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High Blood Pressure: Causes, Effects, and How Reducing Yours Can Prolong Your Life

High Blood Pressure: Causes, Effects, and How Reducing Yours Can Prolong Your Life

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

There’s no better time than the holiday season to talk about blood pressure. While the season is a time of connection, warmth, and joy, most of us would agree that it’s also the most stressful time of the year. Extra activities, long to-do lists and family gatherings can increase your stress – right along with your blood pressure. 

Blood pressure is called a vital sign for a reason – it’s a critical measure of the health of your vascular system. Unfortunately, few of us realize how vital blood pressure is to our overall health and longevity. 

Recent estimates show that a whopping 46% of people have high blood pressure. And high blood pressure is known as the silent killer – you won’t feel sick or have symptoms alerting you that there’s a problem. Instead, high blood pressure will silently increase your risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and organ dysfunction.

The great news is that high blood pressure is often completely reversible. But it’s crucial that you pay attention and address it early to avoid bigger problems in the future. We only get one vascular system and it’s vital to our resiliency and longevity.

Watch the video to learn more reducing your blood pressure:

  • Learn what causes high blood pressure, as well as the detrimental effects it has on your vascular system and overall health
  • Learn what lifestyle changes are most important to lower your blood pressure
  • Find out when it’s time to go on medication
  • Discover how to use at-home tools to monitor your blood pressure 

Don’t let the stress of the holiday season send your blood pressure soaring. Find out what you can do to reduce that number and improve your health and longevity in the process.

High Blood Pressure: A Holistic Approach to Understanding and Managing It

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects millions of people worldwide and is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. In this informative discussion between David Haase, MD and Mary Scalf, PA-C, we delve into various aspects of hypertension, shedding light on its causes, effects, and holistic strategies for managing and preventing it.

Understanding the Autonomic Nervous System

The conversation starts by exploring the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its role in stress responses. The fight-or-flight mode triggered by stress elevates blood pressure, a natural protective mechanism in response to perceived threats. However, in our modern lives, stressors often come in the form of social pressures or daily tasks, leading to a chronic elevation of blood pressure. This chronic response, termed the “conserved transcriptional response to adversity,” becomes a key focus in understanding hypertension.

David Haase, MD and Mary Scalf, PA-C emphasize that while the ANS plays a role in hypertension, it is not the sole cause. Nutrient issues, toxicity, and other factors contribute, making it a multifaceted health concern.

Meditation and Its Impact on Health

The conversation shifts to the positive effects of meditation on overall health. Regular meditation is highlighted as a tool to combat stress, decrease depression, and even lengthen telomeres. The reference to telomeres underscores the potential longevity benefits associated with meditative practices. The encouragement to embrace failure as a part of growth becomes a motivating factor for individuals to adopt meditation and overcome initial challenges.

Exercise and Its Influence on Blood Pressure

Exercise emerges as a pivotal factor in managing blood pressure. David Haase, MD and Mary Scalf, PA-C stress the significance of cardiovascular exercise in significantly reducing blood pressure. They touch upon isometric training and strength training as additional contributors to blood pressure control. The recommendation for daily physical activity, reframed as “being active,” emphasizes the importance of incorporating movement into daily routines, even in simple ways like taking the stairs or walking during lunch breaks.

Sleep Quality and Its Impact

The discussion extends to the crucial role of sleep in blood pressure regulation. Sleep apnea is highlighted as a potential contributor to elevated blood pressure, emphasizing the importance of addressing sleep issues promptly. The conversation underscores the need for quality and sufficient sleep, suggesting ways to improve sleep hygiene and advocating for healthier sleep patterns.

Nutrition and Its Impact on Blood Pressure

Dietary choices become a key focus in the conversation, with the speakers advocating for a colorful and nutrient-rich diet. The benefits of specific foods, such as pomegranate juice, mushrooms, garlic, seaweed, and omega-3 fatty acids from small, cold-water fish, are highlighted. The emphasis on avoiding heavily processed foods aligns with the broader approach to holistic health.

The amusing anecdote about a study comparing the nutritional content of fresh Brussels sprouts to those from a hospital cafeteria showcases the importance of making informed food choices. The conversation reinforces the idea that food is not just about avoiding negatives but also embracing positive choices that actively contribute to better health.

Self-Monitoring and Lifestyle Changes

David Haase, MD and Mary Scalf, PA-C stress the importance of self-monitoring blood pressure at home using reliable devices. While acknowledging the imperfections of some wrist cuffs, they recommend using arm cuffs for better accuracy. The idea is to create a daily routine of monitoring blood pressure at different times to get a comprehensive understanding.

The conversation concludes with a powerful message about self-love and the importance of taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. The speakers encourage individuals to be kind to themselves, emphasizing that everyone is enough and worthy of embarking on a journey to better health.

In summary, this engaging discussion provides a holistic perspective on hypertension, touching on the role of the autonomic nervous system, meditation, exercise, sleep quality, nutrition, and self-monitoring. The advice is practical, encouraging individuals to make gradual lifestyle changes and embrace a journey of self-improvement. This comprehensive approach to understanding and managing high blood pressure is a valuable resource for anyone seeking a deeper insight into their health.

