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My 34yo husband is overweight (as am I) and he has been having chest pains so went to the doctor to get the ball rolling with nuclear stress test (at later date), blood work, etc. Today when he went in it was extremely high (maybe nerves?!). The doctor wants him to check his BP every day. No test results in yet.

 

My questions: Anyone successfully lower BP and how? We know we need to start with weightloss and eating habits. I get so confused in this area because deep down inside I am a CARB hater and think that is the route to go. Most will say low fat, low sodium diet. So any books, websites to recommend? What type of diet worked best for you or whomever you know that lowered their BP? Is walking good enough exercise? The doctor will share more of his opinion next visit.

 

Any BP monitor recommendations?

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We have a monitor from Walmart. Don't know the brand. Take the blood pressure both in the morning and in the evening for a while, because it can vary during the day.

 

I think the only two natural ways is lose weight and cut salt. I don't think high carb or low carb make too much difference, except if one way helps you lose weight more easily. Any and all exercise is good - walking is a great/cheap way to get exercise. If he has a difficult time with losing weight (and don't we all), then medicine is the way to go.

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Walking is excellent to start as it helps you lose weight without undue stress on the heart.

 

Cut salt but not to an extreme. Avoid packaged/processed foods which are HIGH in sodium, as well as fast food and restaurant food. Sprinkling table salt to taste is the best way to keep your sodium levels in check (not going too low.) All the aforementioned foods will really sky rocket sodium intake in a hurry.

 

Stay well hydrated but again, not excessively so. Sip water consistently all day long. (As opposed to downing 16 oz all at once 3 times a day or some such.)

 

I have essential hypertension not relieved by diet or weight and must be on meds. But if the bp issues are new and weight related, you can totally eliminate the disease by losing weight and especially, by being in good physical shape. It isn't enough to just lose weight. It is critical to be physically (aerobically) healthy.

 

Good luck!!! :grouphug:

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I would try a combination of weight loss - not drastic but more a lifestyle/diet change to healthier, whole foods assuming there is room for improvement.

Also, Magnesium can naturally lower BP but I would ask a naturopath about details and specifics relating to dh's condition.

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I have hypertension and I don't have any books to suggest, but what worked for me was cutting out soda, and walking. I was diagnosed in my 20's and wasn't overweight, but I wasn't really active either. I began walking.

 

Soda has a lot of sodium and the corn syrup is horrible for blood pressure and cholesterol as well.

 

I do have to take a beta blocker everyday, but I am glad I do since it is something that began at such a young age. I haven't noticed any side effects.

 

If you or DH smoke you have to stop. You will never lower your BP while smoking, and all the other modifications won't make a bit of difference.

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I have lots and lots of tips to share and hope I don't overwhelm you and others. Just do what YOU can.

Yes, my dad used lots of the following for years. He only recently started taking blood pressure meds. Didn't need them much sooner.

 

BLOOD PRESSURE

Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.

If it’s greater than 120/80, check it more often – check it 3 separate times at the same time of day.

 

Normal: Below 120/80

Pre-Hypertension: 120/80 to 139/89

Hypertension: 140/90

 

Although high blood pressure often shows no signs, the usual symptoms are:

• headaches

• dizziness

• noises or ringing in the ears

• hemorrhages in the eyes

• sweating

• rapid pulse

• shortness of breath

• vision disturbances

• heavy snoring

 

High blood pressure and diabetes are related. The two often appear together, especially in obese patients. If you have mild hypertension or are at risk, get tested for diabetes.

 

If your blood pressure is high and your doctor has put you on meds, you could be taking them for the rest of your life. They’re not only expensive, they can have side effects like fatigue, nausea, headaches, abdominal cramping, congestive heart failure, depression, and poor memory. Rx and OTC drugs should be reserved for situations after all else fails.

 

Read about the methods below. Discuss them your doctor, and give them a 3-month trial. Then have your doctor monitor you and tell you how to get off your meds safely.

 

 

  • Increase your physical activity
  • Lose excess weight
  • Limit salt
  • Stop smoking for good

 

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WEIGHT LOSS

Even a 5-10% weight loss can greatly help reduce blood pressure.

It helps to have a positive, determined attitude (not so easy, but it really does help). A defeatist attitude won’t work.

