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May 4th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

Can I get rid of my hypertension medication?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

I have been taking two drugs combined within one pill to control my blood pressure.They are olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide (known as Benicar-HCT). I took them for approximately eight years, during which time I was part of the world of employment. For seven months since I retired I have found that my blood pressure seems to be holding around 120/78 or less each day when measured. I discussed the matter with my doctor, who advised me to use only half of the prescribed dosage. My question is: Is it possible to rid myself of taking the medication all together?

Asked by Lap, Baltimore, Maryland

Dear Lap,

Most people with high blood pressure have what is known as essential hypertension. It is caused by genetics; bad diet, especially a high salt diet; obesity; lack of exercise; and excessive alcohol intake. A very small proportion of people have hypertension due to another disease. Kidney problems, some endocrine abnormalities and some drugs (such as arthritis medicines and birth control pills) can cause what is known as secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is best treated by treating the underlying problem.

The long-term effects of hypertension are cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, heart beat or rhythm problems, congestive heart failure and stroke. Kidney failure can also be the result of long-term high blood pressure.

Essential hypertension or essential high blood pressure is one of most common problems among adults in the U.S. and Western Europe. In the U.S., about one-third of the population age18 and older, and one-half of the population age 65 and older has hypertension. This translates into more than 60 million American adults having it, today. The number of people with hypertension is growing. This is due to the aging of the population and America's obesity epidemic. In the U.S., there were 30 million over age 65 in 2000 (13% of the population) and it is estimated that there will be 54 million over age 65 in 2020 (16% of the population). Thirteen percent of American adults were obese in the mid 1960s, compared with 35 percent in 2008.

The systolic blood pressure is the highest pressure reached in the arteries when the heart contracts. The diastolic is the arterial pressure when the heart relaxes. They are measured in a unit known as mmHg (for millimeters of mercury). The definition of normal blood pressure and hypertension that has been agreed upon by a number of medical societies is a number of measurements averaging the following:

• Normal blood pressure: systolic less than 120 mmHg and diastolic less than 80 mmHg

• Prehypertension: systolic 120-139 mmHg or diastolic 80-89 mmHg

• Hypertension:

Stage 1: systolic 140-159 mmHg or diastolic 90-99 mmHg

Stage 2: systolic equal to or greater than 160 or diastolic equal to or greater than 100 mmHg

It is generally recommended that most patients with hypertension be treated such that their blood pressure remains below a systolic of 140 and a diastolic of 90. Most patients likely benefit from even lower numbers closer to the normal range. It is also recommended that diastolic blood pressures be kept above 65 mmHg, because going below this level can increase the risk of some types of stroke, especially among older people.

It is not unusual for people to have blood pressure cuffs at home and take their blood pressure regularly. This is to be encouraged, though proper cuff sizing and proper cuff placement are important. Inaccurate readings, both high and low, can result when the blood pressure is not measured correctly. The patient should be instructed as to what size cuff to use and how to properly place the blood pressure cuff.

A number of drugs are available to treat hypertension. They use various mechanisms of action. Some are good for mild to moderate high blood pressure; others are reserved for more severe disease. Some patients need two or three drugs to control their blood pressure. Interestingly, studies show less than 40% of Americans with hypertension have it under control. This is because hypertension is a disease with almost no symptoms for most of its course. It requires a medical examination to diagnose and is treated with medications that must be taken daily and sometimes impair quality of life. Some patients are significantly inconvenienced by having to urinate frequently due to a diuretic, by constipation due to a calcium channel blocker or by impotence or lightheadedness due to an alpha or beta blocker.

Stress from work and other situations can increase ones blood pressure and your retirement may be helping to lower your blood pressure. Changes in diet, weight loss and exercise have also been known to lower ones blood pressure and decrease the need for hypertensive medication.

I cannot speak directly to your situation, as I do not know so many factors such as your age, height, weight and overall health. It is possible for a person with mild hypertension on a mild to moderate blood pressure medication to reach a healthy blood pressure by changing some factors in his or her life, such that blood pressure medication is no longer needed. This should only be done slowly and under a physician's supervision. It may be that lowering the dose or switching to a milder medication is ultimately right for you. I would be cautious, as your physician appears to be, and not stop "cold turkey."


soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Marla Heller, MS, RD

    And don't forget the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hyertension). In many research studies it has been shown to lower blood pressure without medication. It is recommended by the AHA. NIH, the national treatment guidelines for the treatment of hypertension, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

    Marla Heller, MS, RD
    Author of The DASH Diet Action Plan, the user-friendly guide to the DASH diet.