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

Hi I’m David Haase and you are Mary is amazing uh Mary’s gotten to work with me for over three years now
four see time flies when you’re having fun it’s fine and and Mary is excellent uh
she is incredibly diligent and caring and and I just love I love seeing how you take care of people yeah yeah I just
love being with work here and and how I get to care for people is so different than in the previous world I came from
and this is really the way medicine has to be going forward and I’m glad I get to be a part of it so yeah yeah and we
get to do it together so so our our topic tonight is exciting that is so
exciting one might even call it hyper exciting height hype hypertension that’s
right we’re gonna hype hypertension tonight yeah so hypertension is otherwise known as high blood pressure
and why should we care about that I mean when you said I think we should do it on
high blood pressure I was like oh scratch my eyes out do we have to because is everybody else bored about
hypertension you know it doesn’t get respect let’s just none it’s no respect
no respect at all and and so as you start digging in um and we we ask people what do you want
your health for right what do you want your health for and and people say well I want to be able to like climb a
mountain or I want to be a a good grandparent or I want to do this what’s the one condition that’s going to
pretty much throw a huge damper into every one of those dreams that people list out of what they want oh
high blood pressure and and what that can cause right if your blood pressure
is high you can be at high risk for having a stroke and the effects of stroke are just
detrimental and to your quality of life and how you want to move forward Strokes are honestly you know we deal with a lot
of neurodegenerative disease here we’re actually just launching a two new trials one of them is in studying Alzheimer’s
disease and we deal with a lot of folks that have neurodegenerative disease at Maxwell clinic and still Strokes are the
thing that scare me the most because the prevention prevention has to be 99 of
the focus we do a lot to help people recover even when using neurofeedback and hyperbarics and we do a lot of work
with people who are recovering from strokes but oh my gosh so much better to not have one in the first place
always and and the scary thing about this topic too of high blood pressure is
that like you don’t know it’s a problem until it’s a problem but usually that
problem is a stroke or it’s a heart attack or it’s like kidney issues
um or you have erectile dysfunction like there’s other signs to tell you later
which would be more of what we call end organ damage that actually it’s harder to I would say reverse that because it’s
already affecting other areas of the body yeah because once something dead it’s dead yeah and so what you know
hypertension is a great uh example of a dysfunction if we can help understand
and understand and address underlying cause of that dysfunction while we keep that dysfunction from causing more
damage right that’s her ideal and I wouldn’t talk about this because I thought this was the most stressful time
of the year I’m a PA not a stinger sorry about that but
um so literally this is a Vital sign and it’s tells us what we is how is our body doing it’s a Vital sign yeah it is a
Vital sign it you’ve even seen it I’m just I’m just ashamed of my own disrespect for this I know we treat it
every day but it’s vital do you know what that means exactly do
we know you know if it’s important if it’s not good we’re not good so and it’s it’s
times you heard it say it’s a silent killer for the reasons I mentioned before you don’t know it’s bad until it’s bad so
um and then like what’s what struck me is that in 2018 they changed these guidelines and the way I learned to
diagnose high blood pressure in school it tightened up a lot and it ended up putting about 46 of our country in that
that category of having high blood pressure but that didn’t mean that everyone needed a medication
do you know so can you go what are those what are those thresholds now the updated thresholds of you know what is
because they’ve had several categories yeah so I would like you want to be some under
120 over 80 and so the top number is known as your systolic number and the
bottom is very diastolic and they kind of signal relaxation phases of the heart and when the heart is squeezing out all
the blood to the rest of your body and um so before you know that was that’s
kind of where you want it to be before you had these categories of like pre-hypertension and then hypertension and stage one stage two now you just
have elevated blood pressure if you’re over 120 over 80 you get to 130 over 80
any of that then you get diagnosed with hypertension um 130 over 80 now yeah and before you
could let somebody go to 140 over 90 and then you could be like let’s start medication or have that conversation and
we’ll talk about a little bit later about maybe when you should consider medication though so yeah I mean that’s
it’s really amazing that it it is tightened up it just like with diabetes right it used to be diabetes you don’t
have diabetes still you had a fasting blood sugar over 200 and then it came to less than and 140. now it’s less than
125 and and that we now we know is that your blood glucose of fasting blood
glucose even above 100 uh it causes increased risk for Downstream
um and organ damage so you know we’re we’re this really in all of medicine is
moving the direction well we’ve been for quite a while we’ve been doing it for a while and we’ve been going forward but
because we should be we should be shooting for optimal we should be shooting for optimal and I think that’s
that is what it’s really great to see um as a culture as a medical community
we’re tightening down the standards because just in a little bit of dysfunction that long term creates a lot
of potential for damage and illness right we don’t want to wait until symptoms come and so this is what we’re
trying to recognize but I kind of like how you started to talk about even the mention of that that the diagnosis of
diabetes or high blood sugar being changed because that is kind of one of the things you think about as a cause of having high blood pressure is when you
start what’s the precursor to getting diabetes you develop insulin resistance right and so uh and really the change
right here is just how that affects like your vessels compliance to contract and
and to do its job um yeah you know I hadn’t really thought of that that’s right yeah I was just
thinking about that that balance you’re right because there is um there is there’s insulin resistance
and then that goes to diabetes and here we have endothelial dysfunction or glycocalyx dysfunction and that goes on
to hypertension I really hadn’t been thinking of it in that linear term yeah
and and you wouldn’t you know we know like they’re they’re grouped together is known as like comorbidities that they
just kind of exist together sometimes but you don’t don’t think of one as causing the other or vice versa you just
think that you know people just think that high blood pressure just happens like you just get it but it’s a process that’s ongoing due to
a lot of these factors so let’s talk about some once you let’s talk about some of those causes of high blood pressure so it doesn’t just drop out of
the sky and hit you on the head no no it doesn’t we don’t want to wait
to think about your blood sugar regulation uh and so usually you want to look at getting a fasting insulin level
your doctor if you’re it’s probably not going to do that your functional medicine doctor will do that so it’s
going to look and make sure your blood sugar is in check and or that your body’s responding to sugar in
appropriate way before you end up uh further down that that way to horse
diabetes yeah and you really want to have a fasting blood insulin under 4.5 and and that is you know one of the
things we’re we’re getting ready to start a big Alzheimer’s a second Alzheimer’s trial uh probably in about
February and one of the standards is that insulin has to get under 4.5 that’s
tight huh that’s that’s tight that’s tight if you think about like the lab value range they’re fine until it’s like
up to 24 or something right so it’s also a thing like that the lab says it’s normal we have different thoughts on
that even that we want to optimize because we’re not again waiting till you just get sick so uh another thing I
think one of the biggest things that people want to pay attention into and I have some patients really resist this when I see that they’re probably need to
get this tested but I high blood pressure can cause my sleep apnea
and sleep apnea can cause so many other things to our health if not addressed so
if you’re having daytime sleepiness or snoring if you’re a little overweight
you need to get checked for sleep apnea especially if your blood pressure is just a little bit high like you need to
look at this now instead of waiting it’s not as hard as it used to be no you no
you can do a home sleep study now and and um you’re right sleep apnea is a big
deal um and then um but some other some other components
um heavy metals you know heavy metals don’t get a lot of um a press because you know do you think
there’s anybody in Industry that wants to talk about you know the outflow of Industry causing disease uh there was a
big pushback I mean I was involved in this you know almost 15 years ago and
um looking and there’s a lot of industries that were saying man let’s not talk about lead and Mercury because
that’s going to cause this huge onslaught of work compensation so I mean there’s a there’s a lot of it’s
interesting why some people don’t do talk some things don’t get talked about because lead lead has seven separate
mechanisms by which it can elevate blood pressure seven and so
um uh and what’s really you know interesting about that is that
um the people who are most affected are usually those that are about 60 years of age and above because that’s they were
still young yeah they were still young when we had add in our gasoline and we
had more lead in the paint we did a good Public Health measure and changed that and um the younger people don’t have
anywhere near the lead burden that the older folks do yeah but we still might
and that’s the thing it’s like we don’t can we have to we have to shift our perspective on like how we look at heavy
metals too because you may not have them in your blood so when you check a blood level it’s not going to show up in level
because not hiding in your blood it’s hiding in your tissues and your organs and contributes to your body burden and
that’s in in that it’s going to affect that into that compliance and of your vessels and can cause that high blood
pressure and Lead loves the kidneys lead loves the kidneys matter of fact the
chelation of lead is it has a nice study published in the New England internal of medicine showed that long-term chelation
of very low lead levels prevented kidney failure so so in the kidneys the kitten
nobody talks about this and nobody’s reproduced the study because because well you know convenient
and but it’s there and the kidneys are really where blood pressure is regulated
by and large because it’s a filter and if you don’t have enough head of don’t have a big enough head of pressure the
filter can’t work so if the kidney says hey I need more pressure it makes more pressure even if it damages the rest of
the body that’s his priority right
right but I also think about there’s simple things like nutrient deficiencies that can affect this as well and one of
the big ones I think most people know about maybe not is a magnesium deficiency and it can be so subtle and
there’s more of an optimal level we want to get to with magnesium but even like magnesium supplementation can help
improve blood pressure and you you carry it matters like what kind of magnesium you get with these kind of things I
usually you can correct me on this but I usually I usually say magnesium oxide is the trash magnesium to my patients
it’s it’s the it’s the uh it’s the butt cream it’s the butt cream yeah go ahead
and take it but like yeah well magnesium oxide is sold in supplements because it is the cheapest
form of magnesium you can make you just take a magnesium and shove an oxygen on it so it’s a really tiny molecule and
you can shove a lot of it in a small pill and it looks good on the label oh yeah but there’s a lot of magnesium but
but you can that’s magnesium that has rusted and it’s really hard to disassociate the Magnesium from the
oxide so that magnesium can get used in the body you never find magnesium oxide
in the foods you eat right you should eat why would you take a supplement with it right supplements should mimic food
yeah that’s the whole point of it ideally right and so I would think like would you say the best I’m using for
blood pressure or just to think about how you think about that would it be magnesium malate or like glycinate chelate or yeah that’s really great so
it’s always this name you say magnesium and then there’s another word right so we’re contrasting for magnesium oxide
but you’re right Mike need any of the chelation any of the Magnesium chelaise so magnesium malate magnesium lysinate
and then magnesium three and eight we typically use magnesium three and eight for the brain because it creates a high
uh absorption through the blood-brain barrier but it also it has to get into
the blood in order for it to get into the brain so that one works wonderful too yeah so it doesn’t matter what you
think about with that so I think fruit here and what it causes smoking if you’re doing it stop I don’t
that’s all I gotta say about that um and then like also I’ll talk about like we just can’t just say one more
thing about smoking though because you know smoking is a great delivery system for heavy metals Arsenic and cadmium
huge amounts of there there’s oxy there’s oxidative molecules um it and and secondhand smoke matters
here too so just being and it’s amazing how much our environment has cleaned up with regard to smoking in public places
when I was a boy you know you would light up anywhere and
it was really you know I I grew up in a time of like the smoking and non-smoking section yeah so you can just smoke
anywhere so at least you know even though we’re in the same building there was a there’s a smoking section so it wouldn’t get to me in the non-smoking
section right it’s amazing how few public places you can smoke now and what a big deal that is for uh Public Health
yeah like can I bring up one other one because you
have this really cool she’s a very cool water bottle here and and you can see outdoor woman here so
um this this this chick takes bicycles places that I get scared and even
thinking about oh yeah I think that actually helps to lower my blood pressure it might in the moment when I’m
scared because at mountain biking that you know that’d be changes but yeah so
exercise exercise if you don’t or whatever like what about if you don’t
exercise you know so every what we really try to focus on is
medicine that creates Health right you know how can whatever you do whatever
you do are you better off long term as a result of your actions and if you think
of it exercise is you’re giving your body a stress test and then the body
makes new and better blood vessels it creates better cardiac output we need
that stress and being sedentary is a direct line towards developing
hypertension because you’re not well if you don’t use it you lose it right and
you also think about I’m going to just correlate this a little bit differently but you hear that like sedentary is the
new smoking or like sitting at the new smoking right and so if you’re setting you’re probably not
exercising either yeah so why we try to get standing sit stand desk almost all across the clinic here we’re really
