Hypertension is one of the common health problems Americans face every day. Slightly more than half of all American adults have their blood pressure under control at any time.
Your gut plays a critical role in your blood pressure. For example, some medicines you may be taking for hypertension may or may not be working properly, depending on the health of your gut.
Medical experts estimate about 20 percent of all patients with high blood pressure don’t respond to treatments, even when using multiple drugs.
Over the past decade, modern medical science is discovering multiple overlaps between symptoms of hypertension and depression. Both health conditions are linked for some people, but not others.
Your unique gut bacteria profile may soon be a way for doctors to determine if hypertension or depression are working together or separately to harm your health, according to the research team at the University of Florida Health.
New forms of hypertension?
Scientists came to this important finding by analyzing and comparing stool samples from more than 100 patients who had depression, hypertension, both conditions or neither.
Rather than looking merely at symptoms however, studying this problem from a unique perspective gave researchers the freedom to see these health problems from a more holistic, gut-health approach.
Each patient group possessed distinct profiles based on the biochemical processes and genes of their gut bacteria. In fact, Dr. Bruce Stevens, a professor of physiology and functional genomics at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. and his research team identified three new and separate disorders related to these gut bacteria signatures, including depressive-hypertension.
Determining how a patient’s gut bacteria interacts with the rest of his/her body is a critical first step in devising therapies that work better, says Dr. Stevens.
This discovery could also explain why some blood pressure medications and antidepressants with antimicrobial properties may worsen those health problems.
How to treat it
The next phase for Dr. Stevens and his research team is clear: understanding how the gut-brain axis works to influence a myriad of functions from inflammatory centers to blood regulation.
Along with that knowledge will come better tools to treat both depression and hypertension.
Fortunately, we already have one in probiotics, a safe non-drug way that’s been found in other studies to lower your blood pressure and moderate your mood, given nearly 90 percent of your body’s serotonin is produced in the gut.
But not just any generic probiotic will do the trick, given that your gut is populated with a diverse array of bacteria that work very hard in a myriad of ways to keep you healthy.
You may want to consider EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, a product containing 10 strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria families, plus a prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the good bugs in your gut.