DISCLAIMER: The author of this article is not a doctor. Readers are responsible for their own health outcomes. Follow the advice contained in this own article at your own risk.
NOTE: To follow this advice “at your own risk” is not to imply that to follow the process below is risky. Rather, the disclaimer above is simply to remind readers that they’re responsible for their own health outcomes. If you want to know how to stop taking high blood pressure medication and you choose to use the treatment protocol described in this article to lower your blood pressure, know that by taking responsibility for your own health that you’re taking very strong steps toward better health. Staying on high blood pressure medication can be riskier than lowering your high blood pressure medication in an intelligent planned way.
Common Health Problems and Side Effects of High Blood Pressure Medication include:
- Hair Loss
- Sexual Problems including Erectile Dysfunction
- Brain fog
- A lack of energy
- Skin rash
- Weight gain or weight loss (without trying to lose or gain weight)
IMPORTANT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THYROID ISSUES OR WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED WEIGHT GAIN DUE TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION: Beta blockers like Nadolol/Corgard, Toprol/Toprol XL/Lopressor/Metoprolol, Nebivolol/Bystolic, Acebutolol/Sectral, Atenolol/Tenormin, Bisoprolol/Zebeta, Propranolol/Inderal/InnoPran XL can cause hypothyroidism including symptoms that may be confused with Hashimoto’s Disease. Each of the beta blockers has a different effect on thyroid function, but many of the beta blockers cause hypothyroidism by inhibiting Deiodinase 1 and 2, increasing Deiodinase 3, and reducing the metabolism of reverse T3. These reduced T3 levels cause symptoms of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease.
Of the beta blockers, Metoprolol is least likely and Propanolol is the most likely to to cause hypothyroidism problems. But that being said, Metoprolol can still have an effect on thyroid functioning. Indeed, both Metoprolol and Propanolol are sometimes used to treat HYPER-thyroidism. So though some beta-blockers have more of an impact on thyroid functioning than others, if you are taking a beta-blocker and you are also experiencing hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease. You might want to discuss this problem with your doctor.
So, let’s say that your doctor puts you on a beta blocker. And after a period of time, you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease. You feel lethargic and tired, you might gain weight and retain water, have some constipation and an increased sensitivity to cold, and your skin might become dry and your nails and hair more brittle, etc. So maybe you ask your doctor about these problems and he/she runs a TSH with fT4 reflex panel to see what’s going on.
If this happens, the results of the test may come back normal because beta blockers don’t influence TSH levels. If the TSH levels are high and the fT4 test is run, it may come back high because beta blockers raise T4 levels. So the doctor will tell you (on the basis of these test results) that your thyroid gland is performing just fine. (even though it isn’t).
Some specialists recommend that patients ask their their doctor to include a T3 and rT3 test in the workup. These tests might be able to prove that the relationship between the beta blocker and hypothyroidism. But proving to your doctor that the beta blocker is causing other serious health issues (like weight gain and daily fatigue) is only half the battle because at the end of all that, the doctor will merely prescribe some other high blood pressure medication that causes other serious side effects. You still need to learn about what may be causing your high blood pressure (yet another pharmaceutical that you take every day perhaps?= and alternative natural treatments for your high blood pressure before you stop taking high blood pressure medication.
The Cost of High Blood Pressure Medication vs. the Cost of Supplements Listed Below
Without insurance, high blood pressure medications range from $750 to $1200 per year. So, you can expect to pay between about $60-$100 per month for these medications if you don’t have insurance. But even if you do have insurance to cover the cost of the medications themselves, there may be long-term side effects of high blood pressure medication treatment.
Long-Term Side Effects of High Blood Pressure Treatment
When considering the cost of a specific type of treatment, you need to consider not only the direct costs, but also the long-term effects it will have on your body. If there are a lot of negative effects that could occur as a result of treatment, then this is a cost and it could be very expensive. The long-term side effects of high blood pressure treatment for example include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Hair Loss
- High potassium levels
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Feeling faint or lightheaded
- Sleep disorders
- Poor circulation
- Blood sugar problems that could impact diabetes and pre-diabetics
- Angioedema, a serious inflammatory problem
- A chronic, dry, hacking cough
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Slow heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
The Cost of Developing an Illness Caused by High Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure medications can cause imbalances in the body that lead to new and additional illnesses that otherwise would not have occurred without the medication. Often, patients don’t recognize the connection between the use of a pharmaceutical and the development of a new illness. This is a major cost that should be considered whenever you decide whether or not to take a new prescription illness.
