What is hypertension (high blood pressure)?
The average, healthy adult should have a blood pressure of under 120 mm Hg (systolic pressure) over 80 mm Hg (diastolic pressure). When a person has reached a blood pressure of 130 systolic pressure over more than 80 diastolic pressure, they are considered to have high blood pressure.
Systolic Pressure (mm Hg)
Dialostic Pressure (mm Hg)
Normal blood pressure
Elevated blood pressure
Hypertension Stage 1
Hypertension Stage 2
* Warning: If you notice that you have values close or in the stage of hypertensive crisis, contact your doctor immediately.
If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can lead to kidney and heart failure, heart attack, stroke, as well as blindness or vision problems.
As a part of the long-term treatment of primary hypertension, doctors will also recommend making significant lifestyle changes to diet and exercise, ultimately also asking patients to aim to lose weight. When switching to a heart-friendly diet (low sodium diet) and incorporating cardio workout routines, patients are often able to reduce medication or, in some cases, even get rid of medication altogether.
Together with a new diet and exercise regimen, doctors will often also recommend finding outlets to destress. Among the various activities they suggest, Yoga, meditation, or regular relaxing treatments are among the most popular.
Benefits of fasting for high blood pressure
People diagnosed with high blood pressure often find that the most difficult changes to make involve lifestyle changes, particularly when it comes to dietary changes. The days of binging on salty or sugary snacks are suddenly over and you begin to notice how much salt is hidden in many everyday foods or products. Cutting sugar-laden foods is especially important if you are expected to lose weight, but the sugar cravings tend to have a mind of their own and they don’t follow medical advice. This is where fasting can play a vital role in getting a grip of high blood pressure.
Detox those cravings
Fasting is a great way to detox your body and alleviate your system to allow organs a chance to get back to normal function. When we overeat sugary snacks, for example, we’re overtaxing our liver and pancreas, straining them and forcing them to be overworked. When you start detoxing your body with a fast, you allow your organs to finish their natural cycles and ultimately relax. In some cases, this rest allows your body to regain control of organ functions and begin to perform normally.
In taking a break from an unhealthy diet, you’re also allowing your brain to detox from sugar addictions, which will ultimately also allow you to stick to your diet and easily stick to lifestyle changes.
Help identify underlying causes
Certain fasting programmes, when done together with strict medical supervision, also allow doctors to get a new base level for your body and organ function, without the “interference” of food or toxins. When you strip away all of those underlying factors, it allows for more precise blood testing levels and the doctors will be able to see what happens in your body when unhealthy aspects are taken out of the health equation.
This will also help them evaluate how much of your condition is attributed to food or lifestyle choices, allowing them to also see which medication is actually necessary to control your condition.
Precautions when fasting with high blood pressure
Seek medical supervision
The most important thing when fasting with high blood pressure is to seek medical advice prior to starting. Fasting not only reduces calories from your daily consumption but might also eliminate essential nutrients and minerals required for basic functions, including those of your vital organs. These are all crucial factors in controlling your blood pressure, particularly if you are already on medication to regulate hypertension. It is imperative to ensure that you are still getting all of the right nutrients to ensure that your fast is a success and doesn’t cause unnecessary or irreversible damage.
It is also important that you seek a doctor’s advice regarding your medication. You should, of course, not quit your medication from one day to the next. It is also possible that some medication may interfere with the fast or vice versa. Be sure to know exactly what you need to do prior to starting the fast!
Check blood pressure levels
Even after you have gotten your doctor’s approval and have solid advice on how to continue with your medication during the fast, it is important to continue to monitor your blood pressure, even at home. The changes in electrolyte levels, lack of calories, or simply the way your organs react to the fast can have a significant impact on your blood pressure. If you feel unwell or see any sudden and unexpected changes in your blood pressure levels, check with your doctor immediately.
Although water fasting has seen increased popularity, it has many hidden dangers. This is, in no small part, also applies to water fasting with hypertension. As you will be neglecting many essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and even base calories, this may have extreme adverse effects on your health and blood pressure. Find out more about the hidden dangers of water fasting here.
Best fasting regimens for high blood pressure
There are many different fasting regimens, all with their own goals and benefits. These are the most popular fasting methods and diets for high blood pressure:
Buchinger fasting method
If you are looking for a classic fast and a full detox, this is the best option. Not only will you still be ingesting a base number of calories (approx. 350kcal.) to support your vital organs, you will also still get essential nutrients to support the detox, through consuming clear veggie broths, herbal teas, and fruit juices.
This is the best fasting method if you are looking to find the root cause of your hypertension and find specific lifestyle changes that will make the most significant changes to your condition. Find out more about the Buchinger therapeutic fasting method here.
Some may consider intermittent fasting more of a diet while others say it is simply a fancy way of talking about meal planning and portion control. Although there are no forbidden foods when intermittent fasting, this is a diet or fasting regimen that can easily incorporate all the elements of a heart-healthy diet. This fasting method is better know as the 6/18 method or 8/16 method, meaning you will eat all your meals within 6 or 8 hours and fast for the remaining time each day. Even with high blood pressure, you can easily begin this method as your body will still receive vital nutrients and enough calories to allow your organs to regenerate and restore vital functions. Learn more about intermittent fasting here!
If you are simply looking to get onto a heart-friendly diet with more fruits and veggies as well as introducing more alkaline foods into your diet. This diet automatically eliminates high cholesterol foods and sodium, often associated with processed foods or animal products.
Instead, you will get a lot of fresh produce and get nutrients and minerals from organic and natural sources. Check out our page dedicated to alkaline diets!
Fasting for high blood pressure in hotels
No matter which fasting method you choose, starting a fast or new diet can be daunting, whether it’s about all of the medical repercussions that need to be considered, what you can or cannot eat or drink, and even just resisting temptations along the way. Why not make it easier and treat yourself to a fasting program at one of our fantastic fasting hotels. The programmes include:
- Medical supervision from doctors and dieticians, in many cases with blood work done on site
- Meals (or lack thereof), including alleviation and refeeding days
- Activities and sports programmes
All of this in beautiful and relaxing environments that are designed to help you unwind and focus on your health and healing. Doctors also recommend being relaxed while fasting and avoiding stress, as this already puts enough physical strain on your body. They suggest taking some time off and avoiding stressful situations, and what better way to find peace and quiet while fasting than on a tranquil holiday.
Book one of our therapeutic fasting programmes and get started on your journey to improving your health today!