Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lifestyle Steps, Herbs and Supplements to Reduce Blood Pressure and Choesterol.... Lesson One





This article comes not only from my experience with clients but with our family.  Taking care of a loved one who is dying will raise both your blood pressure and labs. Stress of one form or another is having profound affects on families everywhere. Our health and mental health is being affected. This is proven by the obesity and diabetes numbers just to name two important ones. Look at the rate at which anti-depressants are being prescribed and the many thousands of cholesterol and blood pressure prescriptions. Look at the drug ads that constantly run on the TV and the magazines. This is not good!

Through the discussions in the next blogs, I will give you help on lowering your blood pressure and other lab markers, as we did. We both now have normal blood pressure and cholesterol. We lowered our lab markers during the stressful time of his dad's last months. His heart tests came out normal, even though the tests were  given in the week his father died. If we can lower our markers during such a horrible, stressful time, so can you!

It doesn't matter what the cause is, as long as the cause or causes is identified if possible and cleared up. You must get to the base cause of your health problem. A good physical is also needed too with labs to tell you what you need to work on. You many have no idea, your cholesterol is high.

In my husband's case his blood pressure and cholesterol rose to being dangerous with two TIAs (mini strokes) which are small strokes. He is 72. 

In my case with life long LOW blood pressure, it was my cholesterol readings only. All my labs were normal except for my stress level. My cholesterol rose to 400 to be specific. That was during the second year of being the main care giver for his father. There were no other risk factors for me involved such as smoking, drinking, excess weight, or diabetes. I have low blood sugar as well. I told the doctor at my visit it was stress which he laughed at, even though there is significant research to support the effects of stress on these metabolic issues.

In the case of my husband, all his labs went out of control to a dangerous level. His heart doctor ordered a echo heart test, a heart stress test, and a month long monitor of his heart. That is where you wear a heart rate monitor on your body for a full month. For two of the tests, he needed to be free of caffeine in his blood for 24 hours. Tell that to a man who for 50 plus years has been drinking over 10 cups a day of coffee. I had worked since 2004 to get him to lower his coffee intake without progress. His doctor told him to cut back to 4 cups, which he did not do. So now we had his heart doctor doing his best to force prescription drugs on him. I told him if he would not do the lifestyle changes to lower is blood pressure, he might just have to take them. I told the doctor we were going to take 2-3 months to work on that first!  If we did not succeed in lowering those markers, he would take the prescription drugs. It was now or never, since he had to take the heart tests that required him to be off ALL caffeine for 24 hours. He got migraines within just a few hours without coffee.

Fist step was HIS decision to finally cut back on coffee. Yours might be soda or energy drinks that contain huge amounts of caffeine. Never go off coffee or caffeine drinks cold turkey unless you want to feel horrible.  Cut back by two cups or two sodas over a week period of time. Then cut back two more over the same time period again. Do this until you have achieved your goal. In his case he had to be at a point he could go without coffee for 24 hours so he could get through the heart tests.  Could you go without your soda or coffee for 24 hours? 

2nd Step:  Is there a medication you are taking that is causing heart problems or blood pressure problems? Research the drugs you are on yourself. Do not rely on what the doctor tells you. If you find you are on a medication that is a problem, have your doctor lower it or change the prescription. Ask him if you can stop taking the prescription.  If so lower it over time as well with his supervision. If you are having heart problems, he may be more willing to work with you on a medication change.

3rd step: Look at your lifestyle and what factors are influencing your health. It could be a job, a supervisor, or a dying parent. Face that your job is causing problems. When my husband quit his job at Sam's Club, his blood pressure immediately a day later, came down significantly. Then we began as caregivers for his dad, and up it went again. I determined that to keep him alive and well, I needed to be the main caregiver in charge of his dad. His dad had an attitude with Marty and picked fights with him. That caused my stress level to go up significantly which was reflected in cholesterol readings. You must identify and face those factors and either try to improve them by cutting off the source of the stress or changing the way you react to the stress. That is a hard one for many families who have kids that are sick, a partner that is ill, money problems and job problems. You must find a way to reduce your stress to lower those metabolic markers.

4th Step:  Take your blood pressure everyday to see those numbers over all,not just at the doctors office.  keep a diary of these readings for 2 months, twice a day, with notes on stress factors like your child keeping you up all night.

