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Pace
24th Jan 2018, 11:40
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/355789/Statins-in-new-health-alert

I posted concerns on statins in the medical section over a year ago
My concerns were highlighted when an elderly pilot and good friend displayed signs of dementia
I pulled him aside to discuss it and the conversation came around to his wife having noted the changes since he had started on statins

He stopped the statins and quickly returned to normal
These things were being peddled to everyone over 50

The big drug companies make money on long term medication not cures
I wish just a fraction of their budget went to finding cures

Dan Gerous
24th Jan 2018, 11:48
Funnily enough I was doing my physio at the hospital yesterday, and as part of that, we get visits from various departments in the hospital to talk about subjects to do with our physio. We had the pharmacist, and during her talk statins were mentioned. She said that though there were some folk who had problems with them, the vast majority who were prescribed them, had no problem. Just like any form of medication, there are some side effects that can affect some people.

goudie
24th Jan 2018, 12:15
That statins are bad for you comes around with regular monotony. I've been taking them for over 25 years and they do me no harm whatsoever. But my cholesterol levels is well within limits.
Having said that a friend who was prescribed them had some uncomfortable side affects.
As Dan says, not suitable for everyone but the majority benefit from them.

Blacksheep
24th Jan 2018, 12:32
I suffered a heart attack at the age of 43 and was diagnosed with coronary artery disease secondary to familial hypercholesterolaemia. They put me on a low fat diet - no more than 30 grammes of fat per day. It had no effect on my blood levels so I was moved to an ultra low fat diet of 15 grammes a day. The only effect was weight loss - 9 kilogrammes! :ooh:

They stopped the diet and put me on atorvastatin and my cholesterol levels fell to recommended levels in a couple of days. I've been on statins for 27 years now and the proof of the pudding is that I'm still here. They may not be for everyone, but if you need them, you'd better take them as prescribed.

Echo Romeo
24th Jan 2018, 13:42
I had a heart attack 2016 and also have coronary artery disease, I have been on Atorvastatin since. I had a bit of muscle pain whilst at 80mg, I am now on 40mg and all is well, including my Cholesterol, 2.6, down from 4.2 at the time of my M I.

Can I ask what dose you are on?

k3k3
24th Jan 2018, 14:00
Is there a conversion factor from mmol as used in the UK, and mg/dl as used in some other parts of the world? I know what's good or bad in mg/dl (bad is >200) but not in mmol.

VP959
24th Jan 2018, 14:27
This is an incomplete (i.e. a work in progress) review of known studies into the efficacy, side effects etc of statins based on published papers that have been independently reviewed (i.e. without any commercial or governmental bias):
statins | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/search/site/statins?f%5B0%5D=bundle%3Areview)

Note that in many cases no evidence was found that allowed a conclusion to be reached. That is not the same as saying something does or does not have an effect, as this group can only access all published research/studies, and applies stringent criteria as to whether or not proper scientific methods were used in both conducting any research or studies, and in analysing and reporting the findings.

dazdaz1
24th Jan 2018, 14:45
K3k3 Hope this conversion formula helps............



Formula to calculate mmol/l from mg/dl: mmol/l = mg/dl / 18
Formula to calculate mg/dl from mmol/l: mg/dl = 18 ◊ mmol/l

k3k3
24th Jan 2018, 20:39
Dazdaz1:

I tried that and the numbers made no sense, so after a bit of research I found the conversion factor of 18 is correct for blood glucose, but for cholesterol you have to use a factor of 38.

In any event, I think Lucozade and pork scratchings are off the menu.

I've been on Atorvastatin 10mg for about a decade, my total cholesterol was about 240 mg/dl (6.3 mmol) and came down to 160 mg/dl (4.2 mmol) and the ratio HDL/LDL is very good.

funfly
24th Jan 2018, 20:57
I took statins for years as 'recommended' for my age. Gradually I got more and more muscle pain - quite severe. Stopped taking said Statins and muscle pain went away within weeks. After a few months on the doctor's advice started Statins again only to get the muscle pain again which stopped as soon as I stopped taking the Statins.
Told the doctor I had stopped and he put me down as 'refused medication'.
By the way my Cholesterol levels are quite low, the only reason for them insisting that I take them is that "We have to give them to everyone at yur age".
Stopping Statins gave me a new lease of life.

Ascend Charlie
24th Jan 2018, 21:00
Been on them for about 6 years, and have found that my skin is like paper now, just brushing against something like the handle of the clothes basket can make my leg bleed. Got scars all over my lower legs now, and never go into the rough to look for a golf ball because there will be sticks and twigs that will scratch me.

And the problem of short-term memory loss is getting....ummm...what was the question again? Ah yes, very noticeable.

yellowtriumph
24th Jan 2018, 21:10
The nursing unit at work measured my cholesterol and declared it to be too high. She sent me to see my GP who knew he was a bit out of his depth so he sent me to see the top heart surgeon at Winchester in Hampshire. Did all the usual tests - bike, treadmill etc breathe into this, wire up the chest to that. The end result was a mild, well bollicking. Not for me, but for the nursing unit. He said he was fed up with these kinds of units wasting his time over and over with people like me. He said there was nothing wrong with my HDL/LDL levels, that I was not overweight, did not drink and did not overdo the booze. As such he told me to go away - fixed me with his stare - and said I don't ever want to see you again over this sort of thing. He was the top bloke so who was I to argue?

But, it is a serious matter all said and done. Fast forward a couple of years and my next GP insisted I had to be on statins. We tried all the usual brands, Simvastin, Atorvastin etc etc (spelling?) and they all had the same affect on me. Let me be blunt - my bottom turned into an open sewer that could not be stopped. Me and the GP were most concerned about this and he sent me to see a bottom expert. He put the camera up the you know where (twice in fact, a year apart) and declared there was 'nothing to see here, move along'.

I said I was going to stop taking the statins. The problem went away virtually overnight after some weeks of distress! So, as some have said, not for everyone, but if suits you why not.

VP959
24th Jan 2018, 21:36
The nursing unit at work measured my cholesterol and declared it to be too high. She sent me to see my GP who knew he was a bit out of his depth so he sent me to see the top heart surgeon at Winchester in Hampshire. Did all the usual tests - bike, treadmill etc breathe into this, wire up the chest to that. The end result was a mild, well bollicking. Not for me, but for the nursing unit. He said he was fed up with these kinds of units wasting his time over and over with people like me. He said there was nothing wrong with my HDL/LDL levels, that I was not overweight, did not drink and did not overdo the booze. As such he told me to go away - fixed me with his stare - and said I don't ever want to see you again over this sort of thing. He was the top bloke so who was I to argue?

But, it is a serious matter all said and done. Fast forward a couple of years and my next GP insisted I had to be on statins. We tried all the usual brands, Simvastin, Atorvastin etc etc (spelling?) and they all had the same affect on me. Let me be blunt - my bottom turned into an open sewer that could not be stopped. Me and the GP were most concerned about this and he sent me to see a bottom expert. He put the camera up the you know where (twice in fact, a year apart) and declared there was 'nothing to see here, move along'.

I said I was going to stop taking the statins. The problem went away virtually overnight after some weeks of distress! So, as some have said, not for everyone, but if suits you why not.


This is a pet concern of mine, that there seems to be a growing tendency to prescribe medication where it does more harm than good.

I've watched my mother going through a series of increasingly more serious medical interventions, most of which I am absolutely convinced were wholly, or partly, induced by previously prescribed medication.

I've been taking blood pressure medication for nearly 30 years, and endured near-constant rhinitis as a side effect. At a recent medication review (with a new GP) I mentioned the rhinitis was still pretty dire, and that my blood pressure (as measured weekly at home with my own machine) seemed to be, if anything, a bit lower than normal. His response was to stop taking the pills and just keep a check on things, and call him if my BP changed. It's now been nearly a week without medication, and my BP is unchanged, a bit under 120/80 every time I've checked it. The rhinitis has finally gone, for the first time in a couple of decades. I have a growing suspicion that I never needed to be on this medication, and have had to put up with annoying side effects simply because my previous GP told me very clearly that I needed to take the pills to reduce my risk of stroke of heart attack.

I don't smoke, my cholesterol is fine (inc the HDL/LDL ratio), very rarely drink and cycle most days, and am not at all overweight. In other words, I'm luckily at a pretty low risk of getting stroke or heart attack, something I'm thankful for.

I wonder how frequently this sort of thing happens?

yellowtriumph
24th Jan 2018, 21:45
This is a pet concern of mine, that there seems to be a growing tendency to prescribe medication where it does more harm than good.

I've watched my mother going through a series of increasingly more serious medical interventions, most of which I am absolutely convinced were wholly, or partly, induced by previously prescribed medication.

I've been taking blood pressure medication for nearly 30 years, and endured near-constant rhinitis as a side effect. At a recent medication review (with a new GP) I mentioned the rhinitis was still pretty dire, and that my blood pressure (as measured weekly at home with my own machine) seemed to be, if anything, a bit lower than normal. His response was to stop taking the pills and just keep a check on things, and call him if my BP changed. It's now been nearly a week without medication, and my BP is unchanged, a bit under 120/80 every time I've checked it. The rhinitis has finally gone, for the first time in a couple of decades. I have a growing suspicion that I never needed to be on this medication, and have had to put up with annoying side effects simply because my previous GP told me very clearly that I needed to take the pills to reduce my risk of stroke of heart attack.

I don't smoke, my cholesterol is fine (inc the HDL/LDL ratio), very rarely drink and cycle most days, and am not at all overweight. In other words, I'm luckily at a pretty low risk of getting stroke or heart attack, something I'm thankful for.

I wonder how frequently this sort of thing happens?

I will add the obvious. As in a lot of medical instances it is your family medical history that provides a bit of a clue where you might end up. My Dad died at the age of 85 from stomach cancer and Mum passed away simply due to old age at 92. I'm not too worried at this stage of my life.

