Hard Earned Medical Knowledge
What kind of medical advice does a Hypertension specialist of 28 years say?
I wanted to know and that’s why I went this last weekend to a talk by Dr. Mark Houston of the Hypertension Institute. I heard him speak when I went to Institute of Functional Medicine about 10 years ago and I was impressed by his knowledge of all things heart/blood pressure (BP) related.
I was definitely not disappointed by what he told the seminar attendees this last Saturday.
Medication that Stops Blood Vessel from Worsening
One advice he gave on blood pressure medications is different than what most doctors do but he gave good reasons why he did so.
Thiazides which are a water pill are very commonly prescribed. He recommended against that.
One common example is HCTZ (hydrochlorothiazide) which can bring down blood pressure but also does something bad.
When high blood pressure exists, the blood vessel has to react to that and may get bigger in size which decreases the function of the vessel.
HCTZ does NOT stop the remodelling of the blood vessels. We want a blood pressure pill to lower our blood pressure AND also stop the blood vessel from changing to something that doesn’t work as well.
Luckily he gave an option for a water pill that does stop the blood vessel from changing. That bp pill is Indapamide (Lozol). I would recommend a person who is on HCTZ to change to indapamide which has a generic version as well. A lot of doctors work in health plans which prioritize cost savings so generic medications are recommended.
And indapamide comes in generic version so that is good for the organization, the doctor, and You as well.
Blood pressure pills are commonly made with two medications put into one pill. So you may have 1 type of BP pill along with HCTZ. Another interesting tidbit he mentioned is that when there are two BP pills together and one of them is HCTZ – its negative effects outweigh the positive effects of the other pill.
So it would be better to take the other BP pill with indapamide rather than HCTZ. So pay another copay and do 2 prescriptions – one for indapamide along with the other pill prescription. That would be better than only doing one copay and getting the one pill which includes HCTZ which would not be good for your blood vessels.
Type of BP Meds to Take
So far we have talked about what not to take. But what pill should be taken? A type of BP pills called ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers are good types of medications to take. They help prevent blood vessel remodeling and can bring down the blood pressure as well.
I hope you found this blog helpful. If there are friends who have blood pressure and would need this information, please share this blog so that they can know about it.
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To your health!
Dr. Richard Chen
Focused Wellness Author,
A New Way to Health: Wheel of Health
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