1. Blood pressure meds cause crippling falls

    Common meds lead to falls

    Seniors are more likely to fall and more likely to suffer injury when they do -- including the devastating and crippling injuries that can lead to loss of independence and even an early death.

    But don't blame age alone for all those falls.

    No, the real reason for many of those tumbles is that most seniors are on enough drugs to knock over an elephant, and new research confirms that some of the most commonly used drugs, like blood pressure meds, can increase the risk of injury and death due to falls.

    And odds are, you know someone on these meds right now.

    You might even be taking them yourself, because these drugs are blood pressure meds such as ACE inhibitors, diuretics and beta-blockers.

    If you happen to be on them -- or have ever tried them -- then you probably know firsthand how they can make you feel weak, dizzy, unsteady and so off-kilter that sometimes it feels like the floor is sliding out from under you.

    That's exactly why taking them will make you up to 40 percent more likely to suffer a hip fracture or head injury due to a fall, according to the study of nearly 5,000 seniors.

    The great irony here is that injuries from falls are actually responsible for nearly as much death and disability as the heart attacks and strokes blood pressure meds are supposed to prevent.

    It's as if by taking these meds you're trading one bad risk for another -- but that's a trade you just don't have to make.

    In many cases, blood pressure can be controlled naturally with basic lifestyle changes such as weight loss and safe supplements such as hawthorn berry and gingko biloba as well as nutrients including calcium, potassium, magnesium and coenzyme Q10.

    And if you really want to make sure you remain rock-steady and unlikely to fall, there are two steps you need to take.

    First, add a vitamin D supplement to your regimen ASAP. Even mainstream health officials now admit that boosting D levels can lower the risk of fall and help prevent crippling breaks if you do take a spill.

    And second, get a little movement every day.

    One study I told you about recently found that a little strength and balance training can reduce the number of falls by nearly a third, and you can read more about it in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  2. Beta-blockers may not work at all

    Common heart meds shown to be ineffective

    I just love it when conventional wisdom gets tossed right out the window.

    For years, I've worked with my heart patients to get them off beta-blockers and onto the natural treatments that I believe are safer and more effective.

    Now, new research backs my approach in a big way -- because it turns out those beta-blockers may not even be effective at all for many patients.

    Researchers say their look at data on 44,708 heart patients finds that those who take beta-blockers don't have better outcomes by any measure. They have the same risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease as those who don't take the meds.

    What's more, the patients in the study didn't have any special circumstances. In fact, they were very much like most of the 20 million Americans who take beta-blockers right now -- patients who've had a heart attack, patients battling coronary artery disease, and patients with a high risk of heart disease.

    The study is sending doctors everywhere back to the drawing board, looking for new answers -- and maybe some of them will find the solutions those of us in natural healing have had all along.

    Maybe, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    The important thing to realize here is that if you're on these meds and they're not working for you, you won't find out until you're in an ambulance (or worse) -- and clearly, that's much too late.

    So let me make two suggestions.

    First, whatever you do, don't stop taking your beta-blockers on your own. I know it's tempting, especially if you're battling the notorious side effects such as sleep disorders and nightmares.

    But the fact is, some people really do need these drugs -- and I believe that will continue to be the case despite the results of the new study.

    And second, work closely with a holistic physician who can help determine whether you really need these drugs -- and if you don't, he can monitor your progress as you stop taking them and steer you toward the natural alternatives that can provide the protection that the drugs do not.

    If you're in the Southern California area, you can make an appointment to see me at the Stengler Center for Alternative Medicine.

  3. BP meds linked to obesity

    If you've gained weight since you started taking blood pressure meds, it's not your imagination.
  4. Hypertension on the brain? Get it under control fast

    An interesting new study shows just how important it is to keep your blood pressure under control, especially as you age.

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