Next cut back on coffee, caffeine consumption, sugar, and junk foods. Start out slowly, improving your diet some each week. Increase exercise and time for yourself, even for only a few minutes each day.  Remember to do this in steps, not cold turkey.  I had a lady years ago, tell me she was not addicted to coffee. I challenged her to prove me wrong. She stopped coffee cold turkey, got sick as a dog, and found her golf game was impaired drastically.  Caffeine is addictive and over 4 cups is destructive to your health. This is especially true for women because it affects hormone imbalance and estrogen levels. It can cause stomach ulcers and pain. I can tell you that from experience. I drink coffee until about 2000 when I doubled up in pain after my daily cup of coffee. Now black tea, coffee, and any caffeine still affects my stomach causing pain. One cup of black tea will cause stomach issues, so I don't drink any of that any more.  You cheat and you pay.

Here is first supplement below to talk about on your path to normalize blood pressure health.

Your blood pressure may be high due to the following dietary deficiencies: 

Magnesium is the second most common deficiency in the US due to junk food and fast food. We may have the money to eat well but often we don't. That is why diabetes and obesity are two of the most dangerous diseases at this time. We have the money in our country to live a more healthy lifestyle but instead we fill our kitchen with foods that do nothing but cause metabolic disorders and weight gain.

You may be suffering from multiple dietary deficiencies! Most doctors do not check for vitamin deficiencies other than Vitamin D.  If on prescription drugs, they may test for more. Does that not let you know that often prescription drugs are the cause for metabolic problems.

  • Stress causes digestion and problems in every organ system in the body including your ability to break down and absorb food nutrients. Stress directly causes blood pressure problems and other metabolic markers such as cholesterol.
  • Smoking, soda and coffee depletes Vitamin C, minerals, and other nutrients. Certain prescription drugs cause vitamin and mineral imbalances. Certain illnesses are based on vitamin deficiencies and imbalances.

  • Digestive problems such as crones or irritable bowel syndrome  cause nutrient imbalances.
  • Junk food will cause major deficiencies in all the organ systems. 

How do you determine what is a good vitamin supplement and what should be in that supplement?  That issue is why so many people do not see results. They buy junk supplements or supplements which do not meet their individual needs.

Purchase a complete multi-vitamin supplement that includes nutrients in high levels with extra amounts of the B-Vitamins. The formula should include at least 50 mg of the different B-vitamins.   Make sure it contains Vitamin D and Folic Acid. 

Suggested amounts listed on the bottle label are the minimums necessary for basic health not for people with health problems. Those amounts are determined by the government who does not believe in supplements, just drugs. The Vitamin C levels are the minimum to keep from getting scurvy. They are destructive by convincing people that their diet and lifestyle is sufficient to be healthy. Look at the obesity and diabetes numbers to show you how false that premise is. Our government is not taking care of our health to be sure.

Vitamin companies are not allowed to give you advice on how much of each vitamin to take if you have health issues. That is why the label is so generic. Their hands are tied by the AMA and the FDA labeling laws.


  • Read labels! Many of the vitamin formulas are so low, they are useless. Just because it states that it is a stress formula does not mean it is a complete or good formula. 

  • Look at the listed ingredients and their amounts. 5 or 10 mg is not enough during illness or during a health crisis. It is not enough to reduce your blood pressure. Most of the 'one a days' are not worth the money you are paying. Tablets take hydrocloric acid to break them down in the digestive tract. They are cheaper but less digestible by your system. Tablets often end up in the  toilet because your system could not break them down. This is especially true during illness, digestive imbalances, stress and in the elderly. Medicine side effects affect your digestive system too. 

  • In any label the ingredients are listed in the order of most importance. The last ingredients are present in the least amounts. The first ingredients are where the main ingredients are listed. That is true for grocery labels as well.


Add a calcium citrate/ magnesium supplement with at least 250 to 500 mg of magnesium to your diet. Even if you don't change the other lifestyle factors, doing this will help you.

Oyster shell, dolomite, and carbonate are difficult to break down. They are cheap but pretty useless for health. Calcium citrate is the better choice. 

Magnesium works as a laxative so how much you take depends on bowel tolerance. If 500 mg of magnesium gives you loose stools, cut it back to 250 mg to see how that works. Vitamin C is the same way.  Take both Vitamin C and Magnesium according to bowel tolerance. 

Capsules cost more but are easier to digest than tablets.

Vitamin C is important too. You should be taking at least 1000mg of Vitamin C a day with health problems. 

Take the supplement! It does not help you when the supplement sits on the shelf with the seal still intact. Do not expect miracles over night! It can take days, weeks or months to bring down your blood pressure. It takes being consistent and determination to bring your health back to normal. 
This is the blog for today. Next blog is more on supplements to help normalize your blood pressure and cholesterol
Have a healthy day.
Kate Freer, the herbladyisin. 


Taking care of a loved one? Visit my blog on Caregiving4families here

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