Volume 2, Issue 2
January 8, 2009
One heart problem that
requires drug treatment
You may know that I'm not a fan of most drugs. In fact, I spend a lot of my time trying to convince people that the drugs they are taking are doing them more harm than good.
However, the fact is, the right drug taken in the right dose for the right condition is sometimes the very best course of action to take. Such a case would be atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm in which many impulses begin and spread through the upper chambers of the heart (the atria). This condition increases your risk for a blood clot forming in the heart, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
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If your doctor says you have atrial fibrillation, he will undoubtedly give you prescription for atenolol. And in this case, drugs are warranted.
If you are in atrial fibrillation and you a are taking atenolol to prevent your heart rate from accelerating, then you need it. There are no alternative forms of treatment that will be successful.
However, if your heart rhythm is now normal, and you are simply taking the atenolol to prevent you from going back into atrial fibrillation again, then there may be other ways to prevent it.
One example would be to simply take vitamin C. Take 1,000 mg, three times a day. I recently read a study which showed how vitamin C can diminish your chance of atrial fibrillation reoccurring by 70%. That's a huge drop in risk. And probably as good as — if not better than — the drug.
Another remedy that can also be effective is hawthorne extract. I prefer the drops. The typical dose I prescribe is 20 drops in water two to three times a day. These remedies don't work all the time, but neither do the drugs. So they are certainly worth a try.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Cherkas LF, Hunkin JL, et al. "The association between physical activity in leisure time and leukocyte telomere length." Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jan 28;168(2):154-8.