The book High Blood Pressure at your fingertips gives good information about all aspects of what is known and not known about different types of high blood pressure. It also explains very well how the human heart and circulatory system work. It defines and explains the importance of controlling cholesterol, tryglicerides levels etc. of lifesytle changes comprising exercise, proper nutrition, quitting smoking, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake beside drug treatment. Moreover it is very easily readable in question and answer format.Therefore I recommend that everybody who needs to take his / her blood pressure under control read it carefully. But don't let this book be your only source of information. Because it promotes drug treatment too much. I am not a medical expert but I feel this bias in this book because of other good books I read also about the subject. The authors of this book that I am reviewing now do not rule out treatment without drugs. They mention the need to exercise and proper diet and describe the conditions under which they think drug treatment is the inevitable method. They also claim that once a person is on high blood pressure treatment drugs it is very unlikely and rare that he / she can ever switch to forms of treatment without drugs ; they are stuck with drugs for life. However, some other good books are more optimistic about possibilities of non - drug tretament and even claim that going off drugs carefully under doctor supervision by changing lifestyle is possible in 80 % of the cases ; most people do not need to be stuck for life with blood pressure lowering drugs provided that they make the necessary lifestyle changes under doctor supervision. However, I understand that in 20 % of the cases people have to take drugs because lifestyle changes bythemselves are not sufficient to bring their bloood pressure level down. One such good book that claims that it is possible to reverse hypertension without drugs in 80 % of the cases that I recommend you should read also is Reversing Hypertension published by Harvard Medical Books written by John D Whitaker MD.
Of course the method of treatment ; drug or non-drug or a combination of the two varies from person to person and the choice of the method should be decided together with your doctor. We can not decide to choose a method by ourselves just by reading books. However, we should be smart patients by being aware that there are non - drug alternatives and that some doctors are too biased towards drug treatments even in cases where lifestyle changes maybe sufficient. The smart patient has knowledge about the alternative forms of treatment and does not leave the decision about the method of treatment entirely to his / her doctor. He / she also does not decide him / herself without any doctor involvement.
I understand that lifestyle change is no easy task ; it involves undoing years of bad habits and replacing them with good ones. But given the undesirable side effects of most blood pressure lowering drugs don't you think it is worth trying the lifestyle change to see if it works for you before jumping into drug treatment ? I was able to do it with excellent results. Since I am no superman, if I can do it anybody can, provided that they put their heart in it. In fact, there are many books which describe which and how to do the lifestyle changes and your doctor can also help you make these changes unless he / she is biased towards drug treatment. Moreover there are many other health benefits to adopting exercise and proper nutrition besides lowering high blood pressure.
When my father was diagnosed with hypertension he refused to change his lifestyle ( exercise, proper diet, quit smoking etc. ) and has been taking medication for 40 years instead. This brought his hypertension under control. By contrast, when I inherited high blood pressure from him at the age of fifty my doctor said he could give me medication if I wanted, or I could try lifestyle changes instead first. If that didn't work we would implement the drug treatment option.I decided to give the life style changes a chance ; I started daily aerobic and breathing exercises, reduced caffeine and alcohol intake, quit smoking, increased my fresh fruit and vegetable, white meat and water consumption, reduced eating red meat started taking daily 2000 mg of Omega 3 fatty acid pills, stopped eating junk food, reduced my unhealthy saturated fat and salt intake. These are permanent changes I made for life. As a result in five months I lost significant amount of weight, my blood pressure went down from 140 / 100 to 120 / 80 in several months and has been so for many years without taking any drugs. My LDL ( bad ) cholesterol and tryglicryde levels came significantly down to healthy levels and my HDL ( good ) cholesterol level rose to a very good level, all without drugs. However, I could not yet reduce my stress level so my blood pressure still rises sometimes.
In conclusion if you are suffering from hypertension I recommend that you read this book but do not let it be your only source of information about this subject.