High Blood Pressure Problems

Chances are, if you are reading this, you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. And greater chances are, you’ve been given (or at least told you need) a cocktail combination of various beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors. These man-made chemicals are designed to interrupt and manipulate the body’s normal and natural processes in hopes of achieving a healthy state.

For some of you, you have been in this endless cycle of medications for years. At this point,  maybe you blame your parents or family heritage for this ” unlucky draw” having been born with “bad genes.” Ask yourself this…how is this working for you?

Forewarning: things might get a little uncomfortable if you continue reading. If you are someone who does not enjoy taking responsibility for your own life, you might want to stop here.

The reason it is not working is that the approach is wrong. Your body is working just fine. It’s your lifestyle choices that are the problem…..and no amount of medications will cure your problem.

Now, please know that while genetics plays a small role, many other factors completely within your control can contribute to or even reverse heart disease.

Genetics might load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.

The way you eat, how much you exercise, how you manage stress, and your exposure to environmental toxins all contribute to things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and of course, heart disease.

The current way Traditional Medicine/Doctors treat heart disease is misguided because they treat the risk factors, not the causes.  To think we can treat heart disease by lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure with medication is like mopping up the floor while the sink overflows.

Instead, Functional Medicine/Doctors have been asking what causes these risk factors like high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol in the first place?

For decades, Traditional Medicine treats these problems with medication, but studies have increasingly shown that treating these risk factors has only little benefit or none at all.  Research shows changing that taking a Functional Medicine approach to your lifestyle can be a much more powerful intervention to prevent heart disease than any medication.

In 2009, the “EPIC” study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine studied how 23,000 people adhered to three simple behaviors: Not smoking, exercising 3.5 hours a week, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Adhering to those three behaviors alone prevented 81 percent of heart attacks and 50 percent of strokes. And that’s just with three behavior changes.

**Note: those studies also showed changing your lifestyle is not a 100% cure-all. About 10% of the time, if a patient shows a strong genetic predisposition for heart disease or if significant heart disease already exists, pharmaceutical medications are indicated and strongly recommended.

Other research shows lifestyle intervention by improving your body’s “environment,” modulates inflammation, oxidative stress and metabolic dysfunction. Ultimately this is more effective than almost any other traditional medical intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart failure, and deaths from those causes.

And that is the very definition of Functional Medicine: addressing and fixing the root causes of diseases benefits most chronic diseases. With the help of a Functional Medicine Doctor, you can figure out:

– What’s a healthy diet for me and my genetics?

– How can I effectively and naturally reduce the inflammation in my body?

– How can I quickly and permanently stop smoking?

– What’s the safest exercise plan for me since I’m at high risk for a heart attack?

– How can I get off these medications that alter how my body is supposed to work and naturally fix this problem?

Over the years, Functional Medicine has taken all of the previous research and years of helping patients to produce the 11 simple lifestyle modifications that go a long way to helping you answer these questions in preventing or reversing heart disease:

1) Eat a healthy diet.

2) Steady your blood sugar.

3) Increase your fiber.

4) Avoid processed, junk foods and sodas.

5) Increase omega-3 fatty acids.

6) Eliminate ALL hydrogenated fat.

7) Avoid or reduce alcohol intake.

8) Take quality supplements.

9) Exercise 30-45 minutes at least five times a week.

10) Manage stress levels.

11) Avoid foods you are allergic/sensitive to/don’t digest well.

9 times out of 10, if a patient follows these 11 steps, they can achieve their goals with lifestyle changes and all-natural approaches and no need for medication. And with the help of a Functional Medicine Doctor, you have someone who can guide you through this process of efficiently, safely and naturally achieving your health goals. Dr. Hilary Rutledge is a Functional Medicine Doctor right here in Wilmington, NC. She has seen patients lower their cholesterol over 100 points simply by following her recommendations (no meds).

Dr. Hilary Rutledge is a Functional Medicine Doctor located in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has helped many frustrated patients over the years who came to her with various stages of high blood pressure and cholesterol. In every case, she starts with asking what is the cause of this person’s high blood pressure. She then works tirelessly to come up with the answers. And finally creates a game plan that is designed to empower the person to get better by fixing the cause of the problem. Dr. Rutledge offers a free 15-minute consultation with her either over the phone or in person, to answer any of your questions. Click here to schedule your free consultation.