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Avoiding Reactions from Blood Pressure Pills

Q. High blood pressure drugs give my husband severe headaches and make his legs swell up. His eyes hurt and his vision is blurry.

He’s tried at least six different types of medicines, but has reacted badly to all of them. We understand he needs to treat the hypertension. Surely there is a treatment without terrible side effects. What do you advise?

A. Your husband should not have to suffer in order to control his hypertension. Although he has tried many medications, others may be less likely to cause complications.

To help him better understand his options so he can discuss this problem with his physician, we are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment, with a discussion of the pros and cons of the medications and a number of non-drug alternatives.

Slow deep breathing, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits (the DASH diet), weight reduction, magnesium, calcium and potassium may all help. So can beet or pomegranate juice.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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