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High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease & Your Health
An Inside Look At Prescription Medications And Why You May Be Feeling The Way You Do
High blood pressure and heart disease medications fall into about 8 different categories: Diuretics - help rid the body of extra salt and water, Beta-blockers - make the heart beat slower so that blood passes through the veins with less force, Ace Inhibitors - keep the body from making a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers - protect your blood vessels from the hormones that cause them to narrow, Calcium Channel Blockers - Also keep the vessels from constricting, Alpha Blockers - help the vessels to relax, allowing blood to pass through more easily, Centrally Acting Drugs - reduce nerve impulses that can cause the vessels to narrow, Direct Vasodilators - relax the muscles in the blood vessel walls allowing them to widen, allowing blood to flow more easily.
All in all, what you need to know is that they all share common side effects, which by the standards of the drug companies are also termed 'acceptable risks'. Some of these include: headache, dizziness or light headedness, nausea and/or vomiting, unexplained body aches, extreme tiredness or weakness or drowsiness or lethargy, diarrhea or constipation, weight loss or weight gain and surprisingly enough, even death.
When the drug makers are bringing a product to market they test the drug for a limited period of time before they submit it to the FDA for approval. (The drug only has to work for 70% of the population and is allowed to kill a certain number of its human test trials -10% - before it is released for distribution. Knowing that, you do the math...) Then, to add insult to injury, literally, you often need another medication to control your new, out of control side effect, which causes another new side effect that you'll need another medication for and so on! This builds a big viscous circle and a slew of pills you now have to take to keep the domino effect from cascading any further. Get out your pill holders!
For the most part, people are born with a healthy heart. But, given the fact that almost 2,000 Americans alone die of some kind of heart disease (that's approximately one death every 44 seconds) we can't just turn a blind eye, but we can look at other alternatives such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs and other more natural supplements that can help just as equally as prescription medications with out the unwanted side effects that build a big vicious circle, feeding the domino effect and are absolutely less expensive! And, as far as herbs are concerned, there's never been a reported death due to overdose or any other cause, unless you've taken one of the few poisonous herbs, but those are hard to find and regularly not on standard market or health food store shelves.
Of course, herbs and other such supplements may not be for everybody, and while emergency situations are best handled medically, there have been studies in which patients with more severe, chronic heart conditions (who are not responding to standard medical treatments) have shown improvement with herbal or other nutritional alternatives. In fact, many of these are considered standard medical protocols by physicians in Europe and Asia. The more popular and commonly used alternatives for high blood pressure and related heart disease are: Hawthorn Berry, Horsetail, Chromium Picolinate, Selenium, Vitamin C (estrified), the amino acids Taurine and Arganine, Omega - 3 and Garlic. For further details on any of these supplements, be sure to consult an herbalist or health care practitioner.
As prescription medications have their slight variances in performance, so do these natural supplements. However, the nice thing about natural alternatives is that they work with the body and focus on what they do best without creating other side effects, while prescription medications work against and suppress the body's natural functions to do what they do, thus creating unwanted side effects.
As with any other type of medication or supplementation, these herbal and nutritional substances are valuable tools in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure and related heart diseases. To compliment this, you may also want to keep in mind that if you make the appropriate changes in diet, exercise regularly, practice stress reduction, meditation and other lifestyle changes, you'll increase your odds and the effectiveness of such treatments.
Now knowing all of this you can better safeguard yourself. But please consult your doctor, health care practitioner and/or nutritionist before beginning a natural alternative supplement regime. Especially if you're already taking prescription medications and want to switch to a more natural alternative to treat any ailment you may have.
Here's to your (heart) health!