I’m a huge believer in the value of blood tests for identifying underlying conditions.
In fact, after analyzing routine bloodwork, I recently noticed signs of kidney damage in two separate patients on the same class of medication.
Well, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine finds that long-term use of these commonly prescribed drugs could be a contributor.
Here’s everything you need to know…
The dark side of that blood pressure drug
High blood pressure (BP) affects nearly half of all U.S. adults.
When left untreated, it can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke—two leading causes of death. So, patients with chronically high BP are often put on medication.
But shocking new research reveals this decision could eventually lead to kidney damage.
For this new study, researchers wanted to understand why high BP is sometimes accompanied by thickening of the arteries and small blood vessels in the kidney.
It turns out, specialized kidney cells play an important role.
These cells produce renin—a vital hormone that helps regulate blood pressure. However, changes in these cells can cause them to invade the walls of the kidney’s blood vessels.
The renin cells then create a buildup of smooth muscle cells, causing the vessels to thicken and stiffen. As a result, just like when your heart’s arteries get clogged, blood can’t flow through the kidney. And that’s when irreparable damage occurs.
Of course, researchers also discovered that long-term use of blood pressure medications—such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers—create a similar effect.
Lifestyle modifications can help
ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are commonly prescribed drugs that seemingly have minimum side effects for the patient. (These medications are used for all sorts of cardiac issues, not just for high BP control.)
But this is yet another example of how taking a medication for one thing is likely going to damage something else. Our bodies are precise organisms, so is it really any wonder what might happen when you artificially mess with it?!
Here’s a clue: Chaos, havoc, and collateral damage.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking you to abandon these drugs completely. They have been used safely for years and are, for many people, life-saving.
But I am asking you to take the lifestyle modifications I’ve often recommended much more seriously than you probably do.
A balanced diet, a healthy amount of sleep, consistent exercise, and smart supplementation can go a long way in reducing not only your blood pressure, but your risk of many chronic diseases.
(In the February 2018 newsletter of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, I discuss six supplements you can take for healthy blood pressure. Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one today.)
And remember—just as high BP is a risk to your health, low BP can be deadly, too.
So, work with your doctor to determine your sweet spot. Because your target BP should be custom to your health and lifestyle. (I truly believe guidelines are just that—guidelines. So don’t allow your doctor to treat you as a number.)
For additional ways to help prevent and reverse America’s biggest killers—including high blood pressure—check out my Ultimate Heart Protection Protocol. To learn more about this innovative, online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.
“Long-term use of blood pressure drugs may cause kidney damage, study suggests.” UVAToday, 01/11/2022. (news.virginia.edu/content/long-term-use-blood-pressure-drugs-may-cause-kidney-damage-study-suggests)