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Old 05-30-2012, 02:15 PM   #81
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My BP was creeping up to 130/90 ish.

Since I've been back in the USA I've decreased my sodium intake along with daily suppliments: 1 clove of garlic, 1 fish oil tab (900 mg), Vitamin E 400 IU and a multi vitamin. I've also exercise more and lost 10 pounds.

Now my BP is around 115/75 and I'm pleased
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:47 AM   #82
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Yes, treating the symptom only alleviates the direct effect but not the underlying cause. Same for taking statins to reduce cholesterol levels.
The problem could be with statins. In a large scale study in the 70's niacin was shown to reduce mortality from high cholesterol by 10%.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #83
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Trombone Al,

You seem to be very thorough, but let me just mention some considerations for BP measurements at risk of telling you what you know already, most of which came from "High Blood Pressure for Dummies" by Alan Rubin MD:

1. you need to be sitting in a chair with your back supported and your feet flat on the ground. I make sure that I have been sitting for at least 5 minutes before measuring.
2. your arm needs to be supported so that the upper arm is level with your heart. I put a cushion on the desk in front of me and put my arm on that.
3. You should be awake and out of bed for at least an hour and should not have eaten anything for at least half an hour
4. Of course, you have to use an automatic machine or have someone else take the reading with a sphygmometer. Omron is the brand of choice and the correct size of cuff is critical.

In my experience most doctors and nurses do not take the measurement correctly. When one of these people attempts to take my reading without meeting all the conditions, I refuse and complain to them. And then I don't go back.

Wish I had something more concrete to suggest to get the readings down. Losing weight and increasing aerobic exercise did it for me. I do get white coat hypertension readings as you do. I am concerned about these because I understand that they represent a risk level intermediate between true normal and uniformly high levels.
I was getting fairly erratic readings last year until I followed the above procedure sitting at a table as recommended by the Omron-712C I have.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #84
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Well, I'm baffled somewhat but happy. Just had my yearly physical and my method was Dukan diet to lose 15-18 lbs, and then switched to eating lots of spinach, NoSalt, and low carbs, plenty fish/turkey breast.

My BP was taken with a machine that does 6 readings and tosses high and low. Also cholesterol and liver function tests.

BP = 115/68 down from 125/78 last year.
AST = 33

See attached picture of lipids.

EDIT TO ADD: I drink every night, usually a large brandy. Doctor laughed and said; "Good for you."
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cholesterol Numbers.JPG (41.1 KB, 3 views)
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #85
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After a 1-week trip in which all of our meals were eaten out (and were therefore salty), I expected my BP to go up, but it did not.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #86
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After a 1-week trip in which all of our meals were eaten out (and were therefore salty), I expected my BP to go up, but it did not.
To what would you attribute this lack of increase in BP?

omni
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:26 PM   #87
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If you, like me, check the obits every day to make sure I'm not in there, a good % of those people younger than us but not by much died from complications of high B/P. I am/was a professional in the medical field. My first job was in detox. What alcohol does to B/P (and I'm a social drinker) shocked me so much that I rarely drank during the 7 years I worked there.
Thought I'd never have high B/P since my B/P was always 90/60 ish, but with a more sedentary job, no attention to diet, enormous stress at work, home, and with an 80 mile a day commute, I took my own B/P on the sly one day and found it was 190/90!!!
First rule in teaching about b/p is
a.) cut out all salt you can. You'll retain water, and dragging around the extra weight you'll retain will increase b/p.
b.) every pound you lose or keep off makes a huge difference to get to low-normal weight.
c.) every minute exercising makes a huge difference
d.) yes, potassium helps regulate heartbeat, and during the summer, most summer fruits (and bananas year round) will give you what you need.
e.) it's true, b/p can spike under stress and give you a reading that's not indicative of your true b/p, but if it's consistently over 120/80, do what you can to lower it.
f.) find a form of exercise you like and get addicted. I went to grad school at Columbia and taught at Yale and most of the doctors had read the literature about longevity & low b/p and were considerably underweight. None smoked. They almost all had a form of exercise they were passionate about.
g.) limit your drinking alcohol to the lowest amount you can live with. Binge drinking is really hard on your liver, and if you're used to a party lifestyle, start watering your drinks down with club soda--you'll feel better the next day. Your liver can regenerate.
h.) everyone knows about cigarettes and lung cancer, but they also increase b/p.
i.) some people have idiopathic (or "oddball") inborn factors that will cause b/p to increase--ask your doc to investigate if your b/p stays high when there's no apparent cause.

I know ya can't achieve perfection--but it's just a little solid advice, pick and choose, to help ya live longer. Maybe it'll give you an excuse to go out and buy the bike you wanted, the running shoes (they DO make a difference), or the kayak. The older we get, the less abuse we can take from ourselves. We have to stay around to keep commenting on things!

