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Old 12-14-2004, 10:07 AM   #1
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Alternative to Drugs?

Let me cut to the chase, has anyone out there discovered any alternatives to taking prescription medications for lowering bp? I read Pallimedes' post on a recent study comparing a better combination than the Atenolol and diuretics combination (again, another drug combination--who funded that study?). Why is it that we think putting something in our bodies that has bad side effects (although not as bad as a coronary or stroke) is the long-term answer? Why accept a partial solution?

 
Old 12-14-2004, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Joannofarc,

Your bring up great points. Are the side-effects really worth it? Are GP's really diagnosing High BP properly. I have been on meds. for 22 months at 32. 22 of the worst months of my life, except for my g/f, my dog & my band. It has been a roller coaster that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.... o.k. maybe not on my 2nd worst. B/P today was 109/64. Great #'s. Why am I on meds at 34? I was put on meds. after 1 visit. I think that is ridiculous.

Joann,

I don't know how old you are, what other medical ailments you have nor what your B/P is, but here are some things that you can do.... find out if anxiety is the cause of the b/p. If anxiety is the main cause. Anxiety meds. are much easier for me to tolerate, except for the SSRI's. Excercise everyday, lose weight if you need to, breathing & yoga are great everyday as well. Cut out alcohol as much as possible. I would say stop smoking, but I'd be a hypocrite... low sodium in your diet as well. The yoga & the breathing are what have helped me the most as well as anxiety meds. Yes anxiety meds. for b/p.... maybe I never had High Blood Pressure to start with..... maybe the 1st doc. 22 months ago should have treated the anxiety 1st. They won't prescribe Xanax, because it is addictive. What do they think beta-blockers are???? Xanax has helped me more than any B/P med. Everyone is different though.

 
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Hi Lillian, thanks for your response. I'm 50, diet (mostly vegan) & exercise are great, don't smoke, I meditate (but could do more) and I've tried yoga--but need to probably give it a more serious shot. My goal is no prescription meds (right now I do 12.5 mg of Atenolol, plus a diuretic (not a drug). I will keep looking for the answer(s), I think they already are out there, I just have to connect with the right source, the right person(s).

I hope you find the answers for your life. There's a reason they call it "practicing medicine" and alot of times doctors treat symptoms, not the root cause. You're probably on the right track, who knows if your first doctor diagnosed you correctly? See, we just need to find our roots! Then we need to "feed" them the right stuff to get our bodies back on track.
--Joann

 
Old 12-14-2004, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joannofark
I read Pallimedes' post on a recent study comparing a better combination than the Atenolol and diuretics combination (again, another drug combination--who funded that study?).
It was Pfizer who funded the study. Of course, they say it was "coordinated by an independent steering committee". It does make you wonder because a couple years ago, they halted the lipid arm of the study... pretty much concluding that Lipitor (a statin) is the most wonderful drug. I guess Pfizer got their money's worth on this one (unlike Merck with their Vioxx study). Basically, this study will have us all on Caduet. And, "what is Caduet?", you ask. It's Pfizer's Norvasc combined with Pfizer's Lipitor. Boy, isn't that convenient? The Norvasc patent will be expiring in 2007. And, they have a nice combo ready to go with a BIG study to support it. BTW, the Liptor patent is good till 2017.

Pal

 
Old 12-14-2004, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joannofark
Let me cut to the chase, has anyone out there discovered any alternatives to taking prescription medications for lowering bp?
About seven years ago I found out that I had very high blood pressure, along with the heart disease that I had for about twenty years prior to that. My blood pressure always measured low in the doctor's office, so I never knew that my blood pressure soared at night. It's called nocturnal hypertension, and it is more common with diabetics, of which I am not.

Starting seven years ago, I started taking many bp readings per day. At this time I've got close to 15,000 bp readings. I use charts to show my blood pressure by hour, by week, and by month, over the past seven years.

