Cardiovascular diseases are diseases that include the heart, blood vessels (arteries, capillaries, and veins) or both. The most common diseases are atherosclerosis (thickening of walls of arteries due to build up of calcium and fatty materials such as cholesterol) and high blood pressure (or hypertension) in the arteries.
Homeopathy has many remedies suited to bringing the body back into balance. The selection of a remedy is highly individualized and is based on the totality of the symptoms. This system of medicine recognizes the interconnectivity of all body systems especially the cardiovascular system with respiratory (lungs) and renal (kidneys) systems.
What I want to focus on in this article is why people may suffer from high blood pressure, why blood cholesterol levels can sometimes be too high and, how it may be prevented. Current medicine can’t come up with an obvious underlying cause for primary (essential) hypertension (90-95% of hypertension cases) or for atherosclerosis.
In a book titled Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., the author makes the statement “You’re not sick; You’re thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication”. The simple truth is that dehydration can cause disease.
High blood pressure is an adaptive process to a gross body water deficiency.
Basically, there are two oceans of water in the body: one ocean is held inside the cells of the body and the other outside the cells. Water, together with potassium, regulates the volume of a cell from inside. Sodium (Salt) regulates the amount of water outside the cells – the ocean around the cells is a last-resort way of retaining some water for filtering into cells.
In water shortage and body drought, around 66% is taken from the water volume held inside cells, 26% is taken from volume held outside the cells and 8% is taken from blood volume. The body’s balancing mechanisms normally allow blood to retain its composition of elements in order to reach vital centers.
When we do not drink enough water to serve all the needs of the body, some cells become dehydrated and capillary beds in some areas will close down so that some of the slack in blood capacity is adjusted for.
This is one aspect to the physiology of hypertension. Capillary beds must remain open and offer no resistance to blood circulation. When the capillary beds are closed and offer resistance (due to dehydration), only an increased force behind the circulating blood will ensure the passage of some fluids through the system.
Resistance can also occur in atherosclerosis (see below) when arteries’ lumen is reduced due to plaque accumulations on the arterial walls. Also, blood that is lacking sufficient water becoming less fluid, needs more force to push blood through capillaries.
When water shortage in the body reaches a more critical level, and delivery of water by injection into the cells (from the ocean outside cells) becomes the main route of supply to more and more cells, an associated rise in “injection pressure” (labeled hypertension) becomes necessary.
Essential hypertension should primarily be treated with an increase in daily water intake. One of the common treatments for hypertension is to prescribe diuretics to get rid of salt. The problem with diuretics is the body becomes more dehydrated.
When there is a water shortage in the body, the brain commands an increase in salt and water retention by the kidneys. This directive of the brain is the reason we get edema (fluid retention) when we don’t drink enough water. When we drink enough water to pass clear urine, we also pass out a lot of salt that was held back. This is how we can get rid of edema fluid from the body: by drinking more water. Water by itself is the best natural diuretic.
Higher blood cholesterol is a sign that the cells of the body have developed a defense mechanism against the osmotic force of the blood that keeps drawing water out through cell membranes, or the concentrated blood cannot release sufficient water to go through the cell membrane and maintain normal cell functions.
Cholesterol is a natural ‘clay’ that, when located in the gaps of the cell membrane, makes the cell wall impervious to the passage of water. Cholesterol’s excessive manufacture and deposition in the cell membrane is part of the natural design for the protection of living cells against dehydration.
Further, due to dehydration the body as part of its process of water preservation secretes substances that constrict the walls of the heart arteries potentially causing heart pains, known as angina pains. These same substances can also set the stage for the deposit of cholesterol in the walls of the arteries. The deposit of cholesterol on the walls of the heart arteries can also produce hypertension due to the greater resistance to blood flow.
If the body is properly hydrated there is less need for cholesterol for protection from dehydration in cell membranes and less cholesterol in the blood. Interestingly, the cholesterol we eat seems to have little to do with the high level of cholesterol in some people’s blood.
Our body needs pure water. It is true that beverages such as tea, coffee, alcohol and manufactured beverages contain water but they also contain dehydrating agents. These beverages should not be considered a substitute for water.
Salt is also an essential requirement of the body and has many functions including body water regulation. If you are on a low salt diet you will need to supplement your water intake with salt. With proper hydration, salt, good nutrition and exercise you are on the way to preventative health.