Many times I have pointed out vaccines are not tested, and by that I mean that they don’t do double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of vaccines. They say it would be unethical. So, how do they know if they are effective? They don’t. They do tests to see if they raise the antibody titer, as desired, but does that translate to protection from disease? They hope it does. But, I readily admit that vaccines are not 100% effective. They work, except when they don’t. However, they claim that If you do get the flu after getting a flu shot, that it’s likely to be milder. Is that a big consolation to you? It’s no consolation to me.

It’s similar with hypertension drugs. They say it would be unethical to do double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. But, how dangerous can it be when millions of people have hypertension and don’t even know it?

It’s all about reducing the risk of catastrophic events: heart attacks and strokes. So, how much do hypertension drugs lower the risk? Again, they don’t know because they refuse to test it. They just say that all hypertensives should take drugs.

But, which drugs? It depends entirely on the whim of your doctor. There are many different kinds of hypertension drugs and many different drugs within each class.  One doctor may start you off with a diuretic which lowers your blood pressure by pharmaceutically dehydrating you and disturbing the composition of the urine. It throws a monkey wrench into the machinery of your kidneys. It may lower your blood pressure a little, but probably not much, and it certainly isn’t worth the havoc that it causes.

Before I proceed any further, let me clarify that I am talking about the usual mild-to-moderate hypertension that affects millions. I am not talking about acute malignant hypertension, where the pressure spikes up so high, it causes headache, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, etc. That’s a medical emergency, and I am not going to second-guess what the emergency docs might do for it.

I am talking about the non-emergency, garden variety hypertension that affects millions, where you go to the doctor for your annual physical, and he tells you that you now have hypertension, and you need to start taking medicine for it, and for the rest of your life. Usually, there are no symptoms.

So, he might give you a diuretic to tamper with your kidneys. He might give you an ace inhibitor to suppress certain hormones, and that is intended to reduce vascular tension. He might give you a beta blocker to weaken your heart so that it can’t contract as hard, so that it will move less blood with each beat. Or, he might give you a calcium channel blocker, which is the most dangerous hypertension drug of all. Or, he might give you a combination of drugs.

But, If you go to 5 different doctors, there is a good chance they will give you 5 different drug regimens. Do you see how arbitrary the whole process is?  You are managing your health according to someone’s whim.

I don’t like any of the blood pressure drugs. They each, in their own way, cause havoc within the body. And in the case of mild to moderate hypertension, especially younger to middle-aged persons, for whom the risk of having a vascular accident is very low, even if left untreated, how many heart attacks could the drugs be preventing? That it is very few knows of no doubt, but whether it is any at all is the big question. But again, they won’t test. They think it’s a crime to leave anyone with even mildly elevated blood pressure untreated.

The real crime is starting these people on lifelong drug regimens. Most doctors won’t even reevaluate over time. It’s drugs, drugs, drugs, for the rest of your life.

Well, just think about this undeniable fact: the drugs do not remove or correct the causes of high blood pressure. They just play tricks on the body to lower the pressure. They just tamper with something else- that isn’t broke- in order to force the pressure down. It’s really a misguided way to handle the problem.

So, what should a person do when they get the word that they have mild to moderate hypertension? They should take it as a wake-up call to change their ways and start taking better care of themselves.

That means eating better, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and other whole plant foods, such as raw nuts and cooked beans and legumes. It means stopping all bad habits, including smoking (anything) vaping, drinking alcohol, and drinking coffee. It means getting  your salt consumption down, way down. It means shedding body fat if that‘s an issue for you.  It means exercising regularly, and there is nothing better than walking. And it means addressing the stress level in your life and getting enough rest and sleep.

So, you start doing all those things as soon as you get the news that you have hypertension, and if you’re smart, you’ll do them anyway. Why wait?

And then, if you want to do more, you could consider taking some safe supplements which support and encourage the lowering of blood pressure, such as magnesium, which has a relaxing effect on the smooth muscle of arteries: CoQ10, omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D3, resveratrol, melatonin, and there are other things you could take. The nice thing about these supplements is that they can’t hurt you. They don’t throw a monkey wrench into your machinery.  Rather, they gently coax a better blood pressure through normal physiological adjustment.

And I can tell you from experience that for the vast majority of people, this approach is going to work. And it is far superior to taking drugs. 

So, if you get caught with mild to moderate blood pressure, and your doctor tries to put you on drugs, just tell him or her: no thanks. Then get started doing the right thing.