trying to live the message we’re speaking to because sitting is the new smoking uh any way that you can increase
your activity any any small amount um there’s many biometric devices that
you can utilize to help track yourself give yourself some um more incentive and tracking
um you know make a uh have you what a big transition in my life is I made a commitment to have more active uh
friends and so I quit having coffee with people I quit going and having lunch with people if you want to meet with me
it’s almost always on a walk let’s go on a walk let’s go on a bike ride let’s do something active and so we have to
change our culture think who is it you could invite how could you be the hero
for somebody to increase their activity and in the set in the same way
um become you know do good things for yourself yeah yeah and that’s the thing like doing these actions will help to
create other benefits to your health and that’s like what’s different about what we do is that we don’t give you a
medication like you might take Lisinopril for high blood pressure but it’s just going to help with your blood
pressure I mean in in the other like related conditions but it’s going to cause us side effects and it’s going to
cause you to to have used in deficiencies and other nutrients but if you exercise
it supports your mental health it supports your cardiovascular health um it supports your brain health like
it’s it’s there’s so many more benefits it’s like and sometimes I feel bad telling patients they’ll take this
because or do this because it helps with this this and then I keep naming things and then it seems like I’m just talking about duct tape and how it’s good for
everything um so but it’s just it’s just amazing to me and it just all just all connects you
know so and it’s good that you probably play center Pearl and medications because you the the
um lisinopril is you know one of my favorite blood pressure medications it’s a good medication and we we’re we’re we
use what works okay we don’t we don’t uh people say something well are you a
natural Clinic no we’re really just focused on what is wise and works and and getting your blood pressure down and
controlling it is incredibly important okay and then once we have you safe now
let’s figure out what are those underlying causes and start chipping away at that because there’s also stress
we didn’t talk about stress as a Cause right but the reason the reason it’s useful to maybe not only use medication
to think of high blood pressure as a medication deficiency right that’s not
really what it is because beta blockers deplete CoQ10
um you know the the the uh anti-diuretics which are water pills
they deplete your minerals um you know there many of the therapies
can start causing another component of erosion over the course of time and we
just need we want to be do what is wise and works and um so if you have high
blood pressure we need to treat that and we don’t want to be don’t be scared to go on one don’t be nervous about it
because I like to say that I like to compare our vessels sometimes this is probably this might be like not the best
metaphor or like picture to go but like I think of just rubber bands and how stretchy they are and you can pull them
they go back and they’re pretty good and resilient right well I remember as a kid like I finding a rubber band had been
left on the black Pavement in the sun in the middle of summer and I was like oh this looks weird look dried out and then
I try to like stretch it and it broke and I was like I told it I killed it so it’s just like it’s not that your blood
vessels are going to stretch and just burst like that but it’s also they as we do more of this damage or unknowingly to
it we we kind of we it loses compliance they become less pliable they may
stiffen up like it just furthers the disease process especially if there’s other things going on in the body so you
brought it but such an important point because hypertension causes hypertension
right the more the more high blood pressure you have and I like to I just I think of them like hydraulic hoses I’m a
farm boy and so I think like if you had a self-healing hydraulic hose but the
more pressure you put through there um yours is a much better analogy people people can get it there’s more people
that understand this though but I mean if you have that you know the more pressure you put through that hose the
more likely it’s going to explode but these hoses can make themselves thicker and stronger but if you make them
thicker and stronger they have less likelihood of being able to expand and take on uh have more resiliency and
flexibility with regard to the pressure that has to be there yeah yeah so it’s like if we need to do it we need to do
it and we’ll we’ll continue to work on these because sometimes it’ll take with some of the lifestyle changes that we’ll talk about it we need to be consistent
with these things like uh and for about one to three months right and then as we see the blood pressure get better I see
it start to come down and sometimes I don’t make a big deal about if I see a patient who’s like in the upper 120s
over 80 or get into 132 over 72 or something I just wait and see if the
magic we do works yeah because high blood pressure is one dysfunction of
many because some of the same causes that cause insulin resistance that cause obesity that cause headaches that cause
immune dysfunction that cause you know the the common you know the the culprits
um in one person you know these bad culprits cause high blood pressure and this person they cause diabetes and this
is called but the underlying causes of disease have a lot of commonalities to them right and and that’s why and um and
but we can’t and what we do is we don’t put people at danger right we don’t want
to have somebody with a raging blood pressure and not bring that down while
we address underlying cause you know this goes back too um and people people other doctors will
often say to me well people don’t want to change people don’t want to change you why do you do that stuff people don’t want to change they just want a
pill because most of these conditions that are lifestyle what we learn in school what is it it’s three months of
Lifestyle Changes usually give them a give them a trial of that it’s called lifestyle changes it’s for life right
okay sort of like how long do I do this well as long as you’re right I’m comfortable yeah well
that’s just a mindset I don’t like vegetables yeah how about that
and so but that’s great that’s then we’re getting to root cause yeah I mean this is this is this is why yeah but
somebody says I don’t like vegetables and you know guess what it’s gonna get hard to normalize somebody whose blood
pressure is elevated uh it down naturally if you’re not going to touch a vegetable that’s going to necessarily
look like fast food I can’t I can’t lower my blood pressure with fast food you would be a trouble patient
no no no soda but the point right the point is that it is the relationship
people think oh it’s not a pill it’s a relationship it is is walking together
through a problem and being curious consistently because there are no two
patients are the same I had a patient of mine uh I got to consult with I’ve been working with her two years he started
came in on five blood pressure medications oh my gosh he is down to none okay none that’s amazing isn’t it
but it were mental emotional components that had to be dealt with there were physical components that had to be dealt
with there were toxic components that had to be dealt with um and and it went up and it went down and we tracked it we we used his his
blood pressure was so useful um because it gave us an idea about
where he was from the health of the body now he has a lot of other symptoms like
his migraine headaches that he’s been dealing with for you know 20 years are gone you know but that both high blood
pressure and migraines are symptoms of dysfunction exactly and so we have changed our mind and instead of
