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Your High Blood Pressure treatment is about to change

- By Dr. John Mischel

High Blood Pressure
Think your blood pressure is under control? You may now qualify as hypertensive.

Why more people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2018 than ever before.

High blood pressure has always been a big topic of discussion; what qualifies, what should we do, when should we intervene, but the biggest issue related to high blood pressure is, why are they always changing the guidlines? 

In 2013 Harvard Medical School published the new guidelines for blood pressure parameters prior to recommending medication. They were as follows

  • Among adults age 60 and older with high blood pressure, aim for a target blood pressure under 150/90.
  • Among adults age 30 to 59 with high blood pressure, aim for a target blood pressure under 140/90
  • Among adults with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, aim for a target blood pressure under 140/90.

They went on to further give recommendations for drug therapy protocols when the patients blood pressure is above the recommended levels. These recommendations took into consideration age, race, and prior conditions.

"When drug therapy is needed, the guidelines recommend starting with slightly different medications depending on race. For nonblacks, including those with diabetes, it’s okay to start with an ACE inhibitor, angiotensin-receptor blocker, calcium-channel blocker, or thiazide-type diuretic. Among blacks, including those with diabetes, a calcium-channel block or thiazide-type diuretic is the best initial medication. Among individuals with declining kidney function, it’s best to start with a low dose of an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin-receptor blocker, since these types of medications help protect the kidneys from further damage.”

 However, more recently, the drug industry has changed their opinion on what the proper protocols should be and have recanted their previous recommendation parameters.

Their new guidelines are outlined as follows

  • If your blood pressure is between 130/80 and 140/90, your doctor will say you have “stage one” hypertension and suggest losing weight, exercising, cutting salt  and eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • If you have stage one hypertension and some additional risk factors – such as a previous stroke, heart attack, diabetes or kidney disease – you will be asked to try medication, along with lifestyle changes.
  • If your blood pressure is above 140/90, your doctor will recommend you make lifestyle change and take two-three kinds of blood-pressure lowering medications.
  • Patients already taking medications might be put on higher doses or additional drugs to reach the new lower goal. But those over age 65 will be urged to talk to their doctors about how aggressively they want to be treated. 

The big take away from this is its impact on the pharmaceutical industry as a direct result of changing qualifications for medications. The change in the guidelines will increase the population of those being placed on medications The doctors and other experts, from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other groups, are moving the goal line for blood pressure control, meaning 46% of U.S. adults — about 103 million — could now be diagnosed with hypertension. Previous guidlines included only 32%, or 72 million individuals under previous guidlines.

That's an increase of 14%, or 31 million new individuals under previous guidelines.

In 2015, The New England Journal of Medicine wrote that deaths and cardiovascular illnesses were cut by a quarter when patients aimed for 120 millimeters of mercury or less of systolic press. However, in order for the group to reach a systolic of 120, they would on average need 3 medications to achieve that, compared to the group targeted towards a systolic of 140, which was the recommended level at that time.

While they were trying to decide on which level was the most appropriate to set as a goal, they discovered a few extra findings while looking at the data. For the sake of discussion, the intense treatment group was the group for which they wanted systolic to be at 120mmHg, the standard treatment group was the 140mmHg.

  • Participants who aimed to stay below 140 needed an average of two drugs; those who aimed for 120 or lower needed three – and reached average readings of 121.
  • Cardiovascular problems including heart failure, stroke, heart attacks, and death from heart disease occurred in 243 people (5.2%) in the intense treatment group, vs. 319 people (6.8%) in the standard treatment group.
  • Serious side effects, including fainting, abnormally low blood pressure and acute kidney damage, occurred in 220 people (4.7%) in the intense treatment group vs. 118 (2.5%) in the standard treatment group.

What does this mean for you and your high blood pressure?

Well, in order for hypertensive patients to reach the goal of 120mmHg, which averaged 121mmHg after intervention, you would need to take 3 medications. While on those 3 medications, your likelihood of dying from a cardiovascular problem was within 1.6% of those who had aimed for 140mmHg of systolic. The biggest difference, however, was the side effects noted in the intense treatment group. While on the additional medications to reach the goal of 120mmHg, those patients were twice as likely to experience serious side effects such as Fainting, Abnormally Low Blood Pressure, and Acute Kidney Damage. Let me say that again, twice as likely, all because they were required to take an additional medication.

What should you do to treat your high blood pressure?

Its simple, it’s the same thing you’ve been hearing all along. Lifestyle modifications. Diet and exercise play a huge role in your blood pressure. By addressing what you put into your body, you can drastically affect your blood pressure and overall health. Not big on exercise, well you can focus on that after you really dig deep into what your diet is trying to tell you.

My Recommendations for high blood pressure treatment:

My personal recommendations are start with just two things.

1.) Cut out the big three: Flour, Sugar, and Dairy, which if you add eggs to that, you’ll notice it's the recipe for cake. Coincidence? These three items are a challenge to cut out of your daily routine of consumption, but if we can get rid of them, you will start to notice fantastic improvements in overall health.

2.) The next step is seeking chiropractic treatment, which is a great place to start on the road to overall health. Studies have shown a correlation between chiropractic care and lowering blood pressure to the point where I can comfortably state...

Chiropractic Care Lowers Blood Pressure

Since I know most of you reading this will inevitably go to WebMd at some point to fact check, I went ahead and did it for you. WebMd published an article discussing the changes chiropractic care can have on lowering blood pressure. Their data presented evidence that, on average, 8 weeks of chiropractic care would lower the patients blood pressure by 14 points systolic and 8 points diastolic without the use of medications.

If you or anyone you know suffers from high blood pressure and is looking for a way to manage it without taking several medications, give us a call and we will schedule your FREE consultation.

(636) 947-9111

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