    May 4, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ranier

      @Marla Heller, MS, RD: How can you be sure that the DASH diet is even an appropriate suggestion for this individual? Good try, though. Take your shameless plugs elsewhere.

      May 5, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • hypertensionguide

      Thanks for the comment Maria. The DASH diet works for sure, it has helped my dad who is hypertensive.

      Thanks

      February 21, 2012 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Hunt

      I got hypertension at age 39 a few days after I delivered my 4th child by c-section, would that be considered essential hypertension? My Mother got HB in her early 30's after a complete hysterectomy. I thought losing al my baby weight would decrease my hypertension. It stayed elevated. Also my last 2 children were boys and I had irregular heat beat with both pregnancies and had to take a beta blocker until delivery. I was fortunate in that I always got a bad headache when the bottom # of my BP was 89 or above & nothing would make it go away but BP medication, not even Loritab which is what I took the 1st time it happened because I thought it was a migraine in a different location. Let me know what you think. I would love to get off of the 2 meds I take at the moment. Thanks! Lisa

      July 21, 2013 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  2. billdobagginsby

    There are alot of things that people can do to me, but stroke is not one of them. Dribbling in a wheelchair in a nursing home, if I can avoid it through keeping blood pressure low by taking a couple of pills seems reasonable to me.
    Having worked in cardiovascular medicine most of my adult life. When I get called in the middle of the night to do an ultrasound on the heart of a stroke and a carotid duplex ultrasound looking for a source of embolus.
    It almost always reveals that the heart shows signs of hypertensive heart disease i.e. their heart has thickened as an adaptation to pumping against the afterload of high blood pressure in the arterial system.
    The pressure is a sheer mechanical force against the arteries of the body, particularly the brain. The heart adapts to this by getting thicker, the muscular arteries also adapt to this but this causes an increase in risk of stroke.
    My first patient as a student of examining a potential organ donor was a man in his 40's who wouldnt take his blood pressure medications and had a cerebral hemmorhage as a result.
    I have examined many a kidney failure patient who didnt take care of their blood pressure.
    It causes end-organ disease. Meaning any organ with a capillary system is affected. Meaning all of them.
    Primary essential hypertension in which 99% of the patients have is a result of genetics "picking the wrong parents'. This is because the kidneys regulate blood pressure. Its like a thermostat of the body. Some are just set too high in the presence of high salt, being overweight and lack of exercise i.e. the typical American.
    Blood pressure drugs such as ACE inhibitors relax the arterial system allowing for more "room" for the blood volume hence since its a hydraulic system, the overall pressure is reduced. The kidneys sense this and says "I spit on your artery relaxing drug" and then holds onto salt and water to jack up the blood pressure once again to achieve the pressure that the kidney thermostat is set at. This is defeated by the addition of a mild diuretic to relieve the water retention. In older patients, you cannot achieve long term control of blood pressure without accounting for this mechanism.
    You can go off the bp meds and may or may not suffer the consequences but its a risk Ive seen many people lose and like I said, you can do alot of things to me but stroke or kidney failure aint one of them.
    Control your meds help yourself control with risk modifications such as diet and exercise. But being a bit jaded in terms of adherence of Americans to do this longer than a few months. Means its not a viable recommendation as the results are so serious

    May 4, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blondi

      AMEN. Thank you so much for posting what you have seen. I am 44, and I have end stage kidney failure. Granted, it's not from high blood pressure, I actually got high blood pressure from the kidney disease...it does not lessen the lesson here. If there were a pill that would prevent me from going thru what I am, I would take it whole heartedly for the rest of my life is so deemed necessary. As it is, I take 9 every morning when I wake up...just to get thru the day. Stories like the one above anger me, because I HAD NO CHOICE. My kidneys were damaged, I found out 10 years after the fact, by a mistake that happened during an epidural during my daughter's delivery. By the time the symptoms started to occur it was past the time that I could sue to receive monetary help for impending healthcare that I will need for the rest of my life....and now, I am unable to work, have been turned down 3 times for disability even though I am almost completely deaf(birth defect), have worked almost all of my life, can barely walk because of the pain from mixed connective tissue disease, and I am so fatigued from the kidney failure that I can wait to hit the bed every night. My husband is working himself to the bone every day so that my oldest daughter(from a previous marriage) can go to college and grad school, and we have 2 more daughters that will be there in 3 years. What I am saying is this...taking a measley bp pill can save a whole lot of trouble....there's nothing that I can do to help my situation, but if it was a measley pill, Damn skippy I'd take it~

