Beta Blockers and Ace Inhibitors
Can Raise Blood Pressure!
Hold up for a minute! Before you think about taking Beta Blockers and Ace Inhibitors, 2 common hypertension drugs, please read this article on new findings that suggest patients would fair better if they had a PRA test first.
You have probably heard the term “know your numbers”, well perhaps you should also know your “PRA status“. To be frank, your PRA (plasma renin activity) status could determine whether you should be prescribed diuretics and calcium channel blocker (v agents), or b-blockers and ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors (R agents).
Diuretics are the most common drug, used to help the kidney rid the body of fluid, where as calcium channel blockers decrease intracellular calcium, causing smooth muscle to relax and dilating the blood vessels.
Beta Blockers affect the heart causing less blood to flow through the arteries, and ACE inhibitors block the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II which would cause blood vessels to constrict.
Researchers led by Dr. Alderman at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City discovered that both these category of treatments when administered to 945 patients with high blood pressure treatment and prevention, produced a pressor response, a raising of pressure in 7.7% of them. Completely the opposite, desired effect. That is a very high percentage. What is more, 16% of those who had a pressor response had low renin enzyme levels, and were given beta blockers or ACE inhibitors which lowered their levels even further. This enzyme is released by the kidney helping to control blood pressure by balancing sodium and potassium, and fluid volume.
They concluded that avoiding the use of anti-renin system R drugs for lower renin patients, but using them to target the higher renin patients would achieve better results in controlling blood pressure and reduce the use of more than one or two high blood pressure info and drugs.
Based on the research of JH Laragh, founder of the American Society of Hypertension in 1986, Dr. Alderman, and other colleagues, there are four major types of hypertension. A third of ALL patients suffer from one, low-renin. How many of them are being given the right medication? Are you in this category? Have you even been referred for a PRA test?
PRA testing used to be difficult and expensive, therefore only priority cases were referred, such as hypertensive patients with low potassium. But now it is more widely available due to simpler methods. Asking your doctor about it sure seems the wisest thing to do. But before doctors are given the green light to start mandatory PRA testing, more research needs to be carried out to substantiate these findings. According to Dr. Alderman though, it is time for action.
What is so amazing about this report is that the findings are not new. Dr. Laragh believes that in 60% of patients common hypertension is due to too much renin. Treatment with one drug can significantly reduce hypertension in a patient if his PRA status is known.
Did you know that there is a natural ACE inhibitor that works by the same method as drugs for high blood pressure, but is much safer? I am talking about Nattokinase, a proteolytic enzyme. If you read my page on Nattokinase you will be surprised to learn that`s not all this powerful enzyme is capable of doing. It has other abilities for helping maintain the health of the cardiovascular system.
Knowledge is Power!