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The Resolve Solution is a free public health, wellness and weight loss program conducted throughout Eastern and Central Kentucky weekly. Keith and Coral Johnston of Morehead conduct the Morehead Classes at the Carl Perkins Center, Thursday evenings 7 p.m.

The Resolve Solution

Blood pressure refers to measuring the force of blood that pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. While the exact cause of high blood pressure is not known, some of the contributing factors are believed to be the following:

1. Smoking. As a former smoker in my youth, the first cigarette I would smoke each day would immediately result in increased heart rate from the nicotine. I could literally feel my blood pressure rise, because smoking caused my arteries to narrow. This narrowing causes stress on the heart, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

2. Obesity. Over three-fourths of Americans are overweight or obese and nearly one-third have high blood pressure. Weight gain is too often synonymous with a diagnosis of high blood pressure.

3. Sedentary Lifestyle. Average Americans get almost no daily exercise, which has also contributed to the rise in the high blood pressure epidemic. Our sedentary lifestyle is also a leading cause of obesity.

4. Too Much Sodium Intake. A high salt diet from the Standard American Diet disrupts the sodium balance in the body. As a result, too much salt or sodium in the body can cause it to retain excess fluid which also increases blood pressure.

5. Alcohol Consumption. Three drinks in a single sitting can temporarily increase blood pressure, while repeated binge drinking can create long term effects.

6. Stress. No doubt stress is a factor in causing high blood pressure. This is because the body starts to produce a surge of hormones when it is in a stressful situation. These hormones briefly elevate blood pressure by triggering the heart to beat faster and causing the blood vessels to narrow.

7. Family Lifestyle. Family members not only share genes but also lifestyle behaviors, habits and environments which influence good health or disease. If you’ve been raised on fried foods, starchy foods, dairy and processed flours, you are most likely a certain candidate for high blood pressure.

8. Thyroid Conditions. If you suffer with either hypo or hyperthyroidism, you are two or three times more at risk for developing high blood pressure. The imbalance of thyroid hormones can slow down the heart rate, which in turn impacts the pumping strength of the heart. Heart rate also affects the flexibility of blood vessels which can bring about a rise in blood pressure.

9. You are What YOU Eat. My wife Coral and I have witnessed hundreds of people at every age get their blood pressure under control in the past eight years by eliminating foods promoted in the Standard American Diet (SAD). SAD includes processed foods, junk foods and the many chemically loaded foods, including non-organic meats and dairy.

By eliminating bad foods and learning to eat healthy organic whole and natural foods, the recovery from high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, acid reflux, digestive problems and other chronic conditions can be reversed and more importantly, prevented.

To learn more about how you can reverse or prevent high blood pressure, call 780-2521. Keith and Coral Johnston conduct free health, wellness and weight loss classes every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Carl Perkins Center in Morehead.

Editor's Note: For information purposes only. Be sure to check with a physician before any weight loss program is started.