Natural, Non-toxic Alternatives to Treating Hypertension – Natural Beta Blockers (Part 1) by D. Carestia

Atenolol – the drug I love to hate!  I love to hate it so much that we will spend several posts on beta blockers and alternatives.   I apologize in advance that this will be broken into parts, but there is that much to talk about.

When I was first put on atenolol I had terrible negative side effects.  I felt dizzy and even nauseous at times.  I couldn’t think clearly.  My PVC’s got worse, not better.  I was tired all the time.  I got depressed, and I learned for the first time in my life that depression is a very disabling and just awful condition.  When I tried to exercise I had to work very hard to get anywhere close to a beneficial, effective aerobic heart rate.  Exercise was very important to my long-term goals, yet when I tried to exercise on the beta blocker, effective exercise was almost impossible as beta blockers very effectively slow the heart rate.  It was VERY difficult for me to get to an aerobic heart rate with atenolol on board.  If I hadn’t been so determined and dedicated to fixing my problems long term, I could never have stayed with an exercise regimen on this drug.   If it isn’t just the absolute worst hypertension drug, it has to be right up there!

Taking atenolol was a blessing in disguise for me.  I was so miserable on this drug that I just knew I had to find a different answer to treating my hypertension.  If I could have taken the drug without feeling miserable, I might still be on it today.  That is why I love that I hated it.  It prompted me to undertake my own study and search for alternative, healthy approaches to lowering my blood pressure that worked to save my life, not only from the risks of hypertension, but also from the risks of toxic, harmful hypertension drugs.

So, how bad can atenolol really be?  Well, here are some of the negative side effects reported by patients (of course many of these are not acknowledged on the manufacturer’s list of “known side effects”) – it is shocking, that the “known list” is not complete, I know.

The list of negative side effects as reported by patients includes:  breathing problems, numbness, diarrhea, hair loss, feeling tired and weak, anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, lack of energy to do anything, extreme fatigue, asthma, chest pain, fluid retention, swelling in the feet and ankles, weight gain, trouble sleeping, memory loss, migraines, abnormal liver function studies (this means your liver is dying!)……………..and the list, almost unbelievably, does go on.

If you want an even more complete picture of the downsides of this toxic drug, check out the following links:

Atenolol (“ah TEN oh lol”)

For reasons that will become obvious to you, one of my all-time favorite patient reports is this one from FB, a gentleman who reported the following in 2008:

“I had been on atenolol for high blood pressure and kept complaining to my doctor about fatigue, tiredness, light-headedness, swelling feet and ankles. I couldn’t breathe or walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to catch my breath every two steps. I finally suggested that he change the medication. This medication was prescribed by another physician. I am a military dependent so its common to see many physicians. Anyway I am now on inderal which is suppose to help with high blood pressure and irregular heart beat.  It is ok but I am now noticing that my feet and ankles are beginning to swell with this medication also. I have developed asthma as well. Also there are days when I can’t do anything but sleep. I would encourage anyone to try a natural approach to your health problems. I am convinced that these medications have caused me more harm than good!”

Yes, yes, we know, D.  All the drugs used for hypertension have negative side effects. So, why are you picking on poor little ole Atenolol like that?  Well, let me ask you……do you also know that while atenolol is a quick, knee-jerk, first line of attack drug for many physicians in the United States, physicians in Great Britain no longer find it advisable to treat most of their hypertension patients with atenolol?

“The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the British Hypertension Society (BHS) have issued new recommendations for treating high blood pressure. They say that beta-blockers should not be used to treat high blood pressure, except in a few specific cases. They point out that other drugs, called ACE inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers and diuretics, have been shown to be more effective at reducing the risk of stroke when compared with beta-blockers.  There is also increasing evidence that the most frequently used beta-blockers can carry a higher risk, some studies suggest up to 30% higher, of provoking type 2 diabetes. . .”

Now there’s some good news, huh?  Beta blockers are not very effective at reducing the risks of stroke, one of the primary risks of high blood pressure!  In addition, beta blockers carry a significantly greater risk (between 30% and 50% greater) of “provoking” type 2 diabetes than other hypertension drugs.  I guess “provoking” is a nicer way of saying that they actually cause diabetes!  So, beta blockers are the worst of the hypertension drugs which also “provoke” type 2 diabetes??

But don’t just take my word for it.  You can read all about Britain’s decision back in 2006 to take beta blockers out of their first tier of hypertension drugs, and for those who challenged my assertion in this regard in my response to Dr. Rowena some time ago, here a just a couple of the pertinent links: (“Beta Blockers Given the Boot in Britain”)

For me, knowing this information, and personally knowing in the worst possible way the ugly side effects that atenolol was actually having on me, my next step was to figure out how to treat my hypertension with beta blockers simply “out of my life”.  My answer was found not only in supplements like Taurine,  5-htp, and others to help replace the beta blocker, but also in relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, meditation, and even more interesting and healthy ways of addressing the role of adrenaline and the “fight or flight” response which is indeed part of the hypertension puzzle for many people including myself.

Some of specific alternative treatments are the subject of my very next weekly post on beta blockers (Part 2).  I appreciate your patience in this regard, as we will get to them all, and in some depth,  giving them the time, detail, and attention they all deserve.

In the meantime, keep the good questions coming in on natural diuretics, natural ace inhibitors, and now, natural treatments to replace beta blockers.

All the best……….naturally!

Do you have a story or tip living with high blood pressure that you would like to share »

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.62 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...