A recent Medscape article made me wonder if doctors know they are being cast in the role of Big Brother for drug companies. The article is titled “Drug Test Spurs Frank Talk Between Hypertension Patients and Doctors.”
It seems that a simple urine test will be able to tell your doctor whether or not you are taking your BP meds. And then what? You’ll probably get a lecture that you are being irresponsible because you could die without these drugs. Of course the doctor doesn’t know that for a fact but they give BP meds to prevent high BP that can cause a stroke. OK, sounds like a good reason, but we also know that magnesium deficiency can be mistaken for high BP and we further know that BP meds cause more magnesium deficiency.
So, doctors are treating the symptom, not the cause, which is magnesium deficiency. And they are so convinced that they are right that they are using three BP drugs at the initial diagnosis! I wrote about this in a recent blog called “Three Antihypertensives Instead of Magnesium.” Doctors have long known that giving a diuretic doesn’t work for high BP anymore – the BP is worse on the next visit. So, why wait to give a calcium channel blocker and an ACE inhibitor? But what my readers know is that a diuretic causes more magnesium deficiency and worsening of BP and a calcium channel blocker is a poor substitute for magnesium, which is a natural blocker. Unfortunately after these three drugs are taken for only a matter of months a patient’s cholesterol and blood sugar become elevated necessitating another 3 or 4 drugs!
Even worse, the article touting “Triple Low-Dose Combo Pill a Success in Hypertension” presented with great fanfare at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2018 Annual Scientific Session only dropped the systolic BP by a paltry 9 points (mm Hg) and the diastolic by an even lower 5 points (mm Hg).
In my blog, I compared these results to a 2013 paper written by a friend of mine, Andrea Rosanoff PhD. She ran a meta analysis of trials using magnesium for high blood pressure. She found a reduction in systolic BP of 18.7 points and diastolic of 10.9 – twice the reduction of the three drug combo. But you’re not going to see her results shouted from the rooftops of a cardiology conference that’s sponsored by drug companies.
Instead, doctors are going to brow beat their patients with results from a urine drug test and tell them they are lying about taking their meds and they are going to die. I agree that high BP is not to be taken lightly and we never tell people to come off their meds. But what we do say is that if their high BP is related to magnesium deficiency, then take magnesium and see whether their borderline BP, even while on meds, becomes normal. At that point any sane doctor will help them wean off their meds because they are no longer needed.
Unfortunately extremely damaging psychological effects of being told by a health professional that you are going to die are now embedded in a person’s psyche. It’s what we in Total Biology call a conflict of diagnosis. Such trauma can make a person anxious and contribute to the white coat syndrome that might be the original stressful reason for their high BP in the first place.
Remember what I said above – with magnesium there is “a reduction in systolic BP of 18.7 points and diastolic of 10.9 – twice the reduction of the three drug combo.” Maybe that occurred in patients who were magnesium deficient. But since magnesium is deficient in about 80% of the population, magnesium is worth looking at.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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