I remember being at a child’s birthday party and speaking with an attendee.  Turns out this person was a pharmacist teaching cardiovascular drugs to pharmacy students.  One could assume that all they are teaching to new students is evidence based and devoid of dogma.

I asked her if beta blockers were still being used given their high risk of creating diabetes (about 22%) and stroke (about 12%).  The pharmacist was unaware of any such association.  Considering that the study I was referring to was in a cardiology journal and involved looking at 95,000 patients, I was sure it was a familiar one.  I was apparently wrong.  Despite the pharmacist / instructor in cardiology drugs’ lack of knowledge in this area, there is no longer any doubt that the beta blocker class of drugs used to treat hypertension creates diabetes and stroke (heck–isn’t that what we’re trying to prevent!!??).  Think of the “ol” drugs like atenolol or propranolol.

But dont’ worry if you’re still on this class of drugs.  This article finds that giving an ACE-inhbitor (think “il” like lisinoprol or captopril) almost counteracts the negative effects of the beta blockers.  What magic!  So, the bottom line is that, if you are written a prescription for a beta blocker that will increase your risk of diabetes and stroke, make sure you get your doctor to write that second prescription to counteract the side effects of the first.

Or…… could cut out enriched wheat flour, hydrogenated oils and exercise more….

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.