Aetiology and alternative treatment of hypertension – Part 2
Last week Thursday, I brought you the first part of this article. To refresh your memory, I mentioned three ways by which the heart is made to pump blood more forcefully. These three ways are increased viscosity of the blood as a result of accumulated acidic wastes in and around the cells as a result of dehydration.
Secondly, in a state of dehydration, certain hormones and neurotransmitters, led by histamine are released. These hormones cause reduction in the lumen (vasoconstriction) of the arterioles and capillaries in the capillary bed mainly in the muscles. This vasoconstriction reduces the amount of blood and water passing through the capillary bed, so that blood and water are redistributed to the five vital organs of the body.
Thirdly, and to further reduce the water filtering through the cells of the capillaries, the brain sends signals to the liver to produce more cholesterol which will be deposited between the cells acting as an adhesive. Water used to be the adhesive between the cells and filtration of water into the cells and wastes outward proceeded unhindered. Cholesterol is not permeable to water and so filtration of water is reduced to a minimum.These three mechanisms give rise to what is known as peripheral vascular resistance.
The heart interprets this to be a blockage, hindering the flow of blood. In an attempt to overcome the resistance, the heart begins to pump with a greater force. This added force with which the heart pumps blood is what is referred to as high blood pressure (hypertension).
There is a forth mechanism by which hypertension is developed. This has to do with water that is redistributed to the brain and the other vital organs. This water has to forced into the cells of the brain against the osmotic gradient by a process called reverse osmosis. The heart will have to pump even with more force to be able to push water into the cells of the brain. This will further heighten the pressure with which the heart pumps. This worsens the hypertension.
Management of Hypertension
It is clear from all that has been written that dehydration is the primary cause of hypertension. It stands to reason therefore, that in the management of hypertension, the first thing to do would be to correct the dehydration. It will only take 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to correct the dehydration. If the body becomes properly hydrated the following changes will occur: The rate of blood circulation will increase, the accumulated wastes swept off and the blood will become less viscous. Water is a known inhibitor of histamine and as the amount of water in the body increases and is sustained, histamine secretion and release become inhibited. Vasoconstriction of the capillaries ease off and the vessels return to their usual state of elasticity.
Further changes will include the reduction of production of cholesterol by the liver. The cholesterol already deposited among the cells will gradually be dislodged. With all these changes sustained, water intake going on as prescribed, the body is taken off the rationing mode so that the force of pumping water against a high osmotic gradient will be reduced. Water alone may be enough to manage hypertension of a short time duration and this in the early stage of the disease. However, water alone will not do if the hypertension is long standing and established. For such cases the following will have to included.
Recommended exercises are brisk walking (for beginners), jogging, cycling, swimming, 3 to 4 times weekly. Exercise strengthens the heart and lowers the pressure with which the heart pumps blood at rest. New capillaries develop and blocked ones are opened up to increase the capillary bed and thereby reduce and eventually eradicate the peripheral vascular resistance. Exercise also plays a part in detoxification and weight loss in obese individuals. With weight reduction there is usually a reduction in the blood pressure.
In the next week Thursday’s edition of the Guardian Newspaper, I shall continue with the other things you can do to bring a high blood pressure crashing.
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