The first 20 pages were useful, with diagrams and basic explanations.
Most of the rest of this little, but dangerous, book was the usual misleading claptrap, such as the repeated claims that high blood pressure is dangerous and causes heart problems. The research actually shows that at least as many people die of heart attacks and suffer other heart problems who do NOT have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or any of the other markers they claim are dangerous. Also, did you know that low blood pressure is MUCH more dangerous than high?
A chapter covered the usual (almost useless) advice to reduce salt, exercise, lose weight, reduce alcohol and stress, lifestyle change, etc. A low fat, low salt diet was claimed to be helpful, which is an outright lie (read " The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" for the real research, which also proves the benefits of animal fats, which this book - and so many others - tell us to avoid like the plague).
About half the book covered various prescription drugs that they claimed were helpful for blood pressure problems but without telling you ANY of the "side effects" (damaging and dangerous symptoms that they don't want you to think about are called "side" effects). The most lucrative of the top ten prescribed drugs in 2011 were those that claim to prevent heart disease (followed by those that claim to treat depression). Drug deaths now outnumber those killed in traffic accidents, and prescription drugs are largely to blame, although doctors vehemently deny this. This includes statins although ALL cholesterol is NECESSARY as explained in "The Great Cholesterol Con": blaming cholesterol for health problems is like blaming firemen at the scene for the fire. Best to first check out websites such as "what doctors don't tell you" about the various medications covered by the drugpusher-author of this book.
Much better to read books like "How to Protect Your Heart from Your Doctor" and "Malignant Medical Myths". If you are willing to take responsibility for your own health, here's just a starting point for you, of books explaining just some of the criminal conspiracies that profit from sickness:
Fear of the Invisible, Trick and Treat, Selling Sickness, The Truth About Drug Companies, Racketeering In Medicine, Heart Frauds, Confessions of a Medical Heretic (amusingly written, by a medical doctor, as well as scandalous), The Medical Mafia (also by a medic, similar theme as Confessions and passionately but badly written), The Truth About Vaccines, Cancer: Why We're Still Dying to Know the Truth, The Cancer Industry, Cancer is Not a Disease, and Why We will Never Win the War on AIDS.
There was a brief mention of dizziness or other symptoms on standing up due to briefly lowered blood pressure which they claimed was linked to diabetes, without admitting that this was much more likely to be a symptom of adrenal deficiency, because that is not an accepted diagnosis. Other things rarely mentioned that you might want to know about blood pressure: Low blood pressure can be caused by a low thyroid - in the early stages, a lower force of blood is pushed through your arteries due to the lowered metabolism of thyroid disease. In this case, the upper number, called the systolic, is lower than it should be. And having adrenal insufficiency (which is common with hypothyroid, for example) can also create a low circulating blood volume via the loss of salt.
Adrenal Deficiency and/or Low Thyroid (possibly affecting over 20 per cent of us - are you tired all the time?) eventually both cause high blood pressure, however. None of the drugs pushed in this book will help these people. As the "Stop the Thyroid Madness" website cautions: even though many thyroid patients, or those on the poor treatment of T4-only meds like Synthroid, can start out with low blood pressure, factors related to having low blood pressure can create HIGH blood pressure over time. For example, the kidneys fail to filter waste products from your body properly when your pressure is low, and "angiotensin" is produced, which raises your blood pressure. Also, a rise in cortisol from your adrenals as a way to keep you going in the face of a poor (or no) thyroid treatment can raise your blood pressure.
At this point, most doctors put you on blood pressure medications, since they are quite uneducated about the problem of blood pressure due to lack of diagnosis of thyroid and/or adrenals. This is just a part of the shameful deficiencies of "modern" medicine. Doctor mistakes are admitted to be the third leading cause of death - and medical/drug-caused problems are seriously under-reported, so the truth is probably that doctors are responsible for more deaths than cancer and heart disease put together. (But YOUR doctor is different and trustworthy, right?)
If you REALLY want to know the truth about blood pressure, the chapter in "Malignant Medical Myths" is much more informative. Some excerpts, just from the first page of that chapter:
- Dr Duane Graveline (astronaut, flight surgeon, family doctor) remembers - as a 6-year-old child of the 1930s depression - his grandmother's blood pressure of some 300 over 100; she lived well into her nineties, finally passing of cancer (fortunately for her, there was no blood pressure medication in her day)
-much useless advice is given to hypertensive patients about making changes in lifestyle (only giving up smoking statistically shows benefits)
- collateral damage (what is usually called "side effects") from all the high blood pressure drugs is so extreme for many people that no increase in lifespan is obtained or the cause of death is changed to something like congestive heart failure (CHF) which is not normally blamed on high blood pressure
- when your body increases its blood pressure there is a reason - to maintain a good supply of oxygen and nutrients to all organs; the direct brute force approach of using drugs to lower blood pressure by dilating arteries or veins, weakening the heart or increasing urination rarely does anything of overall value