Why some blood pressure drugs may trigger gut problems

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Diverticulosis is a common condition in the digestive system where small pouches form in the intestinal lining. This condition often affects older individuals and can lead to serious health problems.

Meanwhile, high blood pressure is another major health issue, impacting one in every ten adults globally.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to critical conditions like heart attacks and strokes, and managing it typically requires lifestyle changes and medication.

Researchers from Imperial College London have been studying the effectiveness and potential side effects of three popular high blood pressure medications: ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers.

Although these medications are widely used, understanding exactly how they work and their full range of effects remains a work in progress.

The research team used genetic analysis to delve into the biological mechanisms of these drugs. They started by identifying the specific proteins targeted by the drugs to reduce blood pressure. They then analyzed genetic data from about 750,000 people to learn more about these proteins.

A particularly interesting part of their study was looking into whether variations in these proteins might increase the risk of other diseases.

Using data from the UK Biobank, a large research project, they made a surprising discovery. They found that a type of calcium channel blocker might be linked to an increased risk of diverticulosis.

This potential link could be due to how these drugs affect the muscles in the digestive tract that move food along. However, despite this finding, it’s crucial to not stop taking prescribed medications without consulting a healthcare provider.

The researchers, led by Dr. Dipender Gill, emphasized that their findings do not suggest a need to change current prescription guidelines.

The research was published in the journal Circulation and highlights the importance of understanding the broader effects of medications prescribed for high blood pressure.

It also points to the need for ongoing research to balance managing risks while effectively treating high blood pressure. Such studies are vital for developing strategies that ensure medications are safe and effective for long-term use.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that may increase high blood pressure risk, and drinking green tea could help lower blood pressure.

For more information about high blood pressure, please see recent studies about what to eat or to avoid for high blood pressure, and 12 foods that lower blood pressure.

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