      May 5, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • Mona

      2die4@2clarks.net

      August 16, 2013 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
  3. billdobagginsby

    I should also add that ARBs work on the same mechanism as ACE inhibitors. ARB stands for angiotensin receptor blocker, ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor. They both work to relax the angio (artery) via blockage of the tensin (constricting signal) produced by the kidneys. Again to allow the arteries to relax (opposite of tensin) allowing for more room for the blood volume hence lowering overall blood pressure in the hydraulic system.
    ACE inhibitors are super cheap 4$/month but are metabolized in the lungs so a certain percentage of people exhibit a cough which when switched to the non-generic ARB they pay more per month so the poster mentions his days working I assume alludes to more income now that he is retired.
    I further assume, he had a cough with the cheaper ACE inhibitors and that is why he was logically switched to Benicar which is quite spendy in comparison.
    The solution would be losartan which is generic for Cozaar and it went generic in 2010 and is an ARB, wont break the bank of a person on fixed income and will not cause the ACE inhibitor cost.
    Talk to your doctor about switching from Benicar HCT to losartan and HCTZ. Same effect, massively cheaper.

    Also, betablockers make LOUSY blood pressure control drugs. The side effects are often insidious, depression, malaise, feeling puny, poor sleep, poor exercise capacity.
    This is more pronounced with atenolol, less so but still there with metoprolol. 8 out of 10 patients switched to the newer bystolic, the patients report back life-changing alterations in their quality of life. Its 20-30 times more beta-selective to the cardiac tissue rather than the beta receptors in skeletal muscle and the brain.
    Meaning you get the same cardiac effect but without the sideeffects. It astounds me to the lack of knowledge of this fact by primary care doctors. We've been on a mission to take EVERY patient off of atenolol and either discontinue it or replace it with bystolic. This IS worth the 50$ more per month as the results are so dramatic.
    NEVER take atenolol or metoprolol for blood pressure. Take it for heart rate control if needed. See a cardiologist if your primary care doctor does not make the changes. No reason to be depressed, impotent, fatigued, and an insomniac because your doctor like most of them are unaware of this.
    And for the original questioner, if its cash you are worried about, ask your doctor about generic losartan. Having read between the lines. I think that is your answer.
    Hope that helps

    May 4, 2011 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ashley

      Wow! I was put on Atenolol when I was 25 (now 33). A lot of my lifestyle is different now and I have been trying to see if I can control my HBP with dietary changes. Let me see if I understand you-users of Atenolol could benefit by switching to Bystolic? Also, I wonder if I should ask to switch to Losartan, the generic form and an ARB? If I understand you correctly you said an ARB is better? I have no insurance so cost is a concern. I can never exercise more than 20 minutes and have been diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (severe). I wonder if it is due to the freaking Atenolol????

      May 4, 2011 at 22:28 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Can I just correct you on one little point. The reason that ACE inhibitors cause cough is not because they are metabolized in the lung. It is because they block the conversion of Angiotensin I to Angiotensin II which causes an increase in the production of bradykinin. Bradykinin then causes constriction in the lungs leading to a dry cough. ARBs don't have the problem with cough because they don't block the conversion, instead they block the receptor that Angiotensin activates.

      May 4, 2011 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      If you're on a beta-blocker, do not stop taking the medication. The drug needs to be withdrawn slowly. Consult your healthcare provider if you wish to get off of your beta-blocker.

      May 5, 2011 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      I am definitely saving this information. You tell it like it is, but I hope you don't get in trouble. Try not to trash any Brand, they have ways to retaliate. Thank you

      May 5, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I've been taking Bystolic for 4 years now for tachycardia, and it has been a huge improvement over metoprolol. But, my health insurer refuses to pay for it, because atenolol costs less. I tried the atenolol a few months ago, and I'd be safer driving drunk, and probably more aware of the world around me as well.

      I'm back on bystolic, and paying full price for it myself. That's how much of an improvement it made in my life.