CoodaShooda
24th Jan 2018, 22:15
My wife has recently endured over 12 months of fairly severe medical issues; being bounced from specialist to specialist without result.

Then she happened to read the information sheet provided with her blood pressure medication and found that her symptoms ticked the box on all of the "extremely rare" side effects listed therein.

Coming off the medication has resolved all of her issues. And her blood pressure is still fine.

I'm another for whom statins were a nightmare.

MG23
24th Jan 2018, 22:22
There have been a few studies which indicate that statins are very good at reducing cholesterol, but have no impact on death rates and have rather problematic side-effects like causing diabetes.

And one of the people responsible for developing them apparently refuses to take them, which isn't really a good sign.

Edit: here's an interesting article on the subject, from a group who should know what they're talking about:

https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/20203046.article

ExSp33db1rd
25th Jan 2018, 06:27
Just shows, ask three people and get five answers.

Statins don't seem to be doing me any harm.

Now ..Where did I put my car keys ?

Impress to inflate
25th Jan 2018, 06:55
A couple of years ago I watch a documentary in which 3-4 heart specialist from the 1960's and 1970's said they have got it wrong with cholesterol. They now say cholesterol does not cause heart attacks, they said it's like blaming firemen for burning houses down because when we see a house on fire their are the firemen. They all agreed it was a made up drug worth $29 Billion per year. Your body has a predisposition to cholesterol and when you "starve" it of cholesterol, the body's liver then kicks in a makes more.

My brother in law had to get his cholesterol levels down, he ate porridge and drank only water for months, the cholesterol came down then after several weeks came back unto the original levels. He was placed in statins and now feels ill daily.

Pace
25th Jan 2018, 08:58
People used to trust and accept their Doctors word
Now with the net and social media I don’t envy the modern GP ))

The problem with these drugs is that they come out with a fanfare of wonderful claims with denials of side effects then the truth is out

How can you trust drug companies who are a multi billion industry not to have their own profits at the forefront and selling long term solutions rather than seeking cures

There is zero profit in selling a fix it magic pill

Reading the above there are no benefits from Statins which couldn’t be achieved with lifestyle change yet plenty of downsides to these drugs

What will the drug companies do with enough bad press when they lose the argument ?
Repackage almost the same product under a new name with new side effect free claims

Pace
25th Jan 2018, 09:10
My brother in law had to get his cholesterol levels down, he ate porridge and drank only water for months, the cholesterol came down then after several weeks came back unto the original levels. He was placed in statins and now feels ill daily.

I am not medically qualified just take an interest as I do in politics

But neither Cholesterol or blood pressure is fully understood
Cholesterol is highly complex in its interaction in the body! You couldn’t live without it

Looking at a recent experiment on build up in the blood vessels of mice 2 units of red wine a day will keep them clear ))
But even alcohol intake is one big argument in the medical world

A GP friend of mine 15 years back was petrified as all his male family dropped dead around 50 with heart attacks
He did everything right even walking 1000s of miles in the USA He still dropped dead around 50
So the argument that everything in moderation and if your cards still marked so be it

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 09:27
Given my recent experience, I've spent a lot of time reviewing all the available evidence I could find on medications for treating essential hypertension (high blood pressure with no known medical cause), something I was diagnosed with when I was 34 years old and which apparently around 20% to 30% of the population may have.

The results of reviewing dozens of studies have been interesting. The most surprising to me was that none of the available medications made a big difference to blood pressure at all. Typically the most commonly used ones (ACE inhibitors and ARBs) might reduce your systolic pressure by between 5 to 8 mmHg, and diastolic by 3 to 5 mmHg. That's a pretty small change, and there are tens of millions taking these drugs every day.

The next surprise was to look at the mortality data for those taking these drugs. One might expect that there would be a significant reduction in the risk of death from stroke, heart attack or other vascular disease. There doesn't seem to be.

The final surprise was looking at the impact of "white coat hypertension", the increase in blood pressure when it is measured in a clinical setting, over that when it is measured either at home or with a 24 hour ambulatory BP measurement machine. Interestingly, there may be variations as high as 10 to 20 mmHg between home measurements and those taken in a clinical environment. That difference swamps any effect that any BP medication may have.

In my case I'm now on my 6th day of taking no BP medication, having been taking a maximum dose of ACE inhibitors for around 15 years. My BP is still normal. The top of the range Omron machine I bought when I first noticed that home measurements with my cheaper Boots own brand machine were a lot lower than those taken by my GP, shows that currently my BP is 117/77, slightly lower than that considered normal and well below readings from my GP, that were typically around 145/95.

I've concluded, on the limited evidence I have so far, that I'm probably one of the large number of people that have "white coat hypertension", in that my BP is only elevated when measured in a clinical setting.

I'll keep monitoring it, and am tempted to invest in an ambulatory BP monitor, so that I can do a set of half hourly readings over 24 hours from time to time, just to prove or disprove the point. My local GP practice doesn't have one of these machines, apparently, so I can't just ask to borrow one.

I'm still annoyed at having been prescribed medication that gave me a constantly runny/blocked nose as a side effect, on the assurance that I needed it to extend my life, when it seems that I almost certainly never needed it..

Tankertrashnav
25th Jan 2018, 10:56
I'm not sure about home BP testing, especially the type that goes off every hour or so on a timer. Personally I find that you will be sitting quietly, reading or watching TV etc when suddenly the thing bursts into action and makes you nearly jump out of your skin. Surely that must produce a sudden spike in BP?

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 11:14
I'm not sure about home BP testing, especially the type that goes off every hour or so on a timer. Personally I find that you will be sitting quietly, reading or watching TV etc when suddenly the thing bursts into action and makes you nearly jump out of your skin. Surely that must produce a sudden spike in BP?

I share your concerns about the sudden shock of the thing taking a measurement!

However, all of the studies I've read (those linked or referenced to here: Our reviews | Cochrane Hypertension (http://hypertension.cochrane.org/our-evidence)) suggest that ABPM (ambulatory blood pressure monitoring) is the "gold standard" when it comes to non-invasive measurement, and that home measurement with a properly calibrated machine, used correctly, may come pretty close (there is a review underway at the moment to see just how home measurement compares with other methods: Self-monitoring for improving control of blood pressure in patients with hypertension | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD010311/self-monitoring-for-improving-control-of-blood-pressure-in-patients-with-hypertension)). The least reliable measurements seem to be those made in a clinical setting, not because the method gives inaccurate results, but because such a high proportion of the population have "white coat hypertension" (this article is worth a read - I believe it's reasonably accurate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_coat_hypertension ).

I only started looking at this after my appointment with a new GP last week, who was strongly of the opinion that home measurements were more reliable than those in the surgery, to the extent that he looked at my spreadsheet and didn't bother to measure my BP himself before telling me he thought I could stop taking the pills.

treadigraph
25th Jan 2018, 11:54
I'm not sure about home BP testing, especially the type that goes off every hour or so on a timer. Personally I find that you will be sitting quietly, reading or watching TV etc when suddenly the thing bursts into action and makes you nearly jump out of your skin. Surely that must produce a sudden spike in BP?

Been there, done that, didn't get much bloody sleep!

Blacksheep
25th Jan 2018, 12:14
Can I ask what dose you are on?10mg, Echo. I was at 6.2 and dropped to 1.9 when they originally started me on 20mg. After reducing the dose to 10mg I settled at 2.8 and have been like that for 26 years.

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 12:16
Been there, done that, didn't get much bloody sleep!


I'm seriously interested in this, as mentioned above, as it does seem to be one of the most reliable ways of detecting whether you really do have hypertension.

How intrusive are the night time measurements? From the reading up I've done so far, these things seem to be set to take a reading every 30 minutes during the day, then reduce the sample rate to once an hour during the night. The price of them is not a lot more than I paid for the semi-professional Omron home use unit, that seems to be the one recommended by many professionals, so I have been thinking about getting one, just from having a heightened interest in this at the moment more, than anything else.

I don't mind if it wakes me up, particularly, as I doubt I'll have a need to use it for overnight measurements more than once a year or so, but I'm more concerned about whether or not it might wake my other half up!

Blacksheep
25th Jan 2018, 12:21
I have an Omron and home measurements agree pretty closely to what the Doc gets at the surgery. I guess I don't suffer from white coat syndrome.

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 12:39
I have an Omron and home measurements agree pretty closely to what the Doc gets at the surgery. I guess I don't suffer from white coat syndrome.

I'd say so. I first bought a Boots home monitor a few years ago, and found that it always gave readings that were pretty normal (usually someone around 115 to 130 systolic, 75 to 85 diastolic). Readings with either my GP or the practice nurse have always been a fair bit higher, usually higher when the GP takes the reading than when the practice nurse does. Generally my BP was in the 130/90 to 140/95 range when taken at the surgery.

I only spotted this pattern when I started putting the readings into a spreadsheet, and plotted them, when there was a clear pattern between the lower home readings and higher readings at the surgery. I put it down to the Boots machine not being very accurate at the time, as it wasn't that expensive.

When I bought the much more expensive Omron machine last November, I found that it gave readings that were near-identical to the Boots machine, and to me that seemed a bit suspicious, especially given that the Omron seems to have a good reputation for accuracy.

That's really what led to me deciding to just half the dose of the tablets I was taking, to see if there was any effect. When I found there wasn't, I gradually came around to the view that all my home readings were probably pretty accurate after all, and that I most probably have never had high blood pressure.

This is a quote from a study referenced in the Wiki article I linked to earlier, and may or may not be that accurate:

In one Turkish study of 438 consecutive patients, 38% were normotensive, 43% had white coat hypertension, 2% had masked hypertension, and 15% had sustained hypertension. Even patients taking medication for sustained hypertension who are normotensive at home may exhibit white coat hypertension in the office setting.

