New guidelines from the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advise over 1.5 million people using beta-blocker drugs to treat high blood pressure to switch to newer treatments.
The guidelines advise patients to ease off the drugs and doctors to no longer prescribe beta-blockers as the "first-line" therapy because they perform less well than the newer treatments, particularly among the elderly, and may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and type 2 diabetes.
The preferred treatment, according to NICE, is now a combination of calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics. Research has shown that this combination of drugs, which helps regulate the hormonal system and open blood vessels, may decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 50 percent, as compared to the older drugs.
Beta-blockers are still considered the best treatment for young women who may become pregnant, and the new guidelines do not apply to those who take the drugs for angina and anxiety.
This is a serious issue because middle-aged and older Americans face a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pressure during their lives. You might not believe those numbers because you don't know that many people who have high blood pressure, but the simple reality is that 75 percent of those with high blood pressure are not being treated.
When I was in medical school I found it most peculiar that the physiology textbooks stated that 95 percent of hypertension was idiopathic and the cause was unknown. Of course now we know that is a bunch of nonsense, but unfortunately the bulk of health care professionals are absolutely clueless about the importance of insulin and its control on your blood pressure.
That is the mechanism that most of the methods below work by. When you have normal insulin levels it is very difficult to have high blood pressure.
Five Natural Keys to Normalizing Your Blood Pressure
1. Lower insulin levels by eliminating all sugars and grains. Yes this includes even whole, organic grains because, unlike nearly all vegetables, they break down to sugar relatively rapidly and cause your body to secrete insulin, which is one of the major reasons most people have high blood pressure.
2. Exercise. This is a very powerful tool that has a powerful synergy with dietary changes. The primary way it works is by lowering your insulin levels. I have found that unless exercise is included in a person's regimen many are unable to normalize their blood pressure even with the best of food choices.
3. Normalize your weight. Even dropping a few pounds can improve your blood pressure. You can achieve optimal weight loss by using the above two strategies. Weight loss also works through normalization of insulin levels.
4. Sunlight. It is very clear that enough sunlight to optimize your vitamin D levels is very useful in normalizing high blood pressure. Merely walking to your home or work from your car just isn't going to provide enough exposure to make any difference.
5. Have tools to treat your stress. Even placebos will lower blood pressure in one-third of people. There are many effective tools out there but I have found energy psychology approaches like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to be very helpful.
Another option is CardioEssentials, which contains nattokinase, a powerful enzyme derived from the food natto. CardioEssentials can significantly restore normal blood flow that may impact blood pressure functionally in as little as seven to 10 days, so you should carefully monitor your blood pressure during this time.
I would just caution you to be careful when measuring your blood pressure. Many health care professionals are poorly trained in this area and don't realize or understand that you need to use the right cuff size. If you are overweight you will likely need a larger cuff, otherwise your blood pressure reading will be inaccurate.