When docs get together to paint more of us as “sick,” it typically leads to… well, it raises my blood pressure, for starters…
You may recall a few years ago when the definition of “high cholesterol” was lowered. Overnight, there were millions more of us who were set up perfectly for a lifetime of dangerous medications.
Recently, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for what’s high and what’s not. With the stroke of a pen, they’ve redefined the condition, for all of us.
I’d like to think in this case it’s more of a warning signal than a money grab. We’ll soon see whether being optimistic is foolhardy or not.
To review, blood pressure is the force by which blood pushes against your artery walls. If that force is “too high” then you have hypertension, or high blood pressure.
There are two numbers that make up your blood pressure reading. The top number is called “systolic.” It’s your blood pressure when your heart beats.
The bottom number is your BP between beats, when your heart is at rest. That’s called “diastolic.”
In the past, hypertension was defined as 140/90 or higher. If you were between 12o/80 and 139/89, you had “prehypertension.”
Now, anything over 130/80 is considered hypertension. If you’re close, you’re now “elevated” – “prehypertension” is a term that’s fallen out of favor.
The bad news is now almost half of U.S. adults are classified as having high BP.
The good news is it doesn’t appear that doctors are ready to shuffle more people off onto a prescription treadmill. They admit that BP can be managed with lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and exercise.
It’s true that if you catch and treat BP issues early, you’re preventing strokes, kidney problems and heart attacks. But it’s also true that BP meds are not child’s play.
If I had BP concerns, I’d focus on getting my diet in order, and adding key supplements like grape seed extract, hawthorn or magnesium. These natural solutions bring “side benefits” to the table, not a laundry list of side effects.
And it’s amazing what your body can do to correct an issue if you treat it right, even after years of neglect.
Be careful out there. And be sure to ask questions of your doctor if the prescription pad comes out…
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance