Participants: Don Miller, Agatha Thrash
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000161
00:01 Hello, I'm Agatha Thrash a staff physician from
00:04 Uchee Pines Institute, and we have a very sobering,
00:09 very distressing problem that we would like to talk with you
00:12 about today and that is the problem of hypertension.
00:16 It has rightly been called a silent killer,
00:19 so for the next half an hour we will be talking about this,
00:22 We hope you will join us.
00:44 Welcome to Help Yourself to Health,
00:46 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute,
00:50 and now here is your host, Dr. Thrash.
00:55 Most people do not understand what is meant when we say
00:59 High Blood Pressure, in fact High Blood Pressure is defined
01:03 by different individuals in different ways.
01:05 Certain health professionals will call a certain thing
01:11 hypertension when another health professional will call
01:15 something else hypertension.
01:17 This problem is so irregular among physicians and others
01:24 that a few years ago my husband and I wrote this book called
01:28 Hypertension and Natural ways to treat your blood pressure.
01:32 This book covers the entire gamut of things that can be
01:39 done in the home by an individual who is not specially
01:43 trained in doing medical things to control the blood pressure
01:47 and to do what one can to keep from getting blood pressure.
01:50 Those people who have a family history of high blood pressure
01:56 they need to be very careful to watch their lifestyle
02:00 to make certain they don't come down with high blood pressure.
02:04 Now everybody has blood pressure but a lot of times people will
02:11 say, patients will say I have blood pressure.
02:14 Yes, we all do, it's a fact of our lives,
02:19 we must have blood pressure in order to circulate the blood.
02:23 I have asked my colleague Dr. Wynn Horsley to assist me
02:28 in talking with you about this subject.
02:30 I would like to introduce my colleague,
02:33 this is Dr. Wynn Horsley who is a Physiatrist and
02:36 works with us at Uchee Pines.
02:38 Dr. Horsley, maybe you could define
02:42 what high blood pressure is for us.
02:47 Can we start with normal blood pressure?
02:49 Oh yes, let's do!
02:50 As Dr. Agatha already said you have to have blood pressure,
02:57 that's what keeps the blood circulating and the heart then
03:01 is the main organ that gives that thrust to the blood
03:05 and puts pressure into the arteries
03:07 starting with the biggest artery leaving the heart,
03:09 the aorta.
03:10 That pressure is actually varying all the time
03:15 with every heartbeat you get a sudden swing up of the
03:19 blood pressure, and then between the heartbeats
03:22 that pressure is going down as the blood leaves that part
03:28 of the aorta near the heart and goes out to
03:30 more distant arteries.
03:32 What's tradition to be considered normal is figures
03:37 like 120/80, the units perhaps are of interest to some
03:45 of you, those are millimeters of mercury.
03:48 The same that is used to measure air pressure for weather.
03:54 So in the old fashioned, still used blood pressure cuffs
04:00 that are of the highest quality they have a column of mercury
04:03 and it's so many millimeters high when it will stop the blood
04:08 that is coursing through the arteries.
04:10 Now your question was when do we call it abnormally high?
04:14 Yes! That indeed is a good question
04:17 and a difficult one because of that irregularity that you've
04:20 said, it's changed through the years.
04:22 Yes! I've noticed that, it's not the same now that it was
04:25 when I was in medical school 50 years ago.
04:28 Yes, and in fact it has changed during my time too,
04:30 but I believe would it be 30/40 years ago they called the
04:35 upper limit of normal 160/95. Yes!
04:39 Something like that. Yes!
04:40 Then for at least the past 20 years or so it's been
04:47 considered that 140/90 is the dividing line between normal
04:54 and high blood pressure.
04:56 Recent evidence however indicates that people with
05:03 higher blood pressures get an incidence of bad things
05:06 like strokes.
05:07 In fact do better not just at 140/90 but that risk keeps
05:12 going down till you get to a figure like 120/80.
05:15 So instead of being just an average of good blood pressure
05:19 that should be considered an upper limit.
05:21 Yes! Absolutely! I can remember when I was in
05:24 Medical School, we spoke all the time of a person having
05:29 normal blood pressure if the systolic was no more than the
05:35 persons age.
05:37 So if they were 70 years old and their blood pressure was
05:40 170, we said well that is normal he's old and he's supposed to
05:45 have a high blood pressure and to some degree there is some
05:50 truth in that because if the arteries are very hard
05:54 and the kidneys have hard arteries and the
05:59 intestinal tract has hard arteries then of course
06:01 the person does need a little bit of an extra head of pressure
06:05 to get the blood into these various places.
