Air quality can make or break your blood pressure. The human body is built to breathe clean air that is free of pollutants and toxins. Toxin-free air can be hard to come by in today’s world, not just in big cities. Breathing bad air can do just as much damage as a poor diet and lifestyle. To regulate blood pressure, protect yourself against these harmful environmental toxins.
How does the environment affect blood pressure?
When treating blood pressure, most medical doctors will fixate on numbers and symptoms without thinking about the bigger picture. At Natural Heart Doctor, we think about an individual’s entire ecosystem. The environment is getting more and more toxic to human health every day. Air quality should always be considered a root cause of disease, especially in the case of high blood pressure.
Air pollution and high blood pressure
Believe it or not, air pollution is becoming a problem in most places. Many people think they’re safe if they don’t live in a big city, but that’s not true. Vehicles, industrial plants, and farms all produce manufactured pollutants. Wildfires, volcanoes, and lightning can cause natural air pollutants. Research shows that geographic areas with high levels of air pollution also have an increased prevalence of high blood pressure.
Air pollution drives up your blood pressure in a few different ways. Pollutants can cause dysfunction of your autonomic nervous system, affecting blood pressure regulation. Studies show that people who had long-term exposure to pollutants had higher markers of inflammation, which can raise blood pressure. Some research supports that even short-term exposure to air pollution can increase your blood pressure.
Unfortunately, you can’t do much as an individual to control the outdoor air quality. Later in this article, we’ll suggest measures you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from air pollution.
Environmental toxins and high blood pressure
Air pollution isn’t the only culprit of bad air quality. Environmental toxins are also becoming widespread, particularly from the use of pesticides. Roundup is a commonly used pesticide containing a toxic chemical called glyphosate. Millions of gallons of glyphosate are sprayed every year, and it’s getting into our crops, air, and water.
Glyphosate does its job at killing pests, but it can also kill human health. Glyphosate destroys the nutrients and good bacteria in our crops. This can affect the health of your delicate gut microbiome. An imbalanced gut microbiome causes leaky gut and inflammation, raising blood pressure.
Glyphosate also depletes glutathione, which prevents the body from properly absorbing magnesium — an important nutrient for regulating blood pressure.
Pesticides should be of enormous concern, especially for anyone struggling with high blood pressure. Research shows that pesticide exposure contributes to a 300 percent higher risk of death.
Does indoor air quality affect blood pressure?
After hearing the terrifying dangers of air pollution and pesticides, you may want to lock yourself in your house indefinitely. However, this isn’t a solution. Outdoor air can creep indoors and affect your health. Plus, your indoor air quality might not be as good as you think.
VOCs and high blood pressure
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are probably lurking in your cleaning supplies cabinet. VOCs are gases emitted by certain solids or liquids such as household cleaners, paint, varnishes, air fresheners, scented candles, laundry detergents, and more.
Inhaling VOCs can be toxic and disrupt normal functions within your body. Long-term exposure can cause serious health problems. VOCs can cause oxidative stress and inflammation, driving up blood pressure. Minimize VOC exposure by eliminating VOC-containing products, using natural products, and increasing the ventilation in your home as much as possible.
Mold exposure and high blood pressure
Most people mistakenly think that if they don’t see mold growth in their home, it isn’t a problem. Mold doesn’t need to be visible to devastate your health. It’s often difficult to know if you live in a water-damaged building based on observation alone.
Mold can produce mycotoxins, which damage your cells’ mitochondria, causing a wide range of symptoms and disorders. In the case of most chronic illnesses, mold should always be considered as a potential root cause. Mold illness can dysregulate the immune system and cause inflammation, leading to high blood pressure.
Mold can create biofilm communities inside your body that self-produce mycotoxins. Without proper detoxification, you can essentially become colonized by mold and remain sick for a long time. If you suspect mold exposure, remove yourself from the moldy environment and seek treatment.
How do I protect myself from bad air quality?
It may feel hopeless and scary to learn about how dangerous and damaging the air quality can be. If both the outdoor and indoor air could be toxic, what can you do?
There are measures you can take! Especially if you have high blood pressure, you need to take action and protect yourself against the effects of bad air quality. Here are a few practices and tips we recommend:
- Invest in a high-quality air purifier. Make sure that your indoor air quality is as clean as possible. We recommend the Austin Air Purifier, consistently rated as the best bedroom air purifier on the market.
- Eat more seafood. Fish oil can help counteract the damaging effects of air pollution by decreasing inflammation and boosting nitric oxide. If you’re not a big fan of fish, try supplementing with a high-quality omega-3 supplement with DHA.
- Use natural household cleaners and products. Make sure every product in your home is VOC-free. Natural products are better for the environment as well.
- Eat 100 percent organic. Bring down your blood pressure by supporting your gut microbiome. Eat organic and local produce as much as possible to give your gut a fighting chance against glyphosate.
- Get tested and treated for mold exposure. If you suspect you may have been exposed to mold, work with a doctor who knows how to test and treat you. You may need to move out of the moldy environment and throw away any belongings that have spores on them.
- Detoxification. Sauna therapy can help your body eliminate any toxins you may have absorbed from bad air. Research supports sauna therapy for reducing systemic inflammation.
- Go outside! Don’t let the fear of air pollution keep you trapped indoors! Getting out in the sun is the best way to boost Vitamin D, which helps keep your blood pressure down.
Lower blood pressure by breathing better air
Just like a fish can’t thrive in toxic water, human beings can’t thrive in dirty air. At Natural Heart Doctor, we can work with you to identify and treat any environmental toxins you may have been exposed to. With proper air purification and lifestyle changes, you can naturally bring down your high blood pressure.
Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well
Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD 2022