How much difference does it make?

Sifting through the huge amount of information on the web, it would seem most of the adult population suffer from raised BP, whether they know it or not. Just how much are we being conned by pharmaceutical manufacturers I wonder? Before I started this merry-go-round I was fit and energetic, but now I'm a wreck with swollen legs, chronic cough, coeliac disease, dizzyness, insomnia, aches and pains like arthritis and anxiety to name but the few I can remember at the moment. I've changed my tablets and combination of tablets numerous times over the last 15 years and my BP remains steady at about 160/80 with a pulse rate of 40 - 50.

What is the point I ask myself?

What would happen if I threw the whole lot in the bin and went back to eating normally? Life is so intolerable I sometimes think it wouldn't matter if I had a heart attack and died.

25 Replies

  • My husband did just that and stopped his only takes pain relief now when he needs it.I buy him seabuck thorn oil through Amazon. its worth the money and not that dear. If you take cod liver oil and garlic this will be better. He had a heart attack back in 1999 stopped tablets two years ago and does more in the house now than he has done for years. I still take mine but i'm going to see a general medicine doctor in two months to try and sort mine out as i've refused to take colestral tablets. I am over weight now and dont want to put any more on as it doesnt help with arthritus.

    Not much help really but i should talk it over with your GP first.


  • Yes, quite a lot of help actually. I'm interested to hear you started with high BP after using HRT, because thats about the time my problems started, but I hadn't connected them. My weight gain began then too and I think all that messing around with hormones, from 'the pill' to HRT and all that, was a big mistake and I've encouraged my daughter not to go down that route.

    Did your husband just stop his blood pressure medication off his own bat, or did the doctor guide him through it?

    When you think about it, doctors are taught to medicate, so they just add another drug to the one's we're taking in order to cancel all these nasty side effects. They don't look at the person in the middle of it all.

  • He just stopped of his own bat, he can still be a pain in the neck. He complains about pain in his legs which he has had since being in motor bike accident when he was still at school. He was on his neighbours scooter and they got knocked off. His knees are the trouble one jumps out and the other is just OA. He wont go GPs now so we will see when his pain relief tablets run out. He didnt always take full doses when he was get the repeat prescriptions .

    Me i'm still on three a day but its ok now. Goes with all the other things i take, did go down to two for a while but COPD is playing up so thats the way it goes. Just get on with life, still got my dad a life and a daughter who had stem cell replacement, who might have to have full bone marrow transplant as things arent going to well.. You have to carry on and help where i can which i do with great grand children as well, i'm too busy to be ill.


  • Take the statins or walk a mile a day fast which is it going to be?Garlic and fish oil good stay with it.

  • I feel like quoting Fletcher in Porridge - what with these feet?

  • Oh Fastball, no wonder you're having problems ... all that stress! COPT is a horrible condition and must drag you down and make you exhausted.

    I just think we are in danger of being over-medicated though, and question the reasons for all these pills that everyone over 50 seems to be taking. Take this, then take that, then take the other to counteract the side effects of the second one .... and so it goes on and on.

    I think back to my Mum who lived to be 100. She was firmly convinced that 'doctors kill you' and 'people die in hospital her 80s, that she was prescribed thyroid pills then co proxamol, then omeprazole, and finally metformin that she developed dementia (OK she may have got that anyway) and died a babbling incontinent in hospital, where she knew no-one and recognised none of us. It was an undignified way to die and you wouldn't have treated a dog like that!

    Her blood pressure stayed constant until her death at the 120s/80s. She lived on a farm and ate butter, cream and full fat milk and cheese, not forgetting the beef and lamb from their own animals .... and don't get me going on the cakes!

    Sorry - I do go one a bit - but I'm getting more like her in mistrusting the medics. It looks as though your other half is thinking the same way, irritating as it is!

  • I identify with all the above symptoms, fit and energetic until I started taking BP meds. Then the swollen legs/stomach, dizzyness, coeliac problems (horrible) anxiety, chronic tiredness ect ect. my GP sent me for a load of tests, over a years worth. Nothing wrong with my organs, finally admitted the symptoms were related to the amlodipine tablets. A YEAR of tests! What a waste of my time and theirs! I then went on line to find out about amlodipine.......................................................................

    I cut my meds back to two a week, my BP stayed good. I've never visited the GP since deciding that my health was my responsibility and that I had better things to do with my time than be poked and prodded by doctors. I'm sensible about what I eat, don't smoke or drink, exercise (a bit) and take my own blood pressure but not obsessively The point being my life is better without the meds, My responsibility.

