Every now and then, I get lured into reading some advertisement on a news item. This one was “The Four Worst BP Medications.”

Now, I always knew that one of them was funky because it did weird things to me and I stopped taking it. When my doctor said I should, I said “No, I shouldn’t,” and I stopped. Garry turned out to be highly allergic to it. After he stopped taking it, he stopped needing any blood pressure medication. He’s normal and doesn’t take any medications.

I’m a different story. And that was one of the really bad things about the article. First, it wasn’t written by a doctor. Okay, she is a nutritionist and specializes in Asian medicine … but she’s not an M.D. or even a nurse.

She goes under the assumption that all blood pressure issues are the same and they most assuredly are not. Garry briefly had high blood pressure after he stopped working and quit drinking. It took his body a while to adapt to the changes, and then he went back to normal.

My problem is a (probably) a genetic version of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It’s not a reaction to stress, but a reaction to a malformed heart that apparently I had from when I was born. It didn’t “do” anything to me until much later in life and might well have been triggered by the drugs I took for breast cancer. You have to make choices. You know the drugs for cancer are powerful and no doubt causes problems in other parts, but the alternative is death. So you deal with it.

Some people are born with my heart issue and live with it. It never seems to cause them any problems.  Maybe without the other medications, it would have gone that way for me too … but it didn’t.

A special diet won’t cure it. Telling people that a special diet can cure all blood pressure problems is the kind of thing that kills people. Very few non-medically trained people have any idea what causes high blood pressure. Most people don’t know anything about how their hearts work.

I’m sure the right diet can help some people, but we aren’t all the same. When you’ve got implanted valves, a Pacemaker on which you depend 100% to have any heartbeat, and thickened heart walls that won’t change, you’re stuck using the best drugs available. Moreover, you can’t cure every heart problem. Some things are chronic and the best you can do it control them. Carefully, cautiously.

I’m pretty sure that it was advertisements like this one that got so many moronic parents to stop vaccinating their children. If “natural immunity” were all that common, we’d never had needed vaccination in the first place. We’d never have had the Black Plague, cholera, whooping cough, polio, or smallpox. And thanks to our overall ignorance and faith in whatever is posted on the Internet, we have most of these things back in our world, even though we thought we’d cured them.

The pressure in the arteries increases when the heart beats and decreases while it is resting.

So are these people trying to save us or helping to kill us off? What do you think?

Oddly enough, this was also the subject of Samantha Bee’s show yesterday. It wasn’t a brand new show — maybe a week or so old — but what she said was exactly what I said. People die from these ads and while there are laws against them, there aren’t enough humans to monitor all the ads on the Internet. They rely on us — you and me — to report these false and/or insufficient advertisements.

Consider this a warning. I tried to find the ad that triggered this post and I couldn’t find it. The advertisements rotate on the Internet, so when you see something and it needs to be reported, write the information down. I’m not sure to whom you are supposed to report it. It’s one of the federal agencies, but which one? When I have a chance, I’ll try to track it down.

In the meantime, if you read it on the Internet and you have no other source of information, DO NOT follow it. Some of it may be okay, but much of it is rubbish or much worse than that.

Categories: blood pressure, Cartoons, Health, Marilyn Armstrong

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23 replies

  1. I shared on WP and on FB


  2. I’m suspicious of anyone who promotes or ‘practices’ alleged medicine on the COMPUTER via the internet. To me? The doctor and patient have to have a face to face actual meeting. Spouting good advice on line usually has me flipping the electronic page. This isn’t to discount those who have experience with the problem being discussed and who can offer some genuine advice about how to deal with whatever the medical issue is. As long as they don’t claim to be doctors or medical professionals if they AREN’T.

    When the Atkins diet came out (so long ago now) and some of the other radical diets like it (no carbs only protein, or no protein only carbs, don’t eat potatoes and meat in the same meal, no leafy greens, no vitamins, all fruits or all veggies or none of either.. which are a few of the plans I’ve seen pushed on gullible folk) I admit I bad mouthed all of them. Said to those who were gushing in wonder at the wonder of how easily weight might be lost by following said regime that they needed to use their HEADS and common sense before committing to anything like that. I also said I spoke from experience and not because I was a DOCTOR or anything like one.

    that’s the factor that’s missing in folks who blindly follow an ‘all or nothing’ piece of advice on their health, particularly if it’s on-line….NO COMMON SENSE.

    Now if someone figures out how to make that trait more prevalent, maybe i’ll sign up.
    Human beings aren’t designed to be one size fits all, especially not when it comes to their health.


    • Hard to believe people STILL believe the stuff they read on the Internet without at least checking to make sure that any of the information is true. Considering the last election and all the PR about Russia and China … we STILL believe everything without double-checking its merits. Humans are slow learners.


  3. When I was growing up in a doctor’s family, I learned that there were laws against drug companies advertising their products. It amazes me now how many drug ads there are these days — don’t use if ~ ~ ~, tell your doctor if ~ ~ ~.


    • They control them on TV, but on the internet, there are so many, most of them never get checked. Even when it’s a legitimate drug for something or other, all the side effects and other warnings are missing. There aren’t enough people to monitor them.


