You know how teenagers always seem to travel in packs? Diabetes is a lot like that, it never seems to arrive on the scene alone.
Once you receive a diabetes diagnosis you’re likely to have a bunch more uninvited guests crashing your party.
Nerve pain, memory loss, heart disease and high blood pressure are just a few of the common conditions that can accompany diabetes. And it’s conventional medicine’s typical response to that last one in particular that can put you in serious—and even deadly—danger.
Nearly two out of every three diabetics also have high blood pressure. And the most common mainstream medicine approach to treating it is to go in with guns blazing, hitting it hard with high blood pressure drugs.
Treating your high blood pressure could be deadly
But according to Swedish researchers, that approach could kill you.
Here’s what we know. Researchers crunched the data from 49 different clinical trials on over 73,000 diabetics who were taking high blood pressure pills.
Folks who took drugs and had their systolic, or top, blood pressure number drop below 140, were much more likely to have a heart attack or die.
But the news gets even worse.
The goal of treating hypertension with drugs is, obviously, to bring the “high” numbers down. But it turns out the more patients were treated, and the lower their blood pressure dropped, the worse off they were.
But you want to know the worst news of all is?
Overmedicating for hypertension happens way too often
Many of those being force fed blood pressure drugs don’t even need them in the first place. Because although truly high blood pressure can be bad for you, what the mainstream medicine labels “high” is often ludicrous, not to mention dangerous when it’s over treated.
Listen, although this new research is shocking, it shouldn’t be totally unexpected. Because, the thing is, there’s more than enough research already out there proving that forcing people’s blood pressure down below 140 can be downright risky.
When you add in the sickening side effects of ACE inhibiting drugs, and possibly other blood pressure meds, it just makes sense that you could have a deadly disaster on your hands.
And overmedicating isn’t just a problem for those with borderline numbers, in some cases we have people whose blood pressure is well within normal range being medicated as well.
Surprised? Don’t be, if the establishment can throw a drug at a “problem” rather than spend a little extra time figuring out what’s ACTUALLY going on with a patient it will.
Beware of white coat syndrome
After all the average doctor’s visit has shrunk down to 15 minutes or less. And when your doctor is moving that fast there’s simply no time left for critical thinking or personalized medicine. He has to turn to prescription pad medicine just to keep his head above water.
That’s why so many cases of “white coat syndrome” get missed. White coat syndrome is when a person’s blood pressure spikes in response to the stress that being in a doctor’s office causes them.
If these same folks monitor their own pressure at home—something I HIGHLY encourage for anyone who has been told they have high blood pressure—they can see how their blood pressure actually reacts over time to figure out if they really have a high blood pressure issue or not.
Nutrients can help naturally reduce blood pressure
If you do find that your blood pressure is higher than you and your doctor are comfortable with, that still doesn’t mean you have to turn right to medications. In fact, taking a more conservative and nutritional approach FIRST is almost always the best choice.
With my own patients I have successfully been able to use two common supplements—quercetin and vitamin D—to help bring patient’s blood pressure down naturally, gently and quickly (sometimes within just weeks).
Both of these inflammation-fighting nutrients are safe and they not only offer you heart protection, they can also help your body fight off certain types of cancer. (Now THAT’S a side effect I’m all for!)
Quercetin helps reduce blood pressure in just 6 weeks
Quercetin is a flavanol naturally found in many plants including kale, berries, onions, tea and citrus fruits.
In one study out of Germany, University of Bonn researchers were able to show just how powerful quercetin can be against high blood pressure. When they tested the nutrient against a placebo the results were nothing short of remarkable.
In just six weeks the patients taking the onion skin extract watched their blood pressure begin to go down. In less than two months on average they saw their blood pressure drop 3.6 mmhg.
In other words, it wasn’t just a clinically significant drop it was enough of a movement that it could very well make the difference between being labeled hypertensive or not for some people. And who knows how much more of a reduction they might have seen had they continued with the supplementation.
Besides eating more quercetin-rich foods you can get quercetin in a supplement. For the University of Bonn study participants were getting 162 mg of quercetin a day, a level easily covered by most supplements.
Boost fitness & lower blood pressure with vitamin D
A healthy dose of vitamin D could also help lower your blood pressure naturally.
In fact, a small study presented at the Society of Endocrinology in Edinburgh, Scotland demonstrated that this common vitamin not only can help keep the lid on blood pressure it could even help boost the effectiveness of your workouts while it’s at it.
To test the vitamin’s effects researches gave the volunteers 50 micrograms of D or a placebo every two days for two weeks. The lucky group who got the real deal vitamin were able to effortlessly increase the distances they were able to cycle from 5 kilometers in 20 minutes to 6.5 kilometers.
A 30 percent jump in just two weeks flat with zero extra effort!
But their other findings are what are the most exciting for folks who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The vitamin D takers had less signs of exertion AND the vitamin lowered their blood pressure.
Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem and many people are walking around with low levels of this important vitamin without even knowing it, especially seniors. But the good news is you can start increasing your D levels starting today by simply stepping out into the sunshine with your head and arms exposed.
Spending just 20 to 30 minutes out there should be enough to bump on your levels. You can also increase the number of vitamin D rich foods you’re eating. See the chart below for some good options:
|Foods rich in vitamin D|
|cod liver oil|
Vitamin D is also available as a supplement. For my own patients I typically recommend 2,000 IU in the summer months and 4,000 IU over the winter.
If you’re diabetic and concerned about your blood pressure, supplements are a great place to start before you consider risky prescription drugs. Talk with your doctor about developing a plan that works for you.
Latest posts by Dr. Glenn Rothfeld (see all)
- Q&A: Can vitamin C really kill cancer cells? - October 1, 2016
- Q&A: Have they really removed the mercury in vaccines? - September 11, 2016
- Dangerous vitamin deficiency can lead to misdiagnosis - August 20, 2016