High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Article 19 in the Series of “The Doctor Says – The Bible Says” with TruLight Radio XM and Dr. Michelle Strydom MD
“High blood pressure is caused by fear of tomorrow which is worrying about the future.”
Hypertension means high blood pressure. It is the second leading cause of death after coronary artery disease (discussed in the beginning of this chapter). One in every four Americans has high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be caused by other diseases, most commonly kidney disease. However, 90% of people have essential hypertension (also called primary or idiopathic hypertension). “Essential”, “primary” and “idiopathic” are fancy words that doctors use for “I don’t have a clue”. In other words, they just cannot see what is causing the high blood pressure. This is because it is rooted in something very spiritual which cannot be seen with your physical eyes and that is the spirit of fear.
When your thought life is dominated by long term fear, anxiety and worry, your body is put into a toxic state of stage 2 and 3 of stress. In the section I have just referred you to, you learnt that the hypothalamus (which is the mind-body connection) responds to the lack of peace upstream in your thought life by setting
in motion an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is overactive and it causes the heart to contract more strongly and beat faster.
The effect of this is that an increased volume of blood is pumped out the heart (i.e. increased cardiac output).
This is useful during stage 1 of stress as more blood goes to your brain and muscles so that you can either fight off or run from ‘the danger’. However when this carries on for too long in stage 2 and 3 of stress, it causes high blood pressure. When you water your garden with a hose pipe, the water squirts a certain distance when it leaves the hose pipe. If you open the tap some more, there is a greater volume of water running through the hose pipe, and as a result the pressure in the hose pipe is greater. Because of the increased pressure, the water squirts a further distance when it leaves the hose pipe. It works the same way with blood in your blood vessels – as your heart pumps out more blood (like opening the tap some more),
the pressure inside your blood vessels is increased.
Excess fluid in your blood is normally filtered out by the kidney. Fluid that is filtered out by the kidney is drained into the bladder. When you go to the toilet to urinate, the fluid is excreted from your body in the form of urine. During stage 2 and 3 of stress, there are high levels of stress hormones. One of these stress
hormones is ACTH (remember – the fear hormone). ACTH causes an increased release of a chemical called Aldosterone from the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys. Aldosterone has an action on the kidney that causes less fluid in the blood to be filtered out by the kidney. Because less fluid is filtered out, the blood
volume increases, thus resulting in a further increase in blood pressure.
Remember, during stage 2 and 3 of stress, the adrenal glands on top of your kidneys release adrenalin and another chemical called noradrenalin. The adrenalin and noradrenalin stimulates the muscular walls of the blood vessels, causing them to contract and become narrow. So back to our story of watering the garden with a hose pipe – if you now change your hose pipe and use a hose pipe with a smaller diameter,
the same volume of water has to travel through a narrower space. Thus the pressure inside the hose pipe increases and the water squirts even further when it leaves the hose pipe. In the same way adrenalin and noradrenalin increase the pressure inside the blood vessels by causing the blood vessels to contract and become narrower.
When the heart has to pump blood into the blood vessels against a high pressure, it puts strain on the heart because the heart has to work harder. In order to compensate for this increased work load, the muscle of the heart gets bigger (medical term is hypertrophy). A man who goes to the gym and lifts up 50
kg weights will have bigger arm muscles (e.g. biceps) than a man who only lifts 20 kg weights. Similarly, when the heart has to push out blood against a higher pressure, it enlarges. Unlike muscles in your arm, it is not good for the muscle of the heart to enlarge because this damages the heart muscle. The damaged
areas are replaced by scar tissue (fibrosis). Normally the heart muscle is very elastic – it stretches as the heart fills with blood and then contracts to pump the blood into the blood vessels. When the heart muscle is replaced by scar tissue, it becomes very stiff and cannot contract and relax properly. Therefore it pumps
blood less efficiently so that an insufficient volume of blood is pumped into the blood vessels. As a result, the body tissues do not get enough blood supply and this is what heart failure is. One third of people with high blood pressure develop heart failure.
Luke 21 v26: “In the last days men’s hearts shall fail them because of fear.” (King James Version) Furthermore, when the heart is enlarged, it requires more oxygen (there is more muscle, therefore more oxygen is needed for energy to make it pump). The normal blood supply to the heart with the usual amount of oxygen is no longer adequate. This relative insufficiency of blood supply is the reason why
many people with high blood pressure get heart attacks (a heart attack is when an area of heart muscle dies because of lack of blood supply).
High blood pressure is also dangerous for the blood vessels in the brain: The increased pressure eventually causes the walls of the blood vessels to weaken and burst. The explosive entry of blood into the brain tissue damages the nerves in that area. They are literally split apart by the high pressure jet stream of the
blood. The mass of blood in the brain tissue compresses the nerves which also causes damage. Each area in your brain controls a specific function in your body. So for example, if the area in your brain that controls speech is damaged, you won’t be able to talk. If the area that controls the movement of your left arm and
leg is damaged, your left arm and leg will be paralyzed. This is what a stroke is – loss of function of a part of the body due to damage in an area of brain. Many people who have strokes had high blood pressure previously.
High blood pressure also damages the blood vessels in the kidney, causing kidney failure. It can also damage the blood vessels in your eyes, causing deterioration in your vision.
Because high blood pressure does not have symptoms that cause too
much discomfort, we can become complacent in dealing with it. However,
in view of the above common complications of high blood pressure (heart
failure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and visual impairment), this
disease needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. To prevent these complications
in the short term, it may be necessary to take anti-hypertensive
medication (drugs to treat high blood pressure). However, anti-hypertensive
drugs are not the ultimate answer because they do not deal with the spirit
of fear and toxic mindset of worrying about the future that caused the high blood pressure in the first place. Turn to the chapter on page 523 which will help you deal with these underlying issues.
Matthew 6 v 34: “Do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”
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