First a little background…Think of your blood vessels as a balloon that expands and contracts according the amount of pressure it can hold. Healthy blood vessels work the same way. Your blood vessels are naturally elastic so that they can expand and constrict according to the needs of your body.
When your body looses its ability to adjust to the ebb and flow of pressure however, your arterial walls (i.e. the balloon) can become inflamed and thicken. Thickened arteries loose their elasticity resulting in increased pressure which is also known as “Hardening of the Arteries”. This can happen for a variety of reasons some of which are overlooked because they are connected to digestion.
Did you know that poor fat digestion is connected to high blood pressure?
If you are not digesting your fat, your body cannot make it own anti-inflammatory compounds, such as prostaglandins. Good fat digestion provides the right prostaglandins to reduce inflammation, regulate circulation and keep your blood vessels elastic. Fat also keeps the blood vessels supple so that they can expand and contract.
With poor fat digestion however, you lack the right prostaglandins to reduce the inflammation, regulate circulation and prevent hardening of the arterial walls. As a result, you’re blood vessels become inflamed and less elastic causing the blood pressure to rise.
Did you know that excess sugar and white flour foods could cause high blood pressure? Here’s how:
Too many simple carbohydrates (sugar and white flour) or decreased digestion of carbohydrates creates a potassium deficiency. Deficiency in potassium makes the heart race faster, and pump with more force, which places your body in sympathetic dominance, or “fight or flight”. This fight or flight stress response increases the pressure on our blood vessels. Avoid Sugar and White Flour foods to reduce your blood pressure.
Did you know that another dietary and digestive cause of high blood pressure is constipation?
When you are constipated, the liver becomes overwhelmed with trying to eliminate the toxic waste. Constipation and High Blood Pressure often go together. When the liver gets congested, the valves going to the liver from the small intestine closedown and allowing fluid to accumulate in the abdomen and legs. The heart now has more fluid to pump throughout your body, and must raise the pressure to move the extra fluid. This overwhelms the circulatory system.
If you are concerned about having high blood pressure, ask us how we can help. Improving diet and digestion, and promoting regular bowel movements is a better solution than diuretic medications that deplete key minerals such as potassium!
Exercise helps to distribute blood to the periphery of your body (arms and legs) lowering the pressure in the core of your body. That’s why we recommend walking at least 15 minutes, twice a day. Think….Exercise Tips for those with High Blood Pressure!
To see how exercise benefits you take this simple home test:
1. Take your blood pressure first thing in the morning.
2. Go for your 15 minute walk.
3. Cool down for 5-10 minutes.
4. Take your blood pressure again.
Watch the miracle of exercise at work!
If you find yourself being tired all the time, maybe it has something to do with your blood sugar control. In fancier terms, that means your glucose levels, a.k.a. blood sugar, may be fluctuating. You may fell like Chronic Fatigue is setting in.
Glucose, a simple sugar, is essential for life and energy. Glucose enters our circulatory system and gets transported to our cells via the blood, thus ‘blood’ ‘sugar’.
Production of glucose starts with being able to digest the sugars and starches (carbohydrates) as well as the protein in your diet. If you can’t digest carbohydrates or protein adequately, you will not have enough glucose to energize the body and fatigue results.
Every single cell in the body needs glucose for fuel, including our brain! The brain must have a constant source of glucose to run the body’s functions because the cells in the brain cannot make and store their own glucose -unlike other cells in the body.
When the body’s digestive system is working normally, glucose travels the small intestine to the liver. The glucose then leaves the liver via the blood and the hormone insulin brings the glucose into all the cells in the body, including our brain, for use as fuel. The liver will convert any excess glucose to glycogen, a reserve kept ‘in storage’ to be released when our blood sugar drops.
When blood sugar drops there is not enough glucose getting to the brain. That’s when a back up system takes over. The brain signals the pancreas to release a hormone called glucagon that in turn signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol and adrenaline help the liver to convert glycogen back to glucose to raise the blood sugar. (See chart, How the Body Maintains Blood Sugar).
Difficulties with Blood Sugar Regulation – 4 Common Causes
Blood sugar difficulties usually fall into one of four common causes.
1. Difficulty digesting starches and sugar to make glucose
2. Difficulty making glycogen
3. Difficulty retrieving glycogen
4. Difficulty absorbing glucose/insulin resistance
The first three causes are a fuel supply problem - it’s about getting enough glucose to the cells. The fourth cause is a transportation problem – an inability to get glucose into the cells.
