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No. of Recommendations: 3
Sheldon G. Sheps, Mayo Clinic on High Blood Pressure, 2nd Ed, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 2002

I found this book in my local library after a recommendation on the High Blood Pressure board.

This book is a nice summary of the subject covering the technical background of high blood pressure as well as treatments–including diet and exercise and drug therapy. Although most of us have primary hypertension–caused by hereditary factors, some have secondary hypertension, ie as a symptom of underlying conditions. The book does name the two most common ones: renal artery stenosis (RAS), about 1/100 odds and pheochromocytoma, about 1/1000 odds. Those taking more than three meds to control high blood pressure should be evaluated for these conditions (though some say the odds are so low, the tests are not worth the cost).

Most useful is the obesity table and the relationship that to lose wt, your daily calorie intake should be no more than 10 times your weight in pounds or 22 times your weight in kilograms.

The book includes a well written overview of drug classes and how they are commonly used, which combinations are preferred. Nearly every commercial medication offered has clinical data showing that it saves lives under some circumstances. Those studies tend to encourage combinations of drugs–even more than does avoidance of unacceptable side effects. The drugs list seems current and up to date. But one should not rely on their brief summaries of side effects. Read your package inserts and research them on line to learn what side effects are potentially a problem with the drugs prescribed for you.

The book includes a few recipes and menus, but we seem to get into the same classical paradox. So much is written about healthy diet that its tough to weave a menu that truly sticks to the straight and narrow. We have the usual rabbit food–salads and veggies, served without salt or fat containing sauces blended with minor amounts of fish and chicken. They clearly do not believe in the low carb diet. And heavy fish eaters might want to worry about mercury.

Serious healthy eaters will want a more complete heart healthy cookbook, of which there are several.

This book is a nice introduction to the subject. It should help most patients who want to communicate better with their doctors and especially understand what it is they are trying to tell you. Index. List of resources and their web addresses.
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