06:10 But whatever the reason for the high blood pressure
06:15 it still is a very difficult situation for the body.
06:19 Well, you know you are pointing out this fact makes one realize
06:25 really this is one of the few diseases where people are
06:30 treating just one sign on physical exam, and as you said
06:35 it's silent, when really what needs to be treated is not
06:38 just the figures of the pressure but the underlying problem
06:42 that is causing that.
06:43 Absolutely! The point that you made about
06:46 someone that may in fact need that kind of pressure...
06:53 I saw that most graphically in my residency.
06:55 There was this old doctor, in fact he was a physician
07:01 who had had a stroke and he was on my unit on the floor
07:05 in the V.A. and his blood pressure was running about
07:11 180/100 and following him, some of the doctors there were
07:19 aiming at getting his blood pressure down to what are
07:23 considered normal figures, down around 140 or less
07:26 over 80.
07:27 One wise old doctor came by and pointed out,
07:31 you know this gentleman, former retired doctor
07:36 in our hands wasn't functioning well mentally
07:38 when you pushed his blood pressure way down
07:41 like this with drugs.
07:42 When you let it come back up to where the kidneys
07:44 were wanting it, in fact he functioned better.
07:46 So it points out we have to get it something very
07:49 fundamental in what's causing high blood pressure.
07:52 Now you mentioned the kidneys. How do the kidneys figure in
07:56 this thing with giving you good function of the brain,
08:01 or good function of the intestinal tract,
08:02 or even good function of the back?
08:05 They are the most central organ for blood pressure.
08:10 The kidneys in doing their work of purifying the blood
08:14 that comes through all the time, they are one could say
08:19 of necessity they need to have a certain pressure head
08:23 to do their job, otherwise they can't filter the blood well.
08:26 So if they are not getting enough, they are going to put
08:28 out substances, rennin, angiotensin, substances
08:32 that will force that blood pressure to be high enough
08:34 for the kidney to do a good job.
08:36 So the kidneys have a central role and to just in a
08:44 willy nilly way, just force the blood pressure down
08:46 without dealing with underlying problems is really
08:49 poor practice.
08:50 Yes, it's very poor practice.
08:52 One thing that we could probably point to as
08:55 a major player in this issue of blood pressure is
08:59 the question of salt intake.
09:02 There could be a long story told about how that
09:06 in the history of medicine came in and doctors gradually came
09:09 to understand it, the kidneys are the main organ handling
09:14 how much water is there in our body, particularly in the blood,
09:18 and how concentrated is that going to be in terms of
09:22 the sodium and chloride, the SALT that is contained
09:26 in that blood, so that all enters the picture.
09:30 The very tiny, tiniest of our arteries are involved in this.
09:37 Do you want to tell us about these little arterioles
09:41 and how they happen to be Key in this thing of the arteries?
09:46 Certainly, we have just been doing this in a class
09:50 We already mentioned the heart which is the big pump which
09:56 raises the pressure, in fact maybe I could show this
09:59 on the board, would that be alright?
10:05 We are going to say along here on this graph...
10:10 We are measuring blood pressure, let's say this is 50 of those
10:14 units of millimeters of mercury, up here is 100,
10:22 and if the individual has figures that are quite high
10:24 we might even get up to 200.
10:28 All the time, this is time going along here,
10:31 the heart is pumping, perhaps once every second
10:35 and with every heart pump from whatever the pressure was
10:38 at, you get a rise it that pressure in the big arteries
10:41 in the body and when that heart has finished it's
10:45 contraction of that left ventricle, then the valve
10:51 that it pumped the blood through snaps shut
10:55 and now that blood is in the aorta under pressure.
10:59 That pressure actually helps along with earlier during
11:06 the heart beat, now just the aorta which has been expanded
11:09 and has the blood under that elastic tension of the
11:12 artery wall, it is pushing that blood further along.
11:16 So the pressure during this time when the hear is resting
11:20 is gradually falling until we get another heart beat,
11:24 and then it suddenly rises and then it gradually falls
11:28 when it is relaxing again.
11:30 The pressure that the heart places in the blood
11:36 with each heartbeat into the aorta, this pressure is called
11:41 the systolic pressure, systole is the fancy word
11:46 the technical term for contraction of the heart.
11:51 During this period when the heart is no longer pumping
11:59 for nearly a second, this whole time it is just the
12:04 pressure that the arterial system gives,
12:08 or the resistance that the arteries give and it is
12:11 most specifically those tiny arteries that you mentioned
12:15 the arterioles that are barely visible to the eye.