      May 5, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      @Ashley if you are young, otherwise healthy, i would see your doctor about switching to something other than atenolol. It may be related to some of your side effects, but more importantly it is not a typical first-line agent for someone like you. before jumping to losartan or another ARB, consider asking your doc about HCTZ (a diuretic), ACE inhibitor (such as lisinopril), or calcium channel blocker (amlodipine). These may have a more favorable side effect. It would be a very unusual choice to start bystolic as a first-line agent for you, as it is still on-patent and very expensive, and the mortality evidence for it is not nearly as strong as for other beta blockers such as metoprolol or carvedilol. anyways, good luck.

      May 5, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      I’ve taken many different drugs for hypertension since 1978. The only drug to give me the dry, hacking cough was lisinapril. A combination of three drugs seems to work better for me than one “super pill”.

      May 10, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      My wife was put on Coreg(beta blocker) for heart rate reduction, also on Losartan for blood pressure.
      I think the heart rate would have come down by just lowering the BP with Losartan, he says the Coreg
      even though it is a beta blocker does not have the side effects of say, Metoprolol. I have my doubts,
      do you think the Coreg is on par with Bystolic ? I'm on Benicar, if I skip a day my BP drops 20 points
      but it goes back up if I go more than 1 day.

      June 9, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Mona

      You sound very knowledgable on BP and I have some questions in regard to my husband stopping BP medication after 10 years. I would like to email you a history and get your opinion. thank you

      August 16, 2013 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
  4. In a word "No"

    Waits until the last paragraph to say "I don't know." Thanks for nothing.

    May 4, 2011 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elsa

      Yea, it actually reminds me of a local celebrity gossip tv show in my country. They act like they know something but at the end the answer is always "we don't know."

      May 7, 2011 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
  5. Ex smoker and proud

    Billdobagginsby,
    Thanks a lot for your comments and easy to understand reasons to stay on
    your HBP protocols.
    A month's supply on Medicare 100mg of Losartan costs me in New York City a big $7.00
    ditto the generic diaretic $7.00 so for $14.OO a month I have some protection from genetic related
    HBP ,I walk on my job 5 miles a day and eat salt free when I am able too.

    May 4, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Gretchen

    Transcendental meditation seems to compliment nicely HBP medicines and diet changes.

    May 4, 2011 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. nina786

    nice information....:)

    May 5, 2011 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. asgardshill

    A few years ago, I went off my blood pressure meds because I was out of work and couldn't afford them. Within 6 months of stopping, I was back in the ER complaining of severe headache and a general feeling like I was going to pop, with a systolic that was over 300 (pegged the meter on the gauge in the ER) and a diastolic of 250. I'll stop eating now before I go another day without taking my blood pressure medication – I have no choice.

    May 5, 2011 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan

      Good point! Also, talk to your doc if you have money problems. Always make your needs known because it is your body. There's a lot of generics that cost less.

      May 5, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
  9. Bill1369

    For many years (I am now 64) I was on Cozaar 50mg, 100 mg Hyzaar & 17mg Sular each day, with moderately high readings on my quarterly Dr visits. After repeated urging from my Dr, I bought a home BP monitor.

    Taking 3 readings 2X/day I found my BP to be below the magic 120/80 most of the time. So I quit the Hyzaar & Sular and started Cozaar 2X/day – Bang! Stopped!

    Nothing happened to my BP. It stayed 'normal'. 2 months later I verified with my Dr the accuracy of my monitor and 8 months later I am still on Cozaar 50's twice a day and BP is the same 'normal',

    Dr's will always dose a person on the heavy side. That's not to say the patient needs it. Screw the meds....!!

    May 5, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. The_Mick

    Note that the pill you're taking, Benicar-HCT, partly depends on low-salt intake to work (the HCT part is a "water pill"). The rest is an ACE Inhibitor which effectively makes your blood vessels contract less than normal. Note also you can get Benicar-HCT as a generic drug – you might shop around for a good price.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ange

    i am 40 years old and have been on hypertension medicine since i was 21. i had a cardiogram performed when i was 28 as they could not control my high BP w/ meds back then. it was still erratic and would spike to stroke levels even on the meds. the cardiogram revealed nothing more or insightful. my husband and i had to delay having kids for almost 9 yrs as we were told by all my dr's not to get pregnant. finally when i was 34 we took the initiative to get pregnant w/out the dr's consent. there were some scary moments but our daughter was born healthy. i have been to approx 7 cardiologists and been on many different types of meds over the years. i am saying all this because one thing was clear from the article and from the comments; that people automatically assume you are overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle and have a bad diet to have high BP. that if you took better care of yourself ie: lost weight and started exercising you wouldn't have the problem. well i'm here to tell you that that's not always the case and i wish people would stop generalizing. i currently weigh 125lbs @ 5'3". i have never been more than 135 lbs, except when i was pregnant, and have exercised my whole life. i've always had a decent diet and over the past 10 yrs it has gotten even that much better. yet i still struggle w/ hypertension and will for the rest of my life.

