Blood Pressure
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Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 10:28:30 MDT Print View

I've found myself in a dilemma. I have trouble with my blood pressure. At this point, going to a doctor is not an option. I have to do my best to eat right and exercise. It's a good thing summer is over in the Ozarks, where walking is nearly unbearable, summers here put me into bad sedentary habits.. I'm 6'0", 210 lbs., and 36 years old with a stressful life. My blood pressure typically runs about 145/95. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Coldspring on 09/14/2010 10:29:18 MDT.

Aaron Savka
(joatman) - F - MLife

Locale: So Ill
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 10:55:52 MDT Print View

Go to a Dr.! I had a similar issue. I was about 30# overweight, and was struggling to keep a failing business afloat. Stress was off the charts (bp was 160/120). One day while sitting at my desk, I had a strange sensation come over me and I developed double vision.

Long story short, my BP was through the roof. I got lucky and didn't actually stroke out. Dr. put me on meds that got the bp down. Since then, I've dropped 40+ pounds through exercise, I eat better, and I am about to wean myself off the last bit of bp medicine. In July I summited Longs Peak with my son. This spring I am going to run my first half-marathon.

My best advice is to see a Dr. to address the immediate concern, but unless you rid yourself of the stress, you will always be at risk with no chance of getting off meds.

I know it's easier said than done, but once I finally succumbed and close the business and relieved myself of the stress, my whole world changed. In hindsight, it was clearly the best decision, but at the time it was hard to do.

Hope this helps!

Edited by joatman on 09/14/2010 10:57:12 MDT.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 10:58:25 MDT Print View

Tom,

Sorry to hear about your bp.

You are right to watch your eating and excercise closely.

As for the stressful life: There's lots of ways to help cope. One thing that really helps me is to literally stop (when stress starts to flare up) and BREATHE. Breathe in deeply through the nose...hold it for a few seconds...and S L O W L Y exhale through your mouth. It has a calming effect. It's only short term and doesn't remove the stressor - but done as needed it works well.

I don't know what's stressing you, but if there are ways to remove some of the sources of stress, start there.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 11:01:43 MDT Print View

Try going vegan and making sure at least 1 meal a day is raw. Avoid packaged foods and garbage (salt and refined sugar). Pretty hard to not see your cholesterol and blood pressure drop on a purely plant-based, non-processed junk diet.

It's not as bad as many people think if you simply take it a day at a time- don't think in terms of what you're never eating again but in terms of what you're not eating today.


3...2...1...
Here comes 80 million more diet suggestions all debunking each other....

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 11:04:29 MDT Print View

Just don't tell me to go to the doctor. I have no health insurance and I have money issues already. Not much I can do to solve that problem. I just have to do what I can with my own methods.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 11:36:24 MDT Print View

Tom,

I am not a doctor and have no training at all regarding nutrition and exercise. But common sense prevails most of the time anyway.

The good news is that a doctor will probably tell you to:
1. Quit smoking (if you do, you can save money).
2. Good nutrition. Replace soft drinks or coffee with water.
3. Exercise.

Start eating at home and no fast food. Bring your lunch to work. No salt. All of this is easy to do, and you do not need a "special" diet.

Exercise daily. Even walking at a brisk pace helps. You just need to elevate your heart rate. In the summer walk one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. You just have to make sure you do this EVERY DAY.

Lose weight. You are overweight. Actually you are on the high end of overweight. You need to get to 185 or lower.

Daily exercise is going to help the stress... big time.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 12:04:50 MDT Print View

I should have mentioned that, last week, I was prescribed Metoprolol through a special program, but I have my doubts about it having a positive effect. I'll just have to see. Thanks for the advice, it's just a matter of my having the willpower to continue good habits. I do feel terrible enough that I've lost the craving for unhealthy foods, now to keep that mindset.

As far as being overweight, I sure feel slim compared to weighing 260 about 2 years ago!

Edited by Coldspring on 09/14/2010 12:08:06 MDT.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 12:18:56 MDT Print View

I would suggest setting aside time in your day for meditation. Just sit quietly in a room or place without interruptions or distractions. Try to blank your mind. If you find it hard to push distracting thoughts out of your mind, just let them be there but 'watch' yourself as you do. Observe yourself as the thoughts become feelings or vice versa and see if you can feel the stress. Once you can see this process, think about how to break the cycle, think "my mind is doing that thing again, it's at its old tricks." Eventually you should be able to see the process, break the cycle and reduce your stress...

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 12:24:43 MDT Print View

There are several possible causes for high blood pressure, and Metoprolol goes after one of the most common causes. I've been taking it for over two years now. I think you will find that it does have the intended effect, and you will see this in your blood pressure (if you have a b p cuff) or else in your pulse rate. All of the other advice about body weight, diet, smoking, etc. are valid also. You should see some results quickly, and then more complete results show after time.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 13:34:30 MDT Print View

I'm sure most of us can stand to lose weight, but I'd suggest being more concerned with your body fat percentage than your weight. As an old trainer of mine loved to say -- there are plenty of skinny fat people around.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 14:02:52 MDT Print View

Douglas, the problem is that most of us cannot easily measure our percentage body fat. We can easily measure our body weight.

One friend of mine has a body fat percentage that varies between 5.3% and 5.7%. That's on the very low side of normal, and I don't think that it is healthy.

For an adult male, I think the optimum body fat is around 15%.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 14:16:55 MDT Print View

If you have "love handles" or cannot see your belt buckle, then it might be body fat.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 17:53:14 MDT Print View

BP is one of those things we HAVE to control when young. If you don't you can face really, really bad problems when older :-( For example uncontrolled high BP can lead to kidney (renal) failure, heart disease, stroke and more.

The good thing is once you do find a med that works - and they do take time, you have to give it a couple months - the meds are cheap. $4-5 a month if you shop around. Many Drs will prescribe a years worth if you ask nicely.

But as well....here is something to consider: how do you know your BP? Home machine? Machine at the pharmacy? When do you take it? How your arm is held can affect the numbers, what size cuff as well.You shouldn't take it right after exercising or working either.

I have been on meds for a long time. Walking does help me, so did weight loss but I also know I will never be off the meds. I had borderline high BP even when I was skinny and 18. Runs in the family - so even every mod won't make it go away.

And yes, the side effects of meds can suck. But it is better than the alternative.

Aaron Savka
(joatman) - F - MLife

Locale: So Ill
Re: Blood Pressure on 09/14/2010 21:30:27 MDT Print View

My meds cost me $3 a month from Wal-Mart... Not with insurance.

Dr. visit is another issue.

Good luck. Diet and exercise has helped me.