There are better, natural alternatives to this new high-tech out-of-control approach to lowering your blood pressure.
It is estimated that 76.4 million people in the US have high blood pressure—1.2 billion people worldwide. Of course, the definition of what constitutes high blood pressure keeps changing, with the not-so-coincidental result that drug companies sell more and more drugs. More than 42 million people in the US currently take drugs to curb hypertension.
Many of these people do need to get their blood pressure down. It isn’t all about selling drugs. But here’s the rub: the drugs often don’t work or work well enough. So dozens of hospitals and scientists are testing a profoundly invasive new procedure: a catheter is threaded through blood vessels in the groin up into the kidneys to literally burn away overactive nerves deep in the body that are thought to contribute to rising blood pressure.
Nerves in the body’s fight-or-flight system play a role in signaling kidney functions, which in turn may affect blood pressure, such as by relaxing or tightening key arteries. Sometimes those nerves stay switched on when they shouldn’t be—which blood pressure drugs can’t address. The problem is that some people have overactive nervous systems, so blood pressure can be high even in situations that are not dangerous. At least that’s the theory. The medical industry’s hope is that destroying some of the nerves will calm an overactive system, relaxing arteries and lowering blood pressure.
Will this work for you? Maybe, maybe not. And what about the potential side effects? They include bleeding, injured blood vessels, immediate blood pressure or heart problems, and complications from the medications used during procedure. Of course, these are just the known short-term side effects. No one yet knows what the long-term side effects might be.
The procedure promises to be incredibly lucrative because of the huge number of people in the world who have high blood pressure. Companies offering the equipment could make between $1.5 billion and $4.4 billion annually and then there is the cost of performing this complicated procedure. Medtronic currently leads the market with its nerve cell burning device, but competitors are developing other devices as well. The procedure is already approved in Europe and Asia, though still going through approval process in the US. Researchers are also considering using the same approach to lower blood sugar, control sleep apnea, and ease heart failure and kidney disease. In time, maybe all of these uses will be candidates to burn our nerves! Sounds almost as good as the bloodletting that doctors insisted on in the 18th and earlier centuries.
As noted above, hypertension drugs are big business, even when they don’t work, so why stop them after the procedure? It is no surprise that many patients are given these same hypertension drugs after the invasive nerve-deadening surgery—ensuring pharmaceutical profits both before and after the procedure.
All of this completely ignores what integrative medicine has known all along: that high blood pressure is a symptom of other problems. It may stem from a poor fatty acid profile, other diet issues, obesity, high stress levels, insulin resistance, and other conditions. Dr. Jonathan Wright and others have also pointed out the link between heavy metal toxicity and high blood pressure.
It should be obvious that eliminating the symptom doesn’t solve the problem. Even if you get your blood pressure to perfectly normal levels, if you haven’t addressed the underlying imbalance, your health may not improve. This is a central tenet of integrative health. It’s about getting to the root of the problem—not just applying a Band-Aid, or worse, undergoing dangerous surgery.
Dr. Joseph A. Mercola advocates a natural approach to lowering your blood pressure:
- Control you blood sugar: In a 1998 study, two-thirds of patients who were insulin-resistant also had high blood pressure. Regulating blood sugar levels—which means cutting out sweets, starchy foods, and even grains—may bring blood pressure into a healthy range.
- Reduce your stress: The link between the stress and high blood pressure has been well established. Although some highly stressed individuals have perfectly normal pressure, changing your lifestyle to lessen stress and managing your emotional life more effectively may help you regulate your blood pressure.
- Get your fatty acid profile right: Most people get far too much omega-6 fatty acid (found in corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils) in their diets, and far too little omega-3s (found among other places in walnuts, flaxseeds, and fish). Make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fats through diet and supplementation.
- Watch your caffeine intake: Though the connection is not understood, there is evidence that too much caffeine can make hypertension worse.
- Lose weight: If you lose the excess fat and maintain your weight loss, you can reduce blood pressure in the long term. It is important to eat to your own specific nutritional needs.
- Get moving: Studies suggest that aerobic exercise is important for—and best at—lowering blood pressure.
- Get enough vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency, which is linked to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, increases parathyroid hormone production, increasing blood pressure. D is also a negative inhibitor of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) which regulates blood pressure.
Dr. Mercola also recommends taking calcium and magnesium, vitamins C and E, and olive leaf extract to help control high blood pressure. Dr. Wright also suggests potassium for hypertension.
And there are also other foods besides omega-3 oils that can lower your numbers significantly: natto, celery, and beets. Alternatively one can use supplements: nattokinase or celery or beet extract.