  4. Thank you, Marilyn, for this interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was just reading this ad which said that “these are the four worst drugs you can take for BP” … and after a lot of links, you had to buy her diet book before she would even tell you. I figure MOST of them aren’t good for you. I don’t have a choice about it because my heart only beats because it gets an electrical pulse that tells it to beat. I don’t think a better diet and exercise is going to fix that.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Never ends well )


    • It can be useful — if you know what you are looking for. Most people don’t know what they are looking for, so they just look for symptoms. I have every symptom you can name for every disease, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got the disease. Too much information without any background and where most people don’t know enough to understand the answers anyway. And a lot of symptoms are so general and apply to SO many problems … like tiredness, insomnia, constipation, light-headedness and so on. I think every ad for every drug on TV lists so many possible side effects, it becomes meaningless.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. There are many causes and one size does not fit all, yet good nutrition and diet can help anyone, though obviously not solve most! But it does bring up an interesting issue I have with a lot of western medicine – we often treat the symptom with drugs without curing what’s causing it. I have to run three times a week and have a low fat diet with a lot of fiber or my BP is high. I’ve had three different medicines and hate them all – I don’t feel like “me” when I am on them. And the BP meds never did any good unless I was also watching my diet and running. The thing is, why do I have high BP (if I’m not running three times a week and eating a great diet)? Nobody knows. So if I can’t control it, I have to take BP meds that treat the symptom and make me feel like a completely different person, one who I don’t like, but there is nothing that can be done about the cause because nobody knows what the cause is….

    Oh well…

    The anti-vaccine folk. yeah. Back in the 1990s a doctor noticed a lot more (reported) cases of autism and saw that the new vaccines had multiple vaccines in one and thought it looked like a mega dose and thought it could destroy a fragile system. He faked research and published. It caught on and he didn’t admit he faked the research for about a decade. It did seem logical at the time – these mega-doses given to these poor infants. Of course, when people actually did the research, they discovered it was wrong. There are chances that the mega-dose vaccine might cause complications, but the odds are so much smaller than the chances of that child getting seriously sick or dying from a disease they should never have been worried about….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read this with great interest, Trent. The medical profession no longer gives “credit” to individuals for medical discoveries based on their own individual work. There has to be a whole lot of medical clinical trials before a medical method gets credence now. This is different from in the past. The fake research this doctor did wouldn’t fly now which is good to know.

      Liked by 2 people

      • But if he published it on the Internet, a pretty big percentage of people would believe it because they don’t check to see if there ARE any trials or science … and that’s a lot of the problem. Considering what we have been through, you’d think more people would check to make sure information has some facts and science behind it — but despite everything, they don’t. Look who we elected? Clearly facts are not all that important to way too many people.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It is good to know that it wouldn’t fly now. It might not have gained any traction in the medical field then, either – I don’t remember all of the details and it is very possible this doctor did not publish in a respected medical journal, but in something aimed at non-professionals. Unfortunately, it has caused lasting harm with diseases that where almost extinct coming back.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The reason I know this, Trent, is because when I took Michael to his ENT recently, writing professional articles came up. He is a professor and I write a lot of documents in my profession too. He told me about this then as it has impacted the way doctors approach new medical breakthroughts.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Have you ever been checked for cardiomyopathy? Most people don’t know they have it until they get lucky and someone hears something and checks it out … or (like Reggie Lewis) drop dead while exercising. It’s worth asking about especially if heart disease runs in your family. I didn’t have any idea about it until it was on the edge of finishing me off. I literally thought that was the one piece of me that was fine. I had minor BP issues and a leaky mitral valve since infancy, but everyone said it was normal, more or less.

      I honestly don’t think most of our diagnoses are correct or complete because we don’t look at whole people, just symptoms. I agree. A good diet and exercise will help almost everyone feel better. Because eating properly and getting exercise is what we are supposed to do. But it also is not the only answer to all medical problems and to act as if all BP issues are the same and should all be treated the same way is dumb. And dangerous.

      It turns out finding the right doctor — a really good GP and specialists that understand what your problem is — makes a huge difference and there aren’t nearly enough of them to go around. Oh the stories i could tell …

      We suffer from too much information without context or details and often without understanding the role they play in how our body works. We are in information overload and everybody believe everything — or nothing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for the tip – I’ll bring it up with my GP when I next see him. My BP is within the normal range now, but is marginal. I see the GP twice a year. Looking at the symptoms for cardiomyopathy, he does ask me questions each time which is asking about those symptoms, like swelling in the ankles and legs (no), shortness of breath (no), etc.

        Our medical field has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. I’m still waiting for one of those Star Trek scanners that can diagnose anything from a hangnail to an ultra-complicated new disease caused by recently discovered alien microbes….

        Liked by 1 person

        • I didn’t have ANY of those symptoms either. That’s what’s so weird about the problem — it is often free of noticeable symptoms. Often the first symptom is sudden cardiac death – like Reggie Lewis. Which is why they insisted on seeing Owen because it’s 50-50 inherited from a parent.

          This is the disease that kills apparently healthy young athletes. It is not easy to detect. I got lucky because I went hunting for the right doctor and found him at Beth Israel.

          My previous supposed cardiologist told me to wait until I had serious symptoms and then deal with it. Except usually the first serious symptom is death. You gotta love doctors who really don’t know anything about their specialization. There are SO many bad ones compared to the good ones.

          Liked by 1 person


  1. Reblog DON’T READ MEDICAL ADVERTISEMENTS ON THE INTERNET – Marilyn Armstrong – Ruth Scribbles
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