Anyone dealing with High Blood Pressure

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by user92626, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    How high is yours? What have you been doing to remedy it? Or not?
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Several years now. Got it exactly at the age my father got it with the same numbers. I have been taking Atenelol 50 mg (exact same dosage which works for my father) and Lisinopril 2.5 mg daily. The doctor ordered all kinds of tests and said there was nothing wrong anywhere, and everything suggests a very strong genetic component.

    For herbals, apart from others like fish oil etc, for BP I take Ashwagandha. I am now experimenting with a homeopathic (I know) medicine called Circulin. I don't believe in the 6X (1 ppm) dilution and all that, but the capsules also contains other herbs and ingredients in "credible" levels.
     
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  3. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I use atenolol with good effect. A caution about managing your own blood pressure: control needs to be 24 hours a day. Recent medical data suggest that NOCTURNAL hypertension is more predictive of stroke risk than daytime blood pressure. A patient of mine thought he was doing just fine managing his blood pressure with some herbs and then discovered when he had a sleep study that his BP was spiking quite high at night. Unless you know that what you're using works 24 hours a day, you're putting yourself in considerable jeopardy.
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You also can spell Aten right unlike me. My doctor tells me that Aten the beta blocker has been superseded by better medicines and she is keeping me on that only because I respond well to it (and so does my father). BTW the generic version I get in the local pharmacy here turns out be manufactured in India, probably by Cipla.

    For non-doctors, lisinopril or zestril is an ACE inhibitor and my doctor places more importance on that.

    There seems to be only one herb which has been shown to be effective - Ashwagandha, which has been taken for 1000s of years. Its name is <something> somnifera, so you can guess. My father has done much research on this, and advises me never to rely on herbs for hypertension - only "modern" medicine works. The most famous Ayurvedic medicine is Mukta Vati, a mixture of herbs, which both my brother-in-law and I tried for a year. He reached the same conclusion I did - it makes a good laxative. Yet millions take it faithfully.

    In the yoga literature, the belief is that stress and shallow breathing is the root cause of blood pressure. Breathing exercises (pranayama) is supposed to be the cure. Regardless of whether it cures, I am certain that it will help a lot. Modern life is stressful, and we hold in our breaths and breathe in a shallow manner. This is because we are always waiting for something to finish. Like right now I was holding my breath because typing irritates me. According to one theory, humans are historically made for stress followed by relief. Modern life does not offer the release part.

    That is why in tennis inhale-exhale (or Sharapova shrieking) is taught and we are told not to hold our breaths through the point. I strongly believe that if this is practiced all the time, hypertension will be drastically reduced.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
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  5. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    From the "are you pleased thread":

    My BP at its peak was about 190/130, but now will range in the mid 150s/115 or so. On the above meds, I'm almost always right at 115/high 60s.
     
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  6. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    sureshs, the above I mentioned are amiloride, HCTZ, propranolol and lisinopril like you.
     
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  7. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    The following is from experts on high blood pressure at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute:

    "How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?
    High blood pressure (HBP) is treated with lifestyle changes and medicines.

    Most people who have HBP will need lifelong treatment. Sticking to your treatment plan is important. It can help prevent or delay problems related to HBP and help you live and stay active longer.

    For more tips on controlling your blood pressure, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI's) "Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure."

    Goals of Treatment

    The treatment goal for most adults is to get and keep blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. For adults who have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the goal is to get and keep blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Healthy lifestyle habits can help you control HBP. These habits include:

    Following a healthy diet
    Being physically active
    Maintaining a healthy weight
    Quitting smoking
    Managing your stress and learning to cope with stress
    If you combine healthy lifestyle habits, you can achieve even better results than taking single steps.

    You may find it hard to make lifestyle changes. Start by making one healthy lifestyle change and then adopt others.

    Some people can control their blood pressure with lifestyle changes alone, but many people can't. Keep in mind that the main goal is blood pressure control.

    If your doctor prescribes medicines as a part of your treatment plan, keep up your healthy lifestyle habits. They will help you better control your blood pressure.

    Following a Healthy Diet
    Your doctor may recommend the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan if you have HBP. The DASH eating plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are heart healthy and low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium (salt).

    DASH also focuses on fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts. The DASH eating plan is reduced in red meats (including lean red meats), sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages. It's rich in nutrients, protein, and fiber.

    To help control HBP, you should limit the amount of salt that you eat. This means choosing low-sodium and no added salt foods and seasonings at the table and while cooking. The Nutrition Facts label on food packaging shows the amount of sodium in an item. You should eat no more than about 1 teaspoon of salt a day.

    Also, try to limit alcoholic drinks. Too much alcohol will raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks a day. Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink a day. One drink is a glass of wine, beer, or a small amount of hard liquor.

    For more information, go to the NHLBI's "Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH."

    Being Physically Active
    Routine physical activity can lower HBP and reduce your risk for other health problems. Talk with your doctor before you start a new exercise plan. Ask him or her how much and what kinds of physical activity are safe for you.

