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High Blood Pressure Medicine

What Is The Connection Between Insulin And High Blood Pressure?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

By Mary Shackelton, MPH ND

Tip! Weight - people who are overweight are more at risk of high blood pressure than those who are of normal weight. Blood pressure tends to rise as body weight increases.


Anytime there is an elevation in glucose in the blood stream, such as eating a carbohydrate-rich meal, there is a compensatory rise in insulin secretion from the pancreas. Over time, and after consistently elevated carb consumption, excess insulin becomes a constant in the blood stream. This condition is known as hyperinsuliemia, which, in turn, causes high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

This latter condition is major health problem for several reasons - it's very common, its consequences are widespread and it remains relatively silent and undiagnosed until late in its course of causing cardiovascular damage.

Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors in both coronary heart disease and stroke. It can also lead to congestive heart failure, aortic dissection (a hole in the aorta) and kidney failure.

Tip! Depression, though not directly related to high blood pressure, is often one of the consequences when hypertension begins to affect the body's organs and the health issues become more complicated.

Blood pressure is determined by cardiac output, or how much blood the heart pumps per beat, and total peripheral resistance, which is a measure of how easily the blood is pumped to the distant organs of the body.

Excess insulin is an underlying factor in high blood pressure because it can cause atherosclerosis. This condition is a build-up of harmful material called plaque which narrows the inside width of arteries and reduces the easy flow of blood. Additionally, excess insulin damages the inside lining of the blood vessels which decreases it's elasticity. A decrease in elasticity causes the heart to work harder to pump the blood through the entire cardiovascular system.


Dr. Shackelton is a founding partner of Insulite Laboratories. She directs research and development of the formulas comprising the four Insulite Systems and those in development. Her study of the biochemical and physiological reasons for weight gain led to her focus on Insulin Resistance - the abnormal response of insulin to glucose - and its growing number of related conditions.

5:23 AM


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