Address your emotional and physiological cravings. Use emotional answers to emotional problems. Food is only a temporary fix.

Control your portions. Chew your food well. Reduce your portions and wait 15 minutes before taking seconds.

Change your diet. Eat more dense foods that turn to sugar more slowly – beans, fish, and chicken. Concentrate on eating some protein (including beans and tofu) with each meal. Eat lots of vegetables. Drink water throughout the day.

Exercise more

 

EAT MORE

Potassium balances your blood pressure

Potassium is found in bananas, avocados, prunes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beet greens, and yogurt – most fruits and vegetables contain potassium

Eat fresh vegetables twice a day and fruit at least once a day, to give you enough potassium with very little sodium.

Potassium will also establish a natural diuretic effect to help clear salt out of your body.

In an 8-week study, 70 per cent got a reduction from potassium.

Don’t just increase your intake of potassium-rich foods, You need sufficient magnesium before potassium can be raised. Fortunately, many foods that are high in potassium are also high in magnesium. They include nuts, green-leafy vegetables, and beans. Eat some of them every day.

Magnesium promotes dilation of the arteries, reduces resistance to blood flow and helps lower blood pressure

Low magnesium is a hidden risk for high blood pressure

A high magnesium intake is associated with lower blood pressure

Magnesium is also available in whole grain foods and soy products

Your diet and supplements should be high in magnesium.

 

Whole Foods – fresh fruits and vegetables

Nuts, seeds, soy, cold-pressed vegetable oils

 

When all else fails, try a temporary vegetarian diet. Plenty of whole grains, beans, vegetables, and some fruit – will give you plenty of nutrients needed to keep hypertension at bay

Try a vegetarian diet for at least 3 weeks, but preferably for 3 months, or if you really can’t – try eating like a vegetarian once a week. Choose a black bean burger over beef, for example, or stir-fry tofu instead of pork.

Vegetarians have one-third to one-half less hypertension than non-vegetarians

You can include fish – but make sure you get good-quality fish

 

Beet Juice

The nitrate content of beet juice helps lower blood pressure, research has shown.

Try to do a detox fast for 3-5 days each month. Juicing veggies as often as possible is very beneficial.

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Tea is high in antioxidants and its flavonoids fight hypertension. Drinking 1-3 cups per day has been found to lower blood pressure.

Hibiscus tea is excellent also. Look for a standardized extract of hibiscus. Many herbal teas contain hibiscus. Look for herbal blends that list it near the top of the chart of ingredients.

 

Sesame seeds lower blood pressure and cholesterol even better than Rx drugs! Cook with sesame oil and eat sesame seeds every day.

Sesame seeds are a good source of minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) that counteract the effects of too much sodium in the diet.

 

Grapes have natural pressure-lowering compounds

 

Regularly eating 1 cup of yogurt (plain, Greek-style) daily can help get blood pressure under control.

 

Nutmeg lowers blood pressure. Try to get ½ to 1 teaspoon a day.

 

Lypocene lowers blood pressure. Eat more tomatoes – more beneficial when cooked in olive oil

 

Chicken Soup – The broth is rich in collagen proteins that can significantly lower blood pressure. Make your soup with chicken legs and feet – they contain the highest amounts of collagen protein.

 

½ ounce dark chocolate every other day or so – at least 70% cocoa – dark chocolate contains flavanols that make blood vessels more elastic.

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EAT LESS

Getting the salt out of your diet requires one basic strategy: Eat more natural foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, eggs, lean poultry and meats, unsalted nuts and seeds, and whole grains). Seafood, kelp and other sea vegetables contain sodium but add much-needed iodine as well. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland to function correctly.

Lowering your salt intake is not good enough. Eliminate ALL salt from your diet. Read all labels carefully and avoid those food products that have “soda,†“sodium,†or the symbol “Na†on the label.

Start with the “% Daily Value†of sodium, and never buy foods that contain more than 16 percent of the Daily Value or foods that have a sodium content of greater than 300 mg per serving.

Canned foods should be limited. Even things like ketchup, dips, relishes, mustard, and salad dressings are packed with /sodium.

Also peruse the ingredients label for sodium in all its various forms: baking powder or soda, disodium phosphate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sea seal, sodium alginate, sodium aluminum sulfate, sodium ascorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium bisulfite, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, sodium caseinate, sodium erythorbate, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrate and/or nitrite, sodium pectinate, sodium propionate, sodium pyrophosphate, sodium saccharin, and sodium sulfite.

