Hypertension And Learning Disabilities
Children with high blood pressure more likely to have learning and attention problems
Approximately ten percent of US children experience learning disabilities (LDs). The incidence of parent-reported attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children has increased by more than 20 percent between 2003 and 2007. New research has shown that children with high blood pressure are at much greater risk of these conditions.
In this study, data was collected on 201 patients between the ages of 10 and 18 years at the University of Rochester Medical Center for three years. The researchers found that among the children with high blood pressure, 28 percent of them had learning disabilities, compared to only 9 percent of children with normal blood pressure.
According to the International Pediatric Hypertension Association, up to 5 percent of children have primary hypertension. Primary means the blood pressure is not caused by another disease (secondary hypertension). Obese children have a 3 fold higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Clearly we should expect to see a lot more high blood pressure among children in the coming years. Despite being routinely used on children, a number of commonly used medicines for high blood pressure are ineffective in children. It is also worrying to realize that there are no studies on the long term effects of these drugs on growth and development in children.
The take-home message to help your child’s health
If your child is experiencing learning or concentration difficulties, it is essential that you have their blood pressure checked. High blood pressure and learning difficulties share many common causes. These include:
- High sugar diet. Sugar raises blood pressure far more than salt. Most people do not realize this. Sugar and high carbohydrate foods such as breakfast cereals and things made of flour cause the pancreas to release a lot of insulin. Insulin promotes abdominal weight gain, fluid retention, and the constriction of arteries; all of which raise blood pressure. The consumption of sugar also promotes an unstable blood sugar level, and this leads to an energy crash, sleepiness, and difficulties concentrating.
- Mineral deficient diet. Our modern food supply is very mineral deficient. Our soils are deficient in many minerals; therefore, they do not end up in our foods. Also processed and refined foods, such as those made from white flour and white rice are devoid of minerals. High sugar diets cause excessive loss of chromium through the urine. Chromium is vitally important for helping to maintain a stable blood sugar level. In this way, it helps to prevent low blood sugar and resultant concentration difficulties, as well as sugar cravings. Glicemic Balance capsules contain chromium, combined with herbs and other nutrients, all designed to stabilize blood sugar. Magnesium deficiency is extremely common. Magnesium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains; not foods commonly consumed by a lot of children. Magnesium deficiency is a very common contributor to high blood pressure, as well as obesity, anxiety, and sleeping difficulties. Most children would benefit enormously from Magnesium Ultra Potent powder.
- Obesity and lack of exercise. Being overweight increases the risk of high blood pressure because fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals that promote constriction of arteries. Fat cells in the abdominal area are particularly problematic. Obese children are more likely to have social and emotional difficulties, and they can have a devastating effect on learning ability. Exercise not only promotes an ideal body weight, it also greatly improves concentration and releases pent-up stress.
- Insufficient vitamin D can cause high blood pressure. Ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test for your child. Many children don’t get enough of this vitamin because they spend most of their time indoors and are well covered with sunscreen and a hat while outside. Safe, sensible sun exposure can help raise vitamin D, but a supplement may be necessary.
- Deficiency of beneficial fats. Most children do not eat enough fish in order to obtain sufficient omega 3 fats. Even if your child does eat oily fish regularly, a lot of the seafood available now has been farmed. This means its flesh is deficient in omega 3 fats. These fats help to maintain healthy blood pressure and a healthy weight, but they are also critically important for brain development and learning. Fish oil and krill oil have been widely studied for their benefits in ADHD.
- Lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. Most children don’t eat enough fresh vegetables and fruit; neither do most adults. Giving your child more fresh food will mean there is less room in their tummy for high sugar and high-fat snacks. This means it will be easier to control their weight. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in fresh produce all help to optimize energy levels and learning abilities.
By implementing these strategies, you will help your children improve not only their health but also their intellectual potential and future happiness.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.