That suggests around 40% of people may have some form of "white coat hypertension", quite a high percentage. Even if that number is wrong by a factor of two, then 1 in 5 people exhibiting the effect still means there may well be a lot of people being treated for a condition they don't have.

treadigraph
25th Jan 2018, 13:04
How intrusive are the night time measurements? From the reading up I've done so far, these things seem to be set to take a reading every 30 minutes during the day, then reduce the sample rate to once an hour during the night.

Yep, every 30 mins, then hourly after 11pm.

It was a couple of years ago - I wore mine from about 7:30am till about 6am the next day. Each time it activated, bit of a buzzing noise, the collar tightened and I do think I tensed up! During the night it was difficult to get comfortable and every hour I would be instantly awakened, if indeed I had dropped off!

Reason for it was bit worried after a short and usual (for me) sickness, energetic half mile walk to surgery on hot day, hot and sweaty when BP taken, it's a bit high! She took it again at the end of the consultation, slightly lower, ordered a blood test and the 24 hr BP; second consultation, not mention of the 24hr BP results, mild signs of inflammation (arthritis?) and a slight rise in liver count - ear wigging about drinking and a second blood test 8 weeks later which apparently was OK.

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 14:01
Yep, every 30 mins, then hourly after 11pm.

It was a couple of years ago - I wore mine from about 7:30am till about 6am the next day. Each time it activated, bit of a buzzing noise, the collar tightened and I do think I tensed up! During the night it was difficult to get comfortable and every hour I would be instantly awakened, if indeed I had dropped off!

Reason for it was bit worried after a short and usual (for me) sickness, energetic half mile walk to surgery on hot day, hot and sweaty when BP taken, it's a bit high! She took it again at the end of the consultation, slightly lower, ordered a blood test and the 24 hr BP; second consultation, not mention of the 24hr BP results, mild signs of inflammation (arthritis?) and a slight rise in liver count - ear wigging about drinking and a second blood test 8 weeks later which apparently was OK.

Thanks very much for that, it helps a lot.

Luckily all I'm really looking for is whether there is any solid evidence that I have hypertension or not, and my starting point is a bit different, in that having believed I have suffered from it for over 30 years, I'm now pretty much convinced that I don't, and that the diagnosis may well have been made as a consequence of misleading data.

Interestingly, when I was first diagnosed I had a stack of tests, on top of the usual aeromed stuff each year (which always included an ECG), and the various doctors could find no reason for the elevated blood pressure, so concluded it was "essential hypertension". When I asked what that was I was told it was the name they gave to anyone with high blood pressure where there was no defined cause..............

I think I'll invest in one, really just for peace of mind. If that shows that my BP is within the normal range, then I'll just send the data to my GP with a note pointing out that I was misdiagnosed and treated for over 15 years with medication I didn't need.

On the positive side, being told I had hypertension when I was 34 years old did a lot of good. I had stopped smoking about a year earlier, but the diagnosis did make me radically change my diet, avoid salt, too much red meat and I went and bought a bicycle to ride to and from work. I discovered I like cycling, so still do most days, so i'm sure that scare has caused me to change to a healthier lifestyle, and that's probably a good thing. The flip side is as mentioned above, though. A lot of this stuff is just in your genetic make up, and some will die younger than others no matter what they do to try and change things.

treadigraph
25th Jan 2018, 14:18
There was probably a touch of White Coat Syndrome at the start of the consultation as well!

Never smoked but my alcohol consumption is on the high side, though I do usually have four or five consecutive days off. I had already started to cut down on salt and try to improve fruit/veg consumption, less red and processed meat, etc; definitely overweight but I exercise fairly well and up until that point my BP had always impressed.

I do also try to make each pint last a bit longer these days - doesn't always happen though...:{

A lot of this stuff is just in your genetic make up, and some will die younger than others no matter what they do to try and change things.

I seem to recall top aerobatic pilot Eric Muller died of a heart attack at 50 - from memory he was a vegetarian and very fit indeed.

Pontius Navigator
25th Jan 2018, 14:47
TG, quite a few too athletes seem to follow that trend - Jim Fixx 52- thus leading to the mouse principle. The heart rated at a specific number of cycles. PEdO staff hated that when you brought it up. Said fitness kept the muscle in trim.

Gordon Pirie supposedly had a resting heart rate below 40. He died at 60.

Of course the morbidly obese probably have a high pulse rate which would put them in the same usage rate as an athlete.

Pace
25th Jan 2018, 15:05
I believe astronauts have readings of 240/120 on takeoff

BP is not understood or how its controlled but it makes sense to me to think of a central heating system

Some might have big thick pipes with a very powerful pump, others a weak feeble pump with smaller thinner walled pipes

If those pipes are all clogged up then it makes sense the pressure will rise but to chuck everyone in the same boat regarding BP makes no sense
People are different

For some higher readings maybe perfectly normal and healthy

It used to be the case of your age over a ton was the cutoff point for normal or with a 65 year old 165/100

Over the years that has dropped and dropped! Again how much is dubious drug company research to increase sales into a wider population and how much scientific fact

Doctors love to measure things and BP is one but its supposed to be resting and many are not relaxed in the Doctors surgery or even with a device going off every 30 minutes

treadigraph

Saw an amazing programme on alcohol intake a few nights back

The research showed the cross section of a normal mouse blood vessels there was some build up in the blood vessels
The second group were given the equivalent of two units a day and their blood vessels totally clear
The Third group were given the equivalent of heavy drinkers and the blood vessels were more blocked than the non alcohol Mouse

The winner was the mouse with totally clear blood vessels on two units of alcohol a day

So it looks like the 2 units of red wine are good for you not just protecting your cardiovascular system but in reducing cancer rate too

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 15:30
For once, Pace, I find myself in complete agreement with something you've posted!

Most of my professional life was involved with measuring things, usually aircraft related. After 22 years of making flight test measurements I learned two critical things. Firstly, the method you are using to make the measurement absolutely must not interfere with the measurement. Secondly, it's very easy to be fooled that you have accurate data when you haven't. Every single test or experiment has to be repeated, checked, and independently verified, before it can be trusted.

In the past week or so I've been reading a lot of studies on hypertension. Some things are blindingly obvious, like the measurement system inevitably interferes with the data, far more so for some people than for others, but nevertheless, having a measurement taken in any artificial environment is likely to be misleading. Another observation was that a lot of studies are heavily biased, and the reported outcomes don't even match the base data that was gathered in many cases, plus, in a lot of cases the studies didn't use a proper protocol, one that used a robust scientific method and that was designed to minimise the possibility of getting misleading data. I also suspect that the normal practice of removing "outliers" from any data set was biased in the case of some of the studies, in order to make a particular medication appear to be more effective, or have fewer side effects, than it really had.

Clearly there is a lot of good data out there, from well-conducted studies using robust protocols, but you have to work hard to find them. The ones that hit the headlines are very often the ones that have bias, were undertaken using poor protocols, or were otherwise flawed.

I like the idea of 2 units of red wine a day. I stopped drinking a while ago, but if I can find some strong enough evidence to show that drinking a modest amount like this is beneficial I might just start drinking again!

Uplinker
25th Jan 2018, 15:42
I would advise all concerned about cholesterol to read this book:

The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It
by Dr Malcolm Kendrick

I would really urge you to buy and read this book.


A few thoughts from the book and other reading I have done. (I am not a GP, nor am I Dr Kendrick) :-

~Heart attacks are caused by stress, not cholesterol.

~Cholesterol is vital for body and brain function - the body manufactures cholesterol.

~High Cholesterol is a symptom of something else, not a cause in itself.

~High blood pressure is caused by excessive salt intake. Mammals need no more than 0.5 gms of salt per day - don’t add salt to food and check your food labels.

~The human body is an incredible and extremely sophisticated machine. If it is given unadulterated natural food, (i.e. not masses of sugar or carbs or chemicals) and is excercised regularly, (but not excessively) it will function very well by itself.

~Doctors for whatever reason will generally prescribe a drug of some sort rather than trying to find the underlying cause. (I had some dry skin once and the doctor prescribed some steroid cream. I did not like the idea of this, and worked out that the cause was me using too much soap in the shower which was washing away my natural protective skin oils. Reduced amount of soap used, problem solved, no drugs involved).

~Lack of regular physical exercise is a big cause of many health problems. One should do enough physical exercise to get out of breath and raise the heart rate on most days.

~sugar is converted to fat in the body and stored.

~Natural good quality fat is good for the body, and eating fat does not necessarily make one fat. (Eating too many calories of anything will make one fat).

~Avoid chemical creations such as high fructose corn syrup.

~Low fat foods generally have increased levels of sugar; more than is healthy.

~Cut out the carbs and sugar, (check your food labels) and increase the amount of protein (and fat) in your diet. Once you have adjusted, and reduced your snacking habits, you will lose weight by feeling fuller for longer.

~Do some exercise most days that makes you out of breath. I do 30 press-ups and 50 sit-ups 5 mornings in every 7, and I jog about 5km every week, sometimes 10km, usually in one session. Very easy to do, and no gym required - just a good pair of runners.

~Exercise is a great stress buster. :ok:

Pontius Navigator
25th Jan 2018, 15:43
VP, coffee is also one of the good guys, depending on who funded the research.

By outliers I presume these are few sets at esteem from the median. Didn't NASA fall in to that trap with the Antarctic ozone layer hole?

The other thing that annoys me is percentages to decimal places when dealing with small data sets. For a set of less that one hundred a decimal value us meaningless. Even worse is the large decimal change in small values. Data set one year may have a value of 1.7, next year 3.4. Whatever was measured suddenly doubled!

Pontius Navigator
25th Jan 2018, 15:47
Uplinked, I don't add salt. Ground rock salt actually made be feel sick. I have low blood pressure. Mrs PN used to use lots of salt added to her plate. She has high BP. She us trying to cut down.

gemma10
25th Jan 2018, 15:57
Well this is an interesting topic, one that concerns me right at this time. I always thought, rightly or wrongly that one had to get the systolic reading down. But as I learnt from the nurse only the other day its the diastolic reading they are more concerned with. Over the last 15 years I have been on Amlodopine which seemed to do the trick. Then twelve months ago I was prescribed Ramipril 2.5mg in addition and my BP went down to 140/80. It seems in the last few weeks my GP wanted my BP lower still and by prescibing Ramipril 5mg my BP is now consistently 130/70. So although the top number is reduced so is the lower number which they seem to be more concerned with. Now I`ve never smoked but I like my ale, and the down side of this drug is that it is less effective with alcohol. As for statins, I started them about the same time as the Amlodopine and do wonder if they have contributed to my pulsatile tinnitus getting worse over the years. The GP hasn`t a clue,and anyway trying to get an appointment to discuss it is similar to getting blood out of a stone.

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 16:08
VP, coffee is also one of the good guys, depending on who funded the research.

By outliers I presume these are few sets at esteem from the median. Didn't NASA fall in to that trap with the Antarctic ozone layer hole?

The other thing that annoys me is percentages to decimal places when dealing with small data sets. For a set of less that one hundred a decimal value us meaningless. Even worse is the large decimal change in small values. Data set one year may have a value of 1.7, next year 3.4. Whatever was measured suddenly doubled!

I was a part of the coffee study that the IAM did back in the 80's. The crew room I used had it's percolator removed and coffee was banned for about a month or so, and we were all given some sort of psychological evaluation within half an our of the end of each sortie.

IIRC, their findings were that we were all addicted to caffeine, from sitting around drinking it for much of the day, largely when waiting for the weather, aircraft to be fixed/armed or whatever, and around 2 hours in to any flight our performance and concentration started to fade. I gave up drinking coffee around that time, for no other reason that after a month without it I just wasn't that fussed about starting to drink it again.

Yes, outliers are unusual looking measurements that don't fit within the general trend. Sometimes they are real errors - something glitched and the wrong data was recorded. Sometimes they are real data though, and just show that a data set has a wider range of variability than thought. It can be hard to discriminate between the two, so the usual method is to repeat the test/experiment a few times, ideally with different people operating the kit, as a cross check. Ideally, you want to persuade someone else to come up with another way of measuring the same parameter and get them to do some measurements and see how well they tally with your own, but in practice our budgets rarely allowed this.

The way data is analysed, and particularly the statistical techniques applied to produce something that looks understandable to a person who may be unfamiliar with the science, is a constant problem. It's just too damned easy to either exaggerate something, or make it go away, by the method chosen to crunch the numbers.

Blood pressure is a good example. It's very highly variable - exercise and it shoots up, fall asleep and it should bottom out. The normal range between the highest and lowest figures for a normal person could be as high as 2:1, so there is a great deal of guesstimating in trying to diagnose high blood pressure from a few readings taken by a doctor or nurse when sat in a chair in an unfamiliar environment. I've been looking at the ambulatory BP measurement systems, and although not perfect, the way they work out an average BP that can be used for diagnostic purposes seems to be a lot better than just taking a series of resting measurements. I've bitten the bullet and ordered one of these things, so should soon have a better idea of what's really going on. I'm still a bit surprised that our local surgery doesn't have one - I've asked and they don't, which seems daft given what I've read up about this so far.

MG23
25th Jan 2018, 17:09
Fundamentally, we're still in the witch-doctor stage of medicine: 'I gave Ug this leaf to eat when sick and he not die, so you eat this leaf too.'

Fortunately, we're rapidly heading into the engineering/programming stage as we figure out what our bodies actually do and how to fix them. A very large number of problems seem to be due to zombie cells with defective genes that spew out chemicals they shouldn't produce, but refuse to die and don't trigger the immune system to kill them.

And there was an interesting article the other day about studies of whale DNA which showed that our anti-cancer mechanism may be too aggressive and killing us as a result. Apparently the whales have a less aggressive version and manage to live much longer than humans.

treadigraph
25th Jan 2018, 17:15
Saw an amazing programme on alcohol intake a few nights back

Sure it wasn't sponsored by the League of Temperance? ;)

I'd normally be out for a couple pints tonight but we did that Monday instead, so as there is sod all on the telly and it's a fine night, I'll probably go for a stroll up the hill after din-dins - smug bugger that I am! Tomorrow night will be a mate's birthday, so it's an evening out; as was Tuesday unexpectedly.

Re coffee, I love a proper percolated cup but usually can't be arsed to make it, so unless I breakfast somewhere good, I stay off the stuff and drink a weakish tea instead.

VP959
25th Jan 2018, 17:45
Well this is an interesting topic, one that concerns me right at this time. I always thought, rightly or wrongly that one had to get the systolic reading down. But as I learnt from the nurse only the other day its the diastolic reading they are more concerned with. Over the last 15 years I have been on Amlodopine which seemed to do the trick. Then twelve months ago I was prescribed Ramipril 2.5mg in addition and my BP went down to 140/80. It seems in the last few weeks my GP wanted my BP lower still and by prescibing Ramipril 5mg my BP is now consistently 130/70. So although the top number is reduced so is the lower number which they seem to be more concerned with. Now I`ve never smoked but I like my ale, and the down side of this drug is that it is less effective with alcohol. As for statins, I started them about the same time as the Amlodopine and do wonder if they have contributed to my pulsatile tinnitus getting worse over the years. The GP hasn`t a clue,and anyway trying to get an appointment to discuss it is similar to getting blood out of a stone.


Things change with time, and as people start to correlate many different studies to try and gain a coherent picture of what REALLY happens. Blood pressure seems to have been a classic example where some rather poor data, combined with the emergence of a number of drugs that the pharmaceutical companies wanted to market with a vengeance, came together in a perfect storm.

When I was first diagnosed with essential hypertension, in around 1983 or 84, the considered medical opinion was as you say, the systolic pressure will rise with age (as arteries stiffen up and become less resilient) and the important figure was the resting pressure, the diastolic. At that time it was felt that the increased risk from stroke or other cardio vascular problem was pretty much entirely due to an elevated diastolic pressure, and if it was consistently over about 90 to 95 mmHg then you were treated for it.

In my case I had around 15 years of treatment by dietary control, that kept me within what is now referred to as the high normal stage, a resting blood pressure that's below 140/90, but above the normal range of 120/80.

They've re-named what was called pre-hypertension as "high normal" BTW, but you have to bear in mind that blood pressure measurement is extremely imprecise, in fact all non-invasive measures are pretty damned poor, by normal scientific measurement standards, and there are lots of factors, from having a mild infection through stress, anxiety or even the height of the doctors desk, that can affect a conventional measurement enough to switch you from one category to another.

More recently, there have been concerns that the disregard of a rising systolic pressure with age (the old 100 plus your age rule of thumb) might be flawed, as an increasing systolic pressure may be an indicator of hardening of the arteries, a known risk factor. Equally, a high systolic reading may just be that you've had a few drinks the night before.............

I was taking Ramipril for years, and it gave me a persistent cough and a constant runny/blocked nose. I was told categorically that it was the best treatment, and so I put up with it. Alcohol does have a greater effect on blood pressure than Ramipril, but so does going for a run or falling asleep. On the maximum dose of Ramipril (or any other ACE inhibitor) the average blood pressure reduction will be around 8mmHg systolic and around 5mmHg diastolic. In other words, these drugs do not have a massive impact on your blood pressure, which may well vary by 20 or 30 mmHg from minute to minute, anyway.

There is hard evidence for this, read this for a summary: ACE inhibitors for the treatment of high blood pressure | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD003823/HTN_ace-inhibitors-for-the-treatment-of-high-blood-pressure)

Also have a look at all the ongoing surveys of other studies into hypertension that Cochrane are trying damned hard to sift through and correlate, as they tend to show how big the gaps are in our knowledge (fits well with MG23's comment about us being at the Witch Doctor stage). Note that many of the really useful studies are still at the protocol stage, in other words they are struggling to put together strong evidence one way or the other at the moment (and that does not tally with what many GPs are telling their patients, sadly).

There is a growing body of evidence that ACE inhibitors can cause tinnitus, specifically pulsatile tinnitus, too, so it is perfectly reasonable to guess that there may be a correlation between your increased ACE inhibitor dose and the onset of tinnitus.

As a final word of caution, I'd suggest treating everything you read on the internet with a degree of suspicion, until you have enough evidence to be confident that it may be correct. My experience (as a retired scientist) is that there is an awful lot of garbage promoted as if it were proven fact around, so you need to be sceptical of pretty much everything until you've satisfied yourself that what you've read is valid.

Pace
25th Jan 2018, 17:56
https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/moderate-drinking-and-heart-health/

Not the programme which showed how clear the blood vessels were in mice given alcohol compared to mice given NO alcohol but it is NHS and not from a crank source and explains why

Red wine is high in bioflavonoids which also protect against Cancer
So it looks like as a Small to moderate drinker your better off than a non drinker as far as your cardiovascular system is concerned

Going to heavy drinking the benefits ceased

In mice with partially tied off carotid arteries, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol reduced the proliferation of the SMCs in the vessel walls. It also reduced the normal thickening of the vessel wall that was seen in mice not drinking alcohol. The mice that drank alcohol also had a reduced activity in the gene that produces Notch 1 and in a gene that the Notch 1 protein usually switches on in the cells.

Pontius Navigator
25th Jan 2018, 18:17
With all the informed chat here, you wonder why the smart young things in the city take a triple hit of drugs, booze and baccy.

