For as long as I can remember, I frequented doctor’s offices. As a child, I always had a sinus infection, urinary tract infection, or strep throat. The migraines started when I was 12, followed by CT scans, more tests, more medications, and more health problems. An endless cycle of medical appointments, medications, and extreme frustration.

My blood pressure issues started slowly with what was coined “white coat hypertension”. It was an abnormally high reading here and there. I would get so nervous about it before even stepping foot in the office. High blood pressure ran in my family, after all. My mom and both of my sisters were on blood pressure medication. My grandmother had a massive stroke from uncontrolled high blood pressure. I figured it was only a matter of time before it would be my turn to start taking medication too.

That day came when I was 35 and had just given birth to my 4th child. My doctor came in and said, “You have hypertension”. You will need to start medication”. I was floored. I didn’t want this, even though it seemed it was in the cards, due to genetics. I asked my doctor if I could have some time to make some changes. He gave me an appointment for 2 weeks later and told me to take my blood pressure reading each day and to start the medication if it got above a certain number. I began reading all that I could about how I could lower my blood pressure. I asked him if I could try magnesium, and he agreed. I started eating healthier foods, more fruits and vegetables. I learned that I was likely not getting enough potassium in my diet each day (many people don’t!), so I increased potassium-rich foods, practiced some basic deep breathing techniques, and started taking a daily 30-minute walk. It absolutely WORKED!! I was able to optimize my blood pressure with some missing nutrients and intentional relaxation techniques. This was 11 years ago, and my blood pressure has been great ever since!

We don’t always have to accept that things “run in our family”. Oftentimes, we can influence our genetic expression with our daily lifestyle choices. I would say, with most conditions, this is the rule and not the exception! My question to you is “Are you willing to try to make a difference in your diagnosis in order to change your prognosis”?