Understand as well, the meaning of “sodium-free†and similar claims. “Sodium-free†means that a food contains less than 5 mg of sodium per serving. “Very-low-sodium†means a food has less than 35 mg per serving. “Low-sodium†means a food contains 140 mg or less per serving.

You probably add 5 percent of your daily salt intake from your shaker or salt grinder. You can cut some by substituting sesame salt (or gomasio, a combination of sea salt and ground sesame seeds, popular in Asian and macrobiotic cooking).

Make your meals come alive with savory salt-free seasonings like cumin, curry, chili, and cayenne. The good news is that for most people, it’s easier to cut down on salt than to reduce fat or sugar.

Just don’t reduce sodium too quickly.

Be especially vigilant about processed foods – salad dressing, pasta sauce, instant hot cereal.

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Reducing sodium lowers blood pressure in some people, but not everyone. One reason could be a sodium/potassium imbalance. You do need a lot of potassium.

In one study of people with high blood pressure, a diet low in sodium and high in potassium worked better than just lowering salt intake.

Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, which tend to be high in potassium

Learn to enjoy the taste of foods as they are—nibble on garden fresh greens and herbs

Avoid processed foods, especially bouillon and commercial soups, breads and crackers, cheeses, chips, cured meats (bacon, bologna, corned beef, ham, salami), pretzels, and salt-cured foods (olives and pickles). Pure maple syrup has almost no sodium while commercial pancake syrups do.

Read the sodium content on ingredient labels. Many so-called “natural†meats and poultry found in the supermarket have added sodium. A half-cup serving of Prego’s Heart Smart Traditional Italian Sauce has 430 mg of sodium even though it doesn’t taste salty.

Eat at home more often. Restaurant food—particularly fast food—is notoriously high in sodium. A Premium Caesar Salad at McDonald’s has a whopping 890 mg of sodium—without the dressing!

Always taste your food before you salt it. Try squeezing on a little lemon or lime juice first. Stimulate your sense of smell and increase flavor by adding more aromatic herbs to your meals.

Start your day off right. Bagels are not only high in carbs but also sodium (up to 440 mg per serving).

Cow’s milk and cheese are high in sodium – keep your dairy intake low

When you reduce your sodium intake to 2.5 grams a day (2500 mg) or less, you are reducing your risk for hypertension – especially if you’re over the age of 60.

Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that salt cravings are the body’s attempt to balance too much sugar or alcohol in the diet. Watching your intake of these substances can help you cut out salty processed foods—while contributing to healthy weight loss and lower blood pressure.

 

Simple carbohydrates – particularly white bread, potatoes, and pasta – can send blood pressure soaring.

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SUPPLEMENTS

Don’t depend only on supplements. Diet is very important.

 

Vitamin C lessens overall inflammation and inhibits the production of C-reactive protein

Plays a role in keeping blood pressure down

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – 500-1000 mg daily - If you’re prone to heartburn or acid reflux, avoid ascorbic acid – and opt for Ester-C.

 

400- 1000 IU Vitamin E is very important.

Vitamin E improves heart function.

Take d-alpha, NOT dl-alpha.

 

2000 mg Potassium

Only take supplemental potassium if your health care practitioner advises it. It’s better to take a dietary approach.

Potassium tends to balance your blood pressure

Potassium will also establish a natural diuretic effect to help clear salt out of your body. In an 8-week study, 70 per cent got a reduction from potassium.

CAUTION: If you have kidney problems, check w/your doctor before significantly increasing your potassium or before taking potassium supplements.

 

400-1200 mg Magnesium daily

Magnesium influences how the heart and blood vessels contract and relax.

It promotes dilation of the arteries, reduces resistance to blood flow and helps lower blood pressure

Low magnesium is a hidden risk for high blood pressure

A high magnesium intake is associated with lower blood pressure

There’s no fixed amount of magnesium that each of us needs.

Your body knows how much you can tolerate from bowel tolerance – take as much magnesium as your bowels can tolerate

Add 100 mg of magnesium to your nutritional supplements, and increase it by 100 mg every few days until your stools are soft, but not uncomfortably loose.

