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Welcome to Start Somewhere, your home for a whole-body approach to vibrance, resilience, and a longer healthspan.  Dr. Debbie Ozment’s thirty-plus years in clinical practice has given her keen insights to health and wellness from a unique vantage point.  Enjoy her fresh perspectives on creating a balanced and healthy environment. Add energy and vibrancy to your life!  Start Somewhere will enable you to create your own environment of sustainable strategies to nurture your mind, body and spirit. Staying healthy need not be stressful or difficult. Dr. Debbie will provide you with scientific insights and practical techniques to guide you on your adventure. 


High Blood Pressure Drugs

While pharmaceutical medications fix one problem, they often rob your body of a vitality-sustaining nutrient and make you susceptible to another problem.

The ultimate effects of this nutrient depletion typically happen slowly and can give an explanation for everything from nagging aches and pains or persistent headaches to life-threatening diseases.  

While they give relief of symptoms, they typically don’t address the underlying cause and actually cure the disease.

Drugs for high blood pressure have helped countless people; it is essential to understand possible side effects and interactions with other meds.   

While the exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, several factors play a role, including:

  • Excess weight

  • Inadequate physical movement

  • Smoking

  • Excess alcohol (more than one to two drinks per day)

  • Stress

  • Increased age

  • Genetics

Blood pressure measures the force of blood pushing against the blood vessel walls.  Also called hypertension, it is dangerous because it causes the heart to work too hard to pump blood throughout the body.  

It contributes to hardening of the arteries, stroke, kidney disease and heart failure.  

START SOMEWHERE knowing what your blood pressure numbers mean:

  • Normal:  Less than 120/80

  • Elevated:  120-129/less than 80

  • Stage 1 high blood pressure:  130-139/80-89

  • Stage 2 high blood pressure:  140 and above/90 and above

  • Hypertensive crisis:  Higher than 180/higher than 120 (See a doctor immediately!)

If you take drugs for hypertension, it is important to learn what they are doing for you as well as what they are doing to you.  Let’s explore that together.

Drugs for High Blood Pressure

Beta Blockers reduce the force and the speed of the heartbeat.  Like statins, they deplete CoQ10 by suppressing an enzyme in the liver called HMG-CoA.

As we talked about yesterday, this is particularly dangerous for heart health because CoQ10 is essential for energy production.  

To offset this negative effect, you can START SOMEWHERE by taking 100 mg of CoQ10 daily and then get our levels tested when you have your next blood test.  (Read yesterday’s blog for good foods to enjoy that contain this nutrient.)

Beta Blockers also reduce Melatonin, a hormone manufactured by the body from Serotonin that promotes sound sleep.  Because these drugs block beta receptors, they also inhibit an enzyme that is necessary to make Melatonin (serotonin-N-acetyltransferase), resulting in sleep disturbances.

 Taking 3 mg of Melatonin at bedtime can counter this effect.  Talk to your healthcare provider about this option.  

Some foods such bananas, ginger, oatmeal, cherries, and rice naturally contain Melatonin and can help at bedtime.  Tryptophan-rich foods that help stimulate the production of serotonin, which is required to make melatonin,can also be eaten in the evening and nuts, turkey, eggs, sesame and sunflower seeds, and milk are some of those.   

Diuretics like Lasix and Hydrochlorothiazide reduce blood pressure by moving fluid out of the body via the kidneys.  

These medications deplete Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins C, B1, B6, and Zinc.  

It’s always best to try to “eat your way into it” with whole, real food that your body was designed to use.  I recommend adding just one vegetable at a time to your day and slowly decreasing sugar and processed food to give your body the nutrients that the medication is removing.  Y

ou will be amazed at how your taste buds will start to change!  Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, swiss chard, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, almonds, black beans, avocado, and figs.  Magnesium deficiency is all too common among Americans and is a great place to START SOMEWHERE.

Diuretics also cause a decrease in saliva, which is a common problem that I see often in my dental practice.  Dry mouth increases the incidence of tooth decay, especially on the vulnerable root surface.   

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg regarding drugs for high blood pressure!  

My goal is to inspire your curiosity and help you learn more about what your body needs for vitality and energy.  When you understand your “why,” then your what and how get easier!  You can do it.  I will help you.  

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