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  • help with blood pressure

    quick intro........primal since feb 8 2010...i have lost about 30lbs (245-215)

    i exercise and eat exactly by the book recomendations and follow the diet about 95%
    i have high blood presure on both sides of my family
    i was diagonosed about 3 yrs ago and was recomended to go on blood pressure meds...i refuse to do so it goes against everything i believe

    i got bp lower with an accupunturist...and thought that was good enuff
    yesterday i went to accupunturist for first time in 2 yrs and my bp was very high 160/100
    he suggests going to regular dr and getting on meds

    i know if i do that its going down a bad road .....asking me to change diet , testing cholesterol etc. and everything will lead to dr's advice of changing away from primal blue print and going towards cw method of eating and exercise which i want to avoid

    i'm male and 41 yrs old
    i understand the seriousness of my high bp and i'm willing to do whatever i can to reduce it, for me bp meds are not an option
    any advice? thank you for reading

  • #2
    BP should be very sensitive to weight loss as well as sodium-potassium balance. If Primal is helping w/ the weight loss that should improve numbers. Reduce sodium, eliminate all salt processed foods, canned foods, etc.. unless no-salt added version, this includes bacon, sausage, etc... Look to up potassium through leafy greens, tomatoes, avocados, squash, etc... Try lots of walking to lower cortisol as well. There are a couple of other threads on BP that you may want to read.


    • #3
      The nurse in me needs to respond. My 2 cents? Go to the regular doctor, take the meds. As your health improves, talk to your doctor about reducing your doses. It may only be a matter of months.


      • #4
        If you are following the lifestyle then your BP should get to where it needs to be eventually. Check if you are getting enough potassium and magnesium. Fitday is a site everyone recommends so you could pop your food in and have a decent idea on what you nutrients need and get a breakdown of your macronutirent ratios. Too little salt can raise BP in some people too, so make sure whatever salt eating is unrefined and natural like a good quality sea salt.

        I don't really like the whole idea that below 120/80 is normal for everyone. It doesn't take into account a lot of variables like age, gender, height, weight etc. Check this out - I guess they are trying to drug more people. Stress reduction and relaxation can help lower your blood pressure too. So make sure you find time to just chill out.

        That said if you are overweight you are likely to have higher blood pressure, so losing weight like you have done already will help.
        "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian


        • #5
          High blood pressure runs in my family, even at a young age. My very slender physician father was initially rejected by the military in his 20's due to hypertension.

          Several years of efforts to bring down my borderline high blood pressure via natural means met with only limited success and my doctors wanted to put me on prescription meds. I insisted on trying natural means a bit longer and was finally able to attain very favorable blood pressure readings on going 100% Paleo diet with no added sodium, and also supplementing with magnesium taurate and 300 mg CoQ10. This means almost no restaurant food, which usually has lots of salt added, and no processed food. My readings are as low as 100/60 on this regimen and tend to average around 113/65, which is 30 or more points lower than they used to average.


          • #6
            thank you so much for responses i'm going crazy with all of this........paleo man could you ddescribe 100% paleo diet and how it differs from primal blue print thanks


            • #7
              I'd say my diet is not inconsistent with the Primal Blueprint, which seems to be very good and balanced. But my diet is more restrictive. My diet consists almost entirely of cold water fish, grassfed beef, organic chicken, fresh or frozen seafood, fresh whole vegetables, fresh greens, fresh fruits, and some frozen fruits and vegetables. I use some coconut oil and some olive oil. I only use fresh olive oil that is dated and has been protected from light, because some studies have shown that olive oil degrades rapidly as it ages or especially if it is exposed to light in clear bottles. Degraded olive oil has been shown to adversely affect blood vessel endothelial function, while fresh olive oil that has not yet lost its polyphenol content has been shown to enhance vascular health and function. About the only processed food I eat is some dark milk-free chocolate.

              Sometimes I intentionally eat a bit of salt or something with salt such as sardines, because my diet is so low in sodium that I feel I should get up to a total of maybe 400-500 mg of total sodium daily, including that found naturally in the whole foods. But my blood sodium levels lab test normal even without this. Compare this to typical heart association recommended levels of something like 2500 mg per day or average American intake of maybe 7000 mg daily! My blood pressure seemed unaffected by decreasing sodium in my diet, even when I got below 1500 mg, until I eliminated almost all added and processed sodium.

              I suspect that the magnesium intake plays an important role, also. Dr. Jay Cohen wrote an excellent little book available very inexpensively on Amazon entitled "The Magnesium Solution for High Blood Pressure." And you can Google the studies showing decreases in blood pressure with CoQ10 supplementation. Primal exercise seems to help, also, especially on a daily basis.

