If you walk into a doctor’s office with high blood pressure, the chances are good that you’ll walk out with a prescription for a hypertension drug.
They are among the most-prescribed medications in the U.S. About one out of every four American adults takes a high blood pressure drug.
There are many different types of hypertension medications, but an alarming new study shows that one of the most common is linked to suicide.
Researchers from several Toronto medical schools analyzed health databases. They found 964 people who had committed suicide within 100 days of being prescribed two types of blood pressure meds… ARB and ACE inhibitors.
They compared the data against a control group of patients who took the same drugs.
The analysis revealed that people on ARBs had a higher risk of suicide.
Both types of drugs work by interfering with angiotensin II. This hormone causes blood vessels to constrict, raising blood pressure. But ACEs lower the amount of angiotensin II in the body while ARBs inhibit the hormone’s effects.
Dr. Muhammad Mamdani was lead researcher. He thinks ARBs might increase levels of angiotensin II in the brain. “That could be related to mood disorders and could trigger suicidal-type behavior,” he said.
Common ARBs include Avapro (irbesartan), Edarbi (azilsartan), Cozaar (losartan), and Teveten (eprosartan).
5 Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Drugs
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, lifestyle changes and natural remedies may allow you to avoid taking a risky medication. You probably already know that exercise, losing weight, and cutting salt can help. Here are lesser-known but effective blood pressure solutions:
- Potassium. Most people get too much sodium and not enough potassium. A lack of balance between the two can lead to hypertension. Good potassium sources include cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, peas, avocados, watermelon, tomato sauce, mushrooms, nuts, meat, and poultry.
- Saunas. Regular sauna use has been shown to cut high blood pressure risk in half. If you’re not used to saunas, start slow with five- to 10-minute sessions. Once you’re used to it, aim for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a week.
- Grape seed extract. It has powerful antioxidant properties that lower blood pressure. You can find grape seed extract supplements online and in health food stores.
- Berries. One study found that eating a handful of blueberries once a week lowers the risk of high blood pressure by 10%. The active ingredients in berries are anthocyanins. They’re powerful antioxidants abundant in blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
- Inspiratory muscle trainer (IMT). This small device was created to help wean people off respirators. It makes it more difficult to inhale, thus strengthening breathing muscles. Studies have found taking 30 breaths twice a day through an IMT can lower systolic blood pressure by 12 points. You can find models ranging in price from about $30 to $80 here.
If you have high blood pressure, tell your doctor you’d like to try natural solutions first. You may be able to lower your numbers without drugs.
Editor’s Note: If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, you need to read Independent Healing. It’s your best source for unbiased, evidence-based solutions to the most common health problems.
Find out more, HERE.