By charting my daily variances in my blood pressure, I have been able to find out which medicines have been more effective at lowering my blood pressure, how many hours each medicine lowers my blood pressure, and which meds have absolutely no effect on my blood pressure.

I also found out which meds worked better if I stopped taking one of my other meds. In other words, there can be complex effects when on multiple heart meds.

I have also found out that there are many items that I eat, or that touch my skin or that I breath, that can cause my blood pressure to go up.

To answer your question about alternatives to taking prescription medications for lowering bp........ First, one has to find out how their blood pressure behaves during the day. If someone only takes their blood pressure once in a while, they only know how their blood pressure behaves during that tiny slice of time.

Then one has to find those things that can raise one's blood pressure and avoid them.

Because of my thousands of bp readings and subsequent analysis, I have been able to lower my blood pressure. Analysis has pointed to the most effective bp medicines, and has pointed to the things that touch my skin, or that I eat, or that I breath, that cause my blood pressure to go higher. Avoidance, of blood pressure irritants, has helped to lower my early blood pressure to safe levels about eight hours per day, and safer levels during the rest of the day and night.

Last edited by Machaon; 12-14-2004 at 12:10 PM.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

I would say that B/P is a very complex issue. There is no direct cause for 95% of patients, but anxiety+ are part of that 95%. All I can say is learn all that you can. In another 20 years, I doubt that there will be beta blockers+ with all of these side-effects & doctors will actually have a lot more knowledge about blood pressure. Right now, it just seems like a lot of trial & error.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 01:04 PM   #7
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Wow Beerzoids, you have done a lot of research on yourself, that's great that you've been that dedicated at looking at the details. You really got me thinking.

I do monitor my heart rate at different times of the day, but not nearly to the extent you have. You've definitely given me pause to look at the connections between things in my environment/what I'm doing/eating etc. and how it affects my bp. Thank you, I really appreciate your input. --Joann

P.S. To Palamedes, you are an asset to these health boards, you know your data. Thank you.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 01:12 PM   #8
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

I have gained tremendous knowledge on this board from a number of different sources. I will continue to share my knowledge. I just want to say Thank You! This board has helped me more than anything else. I hope that I have been able to help some of you out as well.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 01:25 PM   #9
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joannofark
Wow Beerzoids, you have done a lot of research on yourself, that's great that you've been that dedicated at looking at the details.
I have no choice. I have multiple diseases, including heart failure and high blood pressure. Seven years ago, when my blood pressure got consistantly up around 180/120, and my heart misfired even worse than normal, I had to either find out what was causing the stress on my circulatory system, or get much worse.

I was taking a bunch of meds, and I didn't realize that some of those meds were not only unnecessary, but also adding to my problems. I also found out that the time of day, that a med is taken, effects how that medicine worked for me. I also found out that certain meds could not be taken within two hours of another med. The doctors can't help with these problems because each one of us is different and lives in a different environment and lifestyle, which can effect each of our healths differently.

Quote:
I do monitor my heart rate at different times of the day, but not nearly to the extent you have.
Well........ one has to either have a serious, life threatening disease, like I have, or be completely NUTS to take so many blood pressure readings!

Quote:
You've definitely given me pause to look at the connections between things in my environment/what I'm doing/eating etc. and how it affects my bp. Thank you, I really appreciate your input. --Joann
If one takes a pause and thinks about what the various blood pressure meds do, it all makes sense. There are ace inhibitors. They inhibit something within the body right? There are beta blockers. They block something in the body, right? There are angiotensin II receptor blockers. They block something in the body, right? How about calcium channel blockers?

Allergies or sensitivities, or even just monthly or daily body cycles, can cause the endocrine system to pump additional chemicals (hormones) into the blood. Some of these hormones cause parts of the circulatory system to contract, or narrow, like the arteries, which causes more pressure within the circulatory system. These added hormones can also cause one's heart to misfire (ref: neurohormonal).

