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  • Maintaining a healthy weight is an important health factor, especially for people who are battling hypertension. Weight gain is a common, but rarely discussed, side effect of a variety of prescription drugs. While many factors may be in play, few studies have been performed to pinpoint the reasons. If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, the last thing you need is for your medicine to increase your weight.

    Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers

    Beta blockers, such as atenolol, can have the effect of making you fatigued, according to JohnsHopkinsHealthAlerts.com. You may even find that it causes you to get out of breath easily. These two factors may, over time, cause weight gain because you are discouraged from being active. Calcium channel blockers, like verapamil, can contribute to water retention. If your doctor has not prescribed a diuretic to help you shed retained water, this can add several pounds to your body.

    What You Can Do

    For many people, stopping their blood pressure medications is not an option. Never change or stop meds without your doctor's OK, says MayoClinic.com. The side effects of these drugs can be overcome once you realize the possibility that they have contributed to your weight gain. While these drugs may be contributors, their effect will usually be gradual over time and your progress toward weight loss should also be gradual for best results. The following suggestions will give you a sustainable and effective means of dropping your excess weight. If you have not yet gained weight but simply want to avoid the possibility, you will find these suggestions very effective. Beta blocker patients can increase their stamina and endurance by doing yoga or qi gong breathing exercises and walking a little every day. After a while, you will find you can increase your activity to a level that will burn off excess calories. If you use a calcium channel blocker, you may need to talk to your doctor about getting a diuretic. Whether or not he adds this to your treatment, make sure you drink plenty of water and eat watery fruits and vegetables every day. The body retains water to stock up for a drought when you don't get enough. After a week or so of showing your body it isn't being neglected, it will start releasing some of the water weight. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) is endorsed by the USDA. It provides for a more balanced approach to eating that recognizes the importance of vegetables and fruits as a cornerstone of health. The recommendation is eight to 10 servings of these per day. In the grains category, the diet (found at DashDiet.org) recommends choosing whole grains rather than processed enriched wheat. A couple of servings of lean protein per day and a suggestion to lower sodium chloride (table salt) intake round out this approach. Studies by the National Institutes of Health show that the DASH diet can lower weight and blood pressure, as well.

    Source:

    JohnsHopkinsHealthAlert.com: Prescription Drugs that Cause Weight Gain

    MayoClinic.com: Can Beta Blockers, Such as Atenolol, Cause Weight Gain? Sheldon G. Shepps MD

    The DASH Diet Eating Plan

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