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Blood Pressure: How High is Too High?

A reader writes: I am on co approvel 300 ml and natrilix 1.5 ml . Why is my bp still not under control? I walk 45 min daily. Do meditation and breathing daily. I am tired of my bp readings. It is always fluctuating from high to normal.. i am on 15 ml of seroxet for anxiety and depression under control. Why is my bp not going down?

My response: There are a lot of varied opinions around the issue of blood pressure control. My opinion does not fit the conventional medicine model, but is based on good, defensible science. The risk of high blood pressure causing cardiac events (heart attack and stroke) does not increase until the blood pressure levels are considerably higher than 120 over 80. In my opinion many people are on blood pressure medication without the need for it at all. If blood pressures are elevated (in my opinion), there are safe and effective things that can be done:

1) Reduce inflammation in your body (stop eating bad food, drinking pop, ingesting toxins)

2) Drink plenty of water because thick blood requires a higher blood pressure to circulate around the body (both of your blood pressure medications are diuretics)

3) Try 3 supplements–Hawthorn berry is a vasodilator, Magnesium at moderately high doses acts as a calcium channel blocker (a category of blood pressure medication), CoQ10 to support the energy system of the body (and heart).

Only when the above items do not adequately reduce the blood pressure would I consider medications.

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Blood Pressure Tips

After 11 years of natural self treatment and perfect tests including blood pressure of 120/80, chest pains panicked a doctor to give me a chemical stress test and then an Angiogram. Ever since then, blood pressure has been high. Could it be the unnatural chemical stress test? All other tests have still been perfect, and the heart specialist simply said go home, your heart is healthy.

They use different dyes and substances for the chemical stress test, but I am not aware that an increased blood pressure is a side effect of any of them.

I am always concerned with angiograms, because they put an instrument inside the blood vessel that has a thin and sensitive single layer endothelium.  When the endothelium gets damaged, the signalling molecules contained within this thin layer may not do their job.  One of them is nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator.  If it is not being released like it should, the blood vessels will not dilate and could cause an increased blood pressure.

The best natural options for high blood pressure include

  • magnesium, 800 to 1,000 mg per day,
  • CoQ10, 200 mg per day,
  • hawthorne berry 250 mg twice each day.
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Blood Pressure Meds

Dr. Gardner — Do you have to be weaned off diltiazem or can you just stop it and switch to herbal alternatives?

Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker used to control blood pressure.

All blood pressure medications should be weaned off gradually, and never stopped at full dosage ‘cold turkey.’ It should  be done under the supervision of a physician.

Typically I start magnesium,CoQ10, and Hawthorne berry, then take 6 to 8 weeks weaning off any blood pressure medicine, and only one at a time.  Your physician can advise amounts and timing for this process.

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Blood Pressure, Vitamins

Two Questions: My husband is taking Amlodipine Besylate 5 mg per day for blood pressure.  After taking it he feels hot.  What do you recommend taking? He also was diagnosed 8 years ago with autoimmune hepititus which they think is due to taking the antibiotic Avolox.

Also, do you know about Young Living Products?  We have been taking the vitamins, but they are so expensive.  I came across your supplements but I need some advice on what we need.  My Dr. says I need to increase my Vitamin D and say Sams club has their brand that is 3000 I.U.  My LDL Cholesterol is 142, total Cholesterol is 236 and Triglycerides are 185.  She says I am beginning to have Osteopenea.

Amlodipine  besylate is an anti-hypertensive that blocks the intake of calcium into the muscle of the arteries. The influx of calcium is what causes muscle to contract. This means it relieves whatever constriction the blood vessel muscle was having on the artery. This will dilate the blood vessel, permitting more blood to flow, which may cause a feeling of heat, and may also drop the blood pressure. I think conventional medicine is too aggressive with medication use with blood pressures. Although he would need supervision of a practitioner such as myself to monitor him, usually I shift patients from medications to high doses of magnesium (which also functions as a calcium channel blocker like amlodipine), CoQ10 and hawthorne.

As far as basic vitamins for general use, I recommend everyone be on a potent multivitamin, essential oils and vitamin D.  My website has a product called Vital Primivia which combines the potent multivitamin with appropriate dosages of essential oils in a convenient packet taken twice each day. Add 5,000 IU of vitamin D to it, unless your levels or vitamin D are already above 40.  For osteoporosis, you may want to add strontium and silicon also.

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Weaning off Blood Pressure Meds

Weaning off blood pressure medication-topropol and ramipril. Why am I on both? Are they needed at all?

Without more information, no specific recommendations can be made. Toprol and Ramipril are blood pressure medications that are in two different categories.