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:49 PM   #88
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To what would you attribute this lack of increase in BP?

omni
I don't know what he would attribute it to, but I would attribute it to a one week experiment.

Ha
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:23 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by OnMyPlanet View Post
If you, like me, check the obits every day to make sure I'm not in there, a good % of those people younger than us but not by much died from complications of high B/P. I am/was a professional in the medical field. My first job was in detox. What alcohol does to B/P (and I'm a social drinker) shocked me so much that I rarely drank during the 7 years I worked there.
Thought I'd never have high B/P since my B/P was always 90/60 ish, but with a more sedentary job, no attention to diet, enormous stress at work, home, and with an 80 mile a day commute, I took my own B/P on the sly one day and found it was 190/90!!!
First rule in teaching about b/p is
a.) cut out all salt you can. You'll retain water, and dragging around the extra weight you'll retain will increase b/p.
b.) every pound you lose or keep off makes a huge difference to get to low-normal weight.
c.) every minute exercising makes a huge difference
d.) yes, potassium helps regulate heartbeat, and during the summer, most summer fruits (and bananas year round) will give you what you need.
e.) it's true, b/p can spike under stress and give you a reading that's not indicative of your true b/p, but if it's consistently over 120/80, do what you can to lower it.
f.) find a form of exercise you like and get addicted. I went to grad school at Columbia and taught at Yale and most of the doctors had read the literature about longevity & low b/p and were considerably underweight. None smoked. They almost all had a form of exercise they were passionate about.
g.) limit your drinking alcohol to the lowest amount you can live with. Binge drinking is really hard on your liver, and if you're used to a party lifestyle, start watering your drinks down with club soda--you'll feel better the next day. Your liver can regenerate.
h.) everyone knows about cigarettes and lung cancer, but they also increase b/p.
i.) some people have idiopathic (or "oddball") inborn factors that will cause b/p to increase--ask your doc to investigate if your b/p stays high when there's no apparent cause.

I know ya can't achieve perfection--but it's just a little solid advice, pick and choose, to help ya live longer. Maybe it'll give you an excuse to go out and buy the bike you wanted, the running shoes (they DO make a difference), or the kayak. The older we get, the less abuse we can take from ourselves. We have to stay around to keep commenting on things!

Good luck!

Dear On My Planet: Thank you so much for this detailed list of things that we can do to help ourselves live longer and healthier lives. I love this Forum!

Retire 2014
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #90
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Al, unlike you I am on medication for BP and the last time I went in, my BP was almost identical to yours. I was really alarmed! I was sure my doctor would raise the (now minimal) dosage of my BP meds. But like your doctor, he wasn't upset about it at all. I asked him twice directly about it but he seemed to have no problem with it at all.

Well, I don't understand but then I am paying him for his experience and expertise, so if he has it clearly pointed out to him and still says it's OK, then I guess it's OK.

As for ways to lower BP other than meds (which up to now have worked beautifully), losing weight is the most sensible one for me. You don't seem to have an ounce to lose, though. That is so admirable. Weight loss is the toughest goal I have ever tried to tackle and I am still battling it without much success. I'll never give up, though.
I have a great update to my above post.

Personally I think it is really important to keep my BP down. I have been making nearly all the suggested lifestyle modifications, except that I am still very overweight (but never giving up the struggle to lose). My BP was not cooperating, though, and recently was just getting worse and worse despite a mild BP medication. It worried me. I bought a BP monitor and determined that this was not "white coat syndrome" but a real rise in BP, and have been checking it now and then.

On Wednesday my doctor put me on a generic beta blocker in addition to the other medication. The results were PHENOMENAL. My BP and pulse both went from frankly scary to perfectly normal almost overnight, and I am utterly thrilled at what I see - - the BP and pulse rate of my youth. In fact, my present pulse rate of 70 is much lower than it was in my youth.

I just hope the beta blocker doesn't have bad side effects. So far, I have detected no problems with it at all.

Just wanted to mention this in case others are still having high BP despite attempts at lifestyle-based regulation of their BP.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:51 PM   #91
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My BP has normally been close to 120/80. I had not had a physical for about 3 years and I decided to go as I also needed a referrel for a colonoscopy. I have a new female Dr that my wife really likes. I had never been to a female Dr and the idea of a total female stranger checking the prostate, etc. was definitely making me anxious. Then to make matters worse right off the bat she tells me my urine specimen tested for microscopic blood. This is not what I wanted to hear since my Dad had bladder cancer. So it was no surprise to me that BP was 158/88.

I had to return to the Dr about a week later to check the BP again, but I still not been to the urologist to get the cystoscopy. As expected the BP was very high. Of course, the Dr thinks I need to be medicated for high BP and I have to go back in two weeks for another check.

