There is nothing more unsettling than a major change in the medical world. We’re all working towards our best lives, and it’s important that we’re able to trust the rules and guidelines set before us. So, when the American Heart Association changed its blood pressure guidelines in early 2018, suddenly diagnosing previously healthy people with high blood pressure, one cardiologist raised her voice in protest, stating that these new guidelines, and medication, are actually having a negative impact on our health.
The New American Heart Association Blood Pressure Guidelines Change Drastically, Diagnosing Millions with Hypertension
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association are continually conducting research and updating their guidelines. In early 2018, the guidelines changed in such a way that 31 million Americans were diagnosed with hypertension overnight, leaving cardiologists questioning the necessity of the changes.
Previously, blood pressure readings under 140/90 were considered normal, and anything over that number was seen as high. Now, readings above 130/80 are categorized as high, which has pushed people with previously normal blood pressure into the category of hypertension diagnosis (high blood pressure).
This means that overnight, without anything else changing within the body of the individual, millions of Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
But this isn’t the first time that the AHA has made changes to guidelines that have greatly affected the lives of many people. In 2013 similar changes were made to the cholesterol guidelines, and the results of those changes may have been detrimental to the health of many people.
The American Heart Association 2013 Cholesterol Guidelines Change Had Serious Repercussions for Millions
In early 2013 a change was made to the cholesterol guideline by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology that diagnosed approximately 13 million people with high cholesterol . That means that these people were healthy one day, and diagnosed with high cholesterol the following day. With all of these new diagnoses came new prescriptions for Statins, which are drugs known to have multiple side effects, particularly with people that are considered low-risk. Some of the shocking side effects include muscle damage, liver damage, increased blood sugar levels, and neurological side effects.
Just as the 2013 guideline changes altered millions of peoples lives overnight by diagnosing and prescribing unnecessary drugs, one cardiologist suspects that this change will do the same, only this time it will be the makers of high blood pressure medication that will reap the benefit.
Cardiologist States that the Use of This High Blood Pressure Medication Will Have a Negative Effect on Patients
Cardiologist Dr. Barbara Roberts, who is the director of the Women’s Cardiac Centre at the Miriam Hospital and associate clinical professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, not to mention successful author of a book called The Truth about Statins: Risks and Alternatives to Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs, has a strong view of the new American Heart Association Guideline changes and doctors willingness to prescribed Statins to patients as a result.
“The new guidelines are based on shoddy science and misinterpretation of the data. The American Heart Association has become little more than a propaganda arm of Big Pharma and Big Food. It’s a disgrace”. She says in a recent interview on the subject.
Dr. Roberts concern is that the problems caused by the 2018 blood pressure guideline changes will mirror the problems that arose from the changes made in 2013 to the cholesterol guidelines. Her concern is that the increase in high blood pressure cases will increase the number of people taking prescription drugs, which will benefit the company that makes the drugs, but be detrimental to the patients taking them.
Dr. Roberts states that there may be upwards of a quarter million new cases of diabetes as a result of Statins, as well as a minimum of 10-percent of users experiencing serious muscle side effects, increased instances of cognitive dysfunction, nerve damage, liver damage, and an increased risk of kidney injury.
An article in the New York Times, written by Harvard Medical School lecturer John D. Abramson and Dr. Rita F. Redberg, a cardiologist at the University of California and the San Francisco Medical Centre, echoes Dr. Roberts concern.
“Statins are effective for people with known heart disease. But for people who have less than a 20 percent risk of getting heart disease in the next 10 years, statins not only fail to reduce the risk of death but also fail even to reduce the risk of serious illness,” Abramson and Redberg write.
Dr. Roberts remains firm in her disagreement with the American Heart Association guideline changes by saying: “Expanding the number of healthy people who take Statins by the tens of millions is going to reap a holocaust of adverse effects.”
When asked if Holocaust was a strong word, she simply replied with “No”.
The Shocking Side Effects of Statins
Statins are often prescribed for people to reduce their high blood pressure and minimize the risk of a heart attack or stroke, but they have also been linked to several other health problems, including:
Muscle Pain and Damage
One of the most common complaints from those taking Statins is muscle pain. This can range from mild discomfort to a discomfort so severe that it affects your day-to-day activities. You may feel soreness, tiredness, or a weakness in your muscles.
Statins could increase the levels of enzymes that signal liver inflammation. Symptoms of this could present themselves as a weakness of the muscles, loss of appetite, pain in the upper abdomen, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Increased Blood Sugar or Type 2 Diabetes
It is possible that your blood sugar levels could increase while taking Statins, which can lead to a development of Type 2 Diabetes.
Neurological Side Effects
People taking Statins have been known to develop memory loss or confusion while taking the drug.Despite there being major side effects to taking Statins, many doctors are still recommending it to treat high blood pressure. If the effects of these drugs seem less-than-ideal for you, there are more natural ways that you can help to keep your blood pressure in check.
Maintain Normal Blood Pressure Levels Using These Natural Methods
At the end of the day, you know your body more than anyone else, because you’re the one who has to live in it. It’s important to feel happy with the choices that you make when it comes to your health. If you’d like to take a more natural approach to achieving and maintaining normal a blood pressure than consider trying the following approaches.
Eat Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
Eating foods that lower blood pressure will help to keep your heart happy and healthy. Focus on consuming monounsaturated fats, as opposed to saturated fats, which will decrease the harmful LDL cholesterol, increase the good HDL cholesterol, and reduce harmful oxidation that contributes to clogged arteries . Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include:
Tree Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews)
Maintaining a consistent exercise routine will not only keep your heart healthy, it will also help to fight off obesity. It is recommended that thirty minutes of physical activity, five days a week, is enough to improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Smoking changes the way that the body handles cholesterol. The immune cells of a smoker are unable to return cholesterol from the vessel walls to the blood for transport to the liver. These dysfunctional immune cells may lead to the faster development of clogged arteries. So, by not smoking you will be helping to keep your heart, as well as the rest of your body, healthier.
Use Alcohol in Moderation
Studies have shown that when used in moderation, alcohol can actually help decrease the risk of heart disease. But, when used in excess it can harm the liver. The recommended daily limit is two drinks for men and one for women.
Our heart is the motor that keeps us going each day. Without a healthy heart, we can’t expect the rest of our body to feel happy and healthy, so it is absolutely essential that we do everything in our power to keep our heart pumping powerfully. When it comes to your health, do your research. Don’t always trust what the doctors, pharmacies, or associations are telling you, but instead, take your health-related knowledge into your own hands.