Help Me Focus?
July 8, 2011 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Any recommndations for an herbal/OTC concentration aid that does NOT increase blood pressure?

Greetings,

As it says before the jump. I would like to be able to increase my concentration and focus without raising my blood pressure.

I recently got laid off from my job and insurance, and moved to another state so I don't have a doctor, either. To support myself, I am pursuing a dream years in the making/training: poker.

So far, so good: I'm averaging enough per session to support myself. But I find it hard to concentrate for hours at a time and maintain the sharp focus that I know would increase my dividends.

In fact, it's quite possible I have ADHD, I "fail" those "you might have ADHD questionnaires.

Compounding the problem is that I suffer from hypertension. This rules out a ton of potential concentration-helpers. I am taking blood pressure meds that I bought from a non-metafilter-approved online source, but said source's only focus/adhd options are those that increase blood pressure as a side effect and I'd like to limit my dealings with them anyway.

So I was wondering if any mefites have any recommendations. Thanks.
posted by mreleganza to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The only one that comes to mind that has some evidence of actually working is ginseng. To be honest the placebo effect is probably going to be more pronounced than anything else. But hey, the ends justify the means I guess.

I know you specified OTC, but Modafinil is exactly what your looking for. It's safe, it's a non-stimulant, and it doesn't raise BP. If your looking for an effective, non-illicit, non-stimulant OTC drug that improves concentration you're pretty much SOL I'm afraid. Nearly all of these "herbal remedies" are shams.

Best of luck to you.
posted by WhitenoisE at 12:35 PM on July 8, 2011


*you're. I've never make that mistake. Looks like you're not the only one who needs a concentration aid.
posted by WhitenoisE at 12:36 PM on July 8, 2011


okay imma stop trying now
posted by WhitenoisE at 12:38 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Modafinil does increase blood pressure in many people, and you are NOT supposed to take it while you're on meds for hypertension.

Please be very careful; there are lots of sources of cheap med care (cheaper than buying over the internet) for unemployed people. The only downside is that it takes a bit longer to get in their systems. Maybe your next AskMe should ask about medical resources in your area.
posted by lesli212 at 12:48 PM on July 8, 2011


Sorry, I was definitely wrong about the modafinil not raising BP at all. It does not raise BP nearly as much as traditional stimulants but it does have an effect on some people apparently.

I didn't even notice that you're taking non-prescribed BP meds. I know it's a tough situation to be in, but you need to be aware how unsafe it is to order from these indian "pharmacies". I've done it before and you're just as likely to receive a completely bunk product than anything that actually contains an active drug.

I also know what professional poker entails...sitting in front of a PC for hours on end and eating the kind of diet that this lifestyle necessitates is certainly not going to do any favors for your blood pressure either.

So what does that leave you with? Cardiovascular exercise and meditation. You're looking for a quick fix and you're not going to find it without making concessions to your health.
posted by WhitenoisE at 1:14 PM on July 8, 2011


Bullshit WhitenoisE, there is indeed a quick fix! It just happened to be obscured by the liquor bottles on top of my fridge, so I didn't think of it.

Piracetam
posted by WhitenoisE at 5:56 PM on July 8, 2011


I have used fish oil to dramatically lower my blood pressure. I don't know that it produces focus though.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:12 PM on July 8, 2011


I actually am taking fish oil too, but I haven't noticed it improving my focus. FYI.
posted by mreleganza at 6:01 AM on July 9, 2011


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