Is Your Hypertension Real or a Money Maker for Pharma?

Laurie Powell

Laurie Powell

Guest Contributor | BIO

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Hypertension is the Silent Killer.” But, how true is that statement? Are you really at risk of a stroke or a cardiovascular event? Are you dying from high blood pressure? Let’s discuss.

Young woman inspecting a home with a magnifying glass I worked in pharmaceutical marketing for many years. Nearly every drug I worked on treated a lifestyle-related illness. The drugs to treat lifestyle-related illnesses are also the most lucrative for Pharma. Hypertension. Diabetes II. Heart disease. Asthma. Anxiety. Depression. GERD. All of these “disease states” are treatable conditions that may not require medicinal intervention. I’m not a doctor and I’m not providing you medical advice here. Yes, if your blood pressure is measured and is off-the-charts high, by all means, bring it down with a doctor recommended prescription pharmaceutical remedy. But, if you are young, and your blood pressure is slightly elevated, know that you may be able to lower it through diet and lifestyle choices.

Were you aware that pharmaceutical companies pressured the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC) into lowering the definition of what constitutes hypertension?

The numbers for what was considered normal healthy blood pressure were the same for decades. They were based on the famous Framingham Heart Study. Normal hypertension was systolic 120 over diastolic 80 and anything up to systolic 140 was considered acceptable or high normal.

But, in 2003, the JNC 7 lowered those numbers by five points, both systolic and diastolic to 115/75. Why? Because prescription hypertension medicine is a big money maker for pharma. The wider they cast the net, the more people they can get on a prescription medication. Sometimes two or three. So, your doctor, who is now following the new protocol, will tell you that your blood pressure is elevated – when it’s really within a normal range – and will prescribe medicine to lower it. They even have a new disease state they call “prehypertension.” Like prediabetes, this new condition outlines a protocol for the medical community that sanctions docs to write you a hypertension prescription BEFORE you actually have hypertension! Are you following this? Because I’m having a problem keeping up. And, I know about this stuff.

hypertension In the JNC 8, there was pushback on the previous initiative to raise the “normal” blood pressure numbers back up to where they were. But, you may wonder, why would doctors write prescriptions for slightly elevated blood pressure in otherwise healthy people? Because their business model is dependent on your office visits! If you have to come in regularly to be monitored, they get your co-payment and they get paid by the insurance company. Since it is the nurse who measures your weight and blood pressure during your visit, your doctor only needs to spend a few minutes with you, reviewing the blood pressure numbers that the nurse entered in your chart. The doctor writes your prescription and says, “See you again in three months.” Boom! You pay your co-payment. The insurance company gets billed. The doctor gets paid. The drug store gets paid. The drug companies get paid. Win-win for everyone but you – if you really don’t need the drug. Don’t get me started on the side effects. That’s for another article.

So, it‘s a promising sign to me that there is pushback from the medical establishment in overtreatment, if you will, of patients with blood pressure readings at or above 120/80. Even patients who have kidney disease and or diabetes aren’t necessarily protected from advanced disease outcomes by taking medication for hypertension. The data do not support the position that blood pressure medications are saving lives.

If a patient presents with slightly elevated blood pressure, instead of prescribing medication, which comes with nasty side effects, a better tack would be to discuss lifestyle modifications. Untreated sustained high blood pressure leads to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. There are clear risk factors that are easily managed if the patient makes some simple lifestyle changes. In the case of hypertension, a simple 20 minute walk will reduce blood pressure by 5-10 points. I learned this from a doctor who would measure a patient’s blood pressure and if it was elevated, she would instruct the patient to take a 20 minute walk right then and there outside the office. Then she would again measure their blood pressure after their walk and the patient’s blood pressure would indeed be reduced. The 20 minute walk accomplishes two goals. It reinforces the idea to the doctor and the other practitioners who work at the office that exercise reduces blood pressure. More importantly, the patient experiences it firsthand and is now empowered to exercise more.

High blood pressure can also be reduced with the proper diet. Avoid processed foods. Watch your sodium intake. And, increase your ingestion of foods that are natural diuretics. An acupuncturist I know recommends that her patients juice a few stalks of celery daily and drink the celery juice. It reduces blood pressure very quickly. Lemon, ginger, parsley and apple cider vinegar are all natural diuretics. There are many more foods that lower blood pressure listed here.