12:18 Tiny little blood vessels that have plenty of circular
12:21 muscle fibers around them that can tighten or relax
12:26 and let the blood flow more easily.
12:28 That is what gives the rate at which this pressure
12:31 declines to the lowest point just before the next contraction
12:35 which is the diastolic pressure, and I think we are all
12:45 acquainted with how these two are combined when they give
12:48 blood pressure, they give one figure over another figure
12:52 so 120/80 would mean that we have a pressure of 120
12:59 which represents the hard work that the heart has to do with
13:03 every beat, and we have a pressure of 80 which represents
13:07 that lowest resting pressure and how much pressure is the
13:13 least that those arterioles and arteries for that matter
13:17 have to face all the time.
13:18 The fact that the Lord equipped us with arterioles that have
13:25 all that muscle in the wall, in fact the thickness of the
13:30 muscle wall is greater than the diameter of the lumen
13:35 of that little arteriole to be able to hold that pressure
13:42 on the blood as it circulates.
13:46 Now I have observed, and everybody has who practices
13:50 medicine that high blood pressure tends to
13:53 run in families.
13:55 Is there something about certain family genetics...
13:59 and are other diseases associated with this as well?
14:03 I am sure there is some but in medical circles
14:07 we often talk about this nature verses nurture.
14:12 It is really a very hard thing to separate out because
14:16 children that grow up with their parents don't only
14:21 inherit genes, they inherit eating patterns.
14:24 They inherit all kinds of habit patterns,
14:26 in fact even the things that make them angry
14:29 might be quite similar.
14:30 Yes! So you have an entanglement
14:34 of factors and since we can't change our genes
14:37 it behooves us to look closely at those other things that we've
14:39 been nurtured into doing.
14:41 Lifestyle is certainly vey important in that.
14:43 Well thank you very much and I'm just really happy
14:47 that Dr. Horsley could explain those things and has
14:51 a very nice way of talking about Anatomy and Physiology
14:55 which most people feel is these are some very
14:59 foreign Latin terms that I am not expected to understand
15:03 as just an ordinary human being.
15:05 Now I have asked also Don Miller who is one of my colleagues
15:11 at Uchee Pines who is a lifestyle counselor
15:14 to talk with you some things about the issues involved
15:18 in the high blood pressure.
15:20 What do you have for us Brother Don?
15:22 I think one of the most important things is
15:24 not so much to say you might have it is,
15:25 how can you get rid of high blood pressure or
15:27 how can you keep from making that appointment.
15:29 One of the main things that I can mention about how we can
15:34 lower our blood pressure because we got this heart
15:38 trying to pump it through our system and it makes the pressure
15:41 rise when we have some type of occlusion,
15:43 we've got some coronary plaques,
15:45 or whatever it might be.
15:46 There are some very nice things that we can do,
15:48 and there is a nice piece of equipment that we can use
15:51 to help us to lower that blood pressure.
15:55 Now it is an extremely expensive piece of equipment but
15:58 all of you have one in your home so I have called
16:01 for a demonstration for this piece of equipment,
16:03 so I am going to have this piece of equipment come out here
16:06 right now and show it.
16:07 This is the piece of equipment, this is my dear friend
16:10 Shannon Jenkins from Uchee Pines, one our Lifestyle
16:13 Educators students and a long time staff members child.
16:17 This, you might not know it but this is a piece of equipment
16:22 and I am so thankful that God has given us these
16:24 pieces of equipment.
16:25 You've got one right there sitting in your chair
16:27 inside your shoes, and this is one right here,
16:29 and the way we lower the blood pressure is by getting into
16:33 an exercise program.
16:34 Now I am going to show you that this particular piece of
16:38 equipment certain speeds, so the first speed that I want this
16:41 piece of equipment to work at is at a 62 year old woman
16:46 who doesn't get much exercise.
16:47 So now you are a 62 year old woman,
16:49 how fast would you turn on your speed for the exercise
16:52 that we are going to do?
16:53 Let's see you do the exercise speed for a 62 year old woman.
16:56 OK! Not to quick is it?
17:00 This is called running in place, now does that cost money?
17:04 Not much money, but this is a very important piece of
17:06 equipment and so are you, and so we want you to do these
17:09 nice simple things that you can do in your home.
17:12 So this is nice and slow, and I want to stress the fact that
17:15 if you are out of shape, you have been a couch potato
17:18 or whatever your problem might be, we want you to slow down
17:22 and start your exercise program slowly.
17:25 Now we are going to turn back the years on Shannon,
17:28 and take her back to what she really is,
17:30 so right now Shannon let's go back to sweet 16.
17:33 Let's see what type of exercise... Come on!
