beta blockers

  1. 'Safe' painkiller worsens asthma

    Asthma patients, if your doc is still telling you that acetaminophen is safe for your condition, it's time to switch docs and find one ready to join the rest of us here in the 21st century.

    It's anything but safe -- and if you've followed his advice and popped a Tylenol for pain, you may have already felt that telltale tightening in the chest that warns you to get the inhaler ready.

    It's not a coincidence... and it's not bad luck: Despite the advice dished out by doctors every day, acetaminophen has proven time and again that it may worsen asthma -- and in children, it may even CAUSE the disease.

    Now, sick of all the docs who haven't gotten that message, one physician is laying out the evidence in black-and-white -- like the recent study that found kids who take the drug just once a month have TRIPLE the asthma risk.

    Even kids who took the painkiller just once a year had a 60 percent higher rate of asthma -- and it's not just kids at risk here. Dr. John McBride writes in Pediatrics that other studies have found that adults who take this painkiller can quickly suffer the lung-robbing consequences.

    On the other hand, Dr. McBride suggests ibuprofen as a potential replacement, despite the fact that it can also worsen asthma -- especially in the estimated 20 percent of patients who are sensitive to NSAIDs.

    These aren't the only meds that can knock the wind out of your sails -- as I just told you, statins can dramatically worsen your symptoms, force you to use more meds and even cause you to lose sleep. (Read about it here.)

    Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors can also leave you feeling as if you've just been kicked in the chest by a donkey -- along with any number of other meds, which is why it's especially important for asthmatics to work with a doc who won't be quick with the prescription pad.

    My prescription: A naturopathic physician who can get you off the meds you don't need and even help you live without that inhaler.

  2. BP meds in obesity link

    If you're taking BP meds, you're not just fattening Big Pharma's pockets -- you're fattening your own belly.

    A new study links some of the most common hypertension drugs to expanding waistlines, finding that beta blockers can dramatically slow the rate at which you burn calories and fat -- turning your metabolism from a bunny to a slug in a heartbeat.

    Australian researchers examined 11,438 adults who suffered either high blood pressure, diabetes or both -- and found that those who took beta blockers weighed an average of up to 37 pounds more than those who didn't take the meds... and, naturally, they had bigger waistlines too.

    Then, the researchers took a closer look at 11 people on beta blockers and 19 people the same age and weight who were not on the meds.

    Using a calorimeter, they found the patients who took the meds burned between 30 and 50 percent fewer calories and fat after each meal than those who didn't. The patients on the meds also had lower levels of physical activity, almost certainly because beta blockers can leave you slow and winded.

    Horrible? Sure. But let's not get carried away and say something like this:

    "Our hypothesis is that widespread use of beta blockers may fuel the modern-day obesity epidemic," lead researcher Dr. Paul Lee told Reuters Health.

    Nice try, doc.

    The beta blockers aren't helping, and millions of people take them every day for no good reason -- but the real fuel of the modern-day obesity epidemic comes from all the junk people eat, not junky meds.

    On the other hand, any reason to find a way off BP drugs is good enough for me -- so if you think ditching beta blockers will help get your waistline under control, go for it.

    Visit a naturopathic physician now who can help ease you off your meds.

    And while you're at it, start eating better too.

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