Another way to reduce your blood pressure naturally is through meditation. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique was proven in clinical trials to reduce blood pressure with regular practice. The clinicians could measure the participants’ blood pressure while they were meditating and saw the numbers come down during TM. I have seen live demonstrations of lowered blood pressure of meditators that are wired to display their vital statistics to the watching audience. The American Heart Association (AHA) reported in its journal, Hypertension, that “it is reasonable for all individuals with blood pressure levels >120/80 mmHg to consider trials of alternative approaches as adjuvant methods to help lower blood pressure when clinically appropriate.” Notice that the AHA is still pushing drugs for pharma even when the clinical trial evidence of the success of alternative therapies is right before their eyes.

My own personal experience was that I passed out while exercising two months into the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Once I regained consciousness on the gurney in the back of the ambulance, the EMTs told me that I fainted because my blood pressure was very low. I told them it was impossible as I had hypertension. But, sure enough, my blood pressure was super low. I was able to suspend use of my blood pressure medication because my blood pressure was reduced by the combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and daily meditation.

The website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that 1 in 3 Americans have “prehypertension,” a disease state made up by marketers.

The CDC still quotes the JNC 7 systolic and diastolic determination of what constitutes hypertension. Now that you know that those numbers are inflated and not a good marker of who is really at risk of a stroke or coronary event, don’t you wonder how much skin they have in the game? How much of their health information and patient advice comes to you from the marketers at pharmaceutical companies?

Feel free to comment below. And, then go for a walk. It’s good for your heart!

Stay Informed. . . Stay Healthy!


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Laurie Powell

Guest Contributor

25 Comments

david phillips

So True it is almost Criminal. I am fighting Back by spreading the word on this DiscoveryThe 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for the discovery of how Nitric Oxide acts as a signaling molecule. One of the Nobel Prize winners wrote a book titled NO More Heart Disease and Proves it is Possible to Naturally PREVENT and even REVERSE Heart Disease and Strokes Great video @ http://www.NOProtects.com

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adrian Babashoff

It is said that nobody knows where the 120/80 numbers came from. What study?

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old kodger

I am now over 75 years old, I recall two things, as a youngster, riding a bicycle 50 miles 5 days a week, I could run for many miles without getting out of breath, I was as fit as anyone can be. Yet at 16 years old, my blood pressure was 140/80, and my doctor was very happy with that.
The other thing I recall was that back in the ’60’s it was regarded as “normal” for an older person’s BP to be 100+plus his age over 80-90.
So yes I can see the effects of marketing in this area, and I regularly have this discussion with my doctor.

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Dave

I am also now an older person and remember much the same. I fear the fox has residency in the chicken coop in that government mandates are controlled by those that profit from them. More and more we cannot question what we are told is true. We are now learning the dangers of GMOs and perhaps to many vaccines may be harmful. When I was you we got few vaccines but of course we got measles and other diseases which did not kill us. I remember when polio was rampant and the vaccine to protect us came out. We now find that the Salk vaccine had problems to. I have a serious problem when we have no choose but are forced to comply. This is communism and that is where we are headed.

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schalk erasmus

Where was hypertension from the beginning of time until 100 years ago?
Are all animals normotensive except mankind the past 100 years?
Does mankind have defective baroreceptors, periferal feedback and homeostases?
Why don’t most doctors and pharmacists take BP pills?
Answer: Pills are for prescribing and selling – not for using.

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Faye

I work in a warehouse and so a lot of physical lifting at times, walking 10,000 steps, sometimes less ( depends on what I’m doing that day).
The company has a free once a year screening for full time employees who have health insurance through the company. My BP was 138 over 90 and total cholesterol 46 points higher than normal. I’m trying to lower naturally.
It isn’t easy, but can be done.

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Jesse Bingaman

The whole hypertension thing is all about money and shaming patients. It’s about time we fight back.

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Mary

I agree. I have been so stressed out over my reading. 144/82. They still keep wanting me to come back for readings. I feel less stress after reading these comments

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Kathy

Thank you Timothy for posting this link. Google does a really good job of pushing these types of sites to the end of search when researching medical conditions.

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Paul

Self education is the only way. The more I read about big pharma the more scary it gets.
I have managed to reduce my b/p by correctly taking my readings and deep breathing
To get more oxygen into your blood.
Also YouTube john Bergman…He’s a life changer

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Ross T Stevens

I think it is criminal that there are no protocols for preparing a patient for an accurate BP reading. I’m a truck driver who must pass a DOT physical and I’m amazed how many things can temporarily raise a patient’s BP reading. Dehydration, herbal teas (licorice root), cold, decongestants, NSAIDS, talking to patient, reading over clothing, too small of cuff, to name a few. But, most medical professionals in my experience do NOTHING to eliminate these issues before diagnosing a patient with high BP. The profession should be ashamed of itself for what they put their patients/customers through. Where is the science?

