Subscribe!

Overuse of Diuretics & Hypertensive Medication Too Often Cause Communicative, Cognitive Dangers

By Max S. Chartrand Ph.D.

One of the most misunderstood issues among both patients and their healthcare professionals is the significance (or lack of) of one's blood pressure. This brief monologue will review some of the basic principles governing issues surrounding artificial control of the circulatory system and its influence on hearing health.

MICRO & MACRO: BIRDS OF DIFFERENT FEATHERS

One of the greatest fallacies in controlling abnormal blood pressure is ignoring the facf that our circulatory system is comprised of two systems, not just one. The most obvious is the 'Macro System', comprised of the larger arteries and veins. Because of the sheer volume of blood coursing through the Macro System, slight pervasive changes in cholesterol plague, hardening of the arteries, varicose veins, as well as a host of inner and outer wall conditions, can drastically affect overall blood pressure.

But, more important for our hearing, balance, brain, heart, and certain hormone-secreting organs is the lesser-known 'Micro System'. Comprised of millions of tiny blood vessels and capillaries, it provides critical oxygen and nourishment to the above-mentioned organs of the body. When constricted, whether due to low blood pressure, high blood lipids, or constricting vascular disease of any kind, one may experience any of the following conditions:

  • Progressive sensorineural hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Vertigo and other balance disorders
  • Ataxia, dyspraxia (coordination problems)
  • Nystagmus (visual, focus problems)
  • Dementia (Alzheimer's, etc.)
  • Heart disease
  • Reduced hormone secretions (thyroid, insulin, anitdiuretic hormone or ADH)
  • Reduced renal (kidney) function

OVERUSE OF DIURETIC/HYPERTENSIVES RAMPANT

Today, there exists widespread overuse of medications to control high blood pressure, and a host of other medications taken to offset their side effects. Most are prescribed based upon scant information and very little medical examination. Diuretic medications can be dangerous to one's health, completely throwing off electrolyte balances, and creating a host of unwanted side effects detrimental to one's health. Whereas high blood pressure can be deadly in the short term, overuse or misadministration of circulatory medications can be dangerous and life shortening in the long term.

Diuretic/hypertensive medications should not be prescribed (excepting emergency cases) without first ascertaining the following data:

  1. The patient's daily total water intake must be appropriate to body weight and activity level (see Patient Prompt Sheet #1) Several blood pressure readings should be taken, especially in resting state. (A BP reading in a clinical setting may or may not reflect a patient's usual stress state).
  2. Dietary factors, such as tobacco, caffeine, and other medications should also be addressed and counseled.
  3. Stress and psychosocial factors should be weighed into the health profile, and counseling given accordingly.
  4. Hearing/vestibular health is also considered.

When the above factors are considered, the author estimates that as much as 80% of today's BP medications would be eliminated, and medications would be more used in the short-term, during crisis, or while other more efficacious treatment is pursued. In other words, diuretics as prophylaxis would rarely be the prescribed course.

TOP 5 CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

  1. Chronic semi-dehydration
  2. High sodium/low potassium diet
  3. High LDL cholesterol, triglycerides
  4. Renal/circulatory decline
  5. Contributive psychosocial/stress factors

When underlying causes of blood pressure are not considered, especially chronic semi-dehydration, caffeine intake, and other dietary factors, are not considered, we may lower BP in the Macro System, while starving the Micro System. In the process, we cause more hearing loss, louder tinnitus, more episodes of vertigo, advancing dementia, depression, a host of secretory deficiencies, and declining health of the heart.

The key is to reduce dependency upon diuretic/ hypertensive medications as quickly as possible, while addressing underlying causes. We must acknowledge that artificially low blood pressure can also be undesirable. By so doing, we will find much happier patients, living longer and healthier, and far fewer communicative/cognitive disorders.

Note: This monograph is offered only as public education, and is not intended to be construed as medical advice.

- 0707