The supposedly goal of all high blood pressure medications is to lower your blood pressure in an effort to prevent complications associated with heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, memory loss and kidney damage. But from experience you know that if this could be done with drugs that were safe, effective and affordable, there would be no need for this page.
They say Americans spend an estimated $10 Billion a
year on these expensive anti-hypertensive drugs to lower their blood
pressure that have numerous side effects. While taking some of
these drugs there are life-threatening situation, and then there are some that
simply do not work. Researchers report state that only 27% of individuals with high blood pressure have their blood pressure under control while taking these blood pressure medications.
I am not saying you should not take high blood pressure medications, because some do work beautifully, but the approach taken by most doctors is that only drugs can lower blood pressure.
Because of how drugs are always pushed at us, as the only way to treat
any condition you might have, doctors neglect to counsel about
alternative therapies for lowering high blood pressure.
Blood pressure lowering drugs are big business for the pharmaceutical industry.
The latest recommendations of the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure include a three to six months trial of non-drug therapies before doctors prescribe medications with:
Mild, Stage 1 blood pressure readings of 140 - 159 systolic, and 90 - 99 diastolic.
To moderate, Stage 2, blood pressure readings of 160 - 179 systolic, high blood pressure.
Studies have now demonstrated that anti-hypertensive drugs offer no significant protection against heart disease in individuals with mild to moderate hypertension. So for you to start down this road of taking blood pressure medications for the rest of your life without thoroughly exhausting safer, saner measures is unreasonable in my opinion.
All drugs have side effects, with some people tolerating them better than others. These drug are not made from substances made-up by Mother Nature only. All are man made. And, that alters your biological systems in an attempt to bring about a desired effect.
These pills do so by causing side effects that are sometimes more dangerous than the ailment itself.
There are studies that prove that a very high percent of people do have an adverse drug reactions to the taking of blood pressure medications,
as stated in a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association. The side effects ranges from headaches or drowsiness to
serious organ damage and even death. Side effects of prescription drugs
are responsible for over 100,000 deaths a year, more than twice the
deaths from motor vehicle accidents, can you image that. Though these numbers are changing due to texting and driving.
some of these drugs may interfere with sexual function, while others
may contribute to your depression or cause a dry hacking cough. I
experienced this side effect of a constant dry hacking cough for over nine months, before my doctor told me it might be the blood pressure medications
I was taking before prescribing another. My overall health had started
to deteriorate because of lack of sleep from the constant coughing.
Lets take a look at how these drugs reduces your blood pressure and also their undesirable effects on your health.
Water pills are also called diuretics. They stimulate the kidneys to excrete more salt and fluid, reducing your blood pressure, thereby lowering the pressure within your artery. While all these excess sodium and water are being flushed out of your body, at the same time a host of essential water-soluble nutrients are also being flushed out.
It is a proven
fact that long term use of water pills increases the chances of severe
life threatening heart arrhythmias, raises your levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and other lipids in the blood.
have shown that these pills increases the risk of death due to heart
attack or sudden death due to the loss of important minerals that
regulate the electrical activity of the heart.
Other side effect listed in this study is damage to your kidneys,
fatigue, muscle cramping, faintness, and increased incidence of
gallstones. This drug can also elevate your blood uric acid levels,
which can cause gout.
Even with all those side effects, do not for one minute believe that I think we should turn back the clock and throw out all our blood pressure medications. No. But medications are seriously over used. Especially when there might be an alternative therapy to reverse high blood pressure, with no damaging side effects.
This drug is prescribed often and research done by
the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) and a 1985 study
completed by the British Medical Research Council on these drugs state
that they are the most dangerous of the diuretics. High incidents of
deaths were recorded.
These drugs were directly linked to low serum potassium that caused irregular heartbeats cause by low magnesium which is critical for the regulation of normal blood pressure and an overall healthy heart function.
These are the strongest diuretics around. They remove an excessive amount of sodium from the kidneys and are prescribed for individuals with heart or kidney failure.
Because they are so strong, you can become dehydrated, which further interferes with your high blood pressure control.
Beta-blockers acts on two fronts. It lowers blood pressure
by reducing the heart's pumping intensity and inhibit the kidney's
release of renin, an enzyme that sets the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone
system into motion. This drug weakens the heart.
Other side effects are impaired circulation, cold extremities, depression, palpitations, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, nausea and sexual dysfunction. It can even cause constriction to your airways and should not be taken by individuals with asthma.
These angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
reduces your blood pressure by blocking the conversion of angiotensin I
to angiotensin II.
Studies reveal that
angiotensin I has no adverse effects but when it reacts with ACE to
produce angiotensin II your blood vessels constrict and raises your
blood pressure. Now when the action of ACE is blocked, less angiotensin
II is produced, your arteries then relaxes and dilate slightly, blood
flows more freely with less pressure to your circulatory system.
This results in more sodium and fluid being excreted from your kidneys.
The side effects, though rare, of this is an acute swelling of the face, tongue, lips, vocal cords and extremities. This can be life threatening and you should seek medical treatment immediately if this side effect occur. Also about 20% of individuals taking ACE inhibitors develop a persistent dry cough.
As the studies have shown blood pressure medications can have a host of unpleasant and potentially lethal side effects.
I am sure you were told that you will have to take blood pressure medications for the rest of your life and I can attest that it does not have to be so.
Most drug dependent individuals can gradually lower their
medications under the supervision of their doctor, while starting on a
healthy diet, regular exercise program, along with nutritional supplement. Also, dealing with your stress to correct the underlying causes of your high blood pressure.
But, please do not immediately stop taking your anti-hypertensive medications. You need to work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dosages as you progress with any alternative therapies.