Most people don’t think much about their heart rate or blood pressure… until there’s a problem. Unfortunately, it may not feel like anything is wrong until something more serious is already going on.
But according to the latest research, a high resting heart rate and/or high blood pressure are linked to something else that may surprise you – and it’s something you may think has nothing to do with your heart.
A recent study reviewed data from over 1.8 million men over the course of more than 40 years and found that men with high resting heart rates (82+ bpm) and blood pressure at age 18 were more likely to develop serious psychological disorders like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and even schizophrenia.
That study came out of Sweden – which is considered one of the HAPPIEST countries in the world!
The study only proved a correlation between high BP and mental illness – not that one causes the other.
But we know that these and many other conditions all have one thing in common: inflammation.
Inflammation is a normal immune response to infection or damaged tissue. Your body sends white blood cells to the site to attack.
The problem is: Stress, environmental toxins, and a processed food diet packed with chemicals and allergens have led us to become a nation of people whose immune systems are on overdrive.
And when that happens, inflammation runs rampant.
It’s the culprit behind the relationship between seasonal allergies and mental illness, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s also the connection between problems with your heart and your head.
And if the root cause is inflammation, we need to figure out what’s causing the inflammation.
Often, it comes down to diet and stress.
Processed wheat, grains, dairy, and chemical additives can all trigger this kind of immune response in your body – but you can avoid ALL of these triggers and still get the nutrition you need by going Paleo. The “Caveman Diet” cuts out all processed and packaged foods and minimizes the types of foods that people are commonly sensitive or even allergic to.
A natural, high-fiber diet can help to restore balance in the complex colony of beneficial bacteria that live in your gut, but I recommend adding a daily probiotic too. Studies have shown a strong connection between your gut bacteria and your brain function and mood.
If stress is the problem, getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night is the first step in combating it. Just 15 minutes of light-to-moderate exercise every day can work wonders.
If you don’t keep track of how your heart is working in “normal” times, then you may not know when something has gone wrong, and your numbers are truly high or truly low.
That’s why I recommend to my patients that they monitor their blood pressure on a daily basis at home. That way you know if it’s truly high, or if it’s just spiking in the doctor’s office (a phenomenon we call “white coat hypertension”).Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Men’s Resting Heart Rates May Be Linked with Their Mental Health, livescience.com/56650-mens-resting-heart-rates-linked-with-mental-health.html
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure? – American Heart Association, heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofHighBloodPressure/What-are-the-Symptoms-of-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301871_Article