Calcium, magnesium, and many other minerals are best absorbed when they are bound to an acidic carrier such as citrate, aspartate, picolinate, or amino acid chelate. Minerals need an acidic base to break down and get used.

The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.

Avoid magnesium carbonate, oxide, sulfate, and gluconate. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).

Most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a multi-mineral formula.

 

A good Fish Oil – such as Carlson’s

If you have high blood pressure, high triglycerides, or other signs of heart disease, 3-5 grams is helpful.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking medications to make sure there are no negative interactions. Fish oils thin the blood just like aspirin, gingko biloba, and garlic. You don’t want to thin your blood so much that it causes bleeding.

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Niacin reduces high blood pressure

You can’t get enough niacin in your diet to achieve blood pressure benefits

To gain a cardiovascular benefit, you need at least 500 mg.

At this dosage, many commonly experience flushing, which subsides within an hour. So, it’s best to avoid taking it right before leaving the house or going to sleep. These symptoms can be minimized if the niacin is taken with aspirin or a meal.

In fact, flushing is a positive sign that blood vessels are dilating in response to the niacin, and patients who flush ultimately raise their HDLs and lower their triglycerides more than those who don’t flush.

Niacin is more effective than niacinamide.

CAUTION:

Do not take more than 2000 mg daily. Very high doses can damage the liver. One capsule of 500 mg per day is the usual recommendation.

Be careful if you have prediabetes or diabetes. Niacin can raise levels of blood glucose. This effect is generally mild, though, and doesn’t outweigh its heart-protecting benefits. But it’s good to consult with your doctor before taking it.

Also use caution if pregnant, have glaucoma, gout, liver disease, or peptic ulcers.

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REGULAR EXERCISE

30 minutes of mild to moderate aerobic exercise done for 3-6 days a week can lower your blood pressure.

If you think you have no time, ask yourself if you have time to recover from heart disease, or if you have time to spend sitting in doctors’ offices

With high blood pressure, the priority is relaxation. Intense, unpleasant exercise can actually increase stress levels and even blood pressure in the long term. It’s far better to exercise at an easier pace but for a longer time.

Build up your exercise levels gradually and slowly if you’re just starting out.

 

A brisk walk is enough. Walking is very beneficial in reducing systolic blood pressure.

 

Gentle Rebounding

 

Many yoga poses and the regular practice of yoga help relieve symptoms of high blood pressure. Yoga is fabulous for high blood pressure.

 

Do housework. Doing roughly 50 minutes of housework daily can lower blood pressure. Housework is great exercise, plus living in a clean, organized home can help reduce stress.

 

Breathe deeply. Slow breathing and practices such as yoga or tai chi decrease stress hormones, which elevate rennin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. Try 5 minutes of deep breathing every morning and night. Inhale deeply and expand your belly. Exhale and release all of your tension.

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Any form of stress can increase the blood pressure, but obviously chronic stress is the most harmful, because it’s not a temporary condition.

You need to set aside time to use some form of daily stress reduction like deep breathing, meditation, or prayer. Not dashing off a quick note to God to ask for calmness, but rather taking 10-30 minutes a day to do some form of active stress reduction.

Do something on a regular basis to lower your stress.

Laughter – funny movies, books, and looking at the humorous side of things, even in the midst of tragedy

Take a night out – movies, concerts, plays, artistic events, and even sporting events – these have been found in a major study to have a strong influence on longevity

Togetherness – just being with friends and loved ones

Positive, Proactive Approach – If necessary, get professional help to overcome excessive negativity or fatalism

 

Hypertension is a common symptom of a congested lymphatic system. Things that help to clear up the lymphatic system and that should be done very regularly:

 

  • Rebounding
  • Deep Breathing – few minutes morning and evening
  • Dry Body Brushing
  • Massage and/or Reflexology
  • Swinging

 

 

Only small, frequent meals should be eaten

 

The way you sleep may also be important in helping control high blood pressure. Try sleeping with the head end of your bed elevated 8 to 12 inches above the foot end (use concrete building blocks). On rising, sit up slowly and dangle your feet over the edge of the bed for a few moments before standing.

Those who get 5 or fewer hours of sleep a night are twice as likely to develop hypertension compared to those who get 7 hours.