    It's an individual choice and I've always believed in natural ways to keep healthy.

  • its all so hard .... we want to trust our dr .... but are we just beings to be tested on ........ I am due to see my dr very soon and feel very concerned ...... fingers crossed

  • A lot of pharmaceutical medication is being tested on us, no-one can tell the individual's reaction to this medication. GPs are doing their best, following the rules according to their training, it must be exhausting for them, so many of us and so few of them.

    My resistance to medication came from watching my mum taking one med and two more to counteract the effects of the original med.

    At one time she was on 17 tablets, 7 for treatments and 10 to counteract the effects of the original 7. The older generation were the first under the N.H.S. as a free service and seemed to enjoy the attention. We have better access to information, the medical profession do a great job but can't really know how each one will react to these drugs. It's only natural that you feel concerned, I was very worried when I was diagnosed with high BP 15 years ago but realised that worrying only made it worse. I have my own BP monitor now and read as much about natural remedies as I can. Plus BP varies so much, at times of great stress it soars, so watching out for these times is important, staying calm is an exercise in itself but one we can cultivate if we practise. Drinking plenty of water helps to thin the blood and makes it easier for the heart to move it around. So simple. Most of us should drink more water.

  • thank you so much for you kind words ...... medication is trial and error son is epileptic so totally get it ...... thanks for the tip on water I am sure I dont drink enough wishes

  • Do you take meds

  • What is your bp. I'm on meds but want to cut down or stop mine. Do you take any supplements

  • I empathise with wanting to stop taking them. My bp varies, 160/90 is usual and not too worrying for me but during a period of intense stress nursing my mum it went up to 230/130 which is when I started to take the medication. The awful side effects I've mentioned above made my life so difficult.I went from functioning at a high energy level, to barely functioning on the meds. Once the highly stressful period passed I began to wean back on the tablets. I'm not on any supplements as such, drinking plenty of water as I said above and try to exercise, even walking is good. Personal bp monitors are not expensive and worth having. I'm not sure that stopping outright would be good, cutting down gradually and watching your own bp seemed the safer option for me. I firmly believe that our emotional state affects the bp, based on the elevation which occurs during more stressful periods. Stress is unavoidable sometimes, but walking, swimming, deep breathing, are all helpful to lowering the stress and help to keep us calmer.

  • If you can get active just a gentle exercise routine every day before lunch and go out for a walk you will feel better. Your BP is very high being an ex dancer you know about fitness keep on the move even walk around your house and up and down stairs nice and easy. Eat what you like just not too much drink lots stops the hunger water or very dilute fruit 10/1 just tastier you will be tired and sleep after a few weeks depression is creeping in fight back!!

  • I love the bit about exercise! Nothing would please me more than to be able to just walk 100 yards and back, or up and down some stairs, but both my ankles are wrecked and after (more) tests and scans, I have been told that nothing less than surgery to fit screws to lock them will resolve the pain. After unsuccessful surgery on my back (which still gives trouble) I've decided no-one is coming near me with a knife again!

    But thats for another forum.

    The BP is suspicious in that it only surfaced during the time I was taking HRT (which I found marvellous by the way) but as I hadn't had it tested for 20 years before that I can't be sure the HRT was the cause.

    I was put on amlodipine and bendroflurizine (? water pill) and by BP gradually soared and my legs anf feet swelled. The water pill was dropped after a blood test revealed by sodium was too low.

    Then followed years of different pills (so many I can't remember) and all had different reactions. On losartan and bisoprolol now I maintain the BP at 140/80 or so, but have a cough that keeps me awake, tests proved nothing, but it was assumed it was because of 'silent acid reflux' and so omeprazole and ranitidine were prescribed to help with this. Then the dose of bisoprolol was doubled. I was also taking painkillers for the ankles and back, co-codomol was substituted for co-proxamol, then diclofenac added which was then changed to ibuprofen.

    So many changes, and no imprvement in the blood pressure.

    There must be another way - surely?

  • Wow you are in deep shite ex dancer! Pray? Maybe chance the ankle ops for a bit of mobility must do something swallowing pills on its own isn't doing it for you the BP doesn't seem to be the problem arthritis and no mobility are sure to make you feel low push your weight up and make you feel tired. Did the BP begin after the immobility? Can you get about at all?

  • Thank you for your reply, I must have been having a desperate day when I wrote that - but what a lovely thoughtful response from you!

