Your brain requires adequate blood flow to provide the oxygen and nutrients necessary for brain health and survival. Blood pressure that is too high…or too low…can affect the amount of blood delivery to the brain.
High blood pressure is still considered the “silent killer”. High blood pressure can have many different functional causes. High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. The good news is that you can prevent and manage high blood pressure with diet and lifestyle changes. High blood pressure places an excessive load on your heart and all of your blood vessels.
The problem with many blood pressure medications is that they are known to contribute to nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies create further damage and dysfunction in the body. So, if possible, blood pressure that is too high should be managed properly with diet and lifestyle changes.
One condition that is commonly overlooked as problematic is blood pressure that is too low. Yes, too low. If your blood pressure is too low you will have reduced perfusion of your brain tissue. It’s like the blood is getting delivered but isn’t reaching all the nooks and crannies in all the organs and tissues in your body. This can lead to compromised oxygenation. Low oxygen leads to increased acidity and increased acidity leads to increased cellular damage. Without proper perfusion of nutrients and oxygen then the cells that are damaged cannot properly heal.
One really common cause of low blood pressure is due to adrenal stress or fatigue. This can lead to fluid retention problems that may show up as very low blood pressure. In cases of low blood pressure, I have found that supplementing with licorice root is helpful in improving the adrenal health and blood pressure.
So what should your blood pressure be? I have heard other clinicians comment on the normal blood pressure being 120/80 with a buffer of +/- 10 points. Anything outside that range should be considered abnormal. I have used these guidelines for many years in practice with good clinical success for improving energy, reducing brain fog and improving other health markers.
I also encourage you to check your blood pressure lying down and then check it immediately upon standing. Your blood pressure and heart rate should rise slightly (about 6-10 points) with standing. Failure to do so can also be a sign of adrenal or hormone related imbalances. This can give you a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness when first standing up.
Knowing your blood pressure is important for general health and is a key to creating a healthy brain!