This cost varies considerably, but it can be very high in terms of both financial losses as well as a loss of vitality and general health.
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Medication
If you want to lower your blood pressure medication and eventually stop taking high blood pressure medication, you’ll need to follow an intelligently planned process that’s also flexible. You will need to pay attention to your body and your blood pressure readings and make adjustments in the medications you’re taking as well as supplements to help your body rebalance. The goal, of course, is to restore your body’s natural ability to maintain a healthy blood pressure without drugs or the use of high-dose supplements. The process described below for how to stop taking high blood pressure medication is for primary hypertension that does not have a secondary, underlying cause.
If your high blood pressure is caused by another illness, you may have to resolve the illness before you can get rid of your high blood pressure medication.
- Get a blood pressure machine.
- Talk to your doctor and him/her know that you are going to be reducing your blood pressure medication. Your doctor will warn you not to go off your medication. Ask your doctor for support during this process. If your doctor won’t support you, find a doctor who will be supportive or seek out an alternative medicine practitioner like a chiropractor or an acupuncturist who can help you understand your body is a more holistic way as you go through this process.
- Take a baseline reading in the morning, at noon, and at night. Write down the readings in a journal every day starting now and continue for at least 28 days after you stop taking high blood pressure medications.
- Begin by taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements while you are still taking your prescription antihypertensive meds. Coenzyme Q10 is discussed in greater detail below.
- Reduce your blood pressure medicine over the course of 28 days by reducing the amount of your dosages by 25% every 7 days
- Monitor your blood pressure daily and take readings if you feel like your blood pressure is high. Keep your high blood pressure medications on hand during the initial stages of getting off these drugs. DO NOT IGNORE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR THE FEELING THAT YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. Take your high blood pressure meds if you can’t get your hypertension under control using the supplements below. This is a sign that there’s an underlying problem that needs to be treated before you can lower your blood pressure medications permanently.
Natural Alternative to High Blood Pressure Medication
What causes high blood pressure varies from person-to-person. Below we offer a list of natural alternatives to high blood pressure medications. If you have high blood pressure and the top 3 supplements listed below don’t bring your blood pressure under control, your hypertension may be caused by a problem that must be treated first before you can successfully transition to these natural alternatives to high blood pressure medication.
Daytime Options to Lower Blood Pressure
- Coenzyme Q10 – 400-1200 mg per day
Scientists have successfully used coenzyme Q10 to slowly lower patients off their high blood pressure medications in stages. Coenzyme Q10 taken in high enough quantities can help the heart muscle rebuild itself and become stronger after having been exposed to antihypertensives for many years. Start taking Coenzyme Q10 for at least 1 week to 1 month before starting to lower your high blood pressure medication.
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) – 1000 to 6000 mg per day
NAC helps with hair regrowth which can be negatively affected by high blood pressure meds but this supplement also helps with obsessive or compulsive thinking and behaviors, anxiety, and it lowers high blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to dilate and relax more readily.
Relora contains Magnolia Bark and Phellodendron amurense to help users control munchies during the day to promote weight loss. The Magnolia Bark keeps stress levels low, but the combination of these two herbs promotes a relaxed mood without sedation. Magnolia Bark lowers blood pressure and reduces symptoms of Gastroesphageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) at the same time. The long-term use of this supplement to lose weight helps further to reduce the risk of blood pressure and enhance overall health and wellbeing.
Akuamma seeds are derived from an African plant. This plant medicine is used to treat pain, liver problems like jaundice, stomach problems like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and high blood pressure. It is also used as a pain killer with opiate-like effects, though akuamma is not itself an opiate, nor is it addictive. Akuamma is, however, sometimes used to break an addiction to opiates.
- Quercetin – 1000 mg per day
Quercetin is found in high quantities in onions, apples, and berries. Research has shown that supplements can reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure, but in patients with normal, healthy blood pressure, quercetin had no effect. In other words, it won’t hurt, but will only help you control your blood pressure. Quercetin combined with vitamin E has also been used to reduce the damages caused by excess acid in patients with GERD.
