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Old 08-09-2009, 04:07 PM   #21
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HDL is a little low, isn't it? After all that exercise, is niacin your only option?
I don't think there's much you can do for HDL levels. It's mostly genetic, with a little leeway for lifestyle. But niacin does seem to be the best option for raising it. I've been fighting low HDL (<25) since I got diagnosed type II diabetic. I'm sure it was low before, but I wasn't paying attention then.

From what I've read, anything above 40 is normal, although the HDL/LDL ratio is extremely important. But all the research I've done shows that the various diet and exercise will only raise it maybe 10%. When you are at 25, that increase to 27.5 isn't going to help much. I started on high dose niacin about 3 months ago, and my last test had me at 41! I've still got a way to go with my LDL to get my ratio right.

In Al's case, his ratio is .29, and they say .3 is fine, with .4 being ideal. He could try the niacin to raise the HDL, or something (statin?) to lower the LDL. But he's in pretty decent shape, IMHO. Cholesterol-wise, I mean. He's in great shape otherwise!
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #22
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OK, I'm ready to talk about blood pressure, because things are looking better today.

A few years ago my BP was 122/76, but during other doc visits, I'd found it was creeping up. A few months ago I tested it on the automated machine at RiteAid (drug store), and it was 137/something. So I was somewhat worried about this -- not for my health, of course, but concerned that someone would make me take medicine , or that the health insurance premiums would go up.

So anyway, on Saturday I'm a bit worried about it. I go by the RiteAid, to get a preview reading, and it's 152/something! When they measure it at the Costco screening, it is 158/87 !

This is pretty disconcerting, especially since I don't smoke, am not overweight, don't drink too much, I exercise a lot, etc. I called the wife in Sweden to tell her I'd probably be dead before she got home. (just kidding.)

But I figured I'd wait a bit before I called my doctor. I hadn't gotten much sleep the week before, I had some big gigs on Fri and Saturday, and I do have white-coat hypertension. Also, when the Costco machine was doing the measurement, I had to lift my arm because it was on a clipboard that the next person needed.

So, Sunday I had a nice restful day, and slept well Sunday night. Today I rode my bike the 20 miles into town (didn't ride fast or hard), had a nanaimo bar and glass of 1% milk at a cafe, then walked over to the Riteaid, got nice and comfortable in the machine, and did two measurements. The results were:

122/87 and 119/86

Although the Internets tells me that BP is usually lower after exercise, this makes me feel better. I'll bring it up next time I see the doc, but I don't think I'll make a special appointment.

I'm glad the high reading didn't get sent to Blue Cross.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:32 PM   #23
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:02 PM   #24
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Good news on the bp Al. For over 2 months I'd been using the machines at work (we have one in the Cafeteria and one in Medical) plus one in the drug store over the road. It was always higher than 130/90, sometimes over 140. Like you I couldn't think what I was doing wrong health wise, then I had my annual physical. I sat waiting 30 mins, reading, before the nurse took my bp using their machine - 98/55. An hour later with the Doc I told him about my concerns and he took my bp the conventional way and it was 110/58.

No idea what the issue was with the machines. I bought my own machine a week ago and find that when I take my bp when I am truly relaxed then no problems.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:21 PM   #25
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No idea what the issue was with the machines. I bought my own machine a week ago and find that when I take my bp when I am truly relaxed then no problems.
So is "relaxed" bp your "real" bp only if you spend most of the day in that state? If you typically run higher due to the normal daily frazzle, isn't that your "real" bp because that's what your body is experiencing? Do you need to record regular readings over an extended period of time to understand what is really going on?
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:45 AM   #26
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Tigger, you are quite the walking health library--are you being treated for something in particular? If so, hope you've been restored to perfect health!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:46 AM   #27
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This thread is relevant:

Blood Pressure & White Coat Syndrome
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:20 AM   #28
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My BP always reads a bit high -- 130's/80 or so. So a while back I got myself an Omron BP cuff. I just started doing some more measurements yesterday. First one was 133/78, second (hours later) was 118/74.

