is another of those things that everyone knows about, but may not completely understand. Often, blood pressure is seen as just a group of numbers, and all we are really sure of is that high numbers should scare us.
It may be helpful to compare the functions of the circulatory system to mechanical processes. Most explanations begin with the heart, which is essentially a very efficient pump.
We are often told that blood pressure is the result of the heart beating, but this is not completely accurate. From an engineering stand point, pumps do not cause pressure; pumps cause fluid to flow. Pressure is the resistance to flow.
Water running through a pipe meets resistance from friction against the walls of the pipe, but if the pipe is wide enough to accommodate the volume of liquid, and there is no valve at the open end of the pipe, there essentially is no pressure, although there may be a great deal of flow. Restrict the size of the pipe or shut the valve, and pressure begins to build.
Many pumps, including the human heart, need a certain amount of back pressure to operate properly. Too much pressure, however, may cause damage to the pump, or other parts of the system.
Liquid, whether water, crude oil or blood, cannot be compressed. No matter how much pressure is placed on the liquid, it will need a certain volume of space to contain it. If flow continues beyond the space of the piping system, damage will occur to either the pump or the pipes if pressure is not allowed to be relieved somehow.
In the mechanical system, the result is damaged pumps and equipment, or rigid pipes bursting. The components of the body are generally more flexible, but the damage cans be just as dire.
The single best method to control high blood pressure seems to be lifestyle changes, although pharmaceutical intervention is often used. The use of drugs may have unintended side effects. Vitamin and mineral supplements may aid in lowering blood pressure without resorting to drug therapy.
Calcium is primarily thought to aid in strengthening bones and teeth, but it is also useful for controlling blood pressure. Potassium helps the body to regulate fluid and sodium levels, while magnesium helps to regulate chemical reactions within the body. Both have an effect of blood pressure.
Vitamin C is thought to help lower systolic pressure (pressure when the heart beats) by controlling inflammation and its antioxidant properties. Vitamin E compliments the action of vitamin C and can help to prevent atherosclerosis. Studies in Great Britain indicate that there may be a relationship between high blood pressure and Vitamin D deficiency.
If you are under a physician’s care for high blood pressure, please follow his treatment instructions and prescriptions. It is inadvisable to undertake a supplement program without seeking his advice.