glorifying them as diseases under themselves they are the manifestation of
something that’s going wrong in the body that that is complex it’s not an end
it’s not an end point right okay well you have high blood pressure diagnosis hypertension and we just stop and we
treat but no why that’s the name for the process but but why is it going on and
so that happens a lot in a lot of things in conventional medicine so it’s like I
like that you mentioned that because I had a patient who we’ve been working on she was at pre-diabetic because a family history diabetes we’ve worked on and now
she’s in at least has a hemoglobin C of 5.5 uh as you’re working on Fat Loss she’s
good with exercise she has a low inflammatory diet and she’s been working on meditation her sleep is good she has a lot of stress in
her leg she’s a high-powered woman really busy a lot of stress and then there’s past trauma and so it’s like I’ve watched
this ebb and flow and last time the appointment before last I said you know we nearly next time I want to see you
back for weeks I want you to track your blood pressure um and every day until then different times where I’m down and then we’ll see
you back because I’m worried that or I’m concerned that we need to go and start a medication then dog she came back that blood pressure
was normal it was it’s December it was normal as normal could be she’s been working on trauma and releasing that
from her body through different types of therapy it was just amazing and blew my
mind so it’s just like that unaddressed dress or trauma on the body is so important and one of the things I would
say we recommend different lifestyle recommendations to all our patients it’s the foundation of what we do I’d say one
of the most difficult things for people to do is to practice meditation or some kind of relaxation exercise would you
agree and you know it’s definitely it’s it’s um it requires a shift in how they
behave yeah yeah meditation go on yeah because I you you’re you’re preaching it
it is it is you know every habit is hard until you have developed the Habit oh yeah oh yeah right but once you develop
the habit now it’s part of your life I think it’s again it’s like also we live in a society where we wanted things done
yesterday or we want them to have an immediate feeling and so I’ll have patience that’ll be like well I tried
meditation one time and it didn’t do anything well it’s again it’s a lifestyle change
it’s for life and it may take like we need to try to be consistent with it one to three months and some studies show we
need to do that at least like 10 to 20 minutes a day to get benefit and there’s different types of meditation that might
provoke a different type of benefit so there was so much data on this in the literature it is so easy to just search
in our our glorified PubMed where we keep all this knowledge and and there’s
just so so so so much it was so interesting to read through this and just fascinating and almost say a lot of
the things that we’ll talk about it’s not that it’ll have it’ll be this powerful as a medication because a
therapeutic does lisinopril is going to lower your blood pressure at least this systolic about 32 millimeters of mercury
and some of these like we’ll see um sometimes meditation May lower like four to eight millimeters of mercury
um sometimes exercise will be about the same some dietary changes will do the same but you can see that if you you do
the meditation you do the exercise consistently you do the dietary changes consistently about four to eight you’re
getting to almost that therapeutic dose of Lisinopril
boom exactly so so the idea of that and and a meditation
um so again another patient I have has been doing um uh regular meditation now for 45
years yeah and he starts every day for 20 minutes of of calm gentle breathing
being aware of his body uh five seconds in five seconds out exercising
compassion and this individual is 82 years old now and
um he has nearly clean coronary arteries and in a family history of most
everybody else in the family uh has had some type of cardiac event by 65. oh my
again and so so here he is he has earned a burned a healthy body but it’s it’s an
investment right you know so the idea that you create Health
um you know by snapping your fingers by doing a whole lot at one time you know it’s much more predictable to
create Health by investing a little bit over the long course of time so make the
time to be mindful make the time you know just start with five minutes a day
if you just breathe in for five seconds in five seconds out very slowly be aware
of your body um don’t judge anything yeah there’s tons of apps that are out there what are
your favorite what are your favorite what are your favorite apps let’s say like your Apple watch this is what like I remember when the other doctor I
worked for he got one and like your watch would tell you to breathe and we just laugh like you breathe already no it’s some mindfulness practice and apple
was smart to do this but they have a mindfulness app on your watch so do it
and it’ll it’ll help time you and it’ll say it’ll provoke you it’ll give you a prompt or you’ll do that deep breathing
and you can set the time and then you can track it unless you’re doing it so I
really enjoy using headspace I have tried in more of a Christian meditation one called abide
so I have patients that like the Calm app I actually saw that there’s actually a
study about the Calm app and PubMed uh and just the benefits and relaxation but like why does meditation work though
it’s you think about some of our what drives our blood pressure is that are
not our nervous system right and and we think about the autonomic nervous system and how that if
we’re stressed it puts you into that fight or flight mode and so elevated blood pressure is just a result of that natural
protective situation the body tries to do for us when we’re not actually in a
life-threatening situation yeah because because when when there is a predator coming after us our heart rate should go
up our blood pressure should go we should pump a lot of extra blood but but when instead it’s a social media comment
or when instead it’s this idea that we have to dress a certain way or we have
to be a certain way or or we have to go to the in-laws and they have to have such a such an opinion you know all of
those rate we call it the conserve transcriptional response to adversity that’s a big fancy final term it’s a
really long biologic term yeah and it is but it’s remarkable that all mammals have this and but that’s but I want to
say it’s not the cause of hypertension it is a cause it is yes because you can still have nutrient issues you still
have toxicity you can still have and but but but guess what air is free
hair is free and you know and meditation helps with mood uh it helps decrease
depression it helps lengthen telomere so if you want to live you want your cells
to act and be younger regular meditation causes these caps that are on our
chromosomes called telomeres to grow and that’s associated with literally not
dying as young pretty remarkable yeah do you want to live longer and you want more life in those years
you know I think I took that from you I’m sorry um
I love it but that’s what I’m here for so I just so because I wanted to motivate you to adapt some of these or
at least looking to these for yourself and how you’re going to do it at home what do you like I have patients that’ll
be like it’s just I can’t I can’t do this I try my mind is just so busy I
can’t do expectations what’s wonderful we actually have a couple of webinars on meditation so I’d encourage folks to dig
in and look at those longer longer forms that we do have uh because it’s so important you’ll address that yeah and
and just try one of the most important things is is failure failure is is our
friend and the the most important thing to do is to try and fail frequently uh
because um what do we learn by not meeting our
