Blood Pressure Therapy Called Into Question
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
The nightmare for those writing prescriptions for drugs and those taking them continues. The medication debacle in America highlights the blatant failure of Western medicine to improve the human condition and reverse disease in millions of Americans whose health is headed in the wrong direction.
A number of recent studies on using drugs to control blood pressure are challenging the essence of Western medicine theory; i.e., the reliance on managing numbers on paper instead of the actual patient. The shaky theory is based on the idea that somehow changing numbers with drugs produces health. If true, you would think that changing them to look ideally healthy would produce the greatest benefit. Not so, doing so can actually cause worse health when it comes to blood pressure and Type 2 diabetic patients.
The blood pressure arm of the ACCORD trial1 has proven to be another humongous failure, just like the lipid arm and the blood sugar arm. The ACCORD trial is based on the ridiculous idea that aggressively using drugs to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics will improve their cardiovascular health and save their lives. While lowering systolic blood pressure to 140 or less has shown benefit, lowering it below 120 (normal blood pressure) shows no additional benefit. To the contrary, multiple parameters of the health of Type 2 diabetic patients declined and medical complications rose significantly as their blood pressure was lowered to typical normal with drugs.
In a separate study with Type 2 diabetic patients with coronary artery disease2 the data showed that they were best off if their systolic blood pressure was 130 – 140. If it was lowered to 115 the patients developed the same risk for cardiovascular problems that patients over 140 had. This really throws a monkey wrench into Western medicine theory, as not only is lower that looks like ideal worse, “healthiest” seems to be higher than what is considered normal for the population in general.
Needless to say, the medical authorities had no explanation for their findings – a testament to the fact they don’t really know what they are doing. Maybe they should go back to blood pressure 101. Here they would find that blood pressure exists to move nutrients and oxygen around the body to places that need them. In Type 2 diabetics there are many traffic jams in the circulation that are reducing the ability of nutrients to arrive at the desired locations. In response, one’s body raises blood pressure to help push the nutrients where they need to go. Lowering blood pressure too much is like letting air out of a balloon. Without adequate pressure nutrients can’t get where they need to go and health deteriorates. People with circulation related health problems “need” higher blood pressure or else they suffer cellular malnutrition. On the other hand, if blood pressure stays too high too long then something might burst. It is like being between a rock and a hard place. This is not an unsolvable health problem – it just can’t be solved with drug use based on the deficient theory of Western medicine. Yet, this charade continues to pass for health care in America.
While these studies are with Type 2 diabetics the information applies to anyone on blood pressure medication. Oftentimes these medications make it so that blood doesn’t flow to one’s head properly, resulting in irritability and depression. Other times they shut off the flow of nutrients to cells resulting in handicapped metabolism that leads to weight gain. Many times these problems develop slowly over time and so a person does not even think the blood pressure medication caused them – sort of a progressive malnutrition.
I have seen people develop autoimmune problems from taking blood pressure medication – something not discussed in the medical literature. This is because the lymph system, which is a pressure system, is on the back end of the circulatory system. Lowering blood pressure can induce lymphatic stagnation (shoulder pain and pressure) resulting in immune system malfunction.
Blood pressure in a good range because you are healthy is a good thing. Blood pressure numbers that look better because you are taking a medication may relieve some acute stress – but it is like using a credit card to buy health. One day you will have to pay the bill. The only way to pay it correctly is to replace the drug with health. The long term use of blood pressure medication for a majority of the people using these drugs is not actually fixing their health problems regardless of the number achieved, and may actually be making them worse. On top of that the medical profession doesn’t understand much of what they are doing when they prescribe blood pressure medications.
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