Popular Medications
To Lower Blood Pressure

Lowering Blood Pressure With Natural Means

Medications can help lower blood pressure. But it is best to begin with lifestyle changes. In many cases our decaying heart health is the result of years – even decades – of bad choices. The body is resilient. So we continue to abuse it until our health begins to deteriorate. 

In many cases lifestyle changes will halt and even begin to reverse the damage we have done. It is the same with blood pressure. High blood pressure is often the result of other conditions like coronary heart disease that can respond to choices we make. So that is where we start… Lowering blood pressure with natural means.

Going Further To Lower Blood Pressure

But there are times when we need help from medications. Many times doctors can not identify the exact cause of high blood pressure. Fortunately precise identification is not necessary. Your doctor may have to experiment a bit to determine which medication – or medications – work best for you with the least number of side-effects. 

There are a number of medications that can help lower blood pressure. Some of them are… 

Beta-blockers 

Beta-blockers lower blood pressure by decreasing the heart rate and decreasing the amount of blood that is pushed out with each pump. They also cause the blood vessels to relax. Beta-blockers are sometimes used alone or in combination with diuretics. 

Beta-blockers are used with caution in people who have congestive heart failure because congestive heart failure reduces the strength with which the heart can pump blood. Caution should also be observed if the patient has…

  • Arrhythmia
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol

Possible side-effects may include…

  • Worsening of asthma
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure (when the patient gets off the medication too quickly)
  • Confusion
  • Decreased HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Increased blood sugar levels

Diuretics 

Diuretics lower blood pressure by removing sodium and water from the body. This allows the blood vessel walls to relax which in turns allows blood to flow more easily. Because diuretics can enhance the effects of other blood pressure medications they are often used in conjunction with these. 

Unlike beta-blockers, diuretics are recommended for people who have heart failure. Unfortunately diuretics can…

  • Raise cholesterol
  • Worsen diabetes
  • Cause gout (because of increased uric acid)
  • Worsen some types of heart disease

They can also…

  • Increase thirst
  • Initially increase urination
  • Cause impotence
  • Cause fluid loss and fainting

ACE inhibitors 

This class of drugs lowers blood pressure by interfering with the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a potent chemical which causes blood vessels to constrict thereby increasing blood pressure. 

When angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) reacts with angiotensin I it converts it into angiotensin II. ACE inhibitors prevent ACE from reacting with angiotensin I. Without the presence of angiotensin II in the system the blood vessels are allowed to relax and open up thereby reducing blood pressure. 

ACE inhibitors have become very popular for lowering blood pressure. They are commonly prescribed for patients with diabetes who also need to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that patients with high blood pressure who also have heart failure or a previous heart attack live longer by using ACE inhibitors. 

ACE inhibitors are well tolerated by most people. But they can produce some side-effects. Because they may produce birth defects pregnant women should not use them. Also people with severe kidney problemsshould avoid ACE inhibitors. 

More commonly ACE inhibitors can produce…

  • An irritating cough
  • Elevated potassium levels
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • A rash
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure

Rare side-effects might include…

  • A decrease in white blood cells
  • Swelling
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney failure

Alpha-blockers 
The hormone norepinephrine stimulates the muscles in the walls of small arteries and veins. This stimulation makes the blood vessel walls constrict thereby limiting blood flow. Of course this restriction raises blood pressure. 

Alpha-blockers help lower blood pressure by keeping norepinephrine from stimulating these muscles. The blood vessel walls relax allowing blood to flow more easily. 

Alpha-beta-blockers, as the name implies, are a combination of alpha-blockers and beta-blockers. Like alpha-blockers they help lower blood pressure by allowing the blood vessels to relax and open. And like beta-blockers they slow the heart rate. 

Alpha-blockers can produce certain unpleasant side-effects. When you start using them you may experience what is called a "first-dose effect". This effect produces very low blood pressure, dizziness, and even fainting.

Other possible side-effects include…

  • Pounding heart
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Weight gain

The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) showed that long-term use of alpha-blockers may increase your risk for congestive heart failure.

Nervous system inhibitors 

This class of drugs helps lower blood pressure by relaxing nerve impulses to blood vessels. The blood vessels themselves relax and open allowing increased blood flow under lower pressure. 

Possible side-effects include…

  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Increased sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Swelling of feet or legs
  • Weakness or fatigue

Calcium channel blockers 

Calcium causes the heart to contract and the arteries to narrow. Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) lower blood pressure by keeping calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and arteries. By restricting the passage of calcium the heart does not contract as strongly and the arteries remain dilated (open). 

Because calcium channel blockers ease the heart’s workload they are useful in relieving the symptoms of angina

Possible CCB side-effects may include…

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Low blood pressure

Lowering Blood Pressure Is Worth The Effort

Because long-term high blood pressure damages the heart and cardiovascular system it often leads to serious conditions like…

Therefore if your doctor recommends medications to lower your blood pressure it is important that you take his advice. 

But don’t stop there. Lowering blood pressure is something you can do as well. Blood pressure often responds well to lifestyle changes you make. So begin with what you can do. Make every effort to... 

Lower your blood pressure naturally.


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