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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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Green Tea Extract (Without Caffeine)

Dr Gardner, I recently purchased your green tea extract formula. However, today after visiting with my endocrinologist she determined that my blood pressure is pretty high. She gave me another diuretic to treat it. My question is will the green tea tablet exacerbate my high blood pressure? Thank you for your time.

Green tea extract will lower blood pressure, not elevate it.  The anti-oxidant effect will squelch free radicals in the blood stream.  Free radicals cause inflammation which causes constricted blood vessels and higher blood pressure.  EGCG, the most active ingredient in green tea, has a tendency to dilate blood vessel walls, and also acts as an ACE inhibitor, which will also reduce blood pressure.  To order Green Tea Extract (my formula contains no caffeine), go to this site and order the Primivia GTE.  We’ll ship it out to you right away.

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Omega Q Plus

Omega Q Plus
I was wondering what you think of this product. I have tried the hawthorne berries to lower my blood pressure and it really works. Now someone else has told me about this product. Its by a Dr. Stephen Sinatra. Would you recommend this product?

Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a bright cardiologist, and I would trust his products.  This is his signature product for heart support.

It does not contain hawthorne berry, which is a vasodilator that is especially beneficial for high blood pressure.  In treating my patients, I also add CoQ10, which is in Omega Q Plus, and magnesium which is not in Omega Q Plus, for blood pressure control.

His product would be ideally suited for heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and probably as good as any for arrhythmias, although magnesium would be especially important for arrhythmias.

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Green Tea Extract and Blood Pressure

“Dr Gardner, I recently purchased your green tea extract formula. However, today after visiting with my endocrinologist she determined that my blood pressure is pretty high. She gave me another diuretic to treat it. My question is will the green tea tablet exacerbate my high blood pressure? Thank you for your time.

Quick answer: Green tea extract will not affect your blood pressure. It has strong antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, and there is no caffeine in my Primivia GTE preparation.  To obtain some, go to www.stangardnermd.com/store and you’ll see the Primivia GTE (Green Tea Extract).

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Weaning off of Medication

Weaning off Lisinopril & HCTZ. I am on 10mg Lisinopril and a low dose of HCTZ (can’t remember how much). I have been in a fitness program for 1-1/2 years now and have lost 35 pounds and have been maintaining my weight now for at least 6 mos. I started cutting my Lisinopril in half about 2 weeks ago and am now experiencing dizziness. My BP has remained normal. Will this go away in a while or should I be cutting my HCTZ pills in half also?

Any weaning off medication should be done under the supervision of your physician.  My general policy is as follows in patients who are on anti-hypertensive medication:

First, I like to provide support to the heart with magnesium, CoQ10 and Hawthorne.

Then, a month later, I start to wean off the blood pressure medications over several weeks.  Blood pressure measurements should be taken in this whole process.  Unless a person has symptoms when the blood pressure is higher, I tend to let the blood pressure be maintained at levels nearer to 160 over 95 to 100 before wanting to use medications to lower them (you can research my past articles on blood pressure to understand how and why I do this)–again, this needs to be done with careful supervision from your physician.

Regarding your dizziness–if your blood pressure has not changed since reducing Lisinopril, yet you are dizzy, it is not the blood pressure causing the dizziness.  Work with your doctor to understand what is happening in your body, so that you can carefully regain your health.

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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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How Weight Loss Helps Physical Ailments

Would weight loss help my other physical problems, even though I have been told I may have to have back surgery for degenerative disc disease?

If you are overweight or obese, weight loss will help you in many ways, especially if you have back problems. Assuming you are overweight, let’s talk about how less weight should help you feel better.

  • 1. Less weight will place less stress on the back, specifically the discs.
  • 2. More weight means you will have a more difficult time moving, making it more difficult to lose weight.
  • 3.  It also makes it difficult to strengthen the abdominal muscles, which increases the stress on the back, and sit-ups may place more stress on the back. (You may need a trainer to show you how to use a ball to start strengthening the abdominal muscles.) Stretches to take the stress out of tight back muscles will also be more difficult.
  • 4. Because fat tissue causes inflammation, this factor alone will increase the inflammation in your back and make it hurt more. Other muscles and joints will also hurt more.
  • 5. Losing weight will make you feel better in a myriad of other ways–less blood pressure, more energy, less diabetes and insulin resistance,
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Gugulipids

Can you please explain about gugulipids: interdrug reaction between gugulipids and metroprolol XL j25 mg? One JAMA study indicates decreases bioavailability of propanolol hydrochloride.

Gugulipids is a gum from an Indian mukul tree that has quite a number of positive properties, although I do not use it on a regular basis. It is most used to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which also then reduce total cholesterol levels.

Since this is not a high priority in my practice (since there is no relationship between total cholesterol levels and heart disease), I don’t use any of the cholesterol-lowering herbs or products for that purpose. You can read additional information regarding my thoughts on cholesterol, statins, and the whole issue here.

However, gugulipids have many other positive properties, including anti-inflammatory, boosting of metabolism and even help with some of the hormone function, including thyroid and progesterone and estrogen at menopause.

Gugulipids do interfere with the bioavailability of metopranol, a commonly used blood pressure medication. There are other products that do what gugulipids do, and there are other blood pressure medications with which gugulipids do not interfere. Niacin is the best product at lowering cholesterol levels that I am aware of, although some people have flushing that can be counteracted with quercetin.

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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.’