Are Your Blood Pressure Meds Making You Sick?

Blood pressure medicines are available only by prescription. Why not over the counter? Simply because they are dangerous drugs and their use must be monitored by a physician. Just how dangerous are they? Here are some of the side-effects: fluid retention, nausea, diarrhea, leg cramps, skin rashes, impotence, extreme tiredness, weakness, insomnia, headache, low potassium levels, lack of sleep and frequent urination.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), high blood pressure can affect all kinds of people. Individuals have a higher risk of HBP if they have a family history of the disease. HBP is more common in African Americans that Caucasians, and old age is a factor too. Among the other risk factors leading to HBP are smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and diabetes.

Most of the time, no cause is identified. This is referred to as essential hypertension. HBP that results from a specific condition, habit or medication is called secondary hypertension. Diets that include excessive salt are a huge contributing factor. A little over 40 years ago, as I was in the middle of an insurance exam, my doctor told me I had high blood pressure. Say What? I’m only 30 years old. So what can a person do? Follow his doctor’s advice. Start a regimen of medications that won’t cure it-just keep it under control–sometimes. So for all those years I’ve been on some costly drugs that have consistently helped to taint the city waste water plant wherever I was living at the time.

The NIH states that blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and usually given as two numbers. For example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg). The top number is your systolic pressure, the pressure created when your heart beats. It is considered high if it is consistently over 140. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, the pressure inside blood vessels when the heart is at rest. It is considered high if it is consistently over 90.

Either or both of these numbers may be too high.

Pre-hypertension is when your systolic blood pressure is between 120 and 139 or your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 on multiple readings. If you have pre-hypertension, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Your doctor may also tell you to exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet. If you have pre-hypertension, your doctor will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.

Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may be told to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications prescribed to you. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication. (It’s like chasing your tail–around and around we go.) Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs include: Alpha blockers, Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Central alpha agonists and Diuretics. This is where I ended up. Just a short time ago I was taking an ACE inhibiter, beta blocker, diuretic and a statin (to control high cholesterol).

Over time, and different doctors with different favorites, I’ve been prescribed a dozen or more different types and different brands. And I was no better off than I was 40 years ago. And I haven’t mentioned heart disease. The Mayo Clinic concurs with the NIH in its list of risk factors and side effects, and it also points out that many children, especially those who are overweight, are also at risk for developing hypertension. They even go as far to state that for a growing number of kids, poor lifestyle habits – such as an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise – contribute to high blood pressure.

A nationally known health researcher, Christian Goodman; Author of Natural Health Alternatives states, “It’s a well-known fact that hypertension medications cause serious side effects. Even the medical companies have to admit to that. But to defend themselves, they say: “No efficacy without side effects”. Goodman goes on to say that hypertension medications neither cure hypertension nor protect you from sudden fatal cardiovascular events – such as heart attack, stroke, embolism, kidney failure and other conditions that are directly caused by high blood pressure.

It often doesn’t even work to normalize the blood pressure itself. So what’s a person to do? Well, even the NIH casually admits that there are alternative treatments but offers little detail. If you are taking any of those meds listed above, it is a gamble that they aren’t slowly creating other health problems. If you are the least bit curious about what alternatives are available, then request the special report listed below. It could save your life!