Any one or more of these 4 factors may be causing you to experience symptoms of feeling tired.
If you have to have your morning coffee, or hit the sweets mid-afternoon everyday to “avoid a crash”, these are signs that you are having blood sugar regulation problems. When this happens, low blood sugar falls below the optimal range and hypoglycemia occurs. Symptoms of hypoglycemia, which tend to occur between meals, include irritability, lightheadedness, sugar cravings, poor sleep, memory loss, and fatigue.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these causes as it relates to poor blood sugar regulation and feeling tired.
Difficulty Digesting Starches and Sugar to Make Glucose
Fundamentally normal blood sugar regulation all starts with proper digestion. If we are not digesting our food and absorbing our glucose properly, we simply can’t get adequate levels of glucose to fuel our cells and our brain.
Difficulty Making Glycogen
A large percentage of people have difficulty making glycogen because they lack adequate levels of cortisol from the adrenal glands or they do not have a useable form of calcium. Did you know that diary does not provide a useable source of calcium for about 60% of folks? Think of this problem as an empty fuel tank that you cannot fill.
Difficulty Retrieving Glycogen
Other people can make glycogen effectively but are unable to retrieve it from storage in the liver. If the glycogen cannot be converted into glucose, it is useless as a form of energy. Think of it as the fuel line is blocked even thought there is plenty of gas in the tank.
Sometimes supplementing with activated B6 can help with this problem.
Difficulty Absorbing Glucose
When the cells cannot absorb the glucose, the fuel can’t get to the cells. This is insulin resistance – and its latter stage partner Diabetes. High levels of sugar in the blood, (because it is not being absorbed) is the beginning of Diabetes. It’s like the fuel tank is full of fuel, the lines are flowing freely but the fuel injectors are clogged and the pistons do not have the fuel to fire.
Trace minerals of Chromium, Vanadium or Zinc may be helpful in opening the door for glucose to enter the cells.
How You Can Restore Blood Sugar Control
You don’t have to live the rest of your life fatigued. By addressing one of these four causes, we can help you improve your digestion and overcome fatigue and blood sugar problems, such as hypoglycemia.
Our focus is multidimensional to include the digestive aspects as well as stimulating the neurological and hormonal systems to restore the body’s blood sugar balance.
If you suffer from the roller coaster ride of being tired all the time, find out how we can help you. Call our Chico, California office at the Digestion Relief Center - 530-899-8741 - to set up a consultation with Dr. Patrick. Learn more at www.DigestionReliefCenter.com
If you haven’t heard of Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome, or Insulin Resistance Syndrome, chances are good that you will be hearing more about it soon.
Doctors have begun to focus on something they call Metabolic Syndrome, which is a collection of unhealthy laboratory results, and unhealthy body measurements that all are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. The terms Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance Syndrome are all used interchangeably to describe this problem. According to an article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) 47 million Americans (or one in four adults) have Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome or insulin resistance may place you at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn more here on how you can reduce your risk.
If you have three or more of the following unhealthy measurements you have Metabolic Syndrome and are at risk for developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke:
Just looking at the words Metabolic Syndrome probably makes you think that there’s something going on with your metabolism. Researchers do believe that Metabolic Syndrome has its roots in your ability to metabolize (digest and create energy) from the food you are eating.
One of the central issues to promoting Metabolic Syndrome is insulin resistance. When our cells become resistant to insulin, they cannot take up glucose to fuel the body, and blood sugars rise. Rising blood sugar promotes fat storage rather than fat burning in the body, hence people experience weight gain and increased abdominal fat. High blood sugar levels also promote higher blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder and damages blood vessels, which can eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.
Sadly, the more abdominal fat we have the greater the insulin resistance, and the greater the propensity to add more fat. For many Metabolic Syndrome is the slippery slope that leads to chronic degeneration, diabetes, and heart disease.
Beating Metabolic Syndrome
The good news is that Metabolic Syndrome can be reversed. Because this syndrome is caused by an number of different factors, there is no magic pill that can offer you a cure. However there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk factors of metabolic syndrome.
A diagnosis of Pre-diabetes doesn’t have to be a sentence to life-long chronic health problems if you take a proactive approach to improving your own health by changing your diet and life style. And the good news doesn’t stop with just preventing heart disease, diabetes, or stroke, because the changes you make will also help you look and feel better too!
It’s never too late to take control of your health.
Call Dr. Patrick today at 530-899-8741 to find how you can beat diabetes.