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Finally, a Solution to Treatment-Resistant High Blood Pressure

Finally, a Solution to Treatment-Resistant High Blood Pressure

Sam Cohn, the legendary talent agent and co-founder of ICM, was one of the infamous “10 percenters” who transformed Hollywood into a star-making machine. His 10 percent cut of the huge paydays for Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Robin Williams, Macaulay Culkin and many more transformed him into a wealthy man with a rich future.

But the 10 percenters who make up the group of folks with treatment-resistant high blood pressure haven’t had such a rich future—up until now.

In a major breakthrough, researchers from Queen Mary University of London discovered that in folks with treatment-resistant hypertension, a naturally-present steroid hormone called aldosterone causes salt to accumulate in the bloodstream. This happens even if those folks don’t take in excess salt or are treated with diuretics and other antihypertensive medications. Salt accumulation torques up blood pressure by increasing fluid retention.

One of the researchers explains the benefit of the discovery: “The discovery of salt overload as the underlying cause has enabled us to identify the hormone which drives this, and to treat or cure most of the patients." Writing in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers further explain that breakthrough treatment uses an available aldosterone-blocker called spironolactone—it overcomes salt excess, while conventional anti-hypertensives do not. And if someone cannot tolerate spironolactone, a drug called amiloride is a reliable substitute.

So, if treatment-resistant hypertension plagues you despite the fact you’re doing all you can, talk to your doc about the wisdom of adding spironolactone to your regimen.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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