Pace
25th Jan 2018, 20:21
Pontius Navigator

Would love some informed input into this? Looking at the BP issue I would love to know where the reducing BP limits have come from ?
As stated they used to be your age plus 100 over 100 so a 65 year old considered OK at 165/100

Who does the research that determines those ever decreasing limits ? Who finances that research and who gets the increased sales from bringing millions of extra people into the drug market to control the new limits ?

https://www.popsci.com/compound-in-powdered-alcohol-can-also-treat-clogged-blood-vessels

Another new discovery re alcohol rather than statins which cost 13billion a year


Fats and cholesterol that build up along the insides of blood vessels can limit the flow of blood around the heart, causing heart attacks or strokes. To treat this condition, called atherosclerosis, millions of Americans take drugs every day—the most popular of these, statins, alone cost up to $13 billion per year in 2014, and these don’t work for every patient. Now scientists have discovered that a compound already approved by the FDA can dissolve away this buildup in the blood vessels more effectively than existing treatments. The researchers published their study today in Science Translational Medicine.


Pour booze into a heap of cyclodextrin, and the alcohol molecules cling to the ring-shaped cyclodextrin molecules, making a fluffy dry powder that packs a punch.

tdracer
25th Jan 2018, 20:35
Another new discovery re alcohol rather than statins which cost 13billion a year
Powdered alcohol? Where's the fun in that...

funfly
25th Jan 2018, 20:45
I remember the old story about the priest demonstrating the 'harm' of alcohol by putting one worm in a glass of water - which wriggled - and another in a glass of neat Gin - which died. He the said to the congregation "What does that prove?"
Of course the inevitable reply was "If you've got worms then drink gin".

Pace
25th Jan 2018, 21:22
Powdered alcohol? Where's the fun in that...

Where is the fun in taking a Statin ? As you can't remember what you have just done anyway

MG23
25th Jan 2018, 22:13
There were news stories a couple of months back about a drug that can cure arteriosclerosis in mice. If I remember correctly, it's been tested as an anti-cancer drug but the researchers realised the mechanism it used could also impact the formation of deposits in the arteries, and it does, at least in test animals.

Don't remember whether they said when they plan to try it on humans.

jolihokistix
26th Jan 2018, 00:27
A couple of years ago the hospital gave me a little book and asked me to fill in my blood pressure and pulse readings morning and night religiously. Which I did, for about a year and a half, alternating between two very different machines. On my check-ups, the Doc used to flick through the pages quite casually, then toss the book aside. Gradually I discovered that I could raise or lower the readings at will, by a number of little tricks, but that they were always higher in a clinical setting. Gradually I found that to me these blood pressure readings had no meaning at all, and finally gave up.

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 07:25
Pontius Navigator

Would love some informed input into this? Looking at the BP issue I would love to know where the reducing BP limits have come from ?
As stated they used to be your age plus 100 over 100 so a 65 year old considered OK at 165/100

Who does the research that determines those ever decreasing limits ? Who finances that research and who gets the increased sales from bringing millions of extra people into the drug market to control the new limits ?

https://www.popsci.com/compound-in-powdered-alcohol-can-also-treat-clogged-blood-vessels

Another new discovery re alcohol rather than statins which cost 13billion a year


Pace,

If you want some reasonably well informed research analysis, then take a look at what Cochrane are trying to do. They refuse funding from any pharmaceutical company or other industry source and rely on volunteers and donations to try and review all the available published data and correlate it, taking account of bias that may well be present in studies conducted by those with a vested interest in the outcome and discarding unreliable data sources.

In the case of the change in policy with regard to the old advice that it was OK for your systolic pressure to increase with age, as long as your diastolic was OK, you can read the summary of a review of several pretty big studies on blood pressure effects on mortality for the over-60s here: Blood pressure lowering drugs reduce stroke and heart attack in elderly people with hypertension | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD000028/HTN_blood-pressure-lowering-drugs-reduce-stroke-and-heart-attack-in-elderly-people-with-hypertension)

Pace
26th Jan 2018, 09:13
https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/research/blood-pressure

VP

This makes interesting reading and shows how little we know about BP yet the drug companies in the USA are selling 13 billion in Statins alone
The Guy doing this research has a budget of less than 1 million

The BP pills often donít work with some being given six tablets a day
Something isnít right here as it stinks of drugs for life for profit when so much more could be put into finding root causes and proper fixes rather than the sale of equally damaging drugs for profit targeted at a wider and wider market as in the case of Statins for all over 50

There has to be trust from the patient and that trust is diminishing

USA drug companies sell $13 billion in Statins alone
I bet the figure is even higher on BP tables
Cholesterol and BP both not understood

I scientist trying to find the cause gets less than £1 million to find out why
Something stinks
The drug companies selling drugs for life on conditions they donít understand or maybe they do but know it doesnít need the sale of $13 billion a year

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 10:06
https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/research/blood-pressure

VP

This makes interesting reading and shows how little we know about BP yet the drug companies in the USA are selling 13 billion in Statins alone
The Guy doing this research has a budget of less than 1 million

The BP pills often don’t work with some being given six tablets a day
Something isn’t right here as it stinks of drugs for life for profit when so much more could be put into finding root causes and proper fixes rather than the sale of equally damaging drugs for profit targeted at a wider and wider market as in the case of Statins for all over 50

There has to be trust from the patient and that trust is diminishing

The facts seem to be that the very, very best blood pressure medications only make a relatively small change in resting BP. The two most commonly prescribed medications are ACE inhibitors and ARBs. Both are near identical in terms of their effect on blood pressure. See here, for a reviews of the efficacy of each:

ACE inhibitors for the treatment of high blood pressure | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD003823/HTN_ace-inhibitors-for-the-treatment-of-high-blood-pressure)

Angiotensin receptor blockers for the treatment of high blood pressure | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD003822/HTN_angiotensin-receptor-blockers-for-the-treatment-of-high-blood-pressure) )

In general, either of these types of drug will reduce systolic pressure by around 8mmHg and diastolic by around 5mmHg for most people.

Take my case of what I believe to be "white coat hypertension". Before I started being treated with ACE inhibitors around 15 years age, my resting BP when measured at the surgery was around 140/90 to 145/95. That triggered treatment as it put me just above the "high normal" blood pressure group (back then the doctor referred to it as pre-hypertension, they've changed the terminology). I started on a low dose, with follow up checks. This had no effect, so the dose was increased over the space of around three months to the maximum dose. On the maximum dose my GP BP readings were around 140/90, and they stayed like this for years. That implies that without treatment my resting BP should have been around 148/95, when in reality it seems it was a great deal lower than that when measured properly.

The rest of the story I've related elsewhere here, but the bit that may be related to that article you linked to is that part of the brain can apparently exert a very powerful control over BP. I suspect subconscious anxiety/stress may well be why BP is elevated for a fair proportion of people when it is taken in a clinical setting. I also suspect that there may well be a lot of other factors in modern life that cause us levels of stress that our prehistoric ancestors may not have had to endure, or even our ancestors from just 100 years or so ago.

It may well be that the observations that have led to the research being undertaken in your link are as much related to the way we live now, as much as anything else. In my case, my job was pretty stressful for years, so it could well be that since retiring some of that stress has gone and my BP has dropped a bit as a consequence. It's still on the low side of normal now, 7 days after ceasing all medication, 114/78 this morning, measured on a machine that is supposed to be one of the most accurate available.

It does make me wonder just how much the NHS may have wasted on feeding me thousands of pills over the years.

ImageGear
26th Jan 2018, 11:54
I started out in the mid 90's with 300mg of Allopurinol after an extremely bad round of gout, caused by eating something which delivered enough Uric Acid to fell a horse.

I was told that if you begin using this pill it will be for life. (Not true) and I am down to 100mg after being told by my French doctor that according to my blood counts, I can begin a slow reduction and now have reached 100mg, and expect it to go to zero in a couple of months.

Also in the 90's, the NHS started saying that men of my age should be taking a statin every day so I started on 30 mg of Atorvastatin. After moving to France, I approached my Doctor after doing some research and was told, your blood counts and pressure are normal, in your case, statins are not necessary. I agreed to reduce to 10mg and watch the blood counts, I also expect to be off them in couple of months.

Since reducing over one year ago, blood and pressure have remained normal so for how long have I been taking this stuff without good reason?

Imagegear

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 12:06
I started out in the mid 90's with 300mg of Allopurinol after an extremely bad round of gout, caused by eating something which delivered enough Uric Acid to fell a horse.

I was told that if you begin using this pill it will be for life. (Not true) and I am down to 100mg after being told by my French doctor that according to my blood counts, I can begin a slow reduction and now have reached 100mg, and expect it to go to zero in a couple of months.

Also in the 90's, the NHS started saying that men of my age should be taking a statin every day so I started on 30 mg of Atorvastatin. After moving to France, I approached my Doctor after doing some research and was told, your blood counts and pressure are normal, in your case, statins are not necessary. I agreed to reduce to 10mg and watch the blood counts, I also expect to be off them in couple of months.

Since reducing over one year ago, blood and pressure have remained normal so for how long have I been taking this stuff without good reason?

Imagegear


Your experience seems to mirror that of quite a few others. Apart from the wasted cost of all these medications, I wonder what effect they've had on us?

My wife has been saying that for the past few days I've been doing too much, and I'm beginning to notice that I have a bit more energy than I think I used to have. I'm beginning to wonder if the ACE inhibitors I've been taking for many years may have been slugging me down a bit, not to any really noticeable degree at the time, but noticeable now that I've stopped taking them. I certainly feel better after a long bike ride than I used to, and my recovery time after exercise seems, subjectively, to be shorter.

Despite having a very firm belief in the good that science can do, I'm coming around to the view that the fewer medications we take regularly the better. Mind you, I'm still not used to not taking a pill with breakfast every day yet - I find I still reach for the shelf where they used to be, as if I've been trained after 15 years to do so.

All this does make you wonder a bit, doesn't it?

goudie
26th Jan 2018, 13:12
As one who has taken tablets for hypertension and high cholesterol for many years this thread has made interesting reading. I'm due for a review with my doctor in March re. these tablets. It'll be interesting what she has to say when I question their usefulness.

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 13:49
As one who has taken tablets for hypertension and high cholesterol for many years this thread has made interesting reading. I'm due for a review with my doctor in March re. these tablets. It'll be interesting what she has to say when I question their usefulness.