The scientists feel that if they can stop the circulatory system from reacting to these increases in hormones, they can lower people's blood pressures and also stop people's hearts from misfiring.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 01:26 PM   #10
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Yes, this board rocks. Many thanks to all of you who keep bringing such good information to share.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Beerzoids,

Do you think that I am doing the right thing by going to the specialist to wean off of these meds, especially the Atenolol. I don't have any heart problems, other than a murmur. It has just been a miserable 2 years & I want my lifestyle back at 34.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 01:53 PM   #12
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

The trouble with "herbal remedies" is that they are completely unregulated. Whoever makes them can put anything in them and claim it works. There are no clinical trials to test those claims (yea, clinical trials have their faults, but at least it is some form of testing). Some of the ingredients may actually cause harm. And because they are unregulated, the dosage of the active ingredient can vary, so you can't be sure of a consistant dose.

An example: I read about something called Red Yeast Rice, which is supposed to have some benefit. Well, it does have something to it, which is similar to a class of prescription drugs called statins. Because of that, the active ingredient in Red Yeast Rice can't be sold in stores in the US. You could probably still walk into a healthfood store and pick up a bottle called Red Yeast Rice, but what the heck is in it?

I am hoping that by eating better, dropping a total of 35 pounds and getting regular exercise, I can reduce the amount of blood pressure medicine I take. I have no delusions about being able to get off some drug altogether though.

Just think, if there was some miracle drug, herb or cure, wouldn't everyone be taking it?

 
Old 12-14-2004, 02:07 PM   #13
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Graylorn,

I am hoping that by eating better, dropping a total of 35 pounds and getting regular exercise, I can reduce the amount of blood pressure medicine I take. I have no delusions about being able to get off some drug altogether though.

Just think, if there was some miracle drug, herb or cure, wouldn't everyone be taking it?

What meds. are you taking (dosage) & for how long.

I would think that by lifestyle changes you would be able to cut back on the dosage in time. I notice that my B/P has dropped about 16 on the Systolic side & 10 or so on the Diastolic side on average just by not drinking during the week. If I excercised like I should, then I would notice more of a difference. It is the only thing that I'm not doing. If I quit smoking & jogged 3 miles a day, I wouldn't need these meds. anymore in 3 months. I'm convinced of that. One thing at a time.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 02:19 PM   #14
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillians Axe
Beerzoids,

Do you think that I am doing the right thing by going to the specialist to wean off of these meds, especially the Atenolol.
I don't know what has taken you so long. I have advanced heart disease, and I have weaned myself off of each of my meds, several times, in order to find out what combination of bp meds is best for me. It has taken me years to find the best combination of drugs for me, but I have very complex and serious heart disease, and I really believe if I wasn't so proactive, I would be dead or worse by now. Unfortunately, heart disease is a moving target and what worked yesterday may not work the same way tomorrow.

You get unusually low BP readings. Your doctor diagnosed you as hypertensive based on a health anomaly, and not on your normal readings. If the doc has you wean yourself off of the meds, you need to follow your blood pressure readings closely to avoid weaning too fast and suffering from rebound high blood pressure.

If you find that you can't wean yourself off the meds without your blood pressure getting too high, then you might indeed need the meds afterall.

Quote:
I don't have any heart problems, other than a murmur. It has just been a miserable 2 years & I want my lifestyle back at 34.
It would be well worth your effort to work with the doctor to get off of the meds, well worth it. If you are able to get off the meds, you might have to behave yourself a little, so you don't give the doctor a reason to put you back on them!

 
Old 12-14-2004, 04:47 PM   #15
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Re: Alternative to Drugs?

I am a wimp & have followed the advice of the doc. That is why I am going to a specialist to wean me off. I need to get to the end of this brick road to nowhere. None of the 3 docs. that I have gone to over the past 22 months has said "It's time to wean off of Atenolol" & etc. I need to take matter into my own hands & will give it one last shot at the specialist.

 
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