TAKING CONTROL OF OUR HEALTH
The information, questions, and thoughts which are shared here, are meant to make us think. The purpose is to create an awareness of the actions of drugs that are chemicals going into our bodies.
We need to use common sense. We may have symptoms which are “inconvenient”. We want relief, but at what price. It is perfectly understandable to want relief.
When we make the appointment with our doctor, we expect that they will provide a prescription for a drug to take away those symptoms. We know we will get it. We expect it. We feel it is the right answer.
There seems to be a trend of a lack of support or willingness to look at interactions or simply side effects of drugs (any kind).
Side effects such as hypotension seems to go unnoticed, and it seems no one is willing to explore this seriously. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, can create some real problems.
Most doctors are focused on lowering our blood pressure readings. This is often quite necessary, but let’s look at this a little differently. In this article, you will see a thread of problems associated with low blood pressure, plus the discussion of possible chemical results.
This could be hypertensive drugs, and other treatments as well. However, there are several ways that you can be in control of your own health decisions.
Definitions, signs, and symptoms of low blood pressure or Hypotension may be described as a condition without actual numbers, an abnormal condition in which blood pressure is not adequate for normal perfusion and oxygenation of the tissue. Hypotension (blood pressure below normal): may be indicated by a systolic pressure lower than ninety, or a pressure 25 mmHg lower than usual.
Low blood pressure is an abnormal condition where the pressure of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels during and after each beat of the heart is much lower than usual. This can cause low blood pressure symptoms such as dizziness or lightheadedness.
When the blood pressure is too low, there is inadequate blood flow to all parts of your body, including the heart, brain, and other vital organs. A blood pressure level that is borderline low for one person may be normal for another.
The key factor is how the blood pressure changes from the normal condition. Most normal blood pressures fall in the range of 90/60 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg, but a notable change, even as little as 20 mm Hg, can cause problems for some people.
“Within limits, the lower our blood pressure reading is, the better. In most people blood pressure isn’t too low until it causes symptoms such as lightheadedness or fainting.
In certain conditions or disease states, blood pressure can become too low, as in these examples:
- certain nervous system disorders (orthostatic hypotension, autonomic failure)
- endocrine disorders (parathyroid disease)
- heart attack and heart failure
- prolonged bed rest
- fainting (syncope) (SIN’ko-pe)
- decreases in blood volume due to severe bleeding (hemorrhage) or dehydration
- effects of certain drugs
- severe infections (sepsis), shock
Some people with low blood pressure are in peak physical condition with strong cardiovascular systems and a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. For these people, low blood pressure, rather than being a cause for concern, is a cause for celebration.
But low blood pressure can also signal an underlying problem, especially when it drops suddenly or is accompanied by signs and symptoms such as:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- fainting (syncope)
- lack of concentration
- blurred vision
- cold, clammy, pale skin
- shallow breathing
Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure – Just as you need to know the definitions of “hypotension”, you also need to know the definition of “hypertension”. Then you can understand the difference.
The medical term or prefix, “hyper”, means “over”. And the prefix “hypo” means “under”. The “over” and “under” values or numbers have already been decided by the medical community. Here we simply want to see if the “under” reading might need to be looked at a bit more closely as having such a low reading might not be in your best interest.
Hypertension exists if the systolic pressure (top number) is 140 or higher or the diastolic pressure (bottom number) is 90 or higher. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic.
Prescription drugs are often the underlying cause for your symptoms.
Not so much as the direct cause, but that the effect of low blood pressure could be the cause of so many other problems. Any chemicals coming into the body is seen by the body as a foreigner: unwanted. Thus, they could be subjected to the protective mechanism you always have, your immune system.
The medical world is always looking for signs (visible to others), but if you are dizzy, no one else would know. You don’t show any signs.
This is what happens with low blood pressure. You feel awful: completely drained, weak, and have no energy, but you look very normal. Some people are pale and feel cool. The only “sign” you can show is a blood pressure reading.
We sometimes question our medications but are assured that there couldn’t possibly be a problem. This sense of security lasts for a short while: until the symptoms show up again.
This is when common sense is used. When something is not right (we understand our bodies better than anyone else), we know it.
Now you go to a different source as the first one has already told you there could be no problem. Most people know when they feel differently, know it hasn’t always been like that and know they don’t want to continue in the same way. The Internet has changed many things, among them how people get medical information
Obviously, the medical community wants us to understand conditions. It even creates web sites around these terms. Unfortunately, not all medical practitioners welcome this enlightened state of their patients.
Diplomacy should be used when presenting any Internet information to the doctor, but we should not let it stop us from researching worthy help for our body.
The terms “health” and “wellness” in our North American culture, tends to mean our health needing to be repaired, and our wellness as something holistic, suspicious, and to be avoided at all costs. So traditional drugs win out, repeatedly. Health should be health and illness should be illness.
Recognize that drugs are always chemicals. Our purpose for going to seek medical help is to change the state of our being. And that is what doctors are trained to do. They offer or prescribe drugs and offer and perform surgery. And that is all about repair and chemicals to create a change: the one we are seeking.