Since that second test I have gone cold turkey on the diet soda and haven't lifted a salt shaker. I also exercise daily. I picked up a BP monitor at Walgreen's that the pharmacist recommended.

I have been checking my BP twice a day for about a week now. It was checking about 140/85 up until last Tuesday when I finally had my cystoscopy which showed the plumbing to be in perfect health. From that point on my BP checks are back to a normal range for me. The only exception was this evening when it checked 137/79. The BP monitor keeps the readings in memory along with time and date stamp.

My strategy is to continue the exercise and avoid the diet sodas and salt shaker. I am also doing some breathing exercises to reduce stress. I will take the monitor with me on my next visit to the Dr. If the Dr gets a higher BP reading than normal, I will take a test with my monitor for comparison. Hopefully, I can show that normally my BP is not high enough to warrant medication.
Hey the upside to a female doctor is they have thinner fingers.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:33 AM   #92
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Al, are you still updating this thread with your BP stats? I am curious how the increase of potassium and lowering of sodium work out for your BP? If I missed your update, I am sorry, but I think that I've reread the whole thread but not sure I saw your update to that. Or has not enough time passed since you started that experiment? Have a great day, Al.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:42 AM   #93
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A PM from Tomo made me realize I should update this thread.

I now think my very-low-sodium diet was misguided. It may be that the conventional wisdom that salt is bad is wrong. Here's a video that Tomo sent me:



I now use Lite Salt (half NaCl, half KCl) but don't otherwise try to reduce my intake. Last time I visited the doctor, my BP was 124/80.

And the scariest thing: It seems like I made these measurements recently, but it was four years ago! I was 58 then, and I'm 62 now. OMG, how did that happen?
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:07 AM   #94
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A PM from Tomo made me realize I should update this thread.

I now think my very-low-sodium diet was misguided. It may be that the conventional wisdom that salt is bad is wrong. Here's a video that Tomo sent me:

...

I now use Lite Salt (half NaCl, half KCl) but don't otherwise try to reduce my intake. Last time I visited the doctor, my BP was 124/80.

And the scariest thing: It seems like I made these measurements recently, but it was four years ago! I was 58 then, and I'm 62 now. OMG, how did that happen?
I have not watched the video yet, but I thought it was accepted for a long time that sodium was only an issue for blood pressure for about 10% of the population that is sodium sensitive.

But it does seem that the general advice has been to cut sodium - I think it is the 'broad brush' approach. It's seen as easier to tell everyone, than to try to pick out those 10%? IIRC, my own doctor said the only way to know if you are in the 10% is to cut sodium to very, very low levels for a couple weeks, and see if you respond.

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Old 07-17-2016, 09:28 AM   #95
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I tried to limit my salt intake and watch the diet. Unfortunately BP remained high. Doctor put me on two pills and now it is normal.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:58 AM   #96
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I've recently gone off all the medication for BP and my BP is normal! I watch sodium but I don't think it in itself is the issue.

I took beta blockers until they made my RHR go into the 30s, not good. Then another hospital visit when they cut me over to lisinopril. At least it didn't make me feel like my head was exploding when I needed a dose. Finally diet and exercise did the trick. I'll do my best to not go back to the meds if possible.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:10 PM   #97
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I lost about 10 pounds and in less than a year my BP dropped from ~130/80 to routinely 100/70.

I have white coat syndrome and at least now it shows up as 120/70 at Drs office and they are happy.

I now monitor just one a week. Every Sat morning around 10am.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:56 PM   #98
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I used to have marginally high BP. I thought maybe cutting back on salt would help (based on what I read at the time), but doing that had no effect. What did work for me was eating more of a paleo-type diet, which resulted in losing the weight I needed to lose (about 20 lbs.), and exercising more. Once I did those things, my BP went back into the normal range, and has stayed that way since.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:01 AM   #99
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I dropped weight to lower my bp.
285-270#
150- <130
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:47 AM   #100
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I went in for a 2 year certification physical for my CDL truck driving license and my BP was way up, something like 165 over 100. They tried 2 more times and it never got low enough to pass the physical! My BP was never this high before. Finally figured out it might be due to my taking large doses of baking soda every day to counteract severe stomach acid. *Sodium* bicarbonate. I immediately stopped the baking soda, and started testing my BP at the grocery store every day. It gradually got lower, and I was able to pass the test with a BP of something like 130 over 85. But I also have white coat syndrome which can pop up out of nowhere. More recently I went in for another cdl physical. I had been checking my bp for a few weeks beforehand and it was almost always nice and low, around 140 / 90 or less. But white coat syndrome got me! In the waiting room the pulse started racing. I went in anyway and my bp was 178 over 90. Unbelieveble! It finally did come down to 148 over 95 over two successive tests which allows me to be certified for 1 year. Lucky for me I no longer drive a truck, so no harm done. I just keep my cdl license in case i ever want/need to w*rk again.
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