    People gain health benefits from as little as 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. The more active you are, the more you will benefit.

    For more information about physical activity, go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," the Health Topics Physical Activity and Your Heart article, and the NHLBI's "Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart."

    Maintaining a Healthy Weight
    Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control HBP and reduce your risk for other health problems.

    If you're overweight or obese, aim to reduce your weight by 5 to 10 percent during your first year of treatment. This amount of weight loss can lower your risk for health problems related to HBP.

    To lose weight, cut back your calorie intake and do more physical activity. Eat smaller portions and choose lower calorie foods. Don't feel that you have to finish the entrees served at restaurants. Many restaurant portions are oversized and have too many calories for the average person.

    For more information about losing weight and keeping it off, go to the Health Topics Overweight and Obesity article.

    Quit Smoking
    If you smoke or use tobacco, quit. Smoking can damage your blood vessels and raise your risk for HBP. Smoking also can worsen health problems related to HBP.

    Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke.

    If you have trouble quitting smoking on your own, consider joining a support group. Many hospitals, workplaces, and community groups offer classes to help people quit smoking.

    For more information about how to quit smoking, go to the Health Topics Smoking and Your Heart article and the NHLBI's "Your Guide to a Healthy Heart."

    Managing Stress
    Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.

    Physical activity helps some people cope with stress. Other people listen to music or focus on something calm or peaceful to reduce stress. Some people learn yoga, tai chi, or how to meditate."
    - http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/treatment.html
     
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  8. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ what about the "Thrower's Ten"?
     
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  9. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Lifestyle changes will not control high blood pressure in everyone.

    High blood pressure is not known as the "silent killer" for nothing.


    A widow showed up to at the tennis courts to tell us our friend "Dan" was dead.

    We were shocked.

    Dan was in the best shape of anyone I think I ever knew. He was only in late thirties.

    He always went from the tennis courts to the gym to "really" work out.

    He could crush a ball and play for hours.

    Someone I know went backpacking with him and could not believe the weight he always kept his backpack at, or his rate of ascent.

    Yet he suddenly died at a family picnic just horsing around with his nieces and nephews.


    So why did he die?

    His widow said he had high blood pressure and did not like to take medication. She knew his blood pressure was not under control. Beyond that, she didn't have any other explanation for his sudden cardiac death.
     
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  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Medication is needed for many to control blood pressure.

    There are a lot of blood pressure medications. Almost all have some sort of potential side effect.

    Talking with your doctor can help to select a medication least likely to have problems for you.

    Learning about any medication you are on can let you spot any early side effect so that you and your doctor can decide if another medication would subsequently be better for you.
     
    #10
  11. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Here is a list of the different classes of medications, and how that class of medications work, from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. There are usually several different specific medications within each class.

    (We are pretty lucky now. When I was in medical school the number of medications was very limited, and the incidence of side effects therefore considerably higher.)

    "Medicines

    Today's blood pressure medicines can safely help most people control their blood pressure. These medicines are easy to take. The side effects, if any, tend to be minor.

    If you have side effects from your medicines, talk with your doctor. He or she might adjust the doses or prescribe other medicines. You shouldn't decide on your own to stop taking your medicines.

    Blood pressure medicines work in different ways to lower blood pressure. Some remove extra fluid and salt from the body to lower blood pressure. Others slow down the heartbeat or relax and widen blood vessels. Often, two or more medicines work better than one.

    Diuretics
    Diuretics sometimes are called water pills. They help your kidneys flush excess water and salt from your body. This reduces the amount of fluid in your blood, and your blood pressure goes down.

    Diuretics often are used with other HBP medicines and sometimes combined into one pill.

    Beta Blockers
    Beta blockers help your heart beat slower and with less force. As a result, your heart pumps less blood through your blood vessels. This causes your blood pressure to go down.

    ACE Inhibitors
    ACE inhibitors keep your body from making a hormone called angiotensin II. This hormone normally causes blood vessels to narrow. ACE inhibitors prevent this, so your blood pressure goes down.

    Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
    Angiotensin II receptor blockers are newer blood pressure medicines that protect your blood vessels from the angiotensin II hormone. As a result, blood vessels relax and widen, and your blood pressure goes down.

    Calcium Channel Blockers
    Calcium channel blockers keep calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels. This allows blood vessels to relax, and your blood pressure goes down.

    Alpha Blockers
    Alpha blockers reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels. This allows blood to flow more freely, causing blood pressure to go down.

    Alpha-Beta Blockers
    Alpha-beta blockers reduce nerve impulses the same way alpha blockers do. However, they also slow the heartbeat like beta blockers. As a result, blood pressure goes down.

    Nervous System Inhibitors
    Nervous system inhibitors increase nerve impulses from the brain to relax and widen blood vessels. This causes blood pressure to go down.

    Vasodilators
    Vasodilators relax the muscles in blood vessel walls. This causes blood pressure to go down."
    - http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/treatment.html
     
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  12. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Thanks, guys, especially Charlie, whom you can always count on for loads of info.