17:36 Turn it on now, we really got to hump it, we got to pump it,
17:39 we really have to get in there, you can see as she is getting
17:42 in there, her arms are rising, very high as a matter of fact,
17:44 If she was at home doing this she could raise her knees up
17:48 and touch her elbows to her knees, I won't make her do this
17:50 on 3ABN but we are going to have her do this for awhile
17:55 and now there are some benefits going on in this child's body
17:58 while she is doing this particular exercise.
17:59 One, she is getting exercise which is making her heart beat
18:03 more deeply and more rapidly which is going to make it stroke
18:08 a little bit deeper and slowly but surely that muscle
18:12 that never rests is going to get stronger,
18:14 so by running her heart muscle is getting stronger.
18:18 That in itself will make her blood pressure go down
18:22 over a period of time.
18:23 Second thing, exercise has been shown to lower blood sugar.
18:27 Blood sugar as it rises will make your blood pressure rise.
18:31 By exercising it makes your body utilize your blood sugars
18:36 much more effectively, so right now her blood sugars are
18:39 going down, so that is a good thing.
18:41 Another thing that is going down,
18:43 of course she doesn't need to go down to far,
18:44 is her weight, as she does this exercise her weight will fall.
18:49 We find that people who are overweight seem to have
18:52 more high blood pressure.
18:54 So if you have a weight problem do exercise,
18:57 and I am recommending this one it is not to clement.
19:00 Now if it is raining or snowing if it's icy, if it's cold,
19:03 if it's night time, whatever your problem is,
19:05 you can do this right there in your home,
19:07 so she is going to be loosing weight, another thing she's
19:10 going to be loosing here quite soon is going to be some
19:13 perspiration and some water.
19:14 After she gets done she is going to go over there and
19:17 drink a lot of water, and the more water we drink we will
19:21 eliminate that water, and every time you eliminate water
19:24 your body adds sodium to the water, so we void out the water
19:28 with some sodium, and we realize people who have
19:31 high blood pressure should be on a low salt diet.
19:34 So she will now be eliminating some salt from her diet,
19:37 right now she is loosing some weight, she probably doesn't
19:40 need to loose, she is building up her heart rate which we all
19:43 can do, she is lowering her blood sugar which is really
19:46 a great thing and I think this is a very simple effective way
19:51 to lower your high blood pressure.
19:53 If you are to old, start slowly, if you are young you
19:58 can start a little bit quicker, but always gauge it by your own
20:01 body, don't do it to the point of exhaustion.
20:04 We won't make her do it to the point of exhaustion,
20:06 and do not do it if it starts to hurt you.
20:08 The old mind set, if it hurts it must be good,
20:12 that's not the truth, if it hurts there is something wrong
20:15 so back off and try something else, especially if you
20:17 start having chest pains, that's not the time to keep
20:21 on doing... we are going to run through this pain.
20:22 You want to be intelligent in the pursuit of this
20:27 particular exercise.
20:28 Another thing that you can do to keep from injuring yourself
20:32 in the exercise... a couple of things.
20:34 One, you might want to be doing this running in place
20:37 on a pad, I know I ran for many of years, I was a
20:41 marathon runner and I ran on pavement,
20:43 and my knees are shot, and if I tried doing this on a
20:46 hard surface it might be just as bad because every time
20:49 she comes down, there is a lot of pressure hitting on that
20:52 knee joint, and so we want to run on something a little bit
20:55 softer, or have a good pair of shoes on.
20:56 If you have a tendency to loose your balance,
20:59 which some people might do, you might want to have
21:01 something there to have your hands on.
21:03 Just sort of hang on to that, whatever you can do
21:06 to keep yourself from hurting yourself during the exercise.
21:08 Just remember the first law of natural medicine,
21:11 as a matter of fact the first law of the Hippocratic Oath is
21:13 first, DO NO HARM.
21:15 Shannon is having no harm done to her right now
21:19 and I sort of appreciate her demonstration for you and
21:21 we want you to try this thing as soon as you can.
21:24 Now when you get done you slow the machine down.
21:27 Don't stop that machine! You can just slow the machine
21:29 down over there and we appreciate it so much.
21:32 Never just stop your exercise, you want to slowly back off
21:36 your exercise and you want to start it even if you are
21:38 in good shape every exercise program begin your exercise
21:42 in a slow fashion.
21:44 One last thing I want to mention about a good exercise program
21:47 is you exercise a muscle over just a few weeks period of time,
21:51 your body starts building a larger vascular system
21:55 because your body is saying, wait a minute,
21:57 this muscle needs more nutrients, needs more oxygen,
22:01 and so it start building a new vascular system.
