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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Thickened Heart Muscle
Posted by: James
Date: January 23, 2007 4:01 AM

I'm 31 years old and I've been plagued with anxiety for nearly 11 years with accompanying intermittent high blood pressure. A recent EKG and cardio stress test came back normal, however, my echocardiogram showed my heart to be pumping "stiff," which the cardiologist attributes to the high blood pressure. He said that if I lowered my blood pressure then it would pump normally. I have been taking 25 mg. daily Atenolol for the past 5 months which has normalized my blood pressure. I also take 400 mg. magnesium, 100 mg. Co-Q10 and a B complex daily. Do you think that this thickening can revert to normal with these above supplements and the high blood pressure under control? Can you recommend any other supplements to support cardio health? And to maybe replace the Atenolol?

RE: Thickened Heart Muscle
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: January 23, 2007 8:45 PM

Sustained hypertension can cause a thickening of the heart muscle, just as putting extra stress on your biceps causes them to grow larger. In this sequence, the heart muscle is made stronger to overcome a peripheral resistance and still push the blood through to achieve adequate oxygenation. When the extra strength is no longer needed, the heart muscle can revert to normal thickness. The problem is in the peripheral resistance of the vascular system. At a young age the most likely cause is stress and excessive output of the adrenal hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin. When this is the cause, the best approach tends to be changing lifestyle to a more relaxed state, and many people have success with meditation techniques. General detoxification often has a good effect on hypertension. As you are taking Atenolol and magnesium, you may have to go off one to find out what is really working or not. I have seen many cases in which Atenolol has no effect on blood pressure, but despite this, doctors keep prescribing it. If Atenolol really is useful, and you still need it after all the above is implemented, then in your place I would take it. However, I am not advising you anything, simply reflecting some experience I have had.



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