Nighttime Options to Lower Blood Pressure
- Melatonin – Use extended release tablets if possible 3-12 mg per night.
Melatonin works to lower blood pressure. In fact, it competes with nifedipine, a common anti-hypertensive drug. So, if you’re taking melatonin along with a calcium channel blocker as your high blood pressure medicine, this calcium channel blocker probably isn’t doing much for you! Use melatonin to keep your blood pressure under control overnight.
- Magnolia Bark – 400 to 2000 mg
Magnolia Bark (also known as Honokiol) has antihypertensive effects by relaxing blood vessels, but this incredible Chinese medicine is pleiotropic which means that it can change its shape to conform to what your body is needing in order to heal. It binds to opiate receptors to reduce pain, though it is not itself and opiate and it is not addictive. Like Akuamma seeds, it can used to help break an addiction to various substances, however. As an antioxidant, it should not be taken at the exact same time as MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) or other oxidant therapies (wait 2 hours after taking MMS/CDS). This medicine is used to treat insomnia as well as gastrointestinal issues including Gastroesoohageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) by promoting stomach emptying and peristaltic action in the intestinal tract. It can also relieve vomiting and nausea. It reduces inflammation and relieves anxiety too.
Dietary Recommendations for How to Stop Taking High Blood Pressure Medication
If you’re trying to stop taking high blood pressure medication, include a lot of the following items in your diet:
Applies contain high levels of quercetin that can help lower blood pressure.
Berries contain high levels of quercetin to lower blood pressure.
There’s an inverse relationship between dietary protein (meats, dairy products, etc.) and blood pressure levels. Higher levels of dietary proteins lead to lower blood pressure levels. Some experts believe this is due to the presence of NAC in dietary proteins.
Zhang, G. S. et al. (2010). Effects of chronic treatment with honokiol in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20190404/
Healthline (2005-2020). 5 Ways Nitric Oxide Supplements Boost Your Health and Performance. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nitric-oxide-supplements#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
Tellos, C. (2020). 8 Health Benefits of Magnolia Bark + Dosage, Side Effect. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://selfhacked.com/blog/health-benefits-magnolia-bark/
Wei-We, Z. et al.(2005). iEffects of magnolol and honokiol derived from traditional Chinese herbal remedies on gastrointestinal movement. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4434672/
Langsjoen, P., Langsjoen, P., Willis, R., & Folkers. (1994). Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7752851/
Houston, M., & Hays, L. (2014). Acute effects of an oral nitric oxide supplement on blood pressure, endothelial function, and vascular compliance in hypertensive patients. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24962851/
Biswas, O. S., Gonzalez, V. R., & Schwarz, E. R. (2015). Effects of an oral nitric oxide supplement on functional capacity and blood pressure in adults with prehypertension. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24942311/
Kalman, D., et al. (2008). Effect of a proprietary Magnolia and Phellodendron extract on stress levels in healthy women: a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Retrieved December 15, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2359758/
InterCoastal Medical (2018). A Heart-to-Heart about Long-Term Effects of Blood Pressure Meds. Retrieved December 16, 2020 from https://www.intercoastalmedical.com/2018/07/13/a-heart-to-heart-about-long-term-effects-of-blood-pressure-meds/#:~:text=Angiotensin%20II%20Receptor%20Blockers%20(ARBs)&text=But%20beware%3A%20while%20beneficial%20for,vomiting%2C%20and%20high%20potassium%20levels
Orrange, S. (2019). Is Your Medication Causing Hair Loss? These 11 Drugs Are Common Culprits. Retrieved December 16, 2020 from https://www.goodrx.com/blog/is-your-medication-causing-hair-loss-these-11-drugs-are-common-culprits/#:~:text=ACE%20inhibitors%20are%20a%20class,1%25%20of%20patients%20taking%20them.
Carter, A. (2018). What Medications Can Cause Hair Loss, and What Can You Do About It? Retrieved December 16, 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/medications-that-cause-hair-loss#medications-list
Chiro, G. M. (2020). Hypothyroidism and High Blood Pressure. Retrieved April 29, 2021 from https://rejuvagencenter.com/hypothyroidism-and-high-blood-pressure-3/