 

Don’t lift anything heavy

 

Try talking less. Virtually any communication can raise blood pressure. Speaking can cause blood pressure to increase by 10 to 50 percent.

 

Classical Music – If you listen to 12 minutes of classical music just 3 times a week, in 4 months your systolic (upper) blood pressure may be 7 to 9 mmHg lower.

 

Sit up straight and improve your posture.

 

Your blood pressure can drop by up to 40% as a result of acupuncture!

 

Don’t smoke – obviously

 

Drink hard water, not soft water. Soft water leaches heavy metals like lead out of pipes and faucets. Calcium and magnesium make water hard. Your body needs both of them. Why put toxic metals into your body when you could put essential minerals in it instead? Drinking hard water is associated with lower blood pressure, possibly because of its magnesium content. The toxins in soft water can contribute to high blood pressure. If you have a water softener, buy bottled water for cooking and drinking.

 

BOOK

“The High Blood Pressure Solution†by Dr. Richard Moore

 

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All of the above, plus, you really have to watch the caffeine.

 

:iagree: I love a strong cup of coffee in the morning. When I switched to tea, my blood pressure lowered right away. I'm back on coffee right now until the new stove is installed, once again my blood pressure has raised.

 

I'm 48 and have been on medication since I was 33. I wasn't overweight at the time but I am now. When I lose weight, the blood pressure goes down.

 

Negin is right, I'm borderline diabetic as well as having high blood pressure. After the holidays our entire family will be changing their diet back to the way we once ate - entirely whole foods and mostly organics.

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I didn't read all of the responses. But, my dad was prescribed meds for high bp. He asked if he couldn't have three months to try the natural things first. He did what you know you're supposed to do: ate well and exercised more.

 

By eating well - he basically did South Beach, but didn't know it. Good carbs, lean meats, and LOTS of veggies.

 

He started walking and bikeriding.

 

It worked!!!!

 

Good luck.

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My annual check-up delivered me a rather nasty slap in the face -- high blood pressure, too high triglycerides, not enough good cholesterol, ANC that screamed "Type 2 diabetes is imminent..." I am also pretty overweight. In any case, it was enough to commit me to make some pretty big changes. If you're at that point, I would *highly* recommend the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. This is a summary of the eating plan: http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/01/01/eat-to-live-6-week-plan/ It was a shock to the system for about four days, but after the first week, it has become pretty easy. I have lost weight, feel better, and my numbers improved dramatically.

 

(I don't have any affiliation with Dr. Fuhrman or anything like that -- just really happy to have found something that works.)

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I think your initial inclination - to look at the carb issue - may be a place to start. For many, high blood pressure is an off-shoot of insulin/glucose issues. It was for my dad. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure years before he was finally diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (he was a thin type 2 diabetic). Weight itself may be a separate issue from carbs, though certainly it seems reasonable that it could be involved.

 

I'd start by looking at lower-carb diets (e.g. South Beach).

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Google the DASH diet. It is super healthy and designed to lower blood pressure by making sure the body has enough essential minerals, etc. through getting enough fruits, veges, whole grains, etc. You DON'T want to avoid carbs as in healthy carbs like fruits, veges, whole grains. It's actually hard to eat everything you should on the DASH diet, so dh won't feel deprived!

 

Regular exercise is very helpful.

 

Pomegranate juice can lower systolic bp.

 

If your dh adheres to the DASH diet and gets enough exercise, he'll likely lose some weight. A little weight loss can affect bp. I wouldn't focus on losing weight as a goal in and of itself unless you just cut back on unhealthy food and lose as a consequence.

 

Get enough sleep! Sleep deprivation can increase bp.

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Thank you so much everyone for all the helpful advice! It is pretty scary right now, my husband is only 34 and consistently getting readings at 160 to 170s. The lower number has been high, too, above 90 each time!!

 

He is getting more testing and the doctor will offer advice on exercise, eating but we need to change something.

 

I will let my dh know about caffeine. I hear mixed things about it, that it can be good for BP. But, maybe we can limit it to the am, 2 cups, and not have it the rest of the day. Maybe that would help. He likes his diet soda. :glare:

 

We will probably try lower carb and exercise. I have good BP but a consistently HIGH pulse rate. Don't know what that means....

 

I will look into the DASH diet some more and see what other books I can find at the library.

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