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Can't shake this high blood pressure.

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  • Can't shake this high blood pressure.

    So I've been doing pretty well. I started a Paleo lifestyle (eating to start) ~1.5 years ago. At that time I was 51 >240lbs. and was running a blood pressure reading of ~148/90 ... and I would even see spikes of 165/95.
    Since then (now 53) I'm 187lbs (goal of 175), started a more aggressive paleo exercise program, e.g., more lifting and sprinting while tapering long, low level cardio and I'm feeling much better about life.
    However, I just came out of a checkup to find my blood pressure to still be in the 145/90 range and the doctor is considering putting me back on hbp meds (lisinopril) which I was hoping to avoid once I dropped the weight.

    On asking about what I may do instead to remedy this condition he gave the patented popular answer:
    1) Eat lots of whole grains and vegetables,
    2) Eat lower-fat food products (including milk products),
    3) Avoid salt, alcohol, red meat, saturated fats.

    After explaining that most of what he recommended was the primary cause of me becoming obese, he still held the fact that I had hbp despite my physical improvements.

    I can see cutting out salt and alcohol (which I've cut way back on anyway), but the rest of the items I'm just not comfortable with. I guess I will need to rely on the medication but this doesn't sit well with me either.

    There's no history of this condition in my family, in fact low BP has been more of a problem, so I'm not sure which way to go on this.

    thanks for listening,

  • #2
    See if you can find someone else to check your Blood Pressure. Preferably someone you are comfortable with so you can help rule out white coat syndrome. If you have friends or family who know how, or a nearby pharmacy. Some fire departments offer free b/p checks also. Also give your more aggressive exercise program some time. I have seen people bring down their pressures that way.


    • #3
      Originally posted by karlkrass View Post
      I can see cutting out salt and alcohol (which I've cut way back on anyway), but the rest of the items I'm just not comfortable with. I guess I will need to rely on the medication but this doesn't sit well with me either.
      I totally agree. Cutting out salt and alcohol and maybe lowering the carbs can all help lower your blood pressure.

      That's about it for diet though. The other changes I would make would be environmental. Are you getting enough rest? Are you comfortable and relaxed when the blood pressure reading is taken? How much stress do you have in your life? How much sleep do you get?
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right


      • #4
        Can you post a detailed account of a typical days food? You may need to cut back on some things or add in others.

        Go see a naturopath or chinese med doc. They'll be able to figure out if you need supplemental support or herbs. If you post your region, I may be able to find a referral. I bet you have other symptoms that you just live with or aren't considered a big deal in conventional medicine.


        • #5
          This is going to sound strange but it's a very old and long used method to reduce blood pressure:

          1. Eat at least 5 full stalks of celery every day for a week.
          2. The next weak eat no celery.
          3. keep alternating weeks.
          Last edited by Cryptocode; 03-06-2013, 06:30 PM.
          "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
            This is going to sound strange but it's a very old and long used method to reduce blood pressure:

            1. Eat at least 5 full stalks of celery every day for a week.
            2. The next weak eat no celery.
            3. keep alternating weeks.
            I was actually going to suggest celery but thought it would be too weird. It is a common Chinese medicine remedy when used in conjunction with herbs.


            • #7
              Magnesium supplementation should help. Most of us are deficient in it anyway.

              I would try this before dropping your salt intake.

              400-600 mg Magnesium Glycinate (or Citrate, if you have