High blood pressure NEWS: One choice BETTER than conventional options
(NaturalHealth365) High blood pressure. known as the ‘silent killer,’ affects over 77 million Americans, according to latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s 1 in 3 adults – a full one third of all American adults – living with a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.
It’s no wonder these two conditions are the main drivers of premature death in the U.S.
Conventionally speaking, drugs such as beta blockers and diuretics have been the first-line of defense offered by Western medicine. And while these drugs can be effective at lowering blood pressure, they’re riddled with unpleasant side effects and a significant financial cost.
Recently, a 2018 meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine offers a much more promising alternative for people with high blood pressure. An option that’s widely underutilized and, in many cases, completely free to accomplish.
Safe solutions are available: Large meta-analysis reveals the truth about high blood pressure
An international team of researchers recently concluded a meta-analysis involving 391 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). These RCTs investigated the effects of either exercise or blood pressure lowering drugs on systolic blood pressure (SBP).
If you’re wondering, SBP is a measure of blood pressure while the heart is beating.
Here’s a brief summary of the researchers’ findings:
- All types of exercise and all types of blood pressure lowering drugs effectively lowered SBP (the types of exercise used in these studies included endurance training and dynamic resistance training)
- When looking at all populations – which included people with and without high blood pressure – drugs were more effective at lowering SBP, but …
- When looking only at people with high blood pressure (you know, the people who actually need treatment), exercise was just as effective as drugs at lowering SBP
Editor’s note: What makes exercise ‘better’ than drug use for hypertension? For starters, you won’t destroy your liver by exercising. But, taking any drug can greatly increase the risk of organ damage.
Of course, the researchers pointed out that nobody should change their medications without first talking to their doctor. But, they do ask for physicians to “prescribe” exercise programs to their patients as a way to enhance and, in some cases, replace riskier treatment protocols.
By the way, this research is timely, considering the recent news of yet another blood pressure medication being whisked off pharmacy shelves for containing a cancer-causing contaminant.
Going beyond your personal health: A surprising way high blood pressure can hurt you
Genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors all contribute to high blood pressure. Obviously, genetics is not under our control – although I’m sure some mad scientist is trying to figure out a way to intentionally manipulate our genetic code.
But, improving the factors you can control are well worth the effort and energy – not just because it’ll ease the strain on your heart, but because it’ll ease the strain on your wallet, too.
Not convinced? 2016 research from the Health Care Cost Institute found that adults with high blood pressure spent more than 3 times overall and more than 2 times out-of-pocket in healthcare dollars compared to adults without high blood pressure.
That came to an average of $14,399 versus $4,495 overall, or $1,771 versus $791 out-of-pocket. That’s quite a lot of money (about $48 billion in total every year) being spent on a largely preventable condition.
In addition, if you are currently taking prescription drugs for your blood pressure, be sure to talk to your doctor about your options. 2010 research out of the Loyola University Health System shows that pricey brand name blood pressure drugs are NOT more effective than generic brands.
So, making a switch could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year – until you break free of the need for these drugs.
And don’t forget the other powerful ways to spend less money on healthcare such as, healthier eating habits; building better relationships plus maintaining a positive mindset.
Sources for this article include: