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#1 sbgrace

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:09 AM

I've known for a few years that I tend to have what they used to call pre-hypertension, and that they announced today (I think) will be called hypertension instead. The change, apparently, is to reflect the truth that numbers even slightly high, the old pre-hypertension, greatly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. 

 

I have strokes heavily in my family history, including my father having a stroke himself. Additionally, both my dad's parents died of strokes, and my uncle on that side had a stroke as did his son/my cousin who is older than me by about 20 years. 

 

I know I need to exercise more and be more disciplined with what I eat (I have developed issues w/craving sweet/sugar, and I have never been good about resisting temptation with food). 

 

What else can I do?

 

My special needs son is really hard. I feel I carry a lot of stress inside. I feel it. 

 

Supplement wise? (I don't want to spend a lot on myself)

 

I need to work on this. 

 

 

 

 


Edited by sbgrace, 14 November 2017 - 12:12 AM.


#2 Barb_

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:15 AM

How old are you?

#3 sbgrace

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:17 AM

How old are you?

 

44 


Edited by sbgrace, 14 November 2017 - 12:19 AM.


#4 Barb_

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:41 AM

44


I was about the same age when my pressure went insane. My genes are similar to yours. My mom, dad, and brother are all on blood pressure meds. My dad's dad died of heart related stuff in his 40s. Heart disease is all over my mom's dad's side of the family too.

I was able to keep it borderline between 40-45 taking magnesium, fish oil, hawthorn and garlic. But by the time I was 46 or so it wasn't working anymore. When your hormones shift, you no longer get the protective effects of estrogen. Despite a BMI that hovers around 20, and watching my diet and great bloodwork--my genes caught up to me. I was feeling awful and took my pressure and it had climbed into the 180s/110s.

It's frustrating to do everything I'm supposed to do but still be on meds, but I'm happy I don't live 100 years ago when maybe I'd be dead by now.

Do you have a cuff? You should take it once a month minimum if you're trying to control it with lifestyle changes only. It has a way of creeping up throughout perimenopause.
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#5 Barb_

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:43 AM

Oh, also if your pressure is low enough that it just rips you over I'd take it with a helping of salt. Guidelines are controversial and always shifting.

#6 dsmith

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:51 AM

My blood pressure was high but now it is usually around 110/65. If I forget to take my thyroid medication it goes really low. I think the main thing for me was cutting out gluten, because it is very inflammatory for me. I take Natural Calm every evening, B vitamins, CoQ10, calcium, D3 and fish oil. I also eat a ton of fruits and veggies and very little added sugar on occasion. I only use olive oil cold, never heated. I cook with ghee or coconut oil. I wasn't aiming for lowering my blood pressure when I started my lifestyle changes, but it was a pleasant side effect and I was happy to get off of the blood pressure meds.

 

ETA: I also feel a lot of stress. I'm trying to work on that lately with meditation and exercise. My son has Asperger's and doesn't function well outside of the family, plus we have been butting heads A LOT lately. I also have health issues which are causing me a lot of anxiety. I've been feeling overwhelmed with stress and fear lately, but thankfully it hasn't affected my bp as much as it used to. 


Edited by dsmith, 14 November 2017 - 12:57 AM.

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#7 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 01:44 AM

My cousin is your age and has high blood pressure.  She finds magnesium supplements helpful.


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#8 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:17 AM

Caffeine raises blood pressure. I know quite a few people who have stopped drinking caffeine just because of high blood pressure and it has worked for them.
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#9 displace

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:31 AM

Can you do anything to help with your stress? Studies show that yoga or meditation can positively affect you for days with just one session (I think BP too).

Hibiscus tea has been shown to help BP. You buy hibiscus leaves and make tea with it. A lot of antioxidants in foods have been shown to lower BP (studies revolve most around juices). The recommended result is to eat more fruits/vege.

Have you heard of DASH diet? It have been shown to lower BP and is a government doc downloadable on iBooks or PDF. It stands for dietary approach to stop hypertension. It's a lot of more common sense eating guidelines, but a good place to start.

Exercise, good eating, healthy weight, fruits/veg.

Idk much about your son, if you can go for walks with him or stroll with him or if you're home bound. If you're home bound, I'd seeif a helper can watch him while exercising, or consider exercising at home with you tube videos or such, at least.

Edited by displace, 14 November 2017 - 05:36 AM.

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#10 displace

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:35 AM

PS - brief dash diet guidelines - https://www.nhlbi.ni.../dash_brief.pdf

There's a longer version too. Beware the books and commercial links. Not that they're not good, but the dash diet can be found free.
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#11 kewb

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:45 AM

When my husband was in his 40's drinking hibiscus tea 3x daily kept his blood pressure under control. It stopped working for him when he turned 50. Now he takes meds. But he was able to put off meds for a number of years with the hibiscus tea.
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#12 chiguirre

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:06 AM

 

My special needs son is really hard. I feel I carry a lot of stress inside. I feel it. 

