As we get older, there is a definite trend towards doctors prescribing more high blood pressure medications. Unfortunately, along with use of more medicines, there are increasing side effects. The medications are making your blood pressure problem better, but while doing this, it may increase other problems within your body. Many people experience side effects such as feeling more tired, having less energy in general, and an increase in fluid retention, just to name a few.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the side effects without having to discontinue your medication. One way to fight fluid retention is to have your doctor talk to you about adding another medication to your blood pressure pill called a diuretic. A diuretic contains a chemical called Furosemide — also known as Lasix — which causes your body to flush out extra water and sodium so that you don’t have that additional inflammation and swelling. An alternative to this is to eat more mineral rich foods, or to avoid potassium-high foods — keeping in mind not to cut out potassium entirely. You may also want to try adding micronized purple rice to your diet. Many people have observed anti-inflammatory properties when they keep it in their systems, so it could help to naturally keep down the swelling and fluid retention.
Another rather common side effect is fatigue, or having little to no energy. This can also be managed, but may not be entirely caused by the blood pressure medication — only exacerbated by it. Some things to talk to your doctor about may be sleep apnea, stress, depression, and your diet. If you are overweight or snore, you may have an obstruction of the trachea while you sleep called sleep apnea. Your doctor can run a test and make a plan so you will be able to sleep safely and more often, resulting in a better rested body and more energy.
Stress and depression can actually cause high blood pressure, as can lack of sleep. If you think you may have either one of these problems, talk to your doctor as soon as possible since anxiety and depression can worsen with lack of sleep, creating a negative spiral. In this instance, treating the main problems could eliminate your high blood pressure issues entirely, but definitely make these assessments with your medical practitioner’s supervision.
Lastly, eating a healthy vitamin and mineral rich diet will not only help you sleep, but also could help control your blood pressure to the point of possibly not needing medication. In general, try to balance your plate with a rainbow of natural colors (not Skittles!) and eat mainly plants. In the future, I will explore specific foods that help or hurt those who suffer from high blood pressure.
Have you tried any home remedies that helped you alleviate blood pressure medication symptoms? Tell me in the comments!