Popular high blood pressure pill might cause problems

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Researchers at Columbia University have been studying chlorthalidone, a pill commonly given to people with high blood pressure.

They found that this medication might cause some issues. Don’t worry, though. They’re doing more studies to learn more. Let’s dive into what they discovered and understand it better.

First, let’s understand high blood pressure. Imagine your blood as cars on a highway. If the cars are moving too fast, accidents can happen. Similarly, high blood pressure means your blood is pushing too hard against your blood vessel walls, like cars speeding on a highway.

This can lead to serious health problems like heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. It’s a common issue, but doctors have many ways to treat it, including medications and lifestyle changes.

In their study, the researchers looked at data from over 730,000 people who took blood pressure medication for 17 years.

They compared two drugs: chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide. Both drugs work well to prevent heart attacks and strokes, but there was a significant difference in side effects.

People who took chlorthalidone were about three times more likely to have very low potassium levels in their blood, a condition known as hypokalemia. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps our muscles and nerves function properly.

Low potassium levels can cause weakness, tiredness, and even heart problems. The study found that 6.3% of people on chlorthalidone had low potassium levels, compared to only 1.9% of those on hydrochlorothiazide.

The researchers also found that people taking chlorthalidone had more issues with their electrolytes, which are chemicals in our bodies that help with various functions like keeping our heartbeats steady and our muscles working.

Additionally, those on chlorthalidone were more likely to experience kidney problems. Kidneys are vital organs that clean our blood.

This doesn’t mean that everyone taking chlorthalidone will have these problems, but it’s important to be aware of them so doctors can monitor their patients closely.

Currently, many doctors prefer chlorthalidone over hydrochlorothiazide for treating high blood pressure. However, this study might make them reconsider their choice.

There are many ways to keep your blood pressure healthy, even if you’re not taking these drugs. Eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables and low in salt is a good strategy.

Regular exercise, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking (if you smoke) can also help. Managing stress is important too. Activities like meditation, yoga, taking walks, or listening to music can be great for reducing stress.

Researchers will continue to study these drugs and others to ensure we have the safest and most effective treatments for high blood pressure.

If you or someone you know takes chlorthalidone, don’t worry. Just remember to have regular check-ups with the doctor and share any health changes with them.

This is the best way to stay healthy and keep your blood pressure in check. After all, we all want to keep our blood highways running smoothly.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that could increase high blood pressure risk, and eating eggs in a healthy diet may reduce risks of diabetes, high blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and results showing 12 foods that lower blood pressure.

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