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Top Labs To Run Bi-Annually On Your High Blood Pressure Patients

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Top Labs To Run Bi-Annually On Your High Blood Pressure Patients

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common cardiovascular condition that can become serious if left untreated. Some people with hypertension may not feel symptoms, stressing the importance of regular monitoring and testing to ensure that this condition is appropriately managed and doesn't lead to more serious issues. Because lifestyle choices can impact the risk of hypertension, it's important to assess for potential underlying factors that can increase those risks, enabling you to create customized lifestyle interventions for your patients to address these risks. Functional labs are an excellent tool to help analyze those risk factors.


What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood against artery walls as your heart pumps it around your body. Arteries are like blood highways that carry blood from your heart to other body parts. Your blood pressure naturally goes up and down during the day. It's measured with two numbers. The first number, systolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart beats. The second number, diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart rests between beats. A blood pressure reading under 120/80 mmHg is considered healthy and normal.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

According to the CDC, typically, there are no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. However, if blood pressure gets too high, the following symptoms could occur:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Buzzing in the ears
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing issues
  • Chest discomfort

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure or hypertension has more complexity than was once thought. It involves many body symptoms with multiple underlying factors. Genetics accounts for about half of hypertension cases, making this a primary risk factor. Other well-known factors are lifestyle and stress. 

A sedentary lifestyle is a risk for hypertension due to its link with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, caused by factors like inflammation and oxidative stress, contributes to hypertension development. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS), responsible for the fight/flight response, also plays a role. When active, it prompts the heart to pump harder, blood vessels to narrow, and kidneys to retain sodium, raising blood volume and pressure. 

Allergies and sensitivities may also play a role in hypertension. Allergies and immune sensitivities can elevate blood pressure, particularly through immune responses involving IgE, IgG, and IgA antibodies. 

Another lifestyle contributing factor to consider is poor diet and nutrient deficiencies. Diets high in unhealthy fats, salt, and added sugar and low in fruits/veggies contribute to hypertension. High cholesterol and homocysteine levels from diets also impact blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, more common with age, is another nutrient linked to hypertension. 

Elevated inflammation, oxidative stress, and antioxidant depletion have also been shown to be associated with hypertension. They can damage blood vessel linings and organs, contributing to hypertension's progression. 

Environmental toxins like lead, cadmium, and arsenic also induce oxidative stress and reduce antioxidant enzymes, contributing to hypertension.

What is The Importance of Regular Lab Testing for High Blood Pressure Patients?

If your patients have high blood pressure, you should be monitoring their blood pressure several times a day to once a week, depending on severity (either at home or in the office). When checking your patient's blood pressure, it should ideally be done at the same time for each reading. 

The reason regular monitoring and testing matters is because it is considered a "silent killer" due to this condition not having any signs or symptoms. It can start to damage the vital organs before your patients know that anything is wrong. If left untreated, it can increase the risk for other serious cardiovascular diseases such as strokes or heart attacks. 

Regular lab testing using functional labs can help address your patient's specific underlying causes of high blood pressure to help guide you on prevention and management protocols.

Top Labs for Bi-Annual Testing in High Blood Pressure Patients

The following are the top functional labs that practitioners use to help address the underlying causes of high blood pressure:

Cardiometabolic Panel

The cardiovascular panel aids in assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by analyzing markers such as Hs-CRP, an inflammatory marker, HbA1c, which detects diabetes, and cholesterol levels, which are indicated in the risk of hypertension. Detecting these markers can help identify processes leading to hypertension and cardiovascular issues early, enabling you and your patients to take preventative measures and manage the risks associated with high blood pressure. Retesting these markers can help determine how well your interventions are working so adjustments can be made.

Advanced Adrenal Stress Test

Research indicates that stress doesn't directly cause hypertension but can contribute to its development. Stress can lead to hypertension by causing frequent increases in blood pressure and triggering the nervous system to release excessive vasoconstricting hormones, which raises blood pressure levels. Our adrenal glands release stress hormones, including cortisol, which can be disrupted by high stress. The adrenal stress test checks adrenal gland function by measuring cortisol levels at different times of day using saliva samples. This test provides a complete view of the stress response. Stress levels vary, and regular testing can aid in managing cortisol changes to help balance blood pressure levels.

Nutrient Assessment

Oxidative stress and nutrient deficiencies such as magnesium can lead to hypertension. On the other hand, elevated homocysteine levels, often associated with imbalances in folate or B12, are also associated with elevated blood pressure. Therefore, analyzing nutrient markers, oxidative stress levels, and antioxidant status can help identify contributing factors to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Antioxidant, nutrient, and homocysteine levels can be examined via a micronutrient panel and a homocysteine test. Tailoring nutrition, supplement protocols, and lifestyle changes to these results can mitigate the associated risks of hypertension.

Environmental Toxin Screen

Toxic substances in the environment, like heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As), can lead to hypertension by causing oxidative stress. An environmental toxin screening that assesses for heavy metals can be beneficial to assess for this underlying cause of hypertension. If exposure levels are elevated, repeat testing will be needed to monitor the effectiveness of treatments in reducing exposure levels.

Allergies and Sensitivity Analysis

Allergies and sensitivities might contribute to hypertension. They can raise blood pressure, mainly through immune responses involving antibodies like IgE, IgG, and IgA. There are a couple of tests that can be run using blood samples to analyze these various immunoglobulin levels to indicate any allergies or sensitivities that may be contributing to hypertension. These tests enable you and your patients to create personalized nutritional and elimination plans to help improve these levels, thus reducing their contribution to hypertension.

Additional Labs to Check

A blood pressure monitor worn for 24 hours can help assess your patient’s risk of high blood pressure. This monitor will be set to take your patient’s blood pressure reading every 15 to 30 minutes. Another lab to consider is the cardiac health genetic test since genetic factors comprise 50% of hypertension cases. If your patients have a family history of high blood pressure, this test can check for genetic variations such as APOE, often associated with genetic causes of hypertension.



There are many reasons why it's essential to regularly test and monitor your patient’s blood pressure and the contributing factors to inducing elevated blood pressure. The biggest reason is that your patient’s blood pressure may still be high, even if they don't feel any symptoms. Monitoring your patient’s blood pressure can be simply done by taking a blood pressure reading. Regardless of age, your patients can adopt preventative and maintenance interventions to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Regular lab testing can help you create interventions specific to your patient’s contributing factors of hypertension to help appropriately manage this condition.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
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