Hypertension is called the silent killer. While there are many medications that can help get blood pressure under control, it can be difficult for a person and her health care provider to find one without distressing side effects. A natural approach uses the DASH diet plus exercise to achieve weight loss as well as lowering blood pressure. How well does it work?
Before any surgery or medical intervention, a patient has to learn about the benefits and risks to give informed consent. What should we know about this process?
Guests: James Blumenthal, PhD, Professor of Medical Psychology at Duke University Medical Center. His research, the ENCORE study, was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Jan. 25, 2010). The photo is of Dr. Blumenthal.
Eric Kodish, MD, F.J. O’Neill Professor and Chairman of the Department of Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic. His research was published in Academic Medicine (August 2009).

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  1. Craig
    Reply

    I’m a white male in what seems to be today’s average condition. 51 years old, overweight by 60+ lbs. I don’t smoke or drink enough to count. I’ve been taking high blood pressure medicine for 20 years. First 10 years one medication, then 10 years later a second medicine was added to the daily routine.
    Two months ago, I was reading on the internet about natural ways to lower your blood pressure. I avoided all the advertising and fake studies that also were advertising. Of course diet and exercise are always at the top of the list. Then I read about “salt sensitivity”.
    Well, I have never added salt to anything. I thought I just didn’t have a taste for it. Of course I knew it was in lots of prepared foods, etc. I read up on DASH and decided to try for Zero salt intake which would in reality result in very low salt intake. Fresh fruits, veggies, meat, etc. No condiments or other that added salt to my diet (which is most). And I began a low to medium exercise regimen.
    In 2-3 weeks, I began experiencing dizziness at work or anytime rushing around. I purchased a new BP wrist cuff since my old finger cuff had recently broken. To my amazement, my BP had dropped to below normal. I had numbers all day long for several days of around 90 over 55 sometimes a little lower, sometimes barely higher.
    And I wasn’t sick in any way so I wasn’t experiencing any other medical condition. After a few days, I discontinued both BP medications. It took a couple of days for my BP to come up to around 120 over 80 and stop the dizziness after movement. And I have found since that when I don’t keep up the moderate exercise and don’t stay away from salt, then my BP will soon begin rising. I truly learned that “I” can control it. Still the same old mantra, “Diet + Exercise”. I should also add that I actually haven’t lost hardly any weight yet, but still managed to manipulate the BP.
    Craig

  2. dp
    Reply

    Thanks for the reminder about using the treadmill for hypertension!

  3. Russ1a
    Reply

    At 55:00 Helene asked a question about “the glycemic problem” (whatever that is), spinach, collard greens, and iron thickening the blood. Terry responded as though Helene had asked about vitamin K, and not iron, which is quite logical, and considering the time pressure, understandable.
    On the other hand Helene may have actually been asking about iron. Helene went on to ask about cast iron frying pans, which is leading more down the iron pathway. Joe then said he thought cast iron frying pans were wonderful. So do I. They are absolutely great for frying onions and red peppers, potatoes, etc., and there are no poisonous chemicals from Teflon to be found.
    The one thing they are not great for is making acid food such as tomato based spaghetti sauce, as the acid will dissolve the iron, if left in the pan for a long time. Many people already have excessively high levels of iron, which damages tissues through free radicals. A very good book was written on this topic titled “Iron and Your Heart” by Randall Lauffer.
    I would suggest that Helene read it if she indeed wants to know about excess iron. And for those who want the benefits of cast iron without its drawback, there is always ceramic “glazed” cookware, although it is expensive.
    Sincerely,
    Russ
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THANKS FOR GIVING THIS THE BROADER CONTEXT IT DESERVES.

  4. frank
    Reply

    Hi: Six years ago I had quadrule by-pass surgery. Iweighed 220 lbs. and high BP.
    taday I weigh 185 lbs and blood pressure 125/50. I exercise on the tread mill 5 days a week and cut my diet consirably. I am 86 years old and had mild prostate cancer 7years ago. Every thing in moderation.

  5. CR
    Reply

    Regarding blood pressure readings, could you explain “white coat syndrome?” and “how can one overcome it?”
    Thank you so much!
    Catherine R.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: BEING NERVOUS IS STRESSFUL AND MAKES BLOOD PRESSURE RISE. FOR SOME PEOPLE, INTERACTING WITH A PHYSICIAN OR JUST HAVING BLOOD PRESSURE TAKEN MAKES THEM NERVOUS ENOUGH THAT THEIR BLOOD PRESSURE GOES UP QUITE A LOT. THAT IS WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION.
    YOU MIGHT NOT NEED TO OVERCOME IT. MEASURING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE AT HOME AT VARIOUS TIMES OF THE DAY AND UNDER VARYING CIRCUMSTANCES MIGHT BE ENOUGH TO TELL YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR WHETHER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE IS HIGH SO OFTEN THAT IT SHOULD BE TREATED.
    ANOTHER APPROACH MIGHT BE TO LEARN SLOW BREATHING. CHECK OUT RESPERATE HERE ON OUR WEB SITE.

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