Person measuring blood pressure

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines recommending more aggressive blood pressure treatment. They lowered the threshold at which treatment should begin. They now consider blood pressure of 130/80 or above to be elevated. In the past patients were not considered to have hypertension unless their systolic pressure was above 140. They claim that even elderly and frail patients benefit from having high blood pressure treated. With the previous guidelines, about a third of American adults were considered to have hypertension. With the newer ones, almost half are considered to be hypertensive.

Rather than suggesting medications, they initially recommend lifestyle changes including more exercise, eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains, reducing salt intake, body weight, and alcohol intake. However, this change in recommendations also means more patients will eventually be prescribed drugs for hypertension, which could lead to many more people having short term and long term side effects from them.

My Concerns

It is true that high blood pressure for many years does harm to blood vessels and can lead to organ damage such as kidney and heart failure. In the long run it raises the risks for heart attacks and stroke. But, the question I am still not sure of is: Would taking years and decades of medications (in those who have mildly elevated BP) eventually cause more harm than good?

Many times a person's blood pressure reading could be higher in the doctors office as opposed to home where the environment is more relaxing. Blood pressure is often measured while sitting. When we stand and walk around it could be lower. Are we about to over medicate many more people than necessary? In a way I feel similar to that of statin drugs used to lower cholesterol levels. Are doctors treating more people with these harmful cholesterol-lowering medications than necessary? Is there a push from the pharmaceutical industry to influence these guidelines? Many drugs are used to treat high blood pressure. They include diuretics, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, which influence blood pressure from different directions. I am not aware of studies that show that taking for several decades in those who have a BP of 130/80 would increase or decrease lifespan.

Natural Herbs, Diet, and Supplements for Lowering Blood Pressure

In my opinion it is a wise choice to try all forms of natural therapies for blood pressure before resorting to potentially harmful medications. i have listed quite a number of options for you to try and I hope you find lifestyles changes, exercise, yoga, meditation, dance, walks in nature, and other methods to lower your risk.

Disclaimer: People should be taking the least amount of prescription drugs that provide adequate treatment, and to regularly monitor and review what is being taken and how much. This applies to most supplements, too. Please do not make any changes in your treatment without first discussing it with your health care provider. Statements made, or products sold through this website, have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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