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Raylene

This conspiracy to enrich drug companies has been going on for ages …but these new guidelines for BP figures is the limit….how far will big Pharma go to increase their Billions in profits?.. The reality is that the US establishment is just as guilty…

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Rudy Lessing

Very important to get educated regarding healthy supplements which will successfully address hypertension in many people- no nasty side effects e.g. L- Arginine / fish peptides/ Hawthorne extract / garlic/CoQ10 just to name a few/ do your own research and monitor it at home and yes get off The couch

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Tom M

It’s only a matter of time before they tell you that any reading over 100/60 is hypertension. It’s all BS. Before taking drugs for this “problem” I would try numerous natural remedies which are safer. Every drug you might take has never been proven safe for use for the long term (like several years or even decades). You might have to alter your diet a bit and change your lifestyle a bit, but you never know the true cost of taking drugs, even supposedly harmless painkillers. If drugs are so great, then why do they come with so many side affects? Do you get side affects taking vitamins and minerals (normal doses) or from eating? These side affects are your body rejecting these harmful substances. I just say no to Big Pharma and do not even trust their painkillers. It’s simply a racket to hijack your health, keep you sick, and steal as much of your money as you allow. Hey, even the government approves of these crooks.

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Sean

I was fired by my dr. today for not doing what she wanted, which is taking bp meds. I refused to be a guinea pig and I was “an unreasonable patient who wants to argue”. I was told we will try several to see which works best. I asked the difference between the meds she told me she didn’t have time she had already wasted enough time on me. “If you’re not going to take the pills then you’re no longer a patient, I said that is wonderful. I went because I have the flu my no was 155/76 pre conversation 166/101 afterwards.

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Mr. Bobo

New guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) to 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and higher for all adults. The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older.

130/80 is the new marker for ALL adults?

This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy.

These new guidelines mean that half country has high blood pressure! How much did Big Pharma pay these people? You would have to be a fool to believe that HALF the country has high blood pressure.

Reading the new guidelines elevated my BP by 20 points!

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Dave

The foxes are monitoring the hen house but truth is slowing coming to light. Big Pharma has an obscene hold on not only doctors but the government agencies. Many people are questioning our medical system that allows stringent loyalty to only products produced by these companies.
We are finally seeing the truth of GMO s in foods we eat and the cancer that defies the medical system. Also what cause the increasing cases of autism with no explanation except it is not over vaccine inoculation. The industry seems to have a lock on the whole country with the largest lobbyists of all.
Time is long overdue to limit the influence of this group.

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Marian

I would like to know what you do when the dentist in my area now refuses to do my needed dental work because they did not like my blood pressure prior to my visit and now I cannot get my teeth worked on until I get paperwork for them with a doctor’s approval. This has been a nightmare for me. I am caught between the dentist and the doctor now and no one will budge – doctor wants to put me on BP meds when just a few years ago my readings would have been considered normal for someone my age (64). I am basically being forced to choose between being put on BP meds or not getting my dental work done (which includes a deep cavity that might require a root canal). I have been going back and forth with this for six months now and truly do not know what to do. I live in California – apparently in a lot of states dentists are not even taking blood pressure prior to the visit. I suspect that most people in that setting would have higher blood pressure readings than are normal for them anyway. If anyone has any suggestions or has had a similar experience, I would sure appreciate some advice.

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Mohini

I had my readings from 135/88 fourteen years back to now around 165/100. I am 49 years old. i do not eat Pizza, cheese or Drink or smoke. I am on healthy weight of 145 pounds and do not have any symptoms of high blood pressure. Few things I do is sleep around 6 hours and do not drink more water or exercise. Coffee 2 or maximum 3 cups in a day. But It is always like that and I feel very active throughout the day in office or at home.
I eat rice mostly but not very much into meat etc. Like to eat salty snacks like potato chips etc. But keep avoiding this now and then. Sometimes like to eat Buffet food but it is not often. Never went to Dr for regular checkups but test from the machines in Walmart. I once went for clod and Dr tested my BP and told it is 164. I asked her if I do not have any symptoms then she told it could be Genetic. So I asked my dad who is 81 years old and drinks almost regularly and his reading are 150. So I am lost but not thinking to go to Dr but eat banana , Apple and Garlic. Hope this will help me.

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dav

Ok, read this article for a friend, So what I read. You don’t disagree that 140/ 90 or higher blood pressure is a problem. You just think meds is the answer, but what if after 5yrs the person has not changed their lifestyle. Should you continue to ignore that they are not going to change and their BP will remain high, and perscribe drugs, or just keep holding out that at some point they will change?

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