Most doctors will act like you don’t have a choice. When your blood pressure hits a certain point, onto the drugs you go.
And don’t even bother to argue. After all, it says so right there in the guidelines.
But you’re about to learn one of the dirtiest secrets of modern medicine. It’s something that insiders already know but never like to admit.
Many doctors often IGNORE those very same guidelines they pretend to treat as gospel when it’s convenient. And nowhere is that truer than with your blood pressure.
See, those guidelines do say you need meds if you cross a certain point. But they also say there’s one step you can take first. It’s a step that could help up to 30 percent of all hypertension patients AVOID medication.
All you have to do… is ASK.
Beware of White-Coat Hypertension
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force just issued an update reminding docs to screen everyone for high blood pressure.
Not sure why they need that little poke. I’ve NEVER had a doctor’s appointment yet when they didn’t check my BP the moment I walked in the door.
But that same update also affirms something else. And that’s the part of the task force recommendation that often gets ignored. It’s the part that says you SHOULDN’T get meds right away.
And yes, that’s even IF your blood pressure registers as high.
Up to 30 percent of Americans who have high blood pressure when they visit a doctor have NORMAL levels the rest of the time. It’s called “White-Coat Hypertension.” You see, BP can rise because of the anxiety of seeing a doctor… or just the overall stress related to the visit, from parking the car to the waiting room experience.
These folks don’t really have hypertension. And they certainly don’t need treatment for it. But many get it anyway because docs see that high number and whip out the prescription pad. And that’s how up to an estimated 30 million Americans who are popping a daily blood pressure pill may not need them.
The new update includes a reminder that it’s NOT supposed to happen that way. Instead, you’re supposed to take your own readings at home to see if your so-called hypertension is really just the white-coat form.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says you can take it a couple of times a day or even just a couple of times a week. If the readings are fairly normal at home, tell your doc to put that prescription pad away.
Bring your BP down WITHOUT drugs
But let’s go further than those guidelines. Because even if your blood pressure is STILL high when you take your own readings, there’s another option.
Ask your doc for a bit of time to bring your blood pressure down on your own. And then get serious about doing it. Far too many folks don’t follow through on the changes they need to make to bring those numbers down.
You can start by losing a little weight. Even just dropping 10 pounds can often cut your blood pressure as well as meds.
Research has shown simple stretching exercises can bring your numbers down too. And supplements can also help. L-carnitine, for example, can cut nearly 8 points off your blood pressure, while lycopene could cut those levels by as much as 10 points.
Even some specific foods can lend a hand, and I’ve got a list of the best right here.
If your blood pressure is borderline, to begin with, taking a few of these simple steps could be all you need to drop back out of the danger zone with no drugs required.