              Before I was able to get my blood pressure into a favorable range using the above protocol, I'd read every book and article that I could find, lots of medical journal abstracts and articles, and tried many different approaches with great frustration.

              I was influenced in my final choices by Dr. Loren Cordain's books and work and website, especially "The Paleo Diet for Athletes." In that book, for example, Dr. Cordain has a chart showing the blood pressures of 506 hunter-gatherer Yanomano Indians throughout life, from childhood through 50 plus. Males who were 50+ averaged BP of 100/64! Their BP did not increase at all with age, male or female. I became convinced that hypertension was not a necessary part of normal aging, but rather a pathological condition arising from SAD and lifestyle.

              Hope this helps.


              • #8
                I had high blood pressure a few years ago and managed to reduce it very quickly. My Doctor wanted me to go on drugs but I decided to exhaust all other possibilities first. I went on a super low carb diet and was in heavy ketosis. My BP was in the normal range in a month. Do you eat any fruit? I would IF a lot too, for one or two days at a time.


                • #9
                  thank you so much paleo man for taking the time to write that for me i really appreciate it....i just ordered the magnesium book from amazon and will be implementing your suggestions thanks again


                  • #10
                    Magnesium to bowel tolerance?


                    • #11
                      I second Egoldstein. Blood pressure, unless there is kidney disease present, will be very senstive to potassium:sodium balance, magensium:calcium balance and vitamin D.

                      First be sure there is no underlying kidney disease.

                      • Replete 25(OH)D levels rapidly (see my document below)

                      • Optimize Na:K levels (see doc below.....ideally you'll simply eliminate 'added' salt, and up K intake via prodce and/or organ meats, and veggie peeling broths, but if you must, some potassium gluconate powder - - can be used to make up a shortfall....again *only* if you're sure there are no underlying kidney issues)

                      • Optimize Mg intake (starting off with jigsaw health magnesium with SRT will insure that you don't run into any of the typical issues with mg and bowel tolerance....once you're stable, then you can mess around with cheaper forms of Mg)

                      • Be sure you're not taking in excessive calcium via dairy

                      • Exercise intensively (with dr's okay..._)

                      • Be sure sleep apnea is a non-issue. If there is any possibility that it is, get a sleep study done asap and get a C-PAP machine....and use it *every* night.


                      iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                      • #12
                        jigsaw health magnesium with SRT is a brand? continuous release?


                        • #13
                          yup. i almost hate that I have to use it as it's so $$...but I can't tolerate any other magnesium and simply cannot meet my body's needs through food even with careful attention.


                          They very often have $10 off coupons that they send via email and post via facebook and twitter.

                          iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                          • #14

                            I had a similar question (see the link). A low-carb, primal-esque diet made a QUICK differnece in my dad's blood pressure (among other good things for his health), along w/ supping Mag, CoQ10, vit. C, D, E along w/ fish oil. (The thread linked above has lots of helpful recs.) Magnesium deficiency is the major thing I've seen related to high blood pressure. Good luck figuring it out!!
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                            • #15
                              I've known people whose Mg deficiency symptoms got worse on supplementation with inorganic forms of Mg. I assume the laxative effects caused Mg losses that exceeded the gains from the supplementation. And magnesium oxide is reputed to be virtually nonabsorbable.

                              An academic physician friend, a former Mg researcher, suggested that if inorganic Mg such as MgSO4 is used orally, that it be used in very tiny quantities multiple times per day. He says that too much at any given time will just pass via the kidneys if not via laxative effect. This doc also advised that blood serum testing for Mg can be nearly useless for detecting unhealthy Mg deficiencies as there is often little or no correlation between the serum Mg levels and the oft deficient intracellular Mg levels in critical tissue, e.g. cardiac tissue.

                              Recovering from a Mg deficiency is like trying to fill a plastic jug by pouring water over a pin hole in the jug, only a little bit can get in each time and pouring more volume each time won't necessarily fill the jug faster. The process can be slow and tedious.

                              With magnesium taurate or magnesium glycinate, I've had no problems with laxative effect at all. I've also experimented with transdermal (thru the skin) absorption of "magnesium oil" which is actually an aqueous solution of MgCl, bypassing any laxative effect.

                              The eccentric neurosurgeon who invented the TENS unit, Norman Shealey MD PhD, did a small study on transdermal absorption of Mg that can be accessed on the internet, showing considerable efficacy. But I haven't seen any replication yet.