One thing that might be worth asking for is if they will let you have a ABPM (ambulatory blood pressure monitor) for a few days. From all I've managed to read so far, an ambulatory blood pressure measurement over at least 24 hours is the only reasonably reliable way to determine if you really do have high blood pressure, and, perhaps more importantly, if you are a night time "dipper".

The latter point seems quite important, as far as I've been able to find out. Most people will have an average (i.e. not influenced by exertion) blood pressure that sharply increases as they wake up, peaking around 6 am. It then drops slowly through the day and dips down quite sharply during sleep. As a consequence, their daily mean BP can be quite low, and the theory seems to be that it is the daily mean BP that is important, in terms of causing harm in the long term.

Some people, however, don't have this pattern of diurnal BP at all, and in particular their BP doesn't dip when they sleep, but stays around the daytime level. As a consequence, their daily mean BP can be higher, resulting in greater risk.

In terms of measurement accuracy, it seems that the very best is invasive, using a cannula in an artery to directly measure pressure, which isn't practical unless you're undergoing surgery or something similar.

The next best method seems to be ABPM over at least 24 hours.

The next best method after that seems to be home blood pressure monitoring, as long as it's done in the correct way, using a monitor that has been properly calibrated and accredited (some of the cheaper ones may not be).

The worst method is measurement in a clinical environment like a doctor's surgery.

All the advice I've read so far suggests that any decision on treatment should not just rely on readings taken by a GP or practice nurse. In my case, all of the decisions about treatment, dietary change etc, made over 30 years, were based solely on readings taken in a GPs surgery, and I doubt that I'm any different to many others.

glad rag
26th Jan 2018, 16:48
"The worst method is measurement in a clinical environment like a doctor's surgery.."

I would agree, however with the following (true) caveats

1. Being "squeezed" by the specialist nurse at GP medical center when there is a knock at door and a lady comes in to inform me that she's sorry but that she has just reversed into my car....Yes you read that correctly....now stop laughing..

2. On another "re-cert" visit having to look at a pink YES badge for the duration of appointment, being told that my quality of life (at time worked away from home UP wind turbines) easy suffering due to my employment etc, etc.
On asking how long the nurse had worked in NHS was informed all her working life, but that she enjoyed the 3 day week as it allowed her to follow her "other" political interests...yeah was a bit high then too...

Thanks for an informative and interesting thread guys...

Pace
26th Jan 2018, 16:59
VP959 has contributed a lot and thanks to him
We might be on different wave lengths on brexit policy but not on this ))

If it gets people to think out of the box and not take what’s dictated then it’s been good
Especially where BIG money talks

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 17:30
VP959 has contributed a lot and thanks to him
We might be on different wave lengths on brexit policy but not on this ))

If it gets people to think out of the box and not take what’s dictated then it’s been good
Especially where BIG money talks


Thanks, Pace.

As many may have guessed, I've recently become a big fan of the Cochrane organisation, specifically because they seem to be trying to strip away the commercial and political bias from medical research and collating data in a way that tries to show the true state of affairs.

Anyone can volunteer to help, or donate: Cochrane | Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health. (http://www.cochrane.org/)

If anyone is concerned that there may be some sort of scam going on, then as far as I've been able to determine, they are genuine, and have a sort of "open source" model when it comes to transparency and review. This comes straight from their "about us" section, and gives a good idea of what they do and how they do it. In particular, I'd ask that people read the last paragraph, as I think it illustrates some of the very issues that have come up on this thread:

What do we do?
Cochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better.

During the past 20 years, Cochrane has helped to transform the way health decisions are made.

We gather and summarize the best evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment.

Who is Cochrane for?
Cochrane is for anyone who is interested in using high-quality information to make health decisions. Whether you are a doctor or nurse, patient or carer, researcher or funder, Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making.

Everyone has a role to play so please get involved.

Who are we?
We are a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.

Cochrane contributors - 37,000 from more than 130 countries - work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Many of our contributors are world leaders in their fields - medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy - and our groups are situated in some of the world's most respected academic and medical institutions. Contact us for more information.

Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

How do we do this?
Cochrane's contributors are affiliated to the organization through Cochrane groups: healthcare subject-related review groups, thematic networks, groups concerned with the methodology of systematic reviews, and regional centres. (Learn more about our organizational structure.)

There is no one place or office that is 'Cochrane'. Our contributors and groups are based all around the world and the majority of our work is carried out online. Each group is a 'mini-organization' in itself, with its own funding, website, and workload. Contributors affiliate themselves to a group, or in some cases several groups, based on their interests, expertise, and/or geographical location.

We do not accept commercial or conflicted funding. This is vital for us to generate authoritative and reliable information, working freely, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests.

Why do we do this?
The need for Cochrane's work is even greater than it was when we started 20 years ago. As access to health evidence increases, so do the risks of misinterpreting complex content; meanwhile the likelihood of any one person getting a complete and balanced picture decreases. Our mission to provide accessible, credible information to support informed decision-making has never been more important or useful for improving global health.

Pace
27th Jan 2018, 08:41
Most of the trials in this review were funded by companies that make ACE inhibitors and serious adverse effects were not reported by the authors of many of these trials. This could mean that the drug companies are withholding unfavorable findings related to their drugs.

This study from your links about says it all
Ace inhibitors only reduce BP by a tiny amount
The lowest dose having the same result as high doses

The trials funded by drug companies who cover up side effects

This happened with a Statins where bad press on side effects was met by denial studies produced by the drug companies

As in the USA $13 billion of these pills are sold annually you can see the protectionism surrounding these drugs

I find it totally unnaceptable that with $13 billion a year drug companies are producing drugs for a condition they don’t understand

VP959
27th Jan 2018, 08:53
It's one reason I favour data from Cochrane and have applied to help as a volunteer.

I worked in an environment where decisions were always evidence-based, and where that evidence had been reviewed and cross checked several times, to be sure that any action taken, based on it, was valid.

Medicine seems to work to very much less stringent standards, and I suspect is driven very much by the power of the big pharmaceutical companies to manipulate data about their products.

As a consequence, it seems a great deal harder to get definitive evidence about the efficacy, side effects and interactions of medicines than it should be. Cochrane seems to be the only independent body that I can easily find that is attempting to fix this problem, by painstakingly reviewing all the available evidence and telling it as it is. The sad thing is that there are very big knowledge gaps, where there just isn't any reliable evidence at all, and some of these gaps involve some of the most widely used medications.

There also seems to be an element of folklore in medicine, where someone thinks that a treatment should be beneficial, without any proper evidence, and the next thing we know is that it's accepted as fact that this treatment is the "gold standard". It's almost as if scientific method has been chucked out of the window in the case of some medical treatments.

yellowtriumph
27th Jan 2018, 09:19
... I started out in the mid 90's with 300mg of Allopurinol after an extremely bad round of gout, caused by eating something which delivered enough Uric Acid to fell a horse.

I was told that if you begin using this pill it will be for life. (Not true) and I am down to 100mg after being told by my French doctor that according to my blood counts, I can begin a slow reduction and now have reached 100mg, and expect it to go to zero in a couple of months. ..

Imagegear

About two years ago I started to suffer from gout. First the left foot for a week or so, then the right foot for a week or so, then nothing for a couple of weeks then repeat the sequence. Luckily I never got it in both feet at the same time. At each occurrence I would be laid up, couldn't leave the house, life was becoming a misery and I was really concerned that this was how it was going to be. I felt all the things I wanted to do in retirement were never going to come to fruition because it was so awful - for those of you who have never suffered think of it as being hit on your big toe with a hammer by someone with all their force. Unbearable.

No changes in diet or drinking habits seemed to narrow anything down. Then a friend mentioned that he suffered and that he had been dispensed Allopurinal and it had sort him out.

I went to the GP and discussed my 'pains' with her, without hesitation she prescribed Allopurinol at 100mg to start off with. I have subsequently googled and discovered that this drug has been round for many years and it the most popular drug for this condition.

I took the tablets, one a day. The effect was almost instantaneous. It was like simply flicking a switch off and I have never suffered since, not one day, not ever. Looking back I now realise that I had been suffering for far longer then I had realised and I had just put it down to 'one of those things' as you get older - continuous low level pain but since retirement it had escalated.

Yes, I do have to take the pill every day, it is the lowest strength and the packaging in the accompanying box clearly states that you should not stop taking the drug unless you have consulted your practitioner first.

My friend, the one who alerted me to the drug in the first place, decided he knew better than his GP and decided that after the attacks of gout had stopped (and gout sufferers will know 'attack' is the right word) to reduce his intake of the drug from daily to a couple of times a week. Big mistake on his part, and he soon went back to one day. That's not to say you can't - good luck ImageGear.

Sorry for the thread drift, thought it might be useful to someone.

gemma10
27th Jan 2018, 22:09
Gout -yes your grandfathers disease. Renember well as a kid my grandad sitting in his armchair with his leg on a puff and his foot bound up with bandages. Gran used to say he drank far too much port. Now the interesting thing about Gout is that it invariably skips a generation. Grandad suffered badly with it and there was no Allopurinol in those days. My father never had it at all, but twenty odd years ago I suffered badly with it. I studied the effects of it and read papers on it given to me by an uncle who was a GP, and hence I think I`m a bit of an authority on it. Fistly Allopurinol does not get rid of gout, what it does do is prevent re-occurencies once the medication is stable in the body. To combat the pain of gout and to get rid of the swelling one has to take anti-inflamatories such as Indomethacine. Allopurinol can be started when the gout has finally gone. Any subsequent attacks of gout then the Allopurinol has to be stopped and furter anti inflamatories restarted. Allopurinol is not effective when taking anti inlammatories. The whole process can take months of goutless living until the Allopurinol is totally effective.
A word of caution here. When the pain is at its worst do not eat rhubarb.:{:{

VP959
28th Jan 2018, 08:08
What about cases where a person has gout once, then it gets treated and doesn't recur?

