Last week, we covered hypertension aka high blood pressure, explained why it’s a problem, and when medications may not be the best treatment approach for many people.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the causes of hypertension.


Causes of Hypertension


1. Increased Insulin Production.

Once again, diet, specifically processed carbohydrates, is the key villain that increases blood pressure. You see, the standard American diet, or SAD, is high in refined carbohydrates like sugar and flour that increase our production of insulin. Insulin causes inflammation, which in turn causes contraction of arterial walls. Both these things will increase blood pressure. I have never seen somebody lower their blood pressure without fixing their diet, the main culprit that causes high insulin in the body.


2. Nutritional Deficiencies.

Deficiencies (or even low normal levels) of specifically magnesium and potassium, tend to increase blood pressure. Coincidently, the SAD is notoriously low in these nutrients.


3. Stiffened Arterial Walls.

Inside the arterial walls are muscles, very similar to your muscles in the arms or legs. So what happens if you don’t exercise or arms or legs? That’s right, they tend to get stiff, less flexible, and weak! And what do you do to strengthen the muscles in your arms or legs? That’s right—you have to exercise them! But will any exercise do? Nope, the more intense the exercise, the better the response! Just like walking will not build muscle (but is good for relaxation, calorie expenditure, and overall well-being), gentle exercise like walking or low-intensity aerobic exercise will not do the job. Read here, because there’s actually a science behind what exercise is best to lower blood pressure and strengthen your heart and arterial walls. Don’t worry—I will boil these recommendations down for you soon in another post.

So now that we know what causes high blood pressure, how do we fix it?

We’re going to cover that next week.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Keith Sheehan


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