intentions well that’s that’s where we grow that is
growth and so it’s not about you know that that oh I failed therefore I am bad
no I if I have failed it means I tried dang it and and and if I’ve recognized
as like oh um now I get to either ask myself I can ask others I can be curious about why
this maybe didn’t come through and you may find you may learn something way more important than what the meditation
was itself exactly and I like that phrase I get to instead of like I have to you know different just rephrasing
the way we say things and think about things is so important for us so I think we’re good on that part and I just want
to know like are you exercising and how important exercise introducing blood pressure and I looked in the data and I
could find stuff that even cardiovascular exercise is one of your bigger things to help reduce your blood pressure significantly that even though
isometric training can I think of isometric training I think of like doing bar kudos to any of you who do bar I don’t
like it um but it has benefits reducing your blood pressure and strength training
does as well they’re not as big as cardiovascular exercise so how often how often should patients
exercise for this every day every day every day it’s not exercise it’s called be active
right we’re sitting here and and I hate it I I I was like we were well we were
going to do it I almost moved it to doing at my standing desk so we could at least be standing while we’re doing this this communication and I hope that those
of you out there are popping in some earbuds walking around the house being active yeah and you know we um
um you don’t actually need to see our faces yeah so the um
and but where can you put activity in your day do you have a desk job can you
put a treadmill at that desk can we have one of the one of the desks here has a a
stationary bicycle how can you so um is there what are other ways people
can put activity into their day yeah we we floor at the school
make sure I take the stairs every time I have a lot of stuff I carry up and down those stairs when I come to
work and I like to try to take 15 minutes my lunch break and do a walk just to get some movement in if I know
I’m not going to get some other structured form of exercise and here’s the thing here we need to think about this just says movement and yes being
active because it’s like people don’t consider walking exercise or they don’t consider this movement as as important
so I just don’t I just don’t understand so
and what do you think about I I don’t know do you sleep well because
sleep is important I’ll be talking about sleep apnea to address so get that sleep study if you have symptoms but also the
quality and duration of that sleep is important restricted sleep was shown to show increases in blood
pressure and then also women and minorities are at higher risk for those
effects so we do need to pay attention to to sleep and I I don’t know how much
time I like patients to try to get somewhere between seven to eight hours I want them to listen to their bodies if
they’re rested after six and great that I need more eight than mine like I don’t know so so here here’s a quiz for
you what was the average amount of sleep a person in an American in the year 1900
got a night average sleep a night in the year 1900. right and everybody put your
bets in oh yeah like ooh so was it like nine hours ten hours plus
10 hours amazing right 10 hours no one could have
had been spending that much time no right yeah and so and so we’re we really
are in chronically underslept as a as a world yeah and and and what changed it
all the electric light bulb all of a sudden we could we could we didn’t have to worry about we had to like you know
Harvest whale fats in order to make candles think about in these devices how we always have blue light in front of
our face and that activates that it’s still extending day yeah so knowledge is your friend here but getting to bed
earlier is incredibly important those hours before midnight have a lot more
restorative capacity to them than the hours after midnight so and this again
this is where we as a culture get to make this change together yeah we you
know have start meeting with friends in the morning and start thinking about how
is how is our noon activities what we Center our life around so we can really
kind of kind of slow down earlier in the evening it’s profound it is and I think about
too about how that restorative sleep it’s like putting your brain you bring a car wash right
clear even development of some of those amyloid plaques right that are are prominent in
an Alzheimer’s dementia and so it’s not just about your blood pressure
um well it is because you can also develop dementia from blood pressure issues right so microvascular injury
right so we have a vascular type dementia you know when we do we frequently do MRIs on individuals that
have memory complaints or individuals that just want to know what can I do to make sure I am not being I’m not sliding
at this moment in time and one of my pet peeves is when we get a brain MRI on an
individual and it comes back as normal uh normal microvascular damage or or you
know why matter disease right and it’s it’s like normal normal white matter disease for age and no these little
they’re a little punctate white marks in the brain those are micro Strokes those
are areas where small blood vessels we call them Perforating blood vessels have often closed up and now there are small
areas in the brain that didn’t get any oxygen and where that affects is in the
Deep part of the brain you don’t notice those types of strokes but as those accumulate an individual
starts having a harder time cognating and everything gets a little harder the person gets a little slower and they go
I’m just getting older BS all right BS your vessels are diseased and and and
you’ve already lost brain so wait I can’t recover that brain if it’s no Dead
brain is Dead brain so you have to start now if you’re if you are listening to
this and you’re thinking about okay well I’m I’m I’ll think about this eventually
no brain cells are very unforgiving there’s a few brain cells in the hippocampus and the olofactory bulb that
we can have some new brain cells Sprout but they don’t travel around the brain they don’t make all the connections of
the brain cells that develop when you were young so microvascular damage is really traumatic
I mean um I have family members that are suffering from microvascular dementia right now and it’s so sad because
instead of like Alzheimer’s dementia where you see this decline kind of going knee vascular type Dimensions go like
you you know and you see these little all of a sudden there’s a sudden new loss of function they’re devastating
heartbreaking I’ve seen a friend walk through it this year and and lost our mother and it is it’s devastating to
walk through that with your parent anybody you love all right so what can we do about what else can we do about this oh I don’t know how do you eat do
you know that food affects your health because it’s like I meet so many people that think there’s nothing wrong with
what we might consume in our country it’s called the sad diet for a reason your standard American diet so there’s
Foods you want to avoid with this and it’s a lot of the things that are easy cheap and fast
um and so those are like your heavily Ultra processed foods the things that have 10 ingredients at the store and a
lot of fast food so yeah and so so that um what about the what about the
what class of foods I always think of you know what what has the most color right you know you know things like you
know what’s brown what’s super like cocoa is amazing cocoa has some benefits uh the the red the red stuff like in
grapes grape seed extracts are amazing um uh I think about blues and purples
anthocyanins are the component in the Blues and purple fruits and vegetables and those can help lower your blood
pressure but you have to like you have to I read that you can see like a lot of these like if you want to do this by
