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The #1 Cause of Hypertension is...

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/01/2024

Hypertension causes hyperinsulinemia, a lesser-known but still significant health condition characterized by high insulin levels in the blood and often linked with high blood pressure.

Learn about the relationship between hypertension and hyperinsulinemia and what you can do to help support your overall health.

The Hidden Connection Between Hypertension and Hyperinsulinemia

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often associated with hyperinsulinemia, a condition characterized by elevated insulin levels.

This health issue arises when the body's insulin levels consistently surpass normal ranges. While frequently seen in individuals with obesity or type 2 diabetes, it can also be present in those who are otherwise healthy.

High insulin levels have a stimulating effect on the autonomic nervous system, which oversees involuntary functions such as heart rate and digestion.

The heightened activity of this system results in increased blood pressure and arterial stiffness, both hallmarks of hypertension.

In addition to its direct impact on systems regulating blood pressure, hyperinsulinemia plays an indirect role in fostering insulin resistance syndrome.

Research shows that constant exposure to elevated circulating hormone levels causes cells to become less responsive over time, an effect referred to as compensatory hyperinsulinemia, which further intensifies hypertension symptoms.

The Role of Insulin Resistance in Essential Hypertension

Essential hypertension, commonly known as primary hypertension, is a widespread health issue with an elusive cause. However, the intricate relationship between hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance has come under scrutiny for its potential role.

Insulin levels above the normal range in the blood are referred to as hyperinsulinemia. It often signals insulin resistance, a condition where cells fail to respond effectively to insulin's actions.

Notably, this state isn't just associated with type 2 diabetes but also plays a significant part in metabolic syndrome encompassing conditions like high systolic blood pressure.

Understanding the HOMA-IR Test

The HOMA-IR Test, a non-invasive measure of fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels used by healthcare professionals to detect hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance associated with essential hypertension, is critical.

This non-invasive procedure measures fasting plasma glucose and fasting serum concentrations of insulin. The results offer insights into your body's sensitivity or lack thereof towards it.

An elevated result from this test may indicate early-stage development toward diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders, including essential hypertension, due mainly to chronic exposure to higher plasma insulin levels.

Dietary factors can potentially exacerbate these conditions; excessive intake of refined carbohydrates can lead to increased post-glucose challenge plasma concentration, which further contributes to complications such as obesity and liver dysfunction, among others.

Lifestyle Modifications

Beyond pharmacological interventions, lifestyle modifications are considered the first line of defense against managing and controlling the effects associated with chronic illnesses.

These include adopting healthier diets rich in whole foods, limiting processed food consumption, regular exercise, weight loss if overweight or obese, smoking cessation, alcohol moderation, maintaining good sleep hygiene, and practicing mindfulness relaxation strategies.

The Impact of Nutrient Deficiencies on Hypertension

It's not uncommon to overlook the role that nutrient deficiencies can play in hypertension. However, these deficiencies are often significant contributors to high blood pressure conditions.

A lack of potassium, vitamin D, magnesium, and K2 has been tied to increased blood pressure.

Potassium, which counteracts the negative impacts of sodium intake, is a necessary component for keeping healthy blood pressure.

A deficiency in this mineral could increase your body's sodium level, raising your systolic and diastolic readings.

Magnesium has critical roles across more than 300 enzymatic reactions within our bodies, including those governing heart function and vascular tone control. Insufficient consumption or absorption may result in arterial constriction, causing increased plasma ADMA concentrations and higher BP values.

Vitamin D Supplementation for Blood Pressure Control

A common observation among hypertensive patients is low vitamin D levels. Clinical studies indicate that supplementing with vitamin D might aid in lowering high systolic numbers by functioning like a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.

Beyond its direct impact on reducing BP figures, sufficient quantities also promote calcium uptake, further contributing towards healthier arteries and preventing calcification.

The Role of Vitamin K2

Recently, another crucial player named vitamin K2 emerged when discussing natural ways of managing hypertension effectively. Recent research indicates that this particular micronutrient works synergistically with calcium and vitamins A and D.

Ensuring their proper utilization while averting any potential artery calcification helps maintain average post-glucose challenge plasma insulin concentrations among individuals suffering from hyperinsulinemia-induced hypertension problems.

Fulfilling recommended daily intakes through diet or supplements ensures improved bone health. It supports overall cardiovascular wellness by decreasing inflammation markers and oxidative stress factors.

