Fasting and high blood pressure

Learn about the benefits of fasting for high blood pressure

Fasting and high blood pressure

Many countries are finding that more and more people suffer from hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure. In some first world countries, experts fear that as many as half of the adults could have hypertension, stemming from poor lifestyle choices, genetics, and unprecedented levels of stress. And although we have a wide range of medication to control high blood pressure, many people are turning to natural forms of treatment to find a lasting solution, and hopefully even avoid medication altogether.

One of these natural methods that has found increasing popularity in recent years is therapeutic fasting. People abstain from eating and consume only the absolute necessary calories and nutrients from organic broths, juices, and teas. Here you will find more information on high blood pressure as well as the various fasting methods that could prove beneficial for lowering blood pressure.

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.

Category Systolic Pressure (mm Hg) Dialostic Pressure (mm Hg)
Normal blood pressure Under 120 Under 80
Elevated blood pressure 120-129 Under 80
Hypertension Stage 1 130-139 80-89
Hypertension Stage 2 140+ 90+

* 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.

Causes of high blood pressure

High blood pressure is divided into primary and secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension, the rarest form of high blood pressure, is when the increased levels are caused by another condition or disease. Usually, if one can cure the underlying cause, the high blood pressure will also disappear.

Primary hypertension, also known as essential hypertension, is high blood pressure that presents itself without a known, underlying cause. It comprises well over 90% of high blood pressure cases. This can be due to genetics though doctors will usually attribute this to an unhealthy lifestyle, including poor diets, lack of exercise, or high levels of persisting stress.

 

 

High blood pressure treatment

The treatment for secondary hypertension will vary greatly, as the root cause of the high blood pressure will play a large role in the overall treatment.

The treatment of primary hypertension is based on using a variety of medication aimed at reducing blood pressure, as well as making meaningful and lasting lifestyle changes. The medication is used to make immediate changes to blood pressure by taking over regulating functions in the body and changing the way the body controls (excess) fluids, heart rate, arteries, as well as minerals such as sodium, potassium, and calcium.

 

 

Fasting and blood pressure

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.

Resistant hypertension

A particularly stubborn form of high blood pressure is resistant hypertension. High blood pressure is categorised as resistant when it takes 3 or more classes of high blood pressure medication, including a diuretic, to achieve acceptable blood pressure levels.

Resistant hypertension is often caused by lifestyle or medication non-compliance, meaning that patients do not adhere to their medication schedules or advised lifestyle changes.

 

 

Fasting and high blood pressure

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.

Fasting for weight loss

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.

Medical advice

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.

Medication

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.

Water fasting

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

fasting for weight loss

Buchinger fasting

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.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting

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!

Alkaline diet

fasting for weight loss

Alkaline diet

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
  • Treatments

Medical experts and assessments

The greatest benefit of a fasting holiday is the expertise that comes along with it. This is particularly important for any first-time fasters. Doctors and nutritionists will help you evaluate your individual situation and help you tailor your fast or your diet to your specific needs and health requirements. You will have a better idea of your fasting and weight loss diet plan, which you can take home with you to continue to see results. As no two bodies are the same, neither are the regimens that are best for them!

Not only will you have consultations with specialists, but the staff at these hotels and clinics are very familiar with all aspects of the process and will be able to offer you advice and care as you go. Everybody is there to make sure you reach your weight loss goals with the ideal fasting programme!

 

 

Fasting for weight loss

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!

 


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FAQ: Fasting and high blood pressure

Is fasting good for high blood pressure?

Fasting can be beneficial for high blood pressure. It allows your body to rest and regenerate, possibly restoring normal function. You are also detoxing from toxins and harmful foods, such as processed sugars and excess salt, which could allow your blood pressure to return to more normal levels. It also gives you a chance to rethink and recalibrate your diet and lifestyle choices, making a permanent change to a heart-healthy diet that much easier.


Can fasting cause high blood pressure?

It is possible for your blood pressure to spike while fasting. This could be caused by changes in electrolyte levels, change in organ function, or the way your medication is being accepted. It is imperative to monitor blood pressure levels while fasting and notify your doctor if you are unwell or see any unexpected changes.

Is intermittent fasting good for high blood pressure?

Intermittent fasting can be a great way to adjust your eating habits to a more heart-healthy diet. As the rules of this method mostly apply to the hours in which you eat, you can incorporate all foods and dietary restrictions that your doctor recommends. It is also one of the only fasting methods that is suitable for long-term fasting. If your doctor has also suggested you lose weight to help lower blood pressure, this is a good fasting regimen to follow to make lasting and meaningful changes to your diet and health.