 

 

 

I take a beta blocker. My bp went down with weight loss but I still continue to take a low dose of Atenelol. It's awesome! It's literally a chill pill. When GW starts escalating I don't have that automatic fight or flight response of feeling my body rev up like I used to. It's much easier to maintain my calm and diffuse the situation if I'm not dealing with my own increased anxiety too. Beta blockers aren't considered an anti anxiety med but for me they work that way.


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#13 Laurie4b

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:35 PM

You have a choice between meds and lifestyle change. If you opt for lifestyle change, it will have many more benefits besides your blood pressure. 

 

The DASH diet is a way of life not a "diet" per se. It's a very healthy diet for many reasons. 

 

Exercise affects bp directly. Make sure your dr. is okay with what you choose since you do have high bp. 

 

If you are overweight, even a 5% weight loss can help. 

 

If this serves as the wake up call you need to motivate yourself to make the lifestyle changes, that's great. If not, you can either get some help with that through a certified health coach (different than a personal trainer) or choose the meds. 

 

Worse choice is to keep intending to make the lifestyle changes, but not do it and not take the meds either. High bp affects not just your cardiovascular system but your brain as well---years before you see the effects of something like Alzheimer's. You can reverse that process if you address it now. 


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#14 MysteryJen

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:49 PM

I have a family history of hbp and lifestyle changes did nothing for me once I hit my forties. Good weight, decent exercise, good diet no longer helped at all.

If you try to do lifestyle changes first, track your bp. It may get better, or not. Get on the meds if you see little or no change. Lifestyle change is good even if you still need meds.

My grandmother was on bp meds from 44 to the day she died at 94. I have no worries about taking them,
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#15 happypamama

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:15 PM

I, unfortunately, have learned way too much about BP in the past year.

My nephrologist (who apparently are the real experts in BP — who knew?) says that diet may help, lowering salt may help, exercise may help, etc., all a little, but that 92% of people who have high BP have it just because. It’s genetic or something, and so lifestyle changes won’t help enough. So if you try things, and they aren’t enough, don’t feel discouraged. If you do need meds, there are many options with different side effects. (My nephrologist says it depends on extent of kidney damage, partly, as some meds are protective for kidneys.)

If I get super sleep deprived for several nights, I see mine go up a bit. Otoh, going pretty strictly low carb and dropping a little weight has dropped mine a bit.)
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#16 hornblower

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:41 PM

switch to plant based whole foods + hibiscus tea. https://nutritionfac...r-hypertension/

(this discusses the DASH v. plant based whole foods. https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5466938/

 

" The first study to compare blood pressure among habitual vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and non-vegetarians was the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) calibration sub-study, which included a cohort of 500 mostly white subjects.[23] Of note, non-vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists tend to consume less meat than persons consuming a typical Western diet.[24],[25]

Nevertheless, the investigators found that vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and significantly lower odds of hypertension (0.37 and 0.57, respectively), when compared to non-vegetarians. Furthermore, the vegan group, as compared to lacto-ovo vegetarians, not only was taking fewer antihypertensive medications but, after adjustment for body mass index, also had lower blood pressure readings. ")

 

 

Excercise (doesn't have to be fancy. 1 hour walking)

Meditation https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3303565/
 


Edited by hornblower, 14 November 2017 - 10:42 PM.

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#17 sbgrace

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:52 PM

Thank you all. I am reading carefully and thinking about what to do first. This has been helpful. 

Well, I did one thing first I guess. I bought a monitor this evening--hard to do, as they all have iffy reviews if you read closely! 

 

 


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#18 happypamama

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:08 PM

Thank you all. I am reading carefully and thinking about what to do first. This has been helpful.
Well, I did one thing first I guess. I bought a monitor this evening--hard to do, as they all have iffy reviews if you read closely!


The Omron and ReliOn brands (arms, not wrists) get good reviews in my preeclampsia list. (The $30 Omron from WalMart saved me from stroke or death.) But your doctor can probably tell you if yours matches theirs pretty well. Make sure you’re following correct procedures. (I will try to find the infographic if you want.) It’s helpful to know your personal patterns. I know my evening is usually better than my morning, and my diastolic is more volatile than my systolic. As I mentioned, poor sleep can raise my morning number, but teA at night almost definitely means a nice morning number. :)
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#19 happypamama

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:09 PM

Oh and if you snore or have other signs of sleep apnea, that can also raise your BP.
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