High Blood Pressure and Multiple Sclerosis: Is there a connection?

It is well-known that MS is an inflammatory disorder involving the nervous system.  The inflammation causes a break-down of the myelin (the insulation surrounding the long extensions of nerve cells).  This myelin break-down leads to problems of fatigue, balance, walking, sleep, and memory, to name a few.

Inflammation is also a large part of the problem of “essential hypertension” (high blood pressure of unknown cause) also.  It just so happens that certain cells of our immune system (the system that keeps us safe from bacteria, fungi, and viruses) cause inflammation in both MS and high blood pressure.

The culprit is salt—plain ole table salt.  Using too much sodium (table salt) in our food causes these immune cells to become over-active.  After becoming over-active, Inflammation is kicked up.  This is not a good thing for MS recoverers.

So, go easy with that salt shaker for about six months and see if you start to feel better.  I have listed below a few scientific references.

 

To Your Better Health,

Dr. Rudy Cartwright

MS Health Coach

PS: Let me hear from you.  Post a comment

References:

-Autoimmun Rev. 2007 Jan;6(3):169-75.

Autoimmune inflammation from the Th17 perspective.

Furuzawa-Carballeda J, et al

2. J Nephrol. 2011 Jan-Feb;24(1):23-34.

Inflammation in the pathophysiology of essential hypertension.

Montecucco F, et al.

3. Allergol Int. 2008 Jun;57(2):115-20.

Th17 Cells and autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE/MS).

Aranami T, Yamamura T.

4. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Dec;27 Suppl 4:iv2-5.

The role of T cells in the pathogenesis of primary hypertension.

Quiroz Y, Johnson RJ, Rodríguez-Iturbe B.

5. Nature. 2013 Mar 6. doi: 10.1038/nature11984.

Induction of pathogenic TH17 cells by inducible salt-sensing kinase SGK1.

Wu C, et al

6. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Jun;25(3 Suppl):247S-255S.

Salt sensitivity, a determinant of blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and survival.

Franco V, Oparil S.

7. J Nephrol. 2002 Jan-Feb;15(1):1-6.

Salt intake and hypertension therapy.

Milan A, Mulatero P, Rabbia F, Veglio F.

8. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2010 Jul;8(4):509-16.

Inflammatory markers in essential hypertension: potential clinical implications.

Stefanadi E, et al

9. Nature. 2013 Mar 6. doi: 10.1038/nature11868.

Sodium chloride drives autoimmune disease by the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells.

Kleinewietfeld M, et al

10. Neurotherapeutics 2013 Jan;10(1):111-23. doi: 10.1007/s13311-012-0155-4.

Neuroinflammatory imaging biomarkers: relevance to multiple sclerosis and its therapy.

Tourdias TDousset V.

20 thoughts on “High Blood Pressure and Multiple Sclerosis: Is there a connection?

  1. I seems to me that most of us with MS have low blood pressure, I certainly do, and have heard it from others with MS.
    I agree on the cutback with salt, but it seems more importantly the cut back should be with Sugar, if anything, which is also inflammatory, is it not? We are a culture addicted to sugar in all its various forms, and to cut back on it (I am sugar free but for a minimum of fruit), is absolutely necessary for vital living, with everyone, not just those of us with MS.
    Processed foods have so much sugar! So that’s a good place to start in cutting back, and with refined or ‘quicky’ carbs (cakes, cookies etc). It is too much under talked about in relationship to MS and inflammation.

    I wonder what your take is on it?

    • Thank you, yes! I struggle with low blood pressure – I have for many years. There is actually some writing on this in the ACA big red book. It seems to be a response to trauma and is common for those with signs of PTSD.
      My home was violent and also alcoholic. I said, “oh, that’s why my blood pressure is low!”
      It is also common for adult children to manifest chronic illness. And here I am. :o)
      Thank you for your post,
      Stacey B.

    • Well in my case i suffer from extremely high blood pressure to the point Im on 2-3 bp meds… A result of my last excaberation…

    • I have high blood pressure most of my doctor visits. Like 140 over 135. I use sea salt. I also eat cokkies, ice cream and chips which I know is not good for me.

  2. hi dr cartwright excelent info, i havent used table salt in years but i do use pure sea salt is that ok,thanks fore caring.

  3. I have been on a high doses of fatty acids[almonds,lechtin,amino acids and others.
    I have had a lot of success with this diet if you want to know more I would be happy to pass off my findings to you.
    Call me 435-632-7352 or e mail

    • People have been telling how good I look and the noticeable difference in over all well being.
      More use of my right side of body more felling in my feet and legs cool feeling not hot,I am very more temperature tolerant and other great sensations in legs and feet.
      AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW HAVE YOU DONE THAT I FEEL THE SAME AND IS SO BAD I CANT HARDLY SLEEP AT NIGHT OR REST DURING THE DAY

  4. Thank you for all of your productive research Dr. Cartwright! The MS Community is fortunate to have you on our side! I have cut back considerably to almost no salt in my food. My chef/husband cans as well as cooks all our meals and we rarely eat out.

  5. I have ms and extremely low blood pressure so there is definitely no link with high blood pressure and my ms.

  6. I have read a lot about Sea Salt and water for M.S, look up the ‘Water Cure’ and there it is said that Sea Salt and plenty of water is getting fabulous results for people with M.S. So which is, Sea Salt or no Salt at all. Almost anoying hear contradicting stories on what to do and not to do in regards to benefiting M.S patients.

  7. Thank you Dr. Cartwright for continuing to give information to those with MS so we can try to get on a better path. You are such an inspiration to me knowing how hard you work to make life better for us. THANKS

  8. I II have high blood pressure,and I have been off of salt for a long time.
    I am not sure if there is a connection or not.
    I have been eating healthier for awhile now.
    I have been in remission for about 4 years,until
    This month,I am having a flare now,and it is worse than the other ones.
    I thank you so much Dr.Cartwright,I am learning so much from you,and
    Sue Ellen.

  9. MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS LIKE A YO YO UP AND DOWN . I WANT TO ASK MY MOOD CAN BE DOWN AT 9; 00 A.M. AND BY 11; 00 IM VERY HAPPY IS THIS MY MS

  10. Thank you Dr.Cartwright for being on the MS side… We are very fortunate to have all your wonderful research.
    My blood pressure is very,very low. No problems there.
    I have been on a sugar,dairy, wheat free diets or the past two years. That has been very good for my MS.
    Also, taking supplements and now yours!
    My energy level certainly has improved. Thank you.
    I to will keep you posted.

    “THE ESSENTIALS”.
    I am into my second month and they are really helping !!
    Karen

  11. Have heard of great results concerning stem cell research and MS. Any news on test studies and research?
    Margie

  12. I have had high blood pressure for a few years. My intack of BP tablets have doubled in the last few months. I have just been diagnosed with MS as a result of me losing my sight in one eye over Christmas. I don’t add salt or sugar to anything, however I do have a sweet tooth. As a ‘newbie’ to this, I have no idea what I should be doing or what to expect.. Can anyone help?

  13. I’ve had MS for years and my blood pressure has been slowly rising over time. I’ve just been put on meds for this. I was wondering if, perhaps, there was a link. From comments posted here, there appears to be a 50/50 split. Not convinced of a connection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>