Scared to try non-drug hypertension treatments? Just read your meds’ side-effects!
Despite the known side-effects of hypertension drugs, doctors are still most likely to prescribe medications before considering natural treatments or lifestyle changes that have been proven to treat high blood pressure.
Online U.S. health information resource WebMD, reminds readers that like any medication, those for high blood pressure can cause side effects. While not all BP drugs do, and while some side effects are “mild,” patients still need to “stay informed,” read drug literature on packaging, and work closely with their doctor to manage any side effects they may have. WebMD explains that with so many medications available, there is no reason to “suffer in silence.”
The article offers four general warnings regarding hypertension medications:
- Never stop taking medication without first talking to your doctor ─ it could cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) can cause harmful side effects for pregnant women and their developing babies.
- Changes in blood sugar can occur in people with diabetes taking diuretics or beta blockers for high blood pressure.
- Some high blood pressure medications can cause erectile problems during sex. Reducing the dose or changing to another type of medication may help. High blood pressure itself can also cause erectile dysfunction.
The most common BP meds and their side-effects are:
- Diuretics are used to “flush extra water and sodium (salt) from your body.” They may cause extra urination; erectile dysfunction; weakness, leg cramps, or fatigue by lowering the body’s potassium levels; and albeit rare, gout.
- Beta-Blockers are used to weaken and slow the force of the heartbeat. Side-effects include asthma symptoms; cold hands and feet; depression; erectile dysfunction; insomnia and sleep problems.
- Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors block the formation of a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow, so that vessels relax. They may cause a persistent, dry, hacking cough; skin rash; and significantly reduced taste.
The above list should be an incentive for people with high blood pressure to make a concerted effort to try lifestyle changes, like exercise and diet, as well as natural treatments, like RESPeRATE ─ the first medical device that has been clinically proven to successfully treat hypertension. RESPeRATE, which is FDA-cleared, also relaxes constricted blood vessels to lower blood pressure, but manages to do so through guided breathing exercises instead of drugs.