In this health video you will learn about the repercussions of diuretics.
Read the full transcript »
Raena Morgan: Hi, I'm Raena Morgan with iHealthTube.com. Having the opportunity to visit with Robert Kowalski, he is the author of the Blood Pressure Cure. What are some of the drugs that are prescribed for high blood pressure? Could we talk about that? Robert Kowalski: Sure, absolutely! One of the things that I want to start off with is the concept that, while it’s true that there are natural alternatives to blood pressure drugs. If your doctor currently has you on a drug, don’t immediately cease taking it. Raena Morgan: Okay. Robert Kowalski: There can be repercussions to that. Instead start into some of these approaches. Lower your blood pressure even further and your doctor very well may be able if you’re taking two drugs to wean it down to one or to cut the dose in half and gradually wean yourself off of drugs entirely. If the doctor has said that you are likely to need prescription drugs, ask him or her whether you can use some lifestyle modifications first. Almost certainly, any physician will go along with that and allow a trial over about 8 weeks, come on back in a couple of months, we’ll test you again and see whether we need to use the drug. So, we first start with this. See how much improvement you can make and then if necessary, you go on to a prescription drug. There are some individuals who really must be on one of the prescription antihypertensive agents. Those would be people with exceptionally high blood pressure. We normally talk about numbers of normal 120/80, hypertension being a 140/90 is kind of a cut off point. Raena Morgan: All right. Robert Kowalski: Some people have blood pressures of 250/110. Yes! They are at real immediate risk of having a stroke especially a stroke and contributing might lead to heart attack. Raena Morgan: Okay. Robert Kowalski: So those individuals definitely need to take some sort of prescription drug. No question about it. And as a medical journalist, I feel that that has to be abundantly clear. Raena Morgan: Good. Robert Kowalski: That there are people who will benefit from this approaches and those who will still have to take—everyone will benefit in a way. Start with these kinds of things and incorporate them into your lifestyle. Certainly weight loss, increase physical activity, things like cigarette cessation, learning how to cope with the stress, getting a better night sleep all of those come into place, certainly and increasing the kinds of fruits and vegetables that can counter balance sodium. That all comes into play with the prescription drugs and actually will help those people who do need those drugs to lower it down. However, if you have a choice between the prescription drug and these natural approaches, I think in a couple of minutes I’ll show you would choose the natural approaches and I’m going to go directly to the chapter in the book that it’s Chapter 16, understanding prescription drugs and as I call them, the last resort to lowering blood pressure. Most doctors will begin with one of the most ancient of the blood pressure medications. It’s time proven. It’s especially necessary to start with this particular drug for the African-Americans because they tend to retain sodium that affects the kidney. And so, you will most often see a beginning drug as what they call a Diuretic. The diuretic is the one that makes you urinate more frequently. Raena Morgan: All right. Robert Kowalski: As you do so, the body is getting rid of its sodium. Now, if you combine that happily with the fruits and vegetables to increase that even further is going to be a real benefit but that’s typically a starting drug. Now, what’s the problem with that, I’ll remember the day I die a couple of months before my dad passed away of his one and only heart attack. No warnings whatsoever. He knew he had the high pressure but there were no symptoms and whatsoever. But his doctor had measured his blood pressure, it was elevated and he was placed on that diuretic drug. In those days in the 60s