Elderly patients aggressively over-treated with pharmaceuticals

Monday, March 08, 2010 by: E. Huff, staff writer
Tags: elderly patients, pharmaceuticals, health news

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(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration research group have determined that seniors over the age of 80 are being given too many drugs and in too high of doses. Particularly with high blood pressure, doctors are too aggressively treating the elderly with pharmaceuticals which is doing them more harm than good.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly a quarter of all Americans between 20 and 75 have hypertension while roughly 70 percent of those over 75 have it.

The conventional approach to treating high blood pressure is to prescribe a variety of drugs that, together, doctors hope will achieve a target of 140/90 mmHg. However after scouring several studies to see if such treatments are actually working, Dr. James Wright, head of Cochrane, found that too many drugs in very large doses is having no positive effect. In fact, he found that the more conservative the approach, the more beneficial the results.

The 80-plus age category has been progressively increasing over the years as is the number of people with high blood pressure. Guidelines in both the United States and the United Kingdom recommend that people with high blood pressure receive various drug cocktails to treat their symptoms, even past the age of 80. Dr. Wright believes this is a mistake.

Rather than trying to achieve a level of 140/90 mmHg, doctors should realistically pursue 150/80 mmHg. He believes that maybe half of elderly patients will actually achieve this and that doctors should be content with that, leaning on the side of giving too little drugs rather than too many.

When high blood pressure is allowed to persist, it can severely damage the kidneys which can lead to nutrient and mineral deficiencies, bone disease, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Aside from cancer, heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of death in the U.S., indicating that hypertension is a serious problem among the population.

A detoxification program is a great first step for naturally treating high blood pressure. Cleaning out the colon, liver, and kidneys does wonders for health by ridding the body of toxic buildup. Eliminating junk food, bad fat, refined sugar, excess alcohol, and caffeine from the diet should be the next step because they are enemies of the cardiovascular system. Instead, they should be replaced by whole foods, fresh juices, and other living foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

Sources for this story include: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8426199.st... http://www.ehow.com/how_4488978_treat-high-b... http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/hypertensi...

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