I've recently been diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome and prescribed Losartan to help slow the enlargement of my aorta. Unfortunately it is also for lowering blood pressure and my blood pressure is naturally very low. Are there any natural alternatives that can be taken that don't affect blood pressure?
Losartan (available as Cozaar in NZ)works by decreasing the activity of a substance called TGF-beta (which is on overdrive in Marfan Syndrome).
The information on Losartan for Marfan syndrome is based on a mouse model - the first clinical trials on humans with this condition is underway and does not end until next year.
The effect on the drug on blood pressure, (ie reducing the force exerted against the walls of your blood vessels) is also beneficial for this condition. However, in your case you may feel generally less energetic and motivated and will have a higher risk of fainting, especially in hot environments. If you choose to stay on the medication, then I advise strategies such as increased salt in your diet as well as support from a herbalist - as there are some herbal medicines that can be used to raise BP. You will need to work with someone who is familiar with working in a Complementary way (rather than "alternative", which suggest abandoning standard treatment).
NZRN, PG Dip Hlth Sci, ND, Dip MH.
Apart from the documented treatments (losartan), there are no alternatives available as far as i know of. The only solution is to improve your diet and start an exercise routine that will strengthen the fascia such as Tai-chi and Yoga.
The added benefits of Tai-chi and Quiqon is that in time and with correct instruction you can adjust your low blood pressure.
Another path available is to resolve the emotional side of the the dis-ease through vibrational medicine or essences.
The benefits are releasing the emotional attachments, that challenge our daily life on a mental level. This in time could also encourage resolution on the physical level, where the side effects of your dis-ease may diminish.
I don't know of any natural alternatives to Losartan, however you may benefit from eating a diet containing plenty of vitamin C as vitamin C is necessary to synthesize collagen, one of the main proteins that gives connective tissues, including arteries, their strength.
Vitamin C rich foods include guavas, capsicums, kiwifruit, citrus, kale and cabbage - these all need to be eaten raw as most or all of the vitamin C is destroyed by cooking. There are also many other benefits from eating these foods.
I would not take any natural remedies (other than food) without checking with your doctor or a skilled naturopath who knows all the details of your case as pharmaceuticals and natural remedies can often have very harmful interactions (I will be writing a whole article on this in the next issue of my free newsletter, which you can subscribe to at http://www.aucklandnaturalhealth.co.nz/newsletter/)