I've noticed that my BP reads higher when my heart rate is in the 50's, and lower when my heart rate is around 70.

Something I definitely have to keep an eye on, since I'm only 35 and mum is on BP medication.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:35 PM   #29
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Harley you might try raising your HDL by increasing your monounsaturated fat ie. walnuts,almonds, peanut butter, avocado, olives, olive oil, flax seed oil. I managed to increase mine to 78. However I started around 60 ( I think).
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
So is "relaxed" bp your "real" bp only if you spend most of the day in that state? If you typically run higher due to the normal daily frazzle, isn't that your "real" bp because that's what your body is experiencing? Do you need to record regular readings over an extended period of time to understand what is really going on?
Since I have had my home machine I measure it regularly and am no longer worried. I have less than 90 actual days at work so I'm not bothered if it is a little high at work.

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This thread is relevant:

Blood Pressure & White Coat Syndrome
Thanks Al.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronk View Post
My BP always reads a bit high -- 130's/80 or so. So a while back I got myself an Omron BP cuff. I just started doing some more measurements yesterday. First one was 133/78, second (hours later) was 118/74.

I've noticed that my BP reads higher when my heart rate is in the 50's, and lower when my heart rate is around 70.

Something I definitely have to keep an eye on, since I'm only 35 and mum is on BP medication.
Very interesting - got me looking back over the last 15 years of my annual physicals and I jotted down my heart rate. It was always in the 60's and 70's until the last 4 years after I'd shed a load of weight and really started exercising seriously. Last 4 years it has been 55, 50, 47 and this month 39. I wonder if a lower heart rate does correlate to higher bp - don't really see why it should.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:19 PM   #31
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Glucose 129, if that was fasting then you are in the diabetic range. Most doctors will not tell you until the fasting numbers go higher and lots of damage has already been done. I would buy a meter at walmart and check after meals. I bet you will be shocked, at least I was. My fasting has never been over 100 but the after meals, that is another story. That is when the damage is being done. I do not want to sound like a know it all but I have been dealing with this for 5 years. I had sugar in my urine while at a doctors office 5 years ago. It was in the afternoon, I think about an hour after I eat lunch. I bought a glucose meter and have been keeping a check on B/S reading since. Walking 2 miles a day has got things in control so far. I walk everyday, rain or shine. I can bring a high B/S reading by just going for a quick walk. You might want to suggest for a doctor to do an A1C blood test. If your insurance will not pay then pay for it out of your pocket. It could be a life saver. Sorry about the rant but I had to tell my story on this and how I changed my lifestyles around for the better. oldtrig
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:28 PM   #32
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Oldtrig

Did you mean that your B/S goes up by going for a quick walk? or bring down a high reading by going for a quick walk?

I've been wondering about this myself. Earlier this year, when I had my physical my blood sugar was up and my cholesterol was up. B/S was 101 or something like that, but had consistently been 91-93 for a few years of physicals and even on my Rite-Aid el cheapo tester that I got just to keep an eye on things from time to time.

The morning of the test, I had gone for a run or walk or something...don't remember which now but remember that I had exercised. I also had a bit of water because I needed some after the exercise (yeah I know I'm not supposed to have anything but I did anyway, no food though). Seems to me that exercise should take the number down, unless it releases glycogen stores from the muscles, which then are turned off before the glycogen is used up if you are only doing a walk or short run. I'm clueless here really, just trying to think thru the logic.

My fasting B/S has been tested a couple of times since, and it is back down to 91-93, and cholesterol is back down as well, about 175 total...all good. Never could cipher the spike though.