    May 5, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dawn

      Hi Ange. Like you, I was diagnosed with HBP at a young age (28). I was put on different drugs over many long years. Nothing worked. I had kidney tests, cardio tests, you name it I had it. After a real scare, not related to HBP, I was seeing a new doctor. He put me on Lotrel 5/20. generic Amlod/Benazprl. My blood pressure dropped like a stone after 30 years of being on numerous drugs. Needless to say, I am in shock that anything worked. Keep up trying different drugs. I also have normal weight & do slight exercise like walking. good luck!

      May 5, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  12. Lisa

    About two years ago, my family doctor put me on propranonol. I was 30 years old, thin, in great shape and ate healthy, but I did work a stressful job and I was on BC pills. I just believed her until it caused me to put on 20 pounds in two months. I continued workign out daily and ate the same, so I knew it was the pills. She would not believe me until I threatened to stop taking them. Turns out that it was lowering my blood pressure so low that I could not get my heart rate up so it was like I was doing no cardio at all. I was not happy. So she switched me to Lisinopril and I got fed up and just stopped taking, it too made me gain weight, which again I think is counterintuitive to lowering my blood pressure. Nothing happened to me. F inally I found a new doctor and it turned out that my blood pressure was fine, I was scared of the automatic arm cuff. My prior doctor was using this arm cuff and would walk away and let me sit there while it squeezed I always told her that it hurt me. Well when the new doctor took it the old fashioned way, stethescope and cuff it was perfectly normal.

    My take is I think doctors are over anxious to prescribe these drugs, and i never needed them. BTW I still have 10 of those pounds to get rid of all as a direct result of taking those meds. I later heard they were using propranonol to try and erase soliders memories! What a great drug.

    May 5, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pat

      if you've been gaining weight for the past two years, despite trying two very different hypertensive drugs, i would entertain the possibility that your weight gain is due to other causes. also, taking your blood pressure with an automated cuff with nobody in the room is more accurate than taking it the old-fashioned, manual way. there is such a thing as 'white-coat' hypertension, which is where you get nervous and your BP reads high, but you can solve that question with a number of ambulatory or take-home BP cuffs. be careful because not treating hypertension can have serious consequences. finally- propranolol is an older but safe drug. it is not used to erase memories- it is used in PTSD because it can decrease feelings of anxiety and is also used for performance anxiety.

      P.S. I feel that it is good that doctors have become more prone to prescribe these BP drugs, because in the past they have been notoriously slow/reluctant in many studies which may have prevented some complications from high BP.

      May 5, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
  13. Marlene

    Very informative. I was put on Metoprolol for arrythmia, diagnosed at the age of 74. I fired my first cardiologist after he suggested my symptoms might be psychological. I made it through 6 months of sometimes severe arrythmia, was put on a medication that is now rarely used for this condition. My 2nd cardiologist switched me to metoprolol and Cozaar, the heart finally quietened down. it even withstood a 1-1/2 battle with breast cancer, however, I ended up with a double dose of Cozaar, 100 mg. Metorpolol dosage is 25 mg which I take at night. I do have insomnia, but that pre-dated the arrythmia. Would Bystolic be suitable for me? I'd appreciate your comments.
    PS – I gained 10 lbs. during chemo, which I am now trying to shed. Physically I am only now able to get back to a very light exercixe regimen.

    May 5, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Physiology expert

    The author incorrectly took your blood pressure, therefore such and conclusions. At 140 and 90 pressure it is equal 45. At 159 and 99 pressure it is equal 41. Values of pressure are specified at constant pulse.