The philosophy in conventional medicine is: 1. blood pressures above 120/80 cause an increase in cardiac events (heart attacks and strokes), so they want blood pressures in that range. 2. If one category of medication doesn’t work, then they try a medication in another category, and may very well add a third and fourth if you are still not responsive.

My approach is different:

1. As scientists outside the ‘box’ have looked at the data (from the Framingham study), there is no increase in cardiac events (strokes or heart attacks) until much higher levels are reached–160 to 180/ 95 to 100 and above. So those levels are the only ones that need to be treated, unless you are having specific symptoms as your blood pressure rises.

2. If there is a need for blood pressure support, try the following: 1. magnesium 800 to 1,000 mg per day 2. Hawthorne berry 1,000 mg per day 3. CoQ10 200 mg per day. I have had excellent response with that approach. Weaning off blood pressure medications needs to be done slowly, and should be done under the supervision of your physician.

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Blood Pressure and Other Body Organs

How does elevated blood pressure affect other organs in our body?  I have had BP around 135-140/80 for years, and my new doc is trying to convince me to go on meds as he says my BP will affect kidney, liver, and just about everything else.

Your doctor has bought into the prevailing philosophy that the lower the blood pressure, the healthier you will be. The research does not support this, but allopathic standard of care pushes the concept as good.

Careful review of the research would say that the earliest the high blood pressure effects mortality is above 165 to 185 over 95 to 100, and perhaps even higher as we age past 80 years old. My basic philosophy is to not use medications to ‘control’ the physiology of the body unless there is ‘clear and present danger.’

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True Evaluations and Treatments of High Blood Pressure

Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

U.S. Neglects High Blood Pressure

The Institute of Medicine said that nearly one in three adults have hypertension recently, and feels that doctors are not treating it aggressively.  “If you live long enough, you’re almost guaranteed to get hypertension,” said Dr. Corinne Husten of Partnership for Prevention, a co-author of this report.  Normal blood pressure is now defined as below 120 over 80, with pre-hypertension up to 140 over 90, and various levels of hypertension above that.  Treatment is simple-cut the salt, eat more potassium, get some exercise, lose 10 pounds.  Anti-hypertensive medications could have the co-payments eliminated and simplify patient-assistance programs for the poor, declares the article.

Dr. Gardner’s comments: When I went to medical school, the cardiovascular disease and heart attack rates were lower, and hypertension was defined as a blood pressure above 160 over 95.

In the 1950s, a study was released about a town named Framingham in Massachusetts. The results of this study, demonstrated on a graph, showed the medical and scientific communities that there was a direct correlation between higher blood pressure levels and higher risk of mortality (death).   Unfortunately, this graph did not show patient data points, but spurious boxes drawn in the computer to make a straight line on the graph. When the correct patient data was inserted into the graph, there was no correlation between blood pressure levels and higher risk of mortality.  In fact, the study demonstrated no increase in mortality until the blood pressure levels were greater than 165 to 185 over 95 to 100.

Based on many subsequent randomized studies, mortality does go up when blood pressures below that level are treated with medications.  You have healthy alternatives to drugs for blood pressure support:

  • 1. Good diet, no sugar or processed food
  • 2. Basic potent multi-vitamin and essential fatty acids
  • 3. Relaxation, yoga, energy work, meditation
  • 4.  Specific supplements-magnesium 600 to 1,000 mg per day, CoQ10 100 mg per day, Hawthorne (or the berry), L-arginine
  • 5. Life-style changes-reduce salt (if you are in the 20% that is salt-sensitive), lose weight if overweight, stop smoking, increase potassium intake, exercise.

I have greater concern over the apparent U.S. neglect over alerting the public to, and protecting us from, the potential side effects of medications, than I do over the constantly changing criteria for high blood pressure.  The blood pressure meds have no long-term (30-year) studies to assure their safety, or the safety in using more than one medication at a time.

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Blood Pressure Meds and Coughing

I have worked with 15 disabled veterans who have complained of coughing while on Lisinopril for their blood pressure.  It stopped when they used Fosinopril.  Can you explain this?

There are 6 categories of medications that are used for blood pressure control.  Lisinopril is in the category of an ACE inhibitor, which means that it interferes Continue reading Blood Pressure Meds and Coughing

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Weaning off of Blood Pressure Medications

I have been on blood pressure medication for a couple of years, but would like to get off. My only side effect is it causes me to cough at times. Is it best to wean oneself off the meds gradually?

Blood pressure medicines need to be weaned gradually, because the body Continue reading Weaning off of Blood Pressure Medications