    My mobility isn't too bad actually, and I CAN bend my foot at the toes so that I don't waddle like a penguin - which is apparently what happens after the op because your foot is locked at a right angle to your leg (try it!). I could imagine it transferring the pressure to your hips and knees over time (but who am I to judge). I must confess my early life was not kind to my joints, and for that I have no-one but myself to blame - but who can tell a youngster what and what not to do? I am paying for it now with the arthritis ..... I keep telling myself it was good while it lasted!

    Its been mentioned before, but its the chopping and changing of tablets that makes me gasp! The NHS really has to pull itself up by the stocking tops and work more efficiently to save money - but they're doing it by asking GPs to prescribe cheaper drugs, many of which seem to cause side effects, and surely this works out expensive in the long run? for example - my BP pills give me reflux, so what is done? - give her two more tablets to counteract this!

    I wonder what the number, on average, is of people who try 3, 4 or more different drug before they hit on one that, for them, has minimal side effects without needing an antidote?

    ( do 'go on' a bit, sorry)

  • Don't mind that Ex dancer good to talk reduces stress to air it! Positive way to look back is "wow were you fit looked amazing too!" Most people never had that! I am lucky being fit can workout love it bit of social. The locked ankles sounds poor is it definite any alternatives possible? I expect you've tried all the health pills juices etc but if you keep moving even in a chair you keep some muscle tone support the joints something to keep stimulated avoid downers. Good luck! Tennis (camera man picks out the tasty birds) and football today magic

  • Lol about the tennis birds. I wish I could get involved with tennis or any sport really. I really must make an appt with my GP and try my best to get some sense out of him/her. I don't know who my doc is now, as its 2 years since I went and am only getting repeat prescriptions.

  • You better get down there a bit quick self medication is a bit ambitious Drs know what they are doing and are dedicated cant help you if you don't show! Get on the blower in the AM sort it!

  • Took your advice Philsy and went for my appt on Tuesday. I'm not very concerned about the quantity of my exercise as I do as much as I can in the garden and general housework etc. I have resisted advice to have my groceries delivered looking on this as a bit of a workout. I can still manage a few high kicks, though am no longer able to do the splits. I also get quite bad backache after stashing all the groceries away or cleaning the bath. The ankles ache all the time, and swell up after walking around the superstore - so I sit with them in cold water and twirl them round a bit to try to keep them flexible.

    But that's nothing to do with HBP.

    My GP has left so I saw a very nice young lady who went through my medication carefully, and consulted a book of drugs but could find no answers. She confused me a bit by talking about ace inhibitors and beta blockers, but basically ended up saying Losartan doesn't metabolise in the same way as the others I'd tried so it could not possibly be the cause of my cough, would I consider going back onto amlopidine.

    So I came home with the same handful of pills and I imagine a BP through the roof. I wish I'd measured it.

    Mostly I cross with myself for being such a wimp, but have decided its time to take matters into my own hands.

    Diet changes are on the cards, although I'm not overweight I could lose a few pounds.

  • The scientific exercise regime is worth it, you know that, then food wont harm you. Most BP reducing drugs have some downside but usually work. Cough I have that too am on amlodipine (been on it twenty years) not sure if that's the cause had it since a kid swam in the Thames foul ditch it was then got all sorts still here! Shopping yes stay with that or its the beginning of the retreat into the house. Ask your Dr straight out to explain things get you bp checked every 3 months instead of worrying about it. Good luck you cant be in too bad shape if you can kick your leg up!

  • I think we all measure our fitness by the way we 'used to be'. Thats not fit - its just supple joints due to training. Being able to walk for 30 mins without my feet swelling would suit me fine!

    The Doc looked at my age (77) and wrote me off (or thats what it felt like).

  • 77 hardly ancient in today's world. Supple yes very good can you get in and out of a pool good gentle swim? Water takes weight of joints allowing a good CV workout without strain, may even be some nice men to look at you may peruse the menu! Lisinopril nooo unless sex doesn't matter. Amlodipine well does work, the fitness and being active most important any exercise. Still here winning!

  • It would be good to be able to have more access to our local hydrotherapy pool where I go once a week. The pool is so popular we are restricted to only one session per person per week and need a doctor's referral in order to attend. If your doctor is willing, do get him/her to give you a referral if you are unable to exercise for any reason at all.

    I feel much more alert now, on a half-dose of losartan and have been able to ditch my cough pills. These were digestive-disorder pills because I was perceived to have 'silent' reflux.

    It would help if I lost a few lbs weight - but its stubborn stuff, and I have a good appetite.

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