    May 6, 2011 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dick S

    For the past 10+ years I have been on meds for diabetes – 3 different meds (type 2), high blood pressure – 2 different meds and for cholesterol lowering – 2 meds. I was constantly gaining weight and then all of a sudden I was gaining 1 pound a day on a diet of 1200 calories! And after nearly 1 1/2 years of tests, we discovered that one of the meds I was taking caused me to gain weight. Within 3 days of stopping that med, I started to lose weight. Since last fall I have now lost over 60+ pounds and with my doctor, we have eliminated 2 of the diabetic meds and cut back the dosage of the the 3rd, lowered the dosage on the BP meds by half and we are in the process of eliminating both cholesterol meds. My BP is normal, my A1C has almost been in the normal levels for 6 months and my overall cholesterol is 130-140. I do regular exercise 4 times a week at the gym and I eat a balanced diet and at least 1 day a week I am completely vegan in my diet, sometimes 2 days a week. I still eat red meat, chicken and fish. I have not had a single soda since New Years. My goal is to weigh what I weighed in 1967 when I have my 67th birthday later this year and hopefully be completely off all meds. I fully expect to reach that goal and my doctor thinks I will do it also. My original goal was to do it by the end of the year, but I am running way ahead of my schedule. It can be done but one needs to be determined and not give up. Good luck to those that try to get off meds. You can do it with determination. And setting a long term goal but make sure you have short term goals at different levels so that you will always get those feeling of satisfaction.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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  19. sam

    I had bp 7 years and had various kind of medicines beta blockers and ace inhibitors, last year I changed my diet, veggies only and no any kind of animal products, milk cheese etc, now I have always normal bp like 125/85 and I feel happy quitting animal products,

    April 28, 2012 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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  24. OFF my medications

    I have been on Norvasc 10mg for 4.5 years. Hydrocholthiazide 25 mgs. also for 4.5 years. My pressure was still high. My doctor prescibed a third drug, toprol 50mg. Had my bloodpressrue been normal on the norovasc and Hydrodchlorothiazide I would not have lost weight and change my diet. For the last three months I lost weight and avoid sodium likes its poison. My bp is normal without any meds at alll. averages 120 over 80 or less sometimes at night. My doctor told me I have a disease and will be on bp meds the rest of my life. I am 52. She is wrong in my case. My bp is staying normal by diet and excercise.
    I also gave up coffee. Doctors are too quick to prescibe because it is quicker and they may get gift and kickbacks from the drug companies. They should push more good diet regimens. They want you sick and coming back in alot of cases. Once your on meds your their patient forever.

    July 10, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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  28. Patricia Keith

    When I first got HBB I was 20 going on 21 I was Prego with my First son..they said it would go away after I had him..and it did not at First until I was about 24 then it went away at 29 I got prego again with my second Son and this time it didn't go away..I'm 35 now..and I'm taking Lisinopril 20mg,Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg,Metoprolol Tartrate 50mg..The meds are working..But next time the doc weans me off I'm Gonna tell him NO..scared I'll go threw this again..:(

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  44. Bo

    Interesting article. It refers to a diet of high salt, etc. Well that isn't my diet. (My place is covered in veggies, small portion of meat, no dairy products other than milk in my coffee. I don't eat cheese. I don't sit and munch on chips, et.) Lack of exercise? That isn't mine. I don't own a car so I walk and walk. I occasionally will have a vodka/OJ about 2x monthly. I don't smoke. As of last year 2012, my BP was running about 128/77. I'm now 60. And bang I have just learned that I have pre diabetes, irregular heart beat, and borderline high blood pressure? What went wrong I'm trying to figure out? My dad had heart disease/high BP but his life style was so opposite of mine. (Heavy drinker, heavy smoker, diet high in fat). Although he was 72 when he had his first heart attack and eventually 6 months later he died of a heart attack. So what I'm saying is you can do whatever but my opinion if something is going to hit you, it will hit you.

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  47. Mona

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  48. chowhanjeet

    When high blood pressure is at its moderate rate, there may not be any visible symptoms for even years. Mild and moderate hypertension may not produce any symptoms for years. By the time it advances in stage, one may start feeling pains on the neck and behind the head on getting up from bed, but it later stops after the morning hours.Exercise plays a very essential part in getting rid of high blood pressure. The safest form of exercise while in this condition is walking. It has the ability to relieve one of tension, improves the body muscles. Progression in this form of exercise will to a great extent reduces the level of the blood pressure because it mostly serves as a natural means of detoxification.Following a strict suitable diet combined with exercise and enough sleep will go al long way in aiding one to naturally get rid of high blood pressure. When one sticks to a diet plan that is mainly made up of fresh fruits and vegetables, minimal proteins,the blood coagulation gradually reduces leading to the blood pressure being lowered.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.