‘High blood’ is just a symptom

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By Penelope A. Domogo, MD

“…Yes. They will harden. So your blood vessels become less resilient making it harder for the blood to flow around. My, my, my. One thing leads to another and gets worse if the cause of the high blood pressure is not
addressed.”

Yes, high blood pressure or hypertension or what we commonly call “high blood” is just a symptom of an unhealthy condition in the body. It is not the disease, per se. If we insist on looking at “high blood” as a disease, then doctors will just give you medicine (or medicines) to lower your blood pressure and that’s it, that’s your treatment. In that case, you will have to take those medicines forever or until you run out of money or until your kidneys give in. Why forever? Because if we just give you medicine to lower your blood pressure, we are not treating the cause of your “high blood”. It is like mopping the wooden floor because of a leaking roof. Everytime it rains, we just mop the floor. We mop and mop and mop. If we are tired of mopping the floor, we put “timba” to catch the water. In due time, our wooden floor would have rotten. That’s what will happen if we don’t treat the cause of the hypertension.
“High blood” is not the disease. It is a symptom. It is a manifestation of an unhealthy condition of your blood and/or your blood vessels. Our body operates under the laws and principles of the universe just like all creation. “High blood” is a natural phenomena which is explained by the law of physics. Blood pressure is a measure of how strong your heart pumps blood to distribute to all parts of your body. Blood pressure will be affected by the volume of your blood, the stickiness or I would say, weight, of your blood and by the condition of your blood vessels. The volume of our blood is automatically controlled by our kidneys as long as we take care of them so that they function well. How do we know that our kidneys control the blood volume? Well, try to drink a liter of water in one sitting. A short time later, you will start urinating because that liter of water is too much. Your body knows the proper volume of fluid circulating in your blood vessels. That is, if your blood is normal.
One theory as to one cause of hypertension is too much salt in our food. If you eat a lot of salt which will be absorbed later in your blood, your body will dilute this salty blood by drawing in water to your blood vessels. The effect of this is you will have volume overload. Because of the added load (which means added weight), your heart will pump stronger so you will register a high blood pressure. This does not happen, though, if you have this only once because this volume overload should be easy to solve when your kidneys excretes the excess salt and water. But if you eat salty food often, then your kidneys will be stressed and your blood vessels become stiff, thus hypertension will develop. So if you want your blood pressure to return to normal, then reduce your salt intake, not just take antihypertensive drugs.
What is more difficult to treat is if your blood is sticky. If your blood is sticky then again, this added weight and less fluidity will make your heart pump stronger so you get high blood pressure. What makes the blood sticky? Same as what makes syrup or bulalo sticky. These are sugar and fat. Some technical terms for fat are cholesterol and triglycerides. But not only these- there are protein molecules, uric acid, artificial coloring, flavoring and other chemicals and many other things placed in processed foods that you buy. When you read how many unnatural chemicals these food processors put into those packaged foods, you will be horrified. You would not want these inside your body. But because you ate them, these unhealthy substances will all be mixed with your blood making it sticky. So how do we make the blood less sticky? There are medicines to lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol or uric acid that then, again, these are not the solutions to the problem. High blood sugar, high cholesterol or high triglycerides are also just symptoms of a deeper disease. The disease is unhealthy lifestyle. Unhealthy lifestyle means improper diet, lack of physical activity and other unhealthy behaviors like smoking and unhealthy attitude. We can go deeper into our analysis of the problem- why unhealthy lifestyle?- but that is your assignment for now.
Because the disease is unhealthy lifestyle, then the treatment is to change that lifestyle to a healthy one. That will solve your problem of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other symptoms of the disease. What is even wonderful about this is that with this change of lifestyle you also prevent the other reason for “high blood” – that is, narrowed blood vessels. Naturally, if the pathways are small, the heart will need more force to push the blood through so that your body gets the needed oxygen and nutrients. Narrowing of the blood vessels comes about if your blood remains sticky for a long time. Well, because it is sticky, these gummy gooey substances floating in the blood will manage to stick to the walls, much like what happens to your sink drain. What is worse is that these substances can calcify inside the blood vessels. Weh? Yes. They will harden. So your blood vessels become less resilient making it harder for the blood to flow around. My, my, my. One thing leads to another and gets worse if the cause of the high blood pressure is not addressed.
Well, the good news is that such conditions inside your body can be prevented and healed as long as we accept where the problem is. The trouble is many times, we deny and we don’t like to leave our comfort zones. So, I guess, we really should look into our attitudes. March is Women’s Month and cardiovascular diseases caused by high blood pressure and diabetes is the most common cause of death of women. Let us love our selves more than our taste. ***
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Proverbs 19:8 “The person who gets wisdom loves herself/himself; s/he who keeps understanding will prosper.”


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