Treating The Underlying Causes Of High Blood Pressure with Dr. George Papanicolaou

Episode 15 37m


Almost a quarter of the worldwide adult population has high blood pressure or hypertension. An additional third of American adults have what is called a pre-hypertensive condition. Hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease and can lead to kidney failure, stroke, dementia, and more. Conventional medicine typically treats hypertension with medications which is generally effective in reducing risk of these complications. However, these medications frequently come with unintended side effects. Functional Medicine, on the other hand, seeks to get to and treat the root cause of whatever is causing hypertension.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. George Papanicolaou to discuss the Functional Medicine approach to treating high blood pressure. They discuss how things like diet, sleep apnea, insulin resistance, and more are often the driving forces of hypertension.

George Papanicolaou is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is Board Certified in Family Medicine from Abington Memorial Hospital. He is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner. Upon graduation from his residency he joined the Indian Health Service. He worked on the Navajo reservation for 4 years at the Chinle Comprehensive Medical Facility where he served as the Outpatient Department Coordinator.

In 2000, he founded Cornerstone Family Practice in Rowley, MA. He practiced with a philosophy centered on personal relationships and treating the whole person, not just not the disease. He called that philosophy “Whole Life Wellness”. Over time as the healthcare system made it harder for patients to receive this kind of personal care Dr. Papanicolaou decided a change was needed. He began training in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine. In 2015, he established Cornerstone Personal Health – a practice dedicated entirely to Functional Medicine. Dr. Papanicolaou to join The UltraWellness Center in 2017.

In this conversation, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Papanicolaou discuss:

  • What’s is considered normal blood pressure and why this metric is constantly changing
  • Why high blood pressure is so dangerous
  • The traditional medicine vs Functional Medicine approach to treating high blood pressure
  • Why blood pressure needs to be treated
  • How to get an effective blood pressure measurement
  • Major causes of hypertension including insulin resistance, sleep apnea, low magnesium, low Omega-3 fats, and environmental causes
  • Is salt an issue for high blood pressure?
  • The connection between gut issues and high blood pressure
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Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Dr. Mark Hyman (00:04): Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. And it's farmacy with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y. A place for conversations that matter. And if you're one of the millions and millions of people who have high blood pressure or you know with someone by blood pressure, this conversation's going to matter to you because it's with my friend and colleague at The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, Dr. George Papanicolaou. He's one of our leading physicians here. He's an incredible guy who is doing great work here, treating patients. And they love him. I can just tell you, they love him. And I love him. So, it's all good. Dr. Mark Hyman (00:31): Now, we're going to talk about, in this special episode of House Call..

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Ep. 15 - Treating The Underlying Causes Of High Blood Pressure with Dr. George Papanicolaou