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:57 PM   #33
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Rambler, I can bring the numbers down if I go for a walk. This works most of the time but not always. If I eat cornbread (which I love ) and add a few more higher carb foods it does not matter how long I walk it stays in the high zone. High zone meaning 180 to 190. Only time will bring it back down if I eat wrong. I mentioned this to a Doctor and he did not seem to worry. I do. I know the 180 number will make the B/S spill into the urine. I have tested with strips many years ago. My fasting is always around 90, sometimes it has been in the low 80's. It will soar at night if I eat high carb foods. I call this a night time disease for me. I think we got to stay active as we age. Blood pressure and cholesterol seems to go hand in hand with diabetes. I treat myself like I have the disease whether I have it or not. oldtrig
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:27 PM   #34
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Thanks oldtrig

Walking it off is what I would have figured...but it would take a lot of walking to burn off a significant amount of carbs, like from a piece of cornbread or a full-on pasta dinner.

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Old 09-11-2009, 06:54 AM   #35
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I wonder what harm we do when our blood sugars run into the high 190's. If I eat the cornbread mine shoots up in that area. It will go down after a few hours but I know it is not normal for someone to see numbers that high. I can walk but like you said I would probably have to go 5 miles to bring it down to near normal. oldtrig
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:52 AM   #36
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The answer may be to not eat cornbread. As Henny Youngman said:

Me: Hey Doc, it hurts my body when I eat cornbread.
Doc: Don't eat cornbread.

Glycemic Load Diet -- Book Report
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:47 PM   #37
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I don't think there's much you can do for HDL levels. It's mostly genetic, with a little leeway for lifestyle. But niacin does seem to be the best option for raising it. I've been fighting low HDL (<25) since I got diagnosed type II diabetic. I'm sure it was low before, but I wasn't paying attention then.
I had very low HDL. I was able to raise it to a healthy level by going from not drinking any alcohol, to drinking half a glass of wine at dinner every night, and from almost no animal fats, to two egg yolks a day (along with the whites of course).
I was exercising daily and this did not change it. My LDLs were never a problem, but DH's were, hence the no animal fat diet.
YMMV.
Doctors are reluctant to suggest alcohol because the potential risks of alcoholism are so high, and someone can be a latent alcoholic and not know it. I watch myself like a hawk, and so far I do not crave any more alcohol. Of course I'm too frugal to buy really good wine, so that may help.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:08 PM   #38
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I had very low HDL. I was able to raise it to a healthy level by going from not drinking any alcohol, to drinking half a glass of wine at dinner every night, and from almost no animal fats, to two egg yolks a day (along with the whites of course).
I was exercising daily and this did not change it. My LDLs were never a problem, but DH's were, hence the no animal fat diet.
YMMV.
Doctors are reluctant to suggest alcohol because the potential risks of alcoholism are so high, and someone can be a latent alcoholic and not know it. I watch myself like a hawk, and so far I do not crave any more alcohol. Of course I'm too frugal to buy really good wine, so that may help.
I agree, a drink or two at night does seem to help my HDL over time, not to mention my attitude. But then I get the Catch 22 of it raising my blood sugar. This is what happens when you have too much fun when you are younger. The cure for one problem is the cause for another. Oh well, I had a great time getting to where I am, I am enjoying myself now, and don't really believe the experts know what they are talking about anyway. This is me, going out with a smile on my face.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:29 PM   #39
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I raised my HDL from 39 to 52 by cutting back on carbs and walking 2 miles a day. Not sure if this will work for everyone but it did the trick for me. The down side of low carbs is weight loss. I cannot afford to lose any more because I get tired of people asking me what is wrong with me
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:18 AM   #40
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Here's a weird one.

I give blood in both Bellingham (~100 FASL) and Calgary (3500 FASL). (I give every 54 days--in each place. Don't tell them!) Large cuff in both places. I work in Cowtown. I don't do much of anything in B'ham.

My blood pressure is always significantly lower in B'ham. (I don't remember the numbers exactly. May post them later.)

While I take my work seriously, I enjoy it and do not allow it to stress me.
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