(03/18/13) - There is a new, pill free way to control high blood pressure!
For some people, blood pressure is a problem that medication can't solve. A new procedure is zapping it away.
Author, garden enthusiast, and art collector, Carl Youngberg, has another titles that he would like to drop: high blood pressure patient.
He has lived with the condition since he was nine years old, "I've had it forever!"
Medications have failed to control it, so Carl enrolled in a clinical trial to test renal denervation.
"This is the first change in 100 years in the treatment of high blood pressure," says Baylor Plano, researcher Dr. David L. Brown.
The idea is to target overactive renal nerves that can cause blood pressure to soar. The nerves transmit information from the kidneys to the brain. During the procedure, doctors insert a needle into an artery in the groin near the kidneys and burn the nerves.
"We take off some of that overdrive, and people feel better, and their blood pressure drops, on average, 30 points," says Dr. Cara East.
So far it seems to be most effective for people with resistant high blood pressure, like Carl. Because he's in a double-blind trial, Carl doesn't know if he received the therapy, but he's hopeful.
"I'd like to find normal to be honest with you, that would, a new normal for me would be wonderful."
At its highest, Carl's blood pressure was 203 over 84. The last time he checked, it was 160 over 74.
Renal denervation is already approved in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Doctors believe it could be FDA approved in two to three years.
Risks are said to be extremely rare but include infections and blood clots.
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