Tip of the Week: Treating blood pressure at TEOTWAWKI

The bad news:  treating blood pressure without access to current medications will be a challenge for many at TEOTWAWKI.

The good news:  dietary changes alone can make a significant difference.

All you need to do is eat 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day!  Now to me, that sounds like a lot.  I think I average 3 to 5 servings, and the typical American does not consume even that.

According to Dr. Henry Black,  Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and former President of the American Society of Hypertension, the difference is potassium.  A high potassium diet (as opposed to the usual American high sodium diet) can lower blood pressure.

Foods that are high in potassium are primarily fruits and vegetables.  Some will be more easily obtained than others, should transportation and interstate commerce be disrupted.  We have no orange trees in Ohio, nor date trees, nor avocados.  But we can grow beans, beets, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, peaches, and pumpkins.

For a list of foods to boost your potassium and lower your blood pressure, CLICK HERE.

My own estimate is that a good half the patients who are currently treated for hypertension would eventually no longer require medication if the grid goes down, McDonald’s goes bankrupt, we all lose weight, and have to walk to work and grow our own food.

Why not try it now?  Ten servings of fruits and vegetables only amounts to 1,000 calories or less, leaving another 1,000 for proteins, fats, and carbs.

If you accept the challenge, let me know how it works for you.

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About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
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2 Responses to Tip of the Week: Treating blood pressure at TEOTWAWKI

  1. Stephanie says:

    I have had high BP since 20 years of age. I’ve tried every natural way possible to lower it, from diet to herbs, supplements, because I didn’t want to have to keep taking atenolol. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing that keeps it down and keeps me from suffering BP spikes. My mother had a stroke at 42 years old due to high BP. She wouldn’t stay on her medicine, and ended up paralyzed down her left side for the rest of her life. So, I don’t fool around.

    The problem is I need to stock up on my atenolol. I’m a prepper! I keep food, water, all kinds of things stocked. I can’t get my doctor to agree to refill me for more than every three months. This is frustrating. I tried to explain that in an emergency situation, I’d like to have my medications stored back. I asked for at least a six month refill but he won’t do it. I’ve been on this same medication since I was 20. I’m 46 years old now, so you would think they would be a little more trusting or understanding. I’m trying to see if I can’t order it online, because I want to be prepped. Not having my medication is my #1 worry.

  2. dean says:

    I loved this article, I have had hypertension since I was 20. Recently I lowered my levels naturally from an average of 154/95 to 136/86. I started gardening this year and quit smoking. I will take on this challenge for month and get back to you.

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