium, inadequate omega-3 fatty acids, low zinc, chemicals from the environment, or by stress.
So oftentimes taking T4 alone will result in only partial improvement.
“There is an interesting journal article written Dr. Sara Danzi and Dr. Irwin Klein, and in the article it is discussed how T3 is an important regulator of gene expression in the heart, and many of the cardiac manifestations of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are associated with changes in T3-mediated cardiac gene expression . This article also discussed how several important cardiac gene products play a role in regulating cardiac contractility, and that T3 is important when it comes to muscle contraction. The same article also discusses how thyroid hormone is important in coordinating the electrochemical and mechanical responses of the myocardium.”
So, with all this being said. I realized with a light bulb moment that it was my T4 only medication contributing to my higher than normal blood pressure. I needed a combined T4 and T3 therapy. Along with perhaps that my body wasn’t converting to T3 due a nutritional deficiency such as low selenium, inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, low zinc or chemicals from the environment, or by stress.
Natural thyroid products, like Armour thyroid are a combination of T4, T3 and T2 made from desiccated, or dried, porcine thyroid. In fact, one study clearly demonstrated that patients with hypothyroidism showed greater improvements in mood and brain function if they received treatment with Armour thyroid than if they received Synthroid.
Not everyone does well on a NDT, some do better on synthetics, especially when they have Hashimoto’s. The similarity of pig thyroid to human thyroid can encourage lymphocyte attacks on the thyroid gland.
What did I do to start bring it down?
Tips To Lowering High Blood Pressure
So how I started to effectively lower high blood my pressure? I started looking at foods that naturally lowered your blood pressure along with combining it with my hypothyroidism diet. Sounds complicated. No, not really. Nothing a little research couldn’t fix. No worries, though my friend. I am going to tell you what I ate and how I incorporated it into my hypothyroidism diet.
1. Start with a food journal. Keep track of everything that you put in your mouth, what you drink and the products that you use on your body. Printable Click on the link Food Journal
2. Sodium. Monitor your sodium intake. An ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg. The average American’s sodium intake is so excessive, even cutting back to no more than 2,400 milligrams a day will significantly improve blood pressure and heart health. This goes without saying, until you can get it under control. Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. The result is a higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.
Here are the approximate amounts of sodium in a given amount of table salt:
- 1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
- 1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
- 3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
- 1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium
3. If you take other medications. Research them. See if they have a history of increasing a persons blood pressure if so you might want to get with your doctor to find another medication that wont raise your blood pressure.
- Some medicines can make blood pressure rise. If you have high blood pressure to begin with, it can rise to dangerous levels.
- Some medications may interact with your blood pressure medicine. This can prevent either drug from working properly.
This is where you have to do some research and most importantly check with your doctor
2. Eat a healthy diet. This goes without saying, as eating well is important when dealing with any chronic health condition.eating more foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. If your at a loss for recipes you either click on this link and follow the dash diet recipe list or order my new book. How I Lowered My High Blood Pressure Naturally and Put My Hypothyroidism in Remission-Naturally! I have over 50 recipes that are catered to lowering your blood pressure as-well as healing that thyroid!
Research suggests a plant-based diet high in potassium and low in sodium will make a difference.
Foods high in potassium give you a better ratio of potassium to sodium. This allows your kidneys to get rid of more sodium through your urine, which lowers your blood pressure.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences establish dietary reference intakes (DRIs) that are used as references/guidelines for micronutrient consumption in the United States . There are currently 13 vitamins and 22 minerals that have been identified as micronutrients essential for normal body function. They are called micronutrients because they are needed by the body in small amounts (mg to µg). Sodium and potassium are two of these minerals; they are essential for water balance, transmission of nerve impulses, and contraction/relaxation of muscle.
The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine. Potassium also helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure. The recommended potassium intake for an average adult is 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day. Just don’t over do it .. You can overdue to much potassium. Eating foods rich in potassium is the way to go, not over the counter potassium supplements unless prescribed or directed for you to take by your doctor. High potassium foods include beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas. You can eat all of these with hypothyroidism
- Green vegetables
- Mint leaves
Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. One study found that consuming these compounds might prevent hypertension, and possibly help to reduce high blood pressure
Potatoes are high in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that can help to lower your blood pressure. They are also high in fiber, which is necessary for an overall healthy diet
Researchers found that people with high blood pressure saw significant improvements from drinking beetroot juice. The study authors found that the nitrates in the juice brought down the participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.
You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or when added to stir-fries and stew.
High-fiber, low-fat, and low-sodium foods are just what you want for lowering your blood pressure, and oatmeal fits the bill.
Oatmeal for your breakfast is a great way to charge up for the day.
Bananas are a great way to add potassium to your diet. Eating foods that are rich in this mineral is better than taking supplements.
2. Exercise regularly. Numerous studies have shown that exercise can help to reduce blood pressure . One study I came across even showed that aerobic exercise can reduce blood pressure in resistant hypertension , which is high blood pressure in people taking anti-hypertensive medication but I urge you to take it easy when you have hypothyroidism. We all know that regular exercise is an important part of your overall health. Exercise burns calories to prevent weight gain and helps speed up your metabolism. It is also a releases endorphins to give you those mood-enhancing chemicals. What if I told you that exercise can cause adrenal crashes due to your already high cortisol issues? You could be stressing your thyroid out even more and not even realizing it. Are you exercising but not getting any results? Are you still gaining weight, feeling constantly fatigued, irritable and moody and often battling some other sort of sickness? You could be actually stressing your body more out by over-exercising.