blueberries you gotta do like a cup twice a day and that seems like and then if I do that for a month I probably
don’t want blueberries [Laughter] leafy greens are good for this too but I
don’t know if you you might turn into a blueberry if you eat that many blueberries right I said that was on Willy Wonka yeah well that was like that
was yeah a little bit he’s just trying berries [Laughter]
um so the so omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important as well so um it’s important to think about when
you get omega-3 fatty acids you get them from small cold water fish uh like Herring mackerel sardines uh or because
there’s so many heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in the
larger fish uh that have omega-3 fatty acids it’s really really sad so this is
one category or I strongly recommend nutritional supplementation um getting a an omega-3 fatty acid that
is very clean um I there’s a standard called ifos certification ifos and that
certification is a third party validation actual testing they take the bottle off the shelf and they say okay
how many how much heavy metals and disadines peroxide sides are in this as
a damaged product and that way you’re not just because you can kind of cheat in the nutritional supplement industry
um you know there you can you can kind of test of that not regulated that the government doesn’t protect us from that
no it is it has should the does the government protect us from much
okay so okay let’s let’s not that’s like but buyer beware right right buyer
beware and that’s why I mean I I like I like a system where there’s freedom and
there is transparency yes so this is there are standards that can be utilized to say what is clean and what it what is
potent um unfortunately the fish oil that’s six dollars is probably not
probably not good it’s impossible for it to be okay oh it’s impossible yeah you
know and just honestly yes because um or it’s it’s being harvested from fish that are
um environmentally endangered because um sustainable harvesting of oils is
really important as well the the fish oil we have we use most of the time is called monopure
um has a it’s harvested from very small water fish uh in the cold uh cold small
water fish what is that cold small Coldwater fish apparently
apparently that was a micro stroke that just happened right there um
I think I’m okay or alert and oriented times to reach that’s drooping okay there you go I did have dental work this
morning so I did come in I did come in looking like I had a stroke this morning but I am fine now and
um but uh it’s have sustainably harvested and when
you’re harvesting these almost Krill like um fish they’re you know very small
Plankton and very small fish they reproduce very quickly and they can their populations can recover and they
have they don’t have time for uh to bio concentrate toxins so oh so clean as
well so you also can consume I mean you need a good quality fish oil probably even if you do eat fish but I just like
I love seeing that eating two sardines a day after a couple weeks resulted in
almost a 10 millimeter mercury decrease in that system how many how many sardines two two sardines a week yeah a
day no two sardines and after four weeks the so that the blood pressure decreased yeah and so fish have things that fish
oil doesn’t have so fish have some amines in it that actually work a little bit like ACE inhibitors
so sorry so sardines that was a great point there um you know well I have to pull out the
sardines at lunch yeah yeah we’ve there’s one physician here who’s not not
either the two of us that likes to eat fish at dinner and we’re just putting a message out there that that’s rude so
I always bring some fish up for lunch like every day in their lunchroom come on uh so yeah
food’s important here and there’s just simple things like the more color you have to your plate it’s probably good
for your body and probably because it is good for your body and probably good for your blood pressure so lots of leafy greens try new
vegetables your taste can change if you’re vegetable you didn’t like it cooked I don’t like brussels sprouts if
they’re boiled they’re gross maybe if you like them that’s fine eat them that way but um I like to cook them a little bit
differently uh and and I love brussels sprouts hey brussels sprouts are great when they were there was actually study
done when they’re trying to figure out what are the health benefits of Brussels sprouts and they say okay we’re gonna take these Bronco sprouts and um there’s
a supplement that we have called onco detox that’s made from those made from Brussels sprouts and broccoli seed
extracts anyway they looked at Brussels sprouts and they said man where do we find the control group and
so they just went to the hospital cafeteria and they scooped out the Brussels sprouts that were sitting in
the big silver vat that had been you know on the warmer there for a couple of hours and they scooped that out and
compared it to Fresh brussels sprouts are the ones that were just steamed for a minute and literally there was no uh
availability of the sulforaphane molecules and such that would be
beneficial for Humanity in that hospital
lunchroom food I mean I just it just cracks me up that they they got their
control for all right we want to test brussels sprouts uh in the wild from the
hospital cafeteria exactly and they’re crap yeah so there’s I mean you’re getting fiber
from Brussels sprouts if you’re eating them that way but maybe not the benefits you hope for but yeah so I I don’t know
what any other like food comments you think here or nutrition or again everything that’s uh things like
pomegranate juice uh mushrooms garlic seaweed
um you know everything is celery celery has natural ACE inhibitors in it as well
um oh yeah like if you just start eating like four stocks a day it’s got a lot of celery but it’s not that much yeah you can make it
tasty you can get like a nut butter on it how about just celery oh you just do celery it’s fine it’s got a nice crunch
to it and also crunch crunch is one of those things that we crave an interesting
celery um is one of the things to help you get off of potato chips and other other
things that have a crunch value many people eat for the Crunch and um and you
just have to change your mind and go like okay I’m going to appreciate this crunch of this very crispy vegetable and
it’s astounding how many people can get off the chip wagon using celery yeah I
mean actually I prescribe it a lot as as a as a as a behavior modification tool
because you don’t you want to keep having fun you want to have mouth fun right yeah you know there’s some crunch
there’s some interest that’s going on there um you know food scientists spend a lot
of time figuring out just exactly how to construct a chip so that
it it only crumbles under a certain number of pounds per square inch that it they they measure they measure the the
sound that a chip makes uh you know how it bursts in the mouth there’s all kinds
of these out of someone’s job that is oh yeah it’s called organoleptics is the field and and that’s what is the the
science behind how to addict a human to a process Feud
that sounds unethical again transparency we’re all about we’re
all about it all being available but but let’s have transparency and make choices right oh yeah let’s not let’s not Outlaw
anything I don’t like to demonize any food okay so so what should people do I just want to like people like I want
them to monitor at home you know to have that realization and honestly I couldn’t find like this like standard way
actually for to to do it in a literature I have my preference like I don’t want my patients I don’t want them to use the
wrist cuffs I haven’t not read good things about them that they’re they’re accurate and
so I want them to get an arm one and I just ask them to take a different times a day daily and just to see that because