Understand that what we might be looking for in help for our headache can also have an overall body affect. When we take something like a headache pill, we will be changing the entire make up of our body. This is called side effects. We see them as maybe not happening at all or having negligible effects. But that is often not the case.
Blood pressure medications are a good example. The main course of treatment for high blood pressure includes a diuretic. A low salt diet is also prescribed. The purpose of the diuretic is to draw off fluid.
If we follow this, and DO NOT have high blood pressure, it could now lead to potential problems, like an (unwanted) reduced blood pressure
If there are multiple drug groups all vying for space and actions in our body. These drugs may be not as effective as hoped, all the while causing their own problems.
By law, negative side effects must be listed and available to the consumer. When we have a prescription filled, we must read any listed side effects (aka, adverse reactions). If we don’t like those, or if we feel we already have some of those from maybe something else, it is too late to return the product.
We need to do our research for side effects before we buy it.
What is not so easily figured out is the interrelation of the drugs we are on. They would be called interactions.
If we use two or more drugs at the same time, the way our body processes each drug can change. When this happens, the risk of side effects from each drug increases and each drug may not work the way it should.
This is called a drug-drug interaction. Vitamins and herbal supplements can affect the way our body processes drugs too. Certain foods or drinks can also prevent our medicine from working the way it should or make side effects worse.
This is called a drug-food interaction. For example, if we’re taking a traditional NSAID, drinking alcohol can increase our risk of liver disease or stomach bleeding. Drug-drug interactions and drug-food interactions can be dangerous.
We should be certain that our doctor knows all the over the counter and prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements that we are taking, and also, talk to our doctor before taking any new over the counter or prescription medicine or using a vitamin or herbal supplement.
If our body is relatively healthy, and we are taking one or two drugs, this may not present a problem.
Most healthy people do have good (adequate), relatively low blood pressure. A listed side effect of low blood pressure should make us stop and think.
We should be genuinely concerned if we are taking more than one drug: over the counter “OTC”, or prescription, or recreational.
Don’t forget all the nasal sprays, drops and ointments! These are simply chemicals of some sort. It is important how these chemicals act with our body.
Our blood pressure could be a little too low for us to function effectively for our lifestyle. The athletic community are very aware of how a low blood pressure and low pulse are affecting their overall capabilities.
A situation for concerns is the “isolated” use of these drugs.
One doctor prescribes a drug, for one condition, and pays no attention to other drugs prescribed by any other doctors. We would imagine that a pharmacist would check for and question interactions and usage, but that is not always the case. If it were, that would save a lot of heartache and problems.
We have access to the Internet to research our own condition, or other health questions we may have. We now have access to knowledge, definitions, and explanations that in the past, we got from our doctor.
They could control what we learned.
Not any longer. Now we can more easily look up hypotension for ourselves. We can explore thousands of pages or sites on diabetes. We can study all about cholesterol. We need to take control of our own health and become aware of possible drug interactions: of chemicals interaction with other chemicals prescribed. These could be causing possible side effects such as hypotension.
Many people are on preventative medications. It is almost as though these medications appear to be harmless and not to be considered. But they are used to create a certain chemical change in our body. And as drugs, they will also interact with other chemicals to create another result, such as Hypotension.
What good is a drug that takes a relatively long term to make a difference (on our cholesterol rating) when our blood pressure is so low that we can’t function today? Someone needs to exercise some common sense!
A doctor should take the time to look at the whole person in front of them who is “complaining” of dizziness, fatigue, vertigo, and are known to be on multiple drugs.
Would it not make sense to look for possible drug side effects or interactions?
In many cases, these are three of the most common side effects of drugs! We, as the patient in front of the doctor, are mentioning that we have this problem. Ironically or maybe naturally, we are now prescribed a drug to help deal with that effect!
And then for the traditional treatment (which it really isn’t) they prescribe more drugs such as diuretics and antihistamines that have these listed as side effects! Round and round we go!
Whose responsibility is it to check? It is ours.
No one checked before prescribing the drug(s) and no one took the time as the prescription was filled. We are the ones walking around with these effects. Does anyone other than we care much? I doubt it. So, let’s make it our responsibility.
Some things we can do right now to give ourselves some control over our fears.
- First discuss it with our pharmacist. They are trained in drugs and chemical interactions.
- Read the inserts in all the drugs we get.
- Believe them.
By law, any negative effects must be listed. These happen all the time. When we choose to take these chemicals, there will be affects good and bad. Bring in all drug slips and any OTC products. Herbal products are the basis of many drugs, so bring that information, also.
True supplements are food, and you wouldn’t mention foods normally. We shouldn’t confuse herbals and vitamins; they are not the same.
There is a lot of research and many books that can help with non-drug or chemical treatments. It might mean a change in diet, a bit more exercise, an avoidance of sugars, diet products, plus other things. We don’t need to join a gym if you can walk around our house, walk the stairs a bit more, or simply park further from the shopping center entrances.
Mild exercise is great to help us bring extra oxygen to our body! Walk two floors. It might take a bit extra time, but it feels good.
We should realize that we are in control, of our health, our decisions, our symptoms, and any actions we are prepared to take to deal with them and do our research and make informed decisions.
Lifestyle changes, including finding courage to ask questions, could make an amazing change in the state of our health!