Lifestyle Interventions for Managing Insulin Levels

Effective control of insulin levels can significantly impact the management of hyperinsulinemia and hypertension. Lifestyle modifications, particularly dietary changes, are pivotal in this regard.

The Ketogenic Diet: A Powerful Tool Against Hyperinsulinemia

A diet that has shown promise in managing high insulin levels is the ketogenic or keto diet. This approach involves a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake coupled with increased healthy fats and moderate protein consumption.

This low-carb regimen helps maintain lower blood sugar levels, reducing your body's demand for insulin production. Over time, improved sensitivity to insulin can be achieved, thereby disrupting the cycle where hyperinsulinemia contributes to hypertension.

Plate with keto food selection

Intermittent Fasting: An Effective Strategy for Blood Sugar Regulation

In addition to adopting a keto lifestyle, intermittent fasting offers another effective strategy for achieving optimal blood sugar regulation.

Intermittent fasting refers to alternating periods between eating and fasting. Rather than focusing on calorie restriction, you intermittent fasting is more about when you consume those calories.

Fasting provides your body with intervals devoid of food intake, prompting it to burn stored fat instead of glucose from recent meals as an energy source.

Consequently, it promotes lower blood sugars and lessens the need for excessive insulin secretion, beneficially impacting plasma concentrations and overall health.

Merging Keto & Intermittent Fasting - A Synergistic Approach to Health Management

When combined, practicing keto alongside intermittent fasting provides even more significant benefits in effectively controlling associated conditions such as hypertension.

Be sure to consult a physician before making any dietary changes.

Exploring Genetic Predisposition Towards Hypertension

Understanding how these elements interact can provide us with more effective strategies to manage hypertension. A wealth of research has identified specific genes that may increase the likelihood of developing hypertension.

The Influence of Genetics on Hypertension

A genetic predisposition implies the likelihood of developing specific diseases based on inherited traits. Individuals with parents who have experienced hypertension are more likely to confront similar health issues in the future.

This increased probability does not determine one's fate regarding hypertension. It merely indicates potential risks that require careful monitoring and proactive lifestyle adjustments when necessary.

Navigating the Interplay between Genes and Environment

Lifestyle choices significantly shape our overall well-being, regardless of inherent genetic susceptibilities. The intersection between genetics and the environment becomes crucial when devising preventive measures against ailments like hypertension.

Dietary habits serve as prime examples illustrating this interaction: excessive consumption of sodium-rich foods may provoke or worsen hypertensive tendencies, even among genetically susceptible individuals.

Prioritizing Early Detection and Management of High Blood Pressure

When there is a family history suggesting increased susceptibility to hypertension, it becomes crucially important to detect and manage any potential issues at an early stage.

Timely intervention can help prevent or control the progression of high blood pressure effectively.

Maintaining regular physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep duration, and minimizing stress levels are all factors that contribute positively to managing your overall health status, regardless of inherited tendencies towards hypertension.

Keto flours

Can flour cause hyperinsulinemia?

The question of whether flour consumption can lead to hyperinsulinemia has sparked discussions in the realm of nutrition.

People are curious about the effects of different flours, including cassava flour, on insulin levels. Some are particularly interested in whether cassava flour is suitable for a keto diet due to concerns about its impact on insulin response.

Cassava root is not keto-friendly, as it is high in carbs and will prevent you from remaining in ketosis.

If you have adopted the keto diet to lower your insulin resistance and help manage your hyperinsulinemia, you will still want to avoid cassava flour, as it is high in carbs and will spike your insulin levels.

Conclusion

The link between hypertension and hyperinsulinemia sheds light on a significant yet often overlooked aspect of health. Elevated insulin levels can stimulate the autonomic nervous system, leading to increased blood pressure and arterial stiffness, contributing to hypertension.

Lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes, regular exercise, and managing stress levels, play a crucial role in managing both conditions effectively.

Additionally, addressing nutrient deficiencies, such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin D, and K2, can help support overall cardiovascular health and regulate blood pressure.

Strategies like the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting offer promising approaches to managing hyperinsulinemia and hypertension synergistically. By integrating lifestyle interventions and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, you can take proactive steps toward supporting your overall health and well-being.

Supporting Data

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7898093/

https://journals.lww.com/jasn/pages/default.aspx

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.CIR.101.3.329

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