    4 weeks ago a series of unfortunate events just occurred for me within a week. Coupled with my already unhealthy lifestyle (lots of energy, sugary drinks, binge eating, etc), I felt really ill and got a blood red eye. Doctor diagnosed me at 150+/105. That BP didn't come down on its own after a week so the doc put me on a medication. I changed my diet, took up treadmill running. After 1 1/2 week it started to come down and I stopped taking the med, (something 81mg each morning). It's been 5 days and my BP registered at 125/89 in the morning and 118/79 in the evening. I'm also taking a couple aspirin in the afternoon whenever I feel some tension in the back of my head.


    Eating salads for lunch and running the treadmill is frigging tough, but that seems to help the most.

    What's amazing for me is that I feel that at 36 my body is going downhill disproportionally fast. I could deal with the same (bad) lifestyle in my 20s, early 30 with no problem but things got bad quick after 35!!!!!!!!
     
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  13. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    charles
    the mechanism you cite for diuretics is not correct. It's been clear for decades that diuretics ACUTELY eliminate fluid and sodium but when taken regularly fluid and sodium levels in the body equilibrate back at exactly the levels they were at pre-diuretic. If you look at the medical literature of the last few years you'll see that diuretics (thiazide type, used for hypertension) are thought thought to perhaps have effects on vascular endothelial cells to reduce BP, but sodium and fluid balance are very clearly not the way they help keep BP down. Many feel their mechanism for lowering BP is simply not yet understood.
     
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Be sure to reduce your visits to the salt lick.



    .
     
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  15. Soul

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    I've read of some being able to control their blood pressure by eating less grains and sugary items. The effect takes time.

    "Weight loss and blood pressure"

    http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2008/08/weight-loss-and-blood-pressure.html

    snippet:

    The sleep aid melatonin might be slightly helpful also. I personally take 3mg of time release melatonin before bed, sleep well typically through the night, and it seems to have lowered my blood pressure a little.

    "Melatonin for high blood pressure?"

    http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2008/05/melatonin-for-high-blood-pressure.html
     
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  16. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Metoprolol and Lisinopril, BP ~110/70. Bit difficult to get my HR up, resting 50-55 bpm.
     
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  17. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ that's the whole point -- the way you know you're adequately beta-blocked is that your heart rate won't go over 60.
     
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  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I really take my hat off to your efforts in improving your health! Way to go and
    do your part to make a difference. You are an inspiration to all of us with this.
    Some younger and in good health may not fully appreciate your efforts, but they
    will eventually.

    On another note...Vitalzym is good for Bp and that is a big part of what it was
    developed for...the excellent recovery aspect was just a side effect of it's
    method!
     
    #18
  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was 160/120 (same as my father was 30 years before that) and now I am 120/80 but with meds. I have also reduced weight and eating healthier, but I am afraid the meds are for life.
     
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  20. Avles

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    Suresh (or anyone)-- any opinion on hibiscus? There seems to be some scientific evidence for antihypertensive effects:

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/140/2/298.long

    (Of course I'm not suggesting this as an alternative to medication for someone with dangerously high BP.)
     
    #20
  21. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    I was diagnosed with hypertension in my 30s while I was struggling to finish my MA, and deal with the rigors of new parenthood. I was put on a daily beta blocker, advised to change my lifestyle and diet. I was taken off medication a few years later.

    I'm 54 now, and had another episode of high blood pressure this year. I had a rough, stressful year during which I finished my PhD and ended up getting saddled with more work at school, witnessed a friend die on court from a heart attack, and passed out one day while taking out the garbage. My BP was about 160/100 for a week after the passing out incident. After tests, my doctor said its a good thing I get exercise, or else it would have been much worse. This time, I'm now on "Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers" and a children's aspirin daily, indefinitely or when I'm told to stop. Now a steady 120/80.
     
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  22. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    All the things that happened to you are scary, makinao. I hope you're "motivated" now to make good long term changes.
     
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  23. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I don't want to stay on med if I can help it. I bet you still have a lot of room in your diet and exercise to change that. Try harder, suresh.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes I have a lot of room. In fact, if I don't step it up, I will end up taking higher and higher dosages. You got to run to stand still as you get older.

    That is why I am off to play a Thanksgiving tournament right now.
     
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  25. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Best be careful with high intensity exercise when dealing with high blood pressure. My systolic number was between 230 and 240 while being monitored during exercise.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    High intensity exercise is not an issue I have to deal with :)

    Though I played 34 games of doubles today for 3 hours in 70 degrees heat. Won 18, lost 16. I am pretty pleased with myself.
     
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  27. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Only 17 games in 2 hrs in 50 degrees cold. Won one set, lost another, tied 5-5 before platform tennis called.
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What is platform tennis?
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Saw on PBS now - Ashwagandha for Alzheimers being researched by a Harvard neurology professor.
     
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