22:04 The larger your vascular system in your muscles the lower
22:07 your blood pressure will be.
22:09 So these are some real nice benefits Dr. Thrash in something
22:12 as simple as the exercise in that most valuable
22:15 of all machines.
22:17 Your body, my body, Shannon's body, all of our bodies.
22:19 Yes! Very Valuable machines!
22:20 Very valuable machinery!
22:21 I am very thankful that you presented this on exercise,
22:25 because exercise will do marvels where many other types
22:31 of remedies will not be effective.
22:33 But Dr. Horsley and I would like to present some more things
22:38 with having to do with how to treat blood pressure.
22:41 When the blood pressure is high how we can make it to come down,
22:46 so Dr. Horsley do you have some things to say about that
22:49 and maybe some patients that you have had and
22:52 what you have done for them.
22:53 I do, I was just so interested a few years back when I read
22:58 about a doctor's experience with sun light.
23:01 That he would have patients go out and exercise
23:06 but he would have them expose a fair bit of their skin
23:10 to sun light, and he said that that had a definite effect
23:13 on lowering the blood pressure.
23:15 It was not just an immediate effect that lasts for a few
23:19 minutes, that one could understand that the heat
23:22 would bring a lowering of blood pressure by opening up
23:25 the arterioles, but he said it would last for up to 24 hours.
23:29 I started trying it.
23:32 One of the first patients that I tried it on
23:36 was this gentleman, a 60 year old black man,
23:42 who had pressures that were running about 180/100.
23:48 We had checked him in the room, and that is about
23:54 what it was running.
23:55 So I said let's go outside here onto the porch of the
24:00 building that we use and roll up the sleeves,
24:03 even pull up the pant legs some, so we did that
24:08 and I checked it, I checked it within about 2- 3 minutes.
24:12 I was probably a little premature I was just anxious
24:15 to see what was happening.
24:16 I was astounded, it went down to about 150/90.
24:20 Now that is a pretty big level for a drug that would be
24:26 very powerful, but there the sun was doing it.
24:28 It is amazing that with the simplest of things,
24:32 like just sunlight.
24:34 Can you get the same kind of thing with a person just
24:37 sitting in a tub of warm water?
24:41 You know warm water, even just lukewarm water
24:45 often will bring blood pressure down, and we use that
24:48 routinely at Uchee Pines when other things have been giving
24:53 some effect or little effect, not enough that we are
24:57 satisfied, a lukewarm bath will often help.
25:00 The bath works on a totally different principle from the sun
25:05 I believe.
25:06 I think that the bath with it's warming sends impulses up
25:12 to the brain that come from thousands of little nerves
25:16 that touch the water, so the actual touching of the water
25:20 I think is helpful and its temperature is good.
25:23 Then the sunlight, it has instantly more than just
25:28 warming, it does all those things with the Pro-vitamin D,
25:33 and Bilirubin and all those things that happen just
25:37 on instantaneous basis when a person walks into the sun.
25:41 I was quite surprised, and then to think that this lasts
25:44 for hours after, not just when the person is in the sun.
25:47 Now what else do you have?
25:49 Ok! More recently I saw a little add that one of our staff
25:56 members had there of a piece of equipment that was
26:01 just basically just checking on a person's breathing.
26:03 It was a little girdle that some company was selling
26:07 because they had a medical study that had shown
26:10 when people breathe more slowly the blood pressure goes down.
26:15 So they had enough facts there they said that the
26:21 average person was breathing about 20 times a minute,
26:25 and what they wanted a person to come down to was
26:28 10 times a minute.
26:29 Well, one of our folks at Uchee Pines has gotten into
26:35 a program where they do trials of breathing three times
26:37 a minute, 10 times a minute is not hard at all to do.
26:40 We had this Oriental woman recently that came
26:49 with rather high and variable blood pressure,
26:51 what they call Labile hypertension.
26:53 She had blood pressure, I believe the figure that
27:01 right at the time when I checked this was 185/95.
27:07 So she was I think breathing rather rapidly, she tended to be
27:13 a fairly tense person and so with her,
27:18 I would count with her, breathe in, hold it,
27:23 breathe out, and we have so many seconds in each phase
27:26 and when we re-checked it after two minutes of doing that
27:32 her blood pressure was 145/85.
27:36 Amazing! Well that certainly is very
27:39 amazing that such simple things such as the rate
27:44 at which you breathe and how much sunlight you get
27:47 on your skin, and all of these things are free to us
27:51 just for the asking from our Heavenly Father.