natural blood pressure control

  1. Most seniors don't need blood pressure meds

    New rules for BP meds

    Hypertension meds do nothing for most patients, especially older folks with stage 1 hypertension. They don't reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, and the studies have shown it time and again.

    But most mainstream docs don't care about the science. All they care about are guidelines -- and if the guidelines say high blood pressure must be treated with blood pressure meds, then it has to be treated with drugs.

    Well, now those guidelines have been rewritten, and doctors are being ordered to take the approach I've used all along and pass on the meds for most patients with high blood pressure.

    Under the new guidelines in the Journal of the American Medical Association, over-60 patients will no longer be medicated automatically at the start of stage 1 hypertension, or BP levels of 140/90.

    Instead, docs should only consider blood pressure meds when patients hit 150/90.

    Personally, I think you can go even higher before you start to worry -- and when treatment is in order, you shouldn't turn automatically to drugs.

    While the meds do succeed in bringing blood pressure levels down, they come with risks such as dizziness and light-headedness, which can lead to a fall and a potentially crippling fracture.

    Another common side effect of blood pressure meds is memory loss -- and in some cases, the memory loss is so severe it's mistaken for dementia.

    That's why the best solution for hypertension isn't a drug. It's a holistic approach that works on the addressing the cause of the rising blood pressure levels. The most common causes include lifestyle issues such as stress, drinking and smoking as well as poor diet and the nutritional problems that come along with it.

    In most cases, lifestyle changes -- including diet and weight loss, as well as giving up drinking and smoking -- can help bring BP levels down naturally. Heart-friendly supplements can also help; I usually recommend hawthorn berry and gingko biloba as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium and coenzyme Q10.

    Work with a holistic medical doctor on an approach that's best for you. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help.

    Contact my clinic for more information or to make an appointment.

    Not in the area? Not a problem -- I'm also available for telephone consultations. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a call.

  2. Green tea can lower blood pressure

    The 'green' way to lower BP

    The moment your blood pressure hits a certain level, your doc will sigh and pull out his prescription pad like he has no other choice.

    But there's always another choice.

    In fact, there are so many natural options for hypertension that there's no reason they shouldn't be tried before drugs -- and a new study adds one more safe alternative to the list: green tea.

    You already know about this stuff, I'm sure, and how people drink green tea to help with everything from cancer protection to weight loss. Now, researchers find it can trim BP levels, too, and do it so well that it might even be able to tame hypertension in borderline cases.

    Researchers in Poland gave 56 obese patients with hypertension either 379 mg a day of green tea extract or a placebo. Three months later, the ones who got the extract shaved nearly 5 points each off both their systolic ("top number") and diastolic ("bottom number") readings.

    Those on a placebo, on the other hand, saw drops of just 0.8 and 0.6 mmHg, respectively, or almost nothing at all.

    In addition, the green tea drinkers had lower levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein, improvements in LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, and even better blood sugar control.

    But if you're obese and battling high blood pressure, your first step shouldn't be to reach for a cup of green tea or a green tea extract -- it should be to lose the weight.

    In many cases, weight loss alone will bring your BP levels down to where they should be.

    As I mentioned earlier, green tea can help there too. Studies have shown that green tea can help boost the body's ability to burn off energy, which in turn could lead to weight loss.

    Just don't expect to sip some tea or take green tea extract and watch the pounds slip off by magic. You'll need to improve your eating habits, too -- and for that, I recommend the Mediterranean Diet.

    The Mediterranean Diet can also help normalize blood pressure if it's high or prevent high blood pressure in people who don't have it yet. It's also great for weight loss, and can help prevent any number of diseases.

    Green tea isn't from the Mediterranean, but feel free to drink some just the same.

2 Item(s)