I'm sure a colleague had gout like this once. he was hobbling around in a hell of a lot of pain from the big toe area of one foot. He was diagnosed with gout, went off sick for around a week or so and given some dietary advice to prevent a recurrence. I worked with him for years afterwards and it didn't come back, AFAIK, and I don't recall him saying anything about being on any regular medication, he just moaned about the list of foods and drinks he had to avoid (all the time............).

yellowtriumph
28th Jan 2018, 10:15
What about cases where a person has gout once, then it gets treated and doesn't recur?

I'm sure a colleague had gout like this once. he was hobbling around in a hell of a lot of pain from the big toe area of one foot. He was diagnosed with gout, went off sick for around a week or so and given some dietary advice to prevent a recurrence. I worked with him for years afterwards and it didn't come back, AFAIK, and I don't recall him saying anything about being on any regular medication, he just moaned about the list of foods and drinks he had to avoid (all the time............).

I'm happy to defer to gemma10 on this as she clearly has more knowledge on this than me, I can relate more of my personal anecdotal experience.

Looking back, when I was still at work in my very early 60's I became aware of pain in both feet - very low level, not at all affecting my day to day life but continuous. My work involved a fair amount of time walking and being generally on my feet all day but it did not affect my abilty to function quite normally.

It was once I retired that everything came to a head. What was once a continuous low level and very manageable pain became frequent 'attacks' of what I now know to be gout. More agony than you can try and describe, first one foot then the other - no pattern to it except it became frequent. I became concerned as it began to affect my social life, sometimes I simply couldn't leave the house due to the pain of trying to 'cack- handedly' walk on the outside edge of the affected foot. I became wary of booking holidays that might involve walking as a large part of the holiday's enjoyment. Naproxin seemed to help.

I reflected on it and also realised that perhaps it explained why in the last few years I would buy pair of comfortable shoes but then discover 6 months later I couldn't get them on any more as they appeared to be too small! - in six months! What I realise now of course is that the major joint at the bottom of the 'big toe' was swelling up as the gout took a firm hold meaning the effective width of my feet were getting wider and wider. I only realise this now looking back.

Why oh why didn't I just go to the doctor.

As per my previous post I heard about Allopurinal, went to the GP and she started me on it. As gemma10 says, I had to be absolutely clear of a gout attack for 2 weeks before starting the tablets (100mg the lowest prescription), otherwise you can actually induce an attack. Since then my life had been transformed and I am back to normal. One 'big toe' joint has returned to normal, the other is still enlarged and I suspect now it will always be - Google if you like, some pictures are quite grotesque! I'm happy to say that my toe is very much at the lower end of the scale. Will the gout ever go away? I don't know. The advice is absolutely clear from the drug packaging and from the GP herself - do NOT stop taking this medicine unless I say so which tends to suggest it is dealing with the symptoms rather than the cause. As I mentioned in my above post, my friend stopped taking it take just because he was pain free and thought it was all sorted and he soon regretted it. I did try cutting out various things from my diet before I sought treatment and cut out the 'classic' foods that long time anecdotal evidence suggested might be a cause of gout. So, no red wine, no shellfish, no excessive amounts of cheese. None of it helped at all. Subsequent to starting the tablets I eat all these things with gay abandon. I have never drunk port!

Edited to add re gemma10's post, I am not aware of either my Mum or Dad suffering from gout, I have feeling my grandad might have but I am not sure.

Uplinker
28th Jan 2018, 12:35
With all the informed chat here, you wonder why the smart young things in the city take a triple hit of drugs, booze and baccy.

Because it is fun, it makes them feel good, and you are never going to die or get ill at that age ! It is only later that folk realise they have squandered their health and damaged their bodies.

Wow, the amount of (legal medical) drugs some of you are taking is scary. The human body has been refined and refined over millions of years, with a natural diet and we are the result of all that refinement. Now, here we are pouring chemicals into ourselves and our bodies are malfunctioning. I am not judging anyone, but I would be interested to know how many of you with high blood pressure monitor your salt intake and whether your doctors have told you to keep within 0.5gm per day? *

What I also find scary is that some of the interventions we see are to combat lack of exercise - for example the Benecol adverts to (supposedly) reduce cholesterol. For a start cholesterol levels are a red herring, but rather than taking a chemical to combat the consequences, say, of a lack of exercise, (and risk who-knows-what side effects, such as dementia), why not simply do more exercise??

Statins to prevent heart attacks? No! eat a more healthy diet, get rid of visceral fat, do more exercise, stop drinking so much and stop smoking completely.

I will try to find the reference for the BBC program I heard about salt intake - the professor was saying that traditionally, one’s blood pressure was expected to increase with age, but there is actually no need for that to happen. He studied tribes in the Amazon or somewhere who have a natural diet without extra salt and their blood pressures when old are very similar to those when they are young.

*He also said that the committee had set the recommended daily dose of salt much higher than the real figure. He was disappointed that he had done this, but at the time, they didn’t feel that the real figure would be believed by the general population.

Pontius Navigator
28th Jan 2018, 12:46
Uplinked, reduced exercise can become a downward spiral. It can start from some physical injury:

You have limited mobility, say a broken ankle. You continue to eat an active level diet. You gain weight. Exercise becomes more difficult. You gain more weight. You need a mobility scooter. You take less exercise.

In my case we lost our dig in June. The need to walk has gone . . .

Uplinker
28th Jan 2018, 13:21
Every person who ever has an injury or a bone break does not automatically put on weight and enter a downward spiral needing a mobility scooter, never to walk again !! Most people I see on mobility scooters are morbidly obese, and that is the cause of their problem, right there.

Their cure would be to cut out carbs and sugar, eat better foods and do more exercise, not less. Did you know that some people with a certain type of diabetes can cure themselves by going on an 800 calorie per day diet? No drugs or hospital intervention required, just eating fewer calories (which will reduce the visceral fat that is clogging up their organs and preventing them working properly).

I am not suggesting we all need to be athletes, but it is actually easy to do enough exercise. Just remember one needs to get out of breath and raise the heart rate on most days - you can do that very easily by walking briskly up a hill.

ImageGear
28th Jan 2018, 14:03
Interestingly, at the time I was prescribed Allopurinol, the doctor informed me that the increased levels of Uric acid in my body, resulted in the formation of crystals that migrate to the narrowest and lowest capillaries in the body first. This for most people is in the joints of the big toe or adjacent toes which results in the crystals forming immediately before the bearing surfaces. (It can however occur progressively in other joints including the spine, neck and other bearing surfaces. (I have had it in the spine and it is not pleasant).

The increase in Uric acid levels is caused by reduced function of the kidneys which then are unable to process the said acid which builds up in the blood stream. Another factor is that the kidneys "prioritise" the elimination of certain toxic products first before the Uric Acid and Alcohol is prioritised for elimination before Uric Acid. (Again raising Uric Acid levels in the blood stream).

Apparently Allopurinol modifies the function of the kidneys to enable processing of the Uric Acid through the liver instead, and elimination through the alternative "channel".

It is all a bit beyond me now since as far as I am concerned it just "works" and I am not going to dispense with it unless I am certain the Gout will not return. Since my Alcohol intake and Diet have changed significantly since my first attack I am hoping for the best.

Imagegear

goudie
28th Jan 2018, 15:02
between age 48 to 56 I went to the company gymn every weekday morning and did an hour long workout. At 52 I was diagnosed with hypertension, didn't smoke, drank moderately and ate sensibly.
So exercise, whilst good for you, isn't the answer to everything. My doctor said it was my physical makeup that was probably the cause. Gave me a tablets and it came down and has remained down ever
since Was diagnosed with high cholesterol in my early seventies and put on statins. No side effects and cholesterol is low.
In my youth I played rugby into my early thirties. When I retired at 56 took up rambling and cycling.
I'm 5'10'' ( used to be 6' )weigh 14 stone. So I'm no slouch and never have been but I still had hypertension and high cholesterol!. A gentle stroll for 20 mins or so is my daily exercise , weather permitting, but I do have dodgy knees that prevent too much activity

Pontius Navigator
28th Jan 2018, 18:02
Uplinked, I was not suggesting all but that for some an injury might be the start, for others obesity leads to inertia, energy conservation, and a scooter.

As it happens, the village I have just left is scooter heaven. Many elderly and a shopping trip in the village quite a walk especially carrying shopping back. A scooter makes better sense than a car.

Pace
28th Jan 2018, 18:48
Pontius

We have a pretty primitive fight or flight nervous system

Going to the basics of what it was designed for it was designed to prepare the body to either fight an adversary or run like Hell

When you look at the amount of stress modern man has to tolerate no wonder we are stressed out
A basic animal goes to sleep kin the same clothes doesnít have to select a clean shirt , shoes, suit and then drive in heavy traffic to work
Basic animal doesnít worry about paying bills or all the other modern man stressors
People get so stressed they dampen down that stress through drinking too much smoking too much or taking drugs
Some comfort eat and get fat piling in all the processed junk foods

Someone else mentioned a tribe in the Amazon and their BP
I am sure they donít have the bailif banging on the door but lead a very simplistic life

Maybe itís to do with dissatisfaction and expectations

People are very diffrent in makeup ye the medical world bundle them
As the same
Life is about lifestyle and I am sure these ailments are telling us that our modern life is not right for us

G-CPTN
28th Jan 2018, 18:55
Basic animal doesn’t worry about paying bills or all the other modern man stressors
Someone else mentioned a tribe in the Amazon and their BP
I am sure they don’t have the bailif banging on the door but lead a very simplistic life
Maybe it’s to do with dissatisfaction and expectations
Life is about lifestyle and I am sure these ailments are telling us that our modern life is not right for us

Would you really want to be an animal living in the wild?
Having to worry about where your next meal was coming from or whether you were going to be the next meal for a predator?

gulfairs
28th Jan 2018, 21:14
I am one of the 1935 vintage pilots. My whole career the medical world took great pains to relieve me of my pilot's licence, because I was a cardiac risk, over weight over drinking over indulgence of all the sins that the "God" said was naughty and I will go down to boiler number 3 etc.
I am still here with arthritis, and I still drink I still perv on sheilas a also read dirty books
and up until today I am not dead.
But the aircrew doctors swore blind I would die an early death because of all the above.
I hope to do another half dozen years before the primary pump fails.
So who is correct?????
Gulfairs.

