You probably know by now that I'm not a big fan of any medication like blood pressure pills that must be taken for the rest of your life. So while there are many times when medication is needed for hypertension, I always like to try some of the natural ways to lower blood pressure before going straight to the drugs. Now conventional medicine has found a new way to treat your high blood pressure while charging you money and exposing you to even more risks: just have surgery!
Now, I shouldn't be too negative: there's some interesting research behind this surgical alternative. But it's definitely not for everyone. Nor do I think that it should become a go-to treatment option.
A team of researchers at the University of Bristol has discovered that the carotid body, which is currently the body's smallest known organ, actually has a significant effect on blood pressure. This organ is only about the size of a grain of rice. It's tucked away between the two major arteries that bring blood to your brain.
Carotid bodies are able to detect oxygen levels in your blood. If they sense that oxygen levels are dropping, they tell the brain to increase both your breathing rate and your blood pressure to try to get levels back to where they should be. But sometimes the carotid bodies raise the alarm unnecessarily, which can lead to hypertension.
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The researchers were able to devise some tests to help determine whether an overactive carotid body is in fact the cause of hypertension in certain patients. For example, they found that these patients tended to have more exaggerated breathing responses if their blood oxygen levels dropped. The researchers also found that removing the carotid body altogether could lower blood pressure far more effectively than conventional drugs. However, they caution that this isn't an ideal solution. That's because our carotid bodies are there for a reason. And taking them out leaves the body without an important source of regulation.
Going forward, the researchers are hoping to develop — you guessed it — a drug that can target the carotid body. The hope is that the drug would help turn off the alarm but leave the organ able to function. This could be an interesting way to treat high blood pressure, but I'd still rather give natural options a try first. And I would definitely try natural options before I let doctors try to remove a tiny organ from between my brain's two major arteries.
When it comes to managing blood pressure safely, besides the obvious treatments of proper diet, exercise, and weight loss, I recommend a product called CircO2. CirO2 helps improve circulation and lower blood pressure by boosting your nitric oxide levels. You also can try Advanced Blood Pressure Support, which contains a blend of herbs and nutrients to help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. These two products work in different ways. So if one doesn't work, try combining them.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD