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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

i'm young and pretty healthy and have always had really low blood pressure until a recent mysterious set of health problems which have, oddly enough, taken me from borderline too-low blood pressure to hypertension! the doctor said they don't want to do meds yet since i'm really young and i may have a really bad reaction to them (i have anaphlaxis, but no one knows why or what triggers it), so i just need to exercise and not add salt to my food.

i was glad she said caffeine has nothing to do with it - and this was a kidney specialist! (trust me, i've seen all of the specialists). so, what has anyone done to help lower their blood pressure? favorite helpful foods?


Tue. Jan 10, 2:38pm

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Blood type Diet

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 3:57 PM

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Many things

There are many things you can do to lower your pressure. The main thing is to lose weight and drink lots of water.... more thatn the mere 8 glasses a day. Also women's one a day seems to help.

Also don't forget about reducing your saturated fat intake.........

Add Garlic to your food it's suppose to help lower your blood pressure.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 3:58 PM

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Sodium

One of the most important things you can, and should, do is to lower your sodium intake. When you look at nutrition labels, make sure you check out the sodium data. Ask your doctor how many milligrams you should stay under per day. Many pre-packaged foods and soups have more than 600 or 700 mg of sodium in them. You should also get a salt substitute instead of using regular salt, like NoSalt or Norton's Salt Substitute. And don't use soy sauce, but if you have to, use the reduced-sodium (green tops in restaurants) and use just a little.

Kate (kissmekate02) - also a chronic hypertensive

Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 4:08 PM

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I'm not hypertensive. I do have a couple of friends that are, though, and they exercise a LOT -- like over 25 miles/week running -- to stay off meds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 4:19 PM

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You need to get on google and search "DASH" eating plan. This is the eating plan recommended by the National Institues of Health (Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension). This eating plan is focused on restricting sodium, as it is the main dietary contributor to hypertension. But this plan also lays out a healthy plan focused on overall healthy (whole grains, low animal fat, etc). One thing that would be important to note would be your BP on a regular basis. I suggest doing this at home if you have a cuff, or more likely when you are ina the local pharmacy (many have machines, or the pharmacist can usually do this). Regular monitoring will help to identify patterns. Many people only experience elevated BP in the doctor's office because they are nervous (AKA white coat syndrome). Normal BP is considered less than 120 / 80. Prehypertension is over 120/80, but less than 140/90. Hypertension officially begins at 140/90.
The other health condition that you eluded to could have contributed to your new hypertension depending on what they are. It is undesirable to start medication, if the root of the problem actually needs to be resolved.
As far as the caffeine thing goes. Caffeine has been found to in the least raise blood pressure in the short term after consumption. This affect may be greater in those who already have hypertension. But in the end, we don't have real evidence that says caffeine is bad in the long run concerning BP.
Keep in mind that processed foods, fast food, and frozen entrees can contain lots of sodium...all of which you should probably try to avoid.
Salt substitues generally contain potassium. These are fine as long as you are not on other medications that can raise you potassium like Yasmin, ACE Inhibitors (a blood pressure medication class), and potassium supplements, among others.
Sounds like you have been seeing some physicians who hopefully know what they are talking about. Keep posting messages here if you have more questions and I'll try to help if I can.
I'll put the link to the DASH eating plan pdf so that you can easily access it. It is very readable, and gives you some info you might find useful.

Lisa, pharmacy student (4 months from graduation!! YAY!!)

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 10:22 PM

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try yoga nidra sleeping

i have tried yoga nidra or yogic sleeping and it instantly lowered blood sugar every time i tried it. all you do is lie down and listen to the tape and stay awake (that's the tough part. you almost always fall asleep within ten minutes). google 'yoga nidra' on amazon.com and you'll get a lot of them. if you can find the tape (rather poor quality) of swami satyananada, the man who first demystified yoga nidra for non-yogis, that would be the best. next, in my order of preference: tapes by his disciple, swami niranjananda of the bihar school of yoga or by swami janankananda, another disciple who runs the scandinavian center. if you can find the text on any site, you can make your own tape.

if all else fails, post a message and i will type out the instructios. trust me it works (and i am not a salesman!).


Thursday, January 12, 2006, 5:08 PM

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high blood pressure

get another doctor's opinion. I had HBL when I was very thin and in my 20's and did not get it treated until I was in my late 30's. The moment I started taking the mediciation, my migraines stopped, I felt better, everything felt better, even though I'm still overweight. I was stupid to wait. Don't wait to take the medication. It can't hurt and can only help. If you get better later, you can stop taking the medication, which is my goal, but, since this was a problem when I was thin, I might have to take pills for the rest of my life, but that's okay. ALso, ask your doctor check if you have a tumor - not cancerous, which causes high blood pressure in people who "shouldn't" have it. I don't have the specifics. My doctor thought this may have been the cause and did all of the testing, but I didn't have it, but I was grateful he went the extra mile, instead of just telling me to lose weight!

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 2:03 PM

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hypertension

I too have been diagnosed with hypertension and I am in my mid twenties. After about a year of it going up each time i went for a 3 month check up my doctor put me on meds yesterday. I have researched lots about this within the last year and one good rule is that you should check all food labels and look at the sodium level. All foods should be 5% or less sodium--its easier than trying to keep up with how many mg of sodium you ate all day. My doctor also says to of course drink water and exercise....its hard, but its our health.

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 8:53 PM

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Medicine for hypertension can actually have some pretty nasty effects. The idea that it "can't harm" isn't true.

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 9:36 PM

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another tip

also you should shop the outside of the grocery store and not the middle isles to find low sodium fresh foods like fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, etc.

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 9:36 PM

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effects of meds

What effects??? i was worried about that

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 9:37 PM

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of course medications have side effects. But, a lot of people out there wouldn't be on medications unless they were tolerable or even unnoticable.
The type of side effects depend on the medication that is chosen. There are several different medication classes that lower the BP in different ways.
But also, think about the harm that you would be doing yourself if you can't keep your BP under control with diet alone. If you stay hypertensive without treatment, you are constantly causing damage to end organs like the kidneys. You are also at a higher risk for stroke and heart attack.
It is all about weighing risk versus benefit. In pretty much all cases, some medication can be chosen to fit you (if diet and exercise isn't working enough), and its benefit will greatly outweight the risk of having untreated hypertension.
If you have a specific medication that you are wondering about, post the name. I would be happy to go over the side effect profile for you.

Lisa

Sunday, January 22, 2006, 10:05 AM

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I too had high BP (normal was like 118 over 80ish), recently was up at 147/97....and it was hte gyno who noticed, and took my off the estrogen...put me on a different pill with no estrogen. a week later, my BP was down to normal.
I was worried too, cause my late father dealth with High BP, but his was due to kidneys.

Seems that fat stores estrogen...its like fiel for it. and intensifies any negative side effects you might experience (risk of blood clot, high BP, weight issues, etc)


Thursday, January 26, 2006, 11:30 PM

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