Pace
28th Jan 2018, 21:22
That is what our very simplistic nervous system is designed for animal fight or flight
Itís not really designed to be on full alert based on threats which are not life and death threats but which can be present daily in numerous situations

But this is the whole point ! We donít know why one stressed individual posts low readings even under immense stress while another can be though the roof

The condition of HBP is not understood but the drug companies sell pills to the sum of $billions a year for conditions they profess not to understand

Pace
28th Jan 2018, 21:33
Gulfairs

My Grandfathef died at 96 had HBP in the days when there were no fancy drugs
This is the whole point you cannot hang the same placard on different people
They pressure from the drug companies is to reduce the BP minimal acceptance levels lower and lower to constantly increase their market

A lot of these drugs have serious side effects

Cholesterol is NOT understood yet those same drug companies sell $ 13 billion a year of their drugs to control something they don’t understand ?

With 13 biilion a year income on statins they certainly have the budget to finance that understanding
But maybe they do but the truth wouldn’t generate the $13 billion

BigEndBob
28th Jan 2018, 21:53
I had a minor heart episode after taking Naproxin pain killers for ankle pain that came about after six months of back pain and sciatic nerve pain, which stressed me out, hard to get in and out of car, bed, aeroplane, put on socks, etc.
Cardio Dr prescribed Atorvastin 80mg, first two nights i tried the tablets thought i was going to stop breathing when lying in bed, took hour for the feeling of dread to wear off. So stopped taking anymore.
Later at GP he asked how i was getting on, so explained. He said try Simvastin low dose.
Well that was like an LSD trip, all went in the bin after that never again.
And all the other heart tablets i took for two months i then stopped due all the side effects, cough, pins and needles in finger tips, rash, tender spots in muscles. All tests since, blood, ecg, treadmill, have showed every thing normal.

MG23
29th Jan 2018, 03:58
I would be interested to know how many of you with high blood pressure monitor your salt intake and whether your doctors have told you to keep within 0.5gm per day?

If you actually look at the research on the subject, the link between salt intake and blood pressure is pretty dubious. It's highly likely that high salt intake is correlated with other kinds of food that cause health problems. Reducing salt by itself seems to have minimal impact.

VP959
29th Jan 2018, 08:13
If you actually look at the research on the subject, the link between salt intake and blood pressure is pretty dubious. It's highly likely that high salt intake is correlated with other kinds of food that cause health problems. Reducing salt by itself seems to have minimal impact.

Here are links to properly reviewed studies regarding dietary salt/sodium intake on both blood pressure and cardio vascular disease. This is not biased industry/government data, but an independent review of all the data that was publicly available at the date of each review:

The effect of a low salt diet on blood pressure and some hormones and lipids in people with normal and elevated blood pressure | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD004022/HTN_effect-low-salt-diet-blood-pressure-and-some-hormones-and-lipids-people-normal-and-elevated-blood)

Modest salt reduction lowers blood pressure in all ethnic groups at all levels of blood pressure without adverse consequences | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD004937/HTN_modest-salt-reduction-lowers-blood-pressure-in-all-ethnic-groups-at-all-levels-of-blood-pressure-without-adverse-consequences)

Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease | Cochrane (http://www.cochrane.org/CD009217/VASC_reduced-dietary-salt-prevention-cardiovascular-disease)

Here's a quote from the prťcis of the second link above:

Our pooled analysis of randomised trials of 4 weeks or more in duration shows that such a reduction in salt intake lowers blood pressure both in individuals with raised blood pressure and in those with normal blood pressure. The fall in blood pressure is shown in both whites and blacks, men and women. Additionally, our results show that a longer-term modest reduction in salt intake has no adverse effect on hormone and lipid levels. These findings provide further strong support for a reduction in population salt intake. This will likely lower population blood pressure and reduce strokes, heart attacks and heart failure. Furthermore, our results are consistent with the fact that the lower the salt intake, the lower the blood pressure. The current recommendations to reduce salt intake to 5-6 grams per day will lower blood pressure, but a further reduction to 3 grams per day will lower blood pressure more. Therefore, 3 grams per day should become the long-term target for population salt intake.

Having read all of the data I'm in absolutely no doubt that this conclusion is correct. It's probably the most thorough independent review available, too. I would add that it really needs a benchmark. I reduced my salt intake over 30 years ago, when I was first diagnosed with what was thought to be essential hypertension. I don't have a particularly unusual diet, but I do periodically check my daily salt intake (not hard, the amount of salt is printed on food packaging). It's very rare for my daily salt intake to get as high as 3g/day, and much of the time it's under 2g/day, and I do eat foods with salt in, even things like potato crisps. Staying under 3g/day is not that hard at all, in my experience.

Pace
29th Jan 2018, 08:31
http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(13)01002-1/abstract

It is also now clear that for men drinking 1 to 2 units of alcohol is far more effective in keeping blood vessels clear and protecting the Cardio vascular system than snything Statins will do
But don’t suppose the drugs companies are in the drinks business
Preferably red wine for its other benefits

Heavy drinking has the opposite effect

VP959
29th Jan 2018, 08:49
Alcohol is an interesting one. I was in the habit of drinking a couple of large (over 200ml I suspect) glasses of wine every evening. When I stopped on January 1st (a New Years resolution, because I just thought I was probably drinking a bit too much, too regularly) my systolic BP dipped around 10mmHG and has stayed like that. The diastolic hasn't changed.

I only noticed this because I've been checking my BP every day since early December, and the step change at the beginning of January is very noticeable.

Mind you, my two glasses of wine was well over 2 units, probably over 400ml of 12% ABV wine, so close to 5 units, plus I was drinking every evening, without a break.

I'm reluctant to break my New Years resolution, mainly because I don't want to get into the habit of drinking every evening again, plus I've found that I feel a fair bit better after a few weeks of no booze, but I may just see if I can stick with just a single, smaller, glass of wine some evenings, with breaks of a couple of days when I don't drink at all, and see what happens.

BigEndBob
29th Jan 2018, 09:14
My business partners auntie is 102, she has everyday a bacon a sandwich and small bowl of porridge and until recently a small tot of whiskey before she goes to bed.

Pace
29th Jan 2018, 10:47
VP959

Your link explains how alcohol stops build up in
The blood vessel walls
But there is a fine cutoff point beyond which alcohol becomes negative
One unit is a small 125 ml glass of red wine

Pubs restaurants offer 250 ml in a large glass and it’s surprising at how many consider that as one unit
It’s probably better to have a clean out and then maybe going back to enjoying one glass in the evening
At least it’s more enjoyable than popping a Statin

Pontius Navigator
29th Jan 2018, 12:19
My local offers 3 sizes £3, £4 and £5. More precisely, 125 175 and 250 ml.

VP959
29th Jan 2018, 12:33
My local offers 3 sizes £3, £4 and £5. More precisely, 125 175 and 250 ml.


So, as most wine is between 11% and 13% ABV, let's say 12% as an average, and as a unit is 10ml of ethanol, that equates to:

125ml = 1.5 units

175ml = 2.1 units

250ml = 3 units

If the pub is offering 11% ABV wine, then the figures come down a bit to:

125ml = 1.375 units

175ml = 1.925 units

250ml = 2.75 units

Seems pretty easy to clock up 4 to 6 units in a fairly easy evening's drinking. The current guidance for men has dropped to 14 units per week, with at least a couple of days of no drinking as "recovery time" each week. It would be pretty easy to exceed that even with only a few nights out a week, and worse at home, where glasses are probably a bit more generous.

I thought I was a very modest drinker, yet until I stopped a few weeks ago it looks like I was probably drinking over 30 units a week, and not having a break - every evening I'd settle down to a large glass of wine with dinner, without fail, followed by a second one, more often than not.

Not really a surprise that my systolic BP dropped when I just stopped drinking, perhaps.

Pace
29th Jan 2018, 15:01
VP959

We are talking two separate issues
One HBP
Two blocking up blood vessels
While the two can be linked heart disease and clogged up blood vessels doesn’t mean HBP
Small amounts of alcohol do appear to do a better job than Statins at keeping them clear

I do agree BP will be higher after drinking

Pontius Navigator
29th Jan 2018, 15:27
The trick to home drinking is the bottle recycle bin. On 2 units for 6 nights shared with your other half you are talking 12 glass or 3 bottles. If you accumulate more, without friends to help, you have a good indication.

VP959
29th Jan 2018, 15:43
The trick to home drinking is the bottle recycle bin. On 2 units for 6 nights shared with your other half you are talking 12 glass or 3 bottles. If you accumulate more, without friends to help, you have a good indication.

Very, very true!

I realised I had a problem when I got the the point that I was hiding some of the empties, to avoid any criticism, and only sticking them in the recycling bin on bin day, after SWMBO had gone to work............

VP959
29th Jan 2018, 15:48
VP959

We are talking two separate issues
One HBP
Two blocking up blood vessels
While the two can be linked heart disease and clogged up blood vessels doesnít mean HBP
Small amounts of alcohol do appear to do a better job than Statins at keeping them clear

I do agree BP will be higher after drinking

I realise this, but the two are linked, it seems.

I was surprised by the impact that my, fairly modest by some standards, level of regular drinking had on my systolic BP, that was all. The odd thing is that it seems to have had no effect at all on my diastolic BP, that's stayed exactly the same.

I've never had a high cholesterol reading, it's always been low, with a good HDL/LDL ratio, to the point where I just have random tests every few years now and no longer have to do a fasting test. Just lucky, I guess.