I’m Dr. Tom Rofrano from The Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. I’ve had the privilege of helping over a hundred thousand people over the last 34 years. There are simple things you can do at home to help maintain healthy blood pressure. In this article, we’ll talk about the things you should consider.
What is High Blood Pressure?
What is high blood pressure? A reading of greater than 130 over 80 is stage one, and stage two is greater than 140 over 90. The stage one levels were recently lowered to 130 over 80, so now more people are categorized as having high blood pressure. In our office, it is one of the more common issues patients are dealing with.
Almost half of Americans have hypertension, and 54% of African Americans have hypertension as the rate is proportionally larger in the African-American community. We are going to go uncover some of the underlying root causes and some solutions on how to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Medication Alone May Not be Effective
One of the things that my patients with high blood pressure have in common is that most are on high blood pressure medication. When I take their blood pressure, it’s still high even though they’re on medication.
Oftentimes one hypertension medication is not effective and then you need to go on a second medication, and sometimes a third. One of my patients had a cardiologist husband who was on five different prescriptions for high blood pressure, and it was still high! They were having a hard time figuring out why.
One of the reasons is when you’re not addressing the underlying root cause, and instead just trying to cover it with medication, the body adapts, and the blood pressure increases again because you are not fixing the issue.
What Causes High Blood Pressure / Hypertension
Here are some underlying root causes for high blood pressure.
DEFICIENCIES—ESPECIALLY VITAMIN D
First, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, in particular vitamin D, is a huge factor in this category. As far as getting back to why I believe African Americans have a disproportionately higher amount of blood pressure is because the darker your skin, the less you absorb vitamin D from the sun.
I had a patient from The Bahamas who was a gardener and was out in the sun every day, all day long. He came in with a long list of symptoms, including high blood pressure, aches and pains, and fatigue. His vitamin D was one of the lowest I’d ever seen, and he was out in the sun all day long. The reason is, the darker your skin, the less you break down and absorb vitamin D into your bloodstream.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies I see repeatedly, especially in people with hypertension.
Toxins are another underlying root cause. When someone comes in and we perform testing, oftentimes we will see high levels of mercury or iron overload.
Infections are another common root cause of high blood pressure. There’s a particular virus called cytomegalovirus, as well as other gut infections, that can cause high blood pressure.
Other causes of hypertension are hormonal imbalance, such as insulin, cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, and others.
Food allergies and sensitivities can be a root cause for high blood pressure, especially gluten.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Supplements for Blood Pressure
I had a 68-year-old female patient who came in with neck and back pain, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, insomnia, sinus congestion, digestive issues, and high blood pressure. After lab testing, one of her root causes was gluten sensitivity. I put her on the FreeDiet® ,as well as vitamin and mineral supplements that she needed. Thirty days later, her blood pressure dropped 66 points to normal, as did her blood sugar, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and she lost 12 pounds.
The FreeDiet® is free of not only gluten, but gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, and other common allergenic foods that result in inflammation, digestive, and other chronic health issues. Underlying inflammation in the body is a driving force for high blood pressure. By following the FreeDiet® inflammation can be reduced.
Supplements for Blood Pressure Support
I typically recommend five supplements, which I call the Functional Five™. I suggest switching your diet to the FreeDiet®. The first part of the functional five is a good quality multivitamin and fish oil. OmegaSorb 3X is the particular one we use.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient and testing will reveal what your levels are and what dosage you need to take. On average, most people need 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D along with Vitamin K2. It’s really important to get vitamin K2 with Vitamin D to help with absorption.
Magnesium is an important mineral to take, and I believe magnesium malate is the best form. You can take magnesium citrate if you deal with constipation, but magnesium malate is my first pick. Typically, I recommend approximately 400-600 milligrams a day. A good quality probiotic like ProbioSupreme is very important to take as well.
Other vitamin and mineral supplementation would be recommended unique to your specific levels. For instance, B12 and folate deficiency are common deficiencies with hypertension, so I would recommend MethylFolate B12 Plus. If your inflammatory markers are high, curcumin is a great supplement to support healthy inflammation.
A 54-year-old male patient whose blood pressure was 182/108 followed all the guidelines to avoid hypertension. He didn’t smoke and only drank alcohol occasionally.
He wasn’t overweight, exercised regularly, consumed a generally healthy diet, monitored his salt intake, and still had high blood pressure. His doctor said it was hereditary and needed to be on medication for the rest of his life, but he didn’t accept that.
After testing, I put him on the FreeDiet® as well as all of these supplements listed above. At the follow-up appointment four weeks later, his blood pressure had come down 71 points. A lot of people don’t realize when they have hypertension, they are actually experiencing food reactions.
Gluten, in particular, can aggravate inflammation and raise blood pressure if you have a gluten sensitivity. In addition to taking supplements, it’s important to follow a good quality anti-inflammatory diet, such as the FreeDiet®.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’re tired of dealing with high blood pressure, we would love to help. Give our office a call to schedule your appointment today. We can run labs and get to the root cause of your hypertension. If you would like a free copy of The FreeDiet® Phase 1 food chart, click here.
If you would like to read more about this, I have a chapter in my book on High Blood Pressure and you can click thefreedietbook.com for more information.