Read more about this in my latest blog
Is your Hypothyroidism Self Sabotaging your Workouts?
3. Manage your stress levels. Stress can elevate your blood pressure.
- Tips to manage stressful situations. .
- Listen to music. Listen to music. …
- Call a friend. Call a friend. …
- Talk yourself through it. Talk yourself through it. …
- Eat right. Eat right. …
- Laugh it off. Laugh it off. …
- Drink tea. Drink tea. …
- Be mindful. Be mindful.
4. Consider nutritional supplementation for high blood pressure. Certain supplements have been shown to lower blood pressure. There is evidence that fish oils and CoQ10 can lower blood pressure.
Nutritional support can be used on its own; however, you’ll get the best results if you also make diet and lifestyle changes. Here are my top nutrients for lowering blood pressure:
6. Stop smoking. Enough said! I don’t have to go into all the detailed of how bad it is to smoke. I’m sure you’ve heard all the lectures before.
7. Drink Hibiscus Tea.
In a new study, drinking three cups of herbal tea containing hibiscus each day lowered blood pressure. … Overall, drinking hibiscus tea blends lowered systolic blood pressure — the top number in the blood pressure reading — by an average of 7 points. I know it did mine!!!
8. Drink Coconut Water
One of the causes for high blood pressure is an imbalance of electrolytes in the blood. … Modern researchers say the potassium content in coconut water plays a huge role in lowering blood pressure. Both potassium chloride (seen in supplements) and potassium citrate (seen in foods) can help lower blood pressure.
9. Eat Garlic
In double-blind studies with garlic preparations providing a daily dose of at least 10 mg allicin, blood pressure readings dropped with typical reductions of 11 mm Hg for the systolic and 5.0 in the diastolic within a 1 to 3-month period. To get enough allicin, eat 1 to 4 cloves of fresh garlic a day
I have a wonderful drink mix that I consume every day!
This wonderful tonic can be used more than just as a heart health protocol;
it’s been proven to reduce cholesterol, heal hemorrhoids, clear out arteries for your heart, reduce blood pressure, stop colds in their tracks, ease constipation, heal ulcers, promote weight loss, treats respiratory issues, and you can even put it on a cotton swab and treat acne and pimples. This hasn’t been proven, but I also have a theory that I jokingly say, “It repels vampires and unwanted friends who get to close in your personal space.” I’ve seen various different ways to make it. This is how I make it. Put 3 tablespoons in a glass of water on an empty stomach daily. Garlic, ginger, and even lemon can interact with certain medications. Please check with your health care provider to make sure that you won’t have any adverse medication reactions if you plan on taking this as a drink with other medications.
10 gloves of garlic
1 cup of raw honey
1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 lemons, washed and cut
Blend, strain, and store in a mason jar in the refrigeration.
10. Heart Healthy Hawthorn
Hawthorn is used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. It is also used to treat both low blood pressure and high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and high cholesterol.
11.Addressing the Root Cause!
I needed to understand or get a idea of how everything has a part to play in my body. Being diagnosed with hypothyroidism wasn’t just here take this pill and it will fix my issues. Hypothyroidism had a root cause. Once I started addressing the root of your problems then my body can start healing itself. My body is an awesome design but there is a complex balance between everything. It’s a domino affect. If I had something in my body that is overworked it can cause a major shift in my body. Two things I needed to start doing immediately is getting my immune system in check and decreasing inflammation. Inflammation disrupts the production and regulatory mechanisms of thyroid hormones. Sometimes we have to do a little pruning of the branches, in order for the tree to be healthy again. A number of things can be the reason why I had hypothyroidism. It could be a wide range of things from celiac disease, Hashimoto’s, leaky gut, autoimmune disease disorder, nutrient deficiency’s, adrenal fatigue, exposure to chemicals, gluten or other food allergies, and hormonal imbalance. It most defiantly started with the foods that I was eating and the chemicals in the environment, my thyroid could be influenced by many different circumstances. I needed to start figuring out what the root cause of my hypothyroidism was.
Last appointment results @ my doctors office.
Hang in there. This wont happen overnight.
I know, there is so much information overload that most people are confused as to where to start. You can start by taking ownership of your health. I wanted you to understand or get a idea of how everything has a part to play in your body. I am on a path to help you, lead you and inform you through this terrible illness. Being diagnosed with hypothyroidism isn’t just here take this pill and it will fix your issues. Hypothyroidism has a root cause. Once you start addressing the root of your problems then your body can start healing itself. Your body is an awesome design but there is a complex balance between everything. It’s a domino affect. If you have something in your body that is overworked it will cause a major shift in your body. Don’t worry the good news is it can be healed.
I want to thank you for reading my latest blog. Please let me know if you need any support with it.
Otherwise, are we friends on Facebook yet? If not let’s do that now, healing Hypothyroidism. I like to connect on a more personal level there and often; offer social media only products that can only be accessed on my page and share daily updates along with recipes. Remember sharing is caring. Please share and post a comment to this blog! I would love to hear from you. Sign up for my blogs @ thehypothyroidismchick.com . You can also Follow me on instagram @ Thyroidismchick or Follow me on twitter @Thyroidismchick.
Health and Happiness,
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Salt; Dietary Reference Intakes; Health Care Costs; Cardiovascular Disease; Nutrition