your blood pressure is going to change throughout the day and and sometimes your blood pressure is going to be better than than that when
you’re at the office and so it’s not and also when you come to the office to your blood pressure do
you get to sit for five minutes and you’re supposed to have your about your back against a chair your arms to
be elevated and hopefully you just didn’t exercise as you ran up the stairs from your appointment
like there’s so many factors that can throw that off so the way you monitor at home is so important
and also like the dream would be to help with this diagnosis is to have an ambulatory blood pressure monitor so it
can get like the average of how it goes throughout the day so that would be the dream but I don’t
know I don’t know anybody does that I think measurement is key right measurement is key that’s data and
knowledge it’s data and and and I would much rather somebody have imperfect
regular measurements of their blood pressure than none yeah so so I I like there’s there’s a there’s a cuff that we
use in the clinic oftentimes called Omron it’s a good brand uh it can be Wireless
um and that can be excellent at home it’ll send the data to your phone because normally like you want the date
and the time uh that it was checked and so you don’t have to write that down and keep up with it so and um uh twice a day
is excellent uh when when we start doing medication titration I think we should
talk a little bit about how we come off of medications we got a bunch of great questions that have come into us uh and
I think this goes to coming off of a medication so um
you know in order to come off of the blood pressure medication we first of
all need the blood pressure optimized okay this is um when we choose to do that is when we
are operating from a position of strength where we’re not
um we’re not hoping the blood pressure goes down no we have that blood pressure controlled and now we’ve done a great
job of addressing underlying factors to the extent that we can um and and then we slowly start coming
off of blood pressure medications and we’ll choose which one to come off of usually based upon which one has the
potential for causing the most problems right right because almost all of them have some kind of issues you know how
many times have we taken off a person patient person off of medication and now they come back and I’m like oh my gosh
you know that blurriness that I’ve been complaining of for you know three years and we say what blurriness oh I forgot
to tell you about it but my eyes have been blurry for like three years and they’re gone now the brain fog is gone
now the brain fog is gone so uh we usually go after the medications that have the most likelihood for side
effects first the recall is kind of the more the more the nutrient deficient nutrient or mineral deficiencies that we
look for yeah and each person that’s going that list is going to be a little bit different depending upon their challenges I like what you said though
you realize did you catch what you said you said which one you start with meaning like very rarely if you come in
here you’re looking for our help with this you you were probably not on just on one blood pressure medication and
many people to get their blood pressure controlled are on one two I’m like many I see people with
only two sometimes like No And it’s and and uh using smaller doses of more blood
pressure medications may be substantially safer than using very high doses of a single medication so the
number of medications is not something people should get their skivvies in a bunch about it really is are are you
under control um because remember high blood pressure causes high blood pressure the longer
your blood pressure is up the longer your blood pressure will be up and if you have had elevated blood pressure
um going on for three five ten years um you may have enough blood vessel
remodeling that has occurred where we will never get that blood pressure down without the use of medications
and now we are never going to give up okay you know one of my uh my
characteristics is that we do not give up but we’re
um but we also have to um be honest with reality and you know it
is what it is elevated blood pressure does cause additional damage long term so um we just take it seriously because
you know um having a stroke um having kidney failure dialysis all of
these heart disease heart attacks blindness uh we’d rather not have to deal with
those issues so we try to pay a lot of attention to the the Upstream things something very simple if you’re aware
that your blood pressure is in that 120 to 30 130 or 80 or a little higher that
there’s stuff that you can do now or else it’s again high blood pressure because high blood pressure it’s going
to be a feed forward process it’s just going to continue probably so it’s prevention is always the best to do but
there are things that we can Implement to help improve your overall health and
and hopefully get you off some for all and in the case of the
patient you talked about those medications and and uh and maybe you
just do need to start eating fish at lunch and start a new trend and so you
know when one of our other questions here was you know being rather defensive about eating fish at lunch and fish for
lunch is the best but now when we think about it right
we’re talking about changing culture right yeah we’re talking about changing culture you know we’re asking be be more
active have individual you know have more active relationships you know consider going to bed earlier changing
your party time you know just literally there’s so many oh party alcohol oh my
gosh alcohol alcohol is a huge cause of elevated blood
pressure and it’s often in the rebound it’s often in the the day or two or
three after everybody thinks oh I drank I took my drink and I took my blood pressure and that’s fine they don’t get
it it’s alcohol is a toxin that’s just is what it is um you choose to use it then that’s
listen it’s a free country you know we want to support everybody’s use we do have some tricks on how it can get
metabolized faster there’s there’s all kinds of You Know Better Living Through Chemistry is one of my very favorite
things to do uh but uh that being a side alcohol is is something we shouldn’t
forget to talk about yeah it’s like so I hope sure and feel confident in checking it
and keeping track and I hope that you’ll consider implementing exercise if you’re
not already looking into meditation prioritizing your sleep and
eating better and and and finally just loving on yourself oh yeah right this is
um you’re enough right you know this is uh this is your
journey um wherever you are right now um it’s a great starting Place uh and
restarting is something that I hope you do thousands and thousands of times in your life uh because you have to do that
I have to restart so I did it like 20 times today yeah
okay it’s like you are where you are in just making committing to one change and
maybe not all of these things we talked about like that can make a huge difference for you going forward so you
don’t have to do all of these at one time but what can you do tonight or what
can you do tomorrow and just stay consistent with that until it’s a habit if that lifestyle change Mary you’re
awesome your patients adore you you just do a great job um so thanks for thanks for uh
starting up this new new approach to podcasts and webinars so everybody out
there thank you all for your time thanks for spending some time with us yeah we had a good time I hope you did as well
yeah this is enjoyable and I hope we gave you some information that maybe you weren’t aware about and uh just thanks
for your time y’all we really appreciate it take care take care

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Dr. David Haase

Dr. Haase is the Founder and CEO of MaxWell Clinic- a Collaborative-Care, Functional Medicine Clinic. He is committed to finding and addressing the underlying causes of illness in his patients.