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If you’ve been told that you have “high blood pressure,” aka, “hypertension,” you’re not alone. The CDC says that more than 75 million people in the U.S. alone have it. There are many reasons why you may have it, and most allopathic doctors will automatically write a prescription to lower your blood pressure. But do you really want a prescription, with side effects? Or worse, another one?
Blood pressure is the force exerted on the blood vessels when the heart pumps blood throughout your system. Pressure goes up and down all day, depending on your activity. But when it stays up, it’s “high.” The CDC considers pressure that’s 120/80 to be “pre-hypertension.” The first number, “systolic,” is over 120 bpm, and the second number, or “diastolic,” is over 80 bpm.
Hypertension has no obvious symptoms, so monitoring blood pressure is important. It’s called the “silent killer,” because there is no warning. Hypertension can cause chest pain and decrease blood flow to the heart, causing heart attacks and heart failure. Strokes and chronic kidney disease are also a risk. You may not know about it until it’s too late.
So, What Can You Do?
Lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, reducing caffeine intake, eating better and exercising are a good start, but might not be enough. In that scenario, you’ll likely be told that a prescription is your only solution.
Patients spend an average of $733 yearly on blood pressure medications to lower blood pressure, totaling over $42 billion. Magnesium, a mineral, is readily available at drug stores, health food stores and even some big box stores (Walmart, Target.) Magnesium is also in nuts, seeds, greens and whole grains. If you don’t eat enough of these foods, supplementation is easy.
Heart attack patients receive a high dose of magnesium in the ER, because the heart can’t function well without it. Hypertension is one of many symptoms of magnesium deficiency, along with cardiac arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and sudden cardiac death. Proper levels of magnesium relax the smooth muscle tissue in your blood vessels, allowing freer blood flow and keeping your blood pressure normal.
Stress, bad diets and other factors can burn up your magnesium levels faster than normal. If your magnesium level is depleted and you’re not supplementing, hypertension may be your first indicator that you’re deficient. Other symptoms will follow.
Low magnesium is critical in the elderly. If you’re a woman taking calcium without magnesium, calcium can build up in the heart, brain and other places, causing blockages. Magnesium metabolizes calcium. If you’re under an unusual amount of stress, you’re burning up your magnesium reserves even faster.
Magnesium is relatively inexpensive and is available in organic form. At Vitacost.com, a 240-count bottle of 400 mg tablets costs about $14. A liquid version called ReMag is more expensive, but doesn’t have the laxative effect that pills might. You can also soak in it — get some “Epsom salts.” A foot bath or tub soak with Epsom salts is an easy way to increase magnesium.
Sound expensive? Think of it this way: how much would blood pressure meds cost, even with your co-pay? How much would a heart attack or stroke cost, if you survive it?
Avoid taking all of your magnesium at one time, such as first thing in the morning, since it can cause diarrhea. Split-dosing your magnesium into morning and evening doses is safer to avoid the potential laxative effect.
If you’re looking for a better way to control your blood pressure, consider magnesium. It’s is an underrated mineral, but it’s also one of the most important to improve and keep your overall health. For high blood pressure patients, it can mean the difference between surviving a heart attack and not even having one.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.
Have you ever taken magnesium for blood pressure? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Magnesium, Arrythmias & Hypertension, CarolynDean.com, April 11, 2013
Magnesium for Broken Heart Syndrome, CarolynDean.com, January 8, 2016
The Magnesium Miracle, CarolynDean.com, undated
Magnesium—An Essential Mineral for Heart Health, Mercola.com, July 25, 2016
Magnesium Benefits Your Blood Pressure, Mercola.com, June 11, 2009
Treatment and Drugs for High Blood Pressure, Mayo Clinic website (undated)
The Cost of High Blood Pressure, The Piper Report, May 13, 2013