Rethinking High Blood Pressure
Dr. Colette Cseszko
This year many people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure. It’s shocking because many of these same people have had a history of low blood pressure most of their lives and then all of a sudden it goes high and stays high. Once you have been diagnosed, it is likely that you will be put on blood pressure medication which you would have to take for the rest of your life. These medications have side effects and often the dosages have to be increased periodically.
Contrary to popular belief, high blood pressure isn’t a consequence of eating too much salt or the consumption of salty foods because those who cut salt completely out of their diet still have high blood pressure. And everyone who consumes salt or high salt foods doesn’t have high blood pressure.
What causes high blood pressure and what can be done about it? Several years ago I had a patient come to my office with a series of symptoms which I knew would lead up to blood pressure changes if they were not addressed. He had always had low blood pressure and was experiencing mild and strange symptoms which he just passed off as a consequence of aging. The symptoms were as follows:
Floaters in the visual field. The blood vessels in the eyes are some of the smallest vessels in the human body and changes to the pressure inside these tiny vessels produce changes in vision. This is a key indicator of changes to the blood pressure and one of the first symptoms. For my patient, these floaters would come and go but they were definitely a recent change.
Fullness feeling in the ears. The second symptom he had was a nagging muffled sound in one of his ears. He described it as if he was under water and that the sound was distorted. He also noticed that he would experience ringing in his ears in the evening, and during the day he felt like he had a cotton ball jammed in his ear. Initially, this symptom can come and go and eventually it leads to persistent ringing in the ears which is worse at night and can interrupt your ability to sleep.
Dizziness or difficulty with balance. He described this symptom as starting out gradually and it had progressed to the point where anytime he got up from a sitting or lying down position, he would feel dizzy and off-balance. This symptom got so bad that he began to feel vertigo even when he wasn’t moving—he described the room just started to spin as if he had drank too much alcohol but he never had a drink.
Losing consciousness. Eventually he began to pass out. Several trips to the emergency room and CAT scans on his head revealed that there was nothing wrong with him. This was certainly the most frightening symptom he experienced and what led him to my office. It occurred once several years before and not again for years afterward but now it was getting to be a common occurrence. He assumed, like many people, that these episodes were happening because he was overheated and dehydrated.
The consultation with this patient revealed that about 25 years earlier he had been mugged while walking in Central Park; he was struck in the head with a baseball bat causing him to black out. He was treated for injuries at that time and released. This event was the reason he was in my office that day.
The skull is one of the most important areas of the body because your brain lives there. Years after you experience a head trauma you will begin to have symptoms related to that event. Recently, more studies have been done regarding concussions and concussive forces to the head. A whole complex of problems go along with such head traumas, including loss of memory and decreased mental acuity and lack of motivation.
Gravity keeps pulling you towards the center of the earth every single day. If your skull is misaligned, it causes pressure to build up over time. The brain stem is located at the base of the skull. The brain stem controls respiratory, heart rate and blood pressure. So it’s like having a log jam at the top of the neck which is basically the central command center. Messages from the brain which have to descend through the neck and to the rest of the body are jammed.
How to know if you need your skull adjusted. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in this article, then you should get checked out by a chiropractic physician who is familiar with correcting a misaligned skull. Neck adjustments alone will not resolve such a problem because it is related directly to the skull. Here are a few classic indicators that your skull has been misaligned or injured and may need to be moved in order to decrease pressure on the brain stem:
Floaters in your visual field
Fullness feeling or muffled sound in the ears
Dizziness or difficulty with balance (vertigo)
Losing consciousness, even if it happened only one time
Loss of memory, decreased mental acuity and/or lack of motivation
Changes to the skin on the head, adult acne on the face, hair loss on the scalp
If you have some or all of the symptoms listed above, what can you do about it? First, you have to consult with a chiropractor who is familiar with head injuries. Just call and ask them if they align skulls. This is very important because many chiropractors don’t focus on the skull and can miss this area, thinking that the patient is suffering from a neck misalignment problem, but that isn’t the exact problem region. And these chiropractors will spend much of their efforts adjusting the neck and totally neglect the skull which ultimately won’t fix your problem.
Once you find a chiropractor who addresses the skull misalignment, you can begin to handle the root cause of your symptoms. The chiropractor should take the time necessary to find out exactly what happened that misaligned the skull to begin with; this is critical because if you don’t know when it happened, you won’t know how long it’s been misaligned. Longer term misalignments may take longer to fix depending on how long it’s been that way. The chiropractor should take an X-ray of your neck and include the top part of the skull; in this way, the relationship between the skull and how it sits on the top part of the neck can be evaluated. With this imaging it can be determined how severe the misalignment is and what the best approach is to fixing it.
Dr. Colette Cseszko has been practicing in the Bay Area since 2001. As a licensed, certified chiropractic and medical acupuncture physician, she offers her patients a combined approach for restoring the body’s wholeness using natural means. She is the owner of Gentle Touch Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 10575 68th Ave. North, Ste. D1, Seminole. For more information and to set an appointment, call 727-235-3265 or visit Gentle-chiro.com. See ad page 35.
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