Overactive nerves are one of key problems found in Chemical sensitivities, and it has been found to be caused by 2 key problems: Chronic low level exposure to either mold and their toxins, and/or chronic low level exposure to pesticides.
Burning out key nerves will never solve this problem or any other. What is the world has gotten into mainstream medicine. Every time I think I have heard it all, along comes another even more bizarre invasive procedure.
If anyone wants to see how chronic exposure to molds and chemicals can cause an over active nervous system and more, take a look at this lecture by environmental medicine physician Lisa Levine Nagy MD given at a Pennsylvania medical school.
Two other items for high blood pressure Alpha-Lipoic-Acid & Nattokinase. My blood pressure dropped dramatically after after supplementing with these two items.
Toxic chemicals irritate everything.Since they don’t “know” that some people become sufficiently sensitized to develop symptoms from “safe” concentrations they never notice that they irritate nerves just as often as they irritate anything else.
The predictable results include “overactive nerves.”
Many of these are not really “overactive” at all.
They are being irritated.
It is wrong to “burn” these unfortunate nerves.
It is not their fault.
Those nerves need protection from further abuse.
Another invasive money making procedure.
where can original nattokinase be purchased in canada?
most produce/food at grocery stores are either from Mexico/USA/Canada or local farmers are either sprayed with chemicals, carcinogens, GMO and whatever FDA/Health Canada allows to be shipped in.
PLEASE & TYVM! All my personal security/privacy/info kept @ utmost confidentiality. MD’s/lawyer’s/family concerns. NO publicity whatsoever allowed.
Would it not be criminal to deny drugs and medical procedures to those who do not take these measures? Can one realistically expect a physician to let a patient die because he thinks that the patient was not sufficiently diligent with such measures?
The Tohono O’odham are adapted to cycles of starvation and gradually become obese with the nation’s highest rates of type II diabetes and hypertension. Duplicating their historic cycle would go past the DASH diet, past a weight loss diet and past a CR diet into the gut-wrenching falling-down diet. Before one questions their motivation, does anyone think that teenage males WANT diabetic impotence well before they are old enough to marry?
Many of Mediterranean or African extraction conserve sodium and become hypertensive from a standard diet. Permanent damage to both the elasticity of arteries and the regulatory feedback systems may exist at initial diagnosis and make conservative measures ineffective or at least insufficient.
Few patients with obstructive sleep apnea are aware of it but they could number 5% of the population and 15% of the elderly. Resistant hypertension and cardiac fibrosis result from only a few years without adequate treatment. The fact that Dr. Mercola’s site does not even mention this major cause of hypertension questions his credibility.
As many as 20% of resistant hypertensive patients have hyperaldosteronism. Aldosterone is reduced by dietary sodium and increased by potassium and magnesium. Supplementation without a proper diagnosis could be fatal but there are specific and inexpensive aldosterone receptor blocking drugs. Dr. Mercola does not discuss hyperaldosteronism but apparently once recommended aldosterone as a treatment for hearing loss.
I spent years doing just what this article recommends and that allowed my condition to advance. I would have been far better off seeing a physician on day one. Because of that delay I may someday need the surgical intervention that you criticize.
Catheter-based radio-frequency renal denervation is a great advance over open surgery and it yields almost miraculous results for a select group of resistant patients. Do not badmouth what you do not understand. If you won’t read the papers, at least view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POqhP7dK99g
How awful. Natural methods are definitely the way to go!!!!
Thank you for blowing the whistle on this cavalier, half-baked and probably damaging tactic.
This sounds to me as a medical professional to be what I would think of as a last ditch approach to save someone’s. Life. It certainly would be something if I were in that position I might consider.But until 10 to 20 yrs. down the line, I would as I said use it only as a life saving measure.
I agree that a good diet is not enough to help you keep fit. You need to exercise, too. I’m a little bit overweight due to the nature of my job, then I choose to take part in a water aerobics class in my region. It’s great fun! I like it so much that I even want to share my experience with everyone who are interested in this sport, too. You can read here: water aerobics equipment.
Hey if you have time, check it out. I hope you like it!
Oddly enough they forgot to mention that their Blue Motion cars are just 6% of their fleet and that they’re lobbying against the laws we need to stop climate change. That’s just the sort of thing we need your help to expose.
We, the medical industry, want to invent expensive medical procedures to tamper with the body to solve all your problems. So you can either take our drugs for the rest of your life, or pay it all up front by having this expensive procedure that may fail anyway. Even though your overactive nerves are caused by all the exposure to modern media and poisonous foods. Between video games, radio, television, chemical foods, and anxiety caused by political drama. When millions need to lower high blood pressure, its a man made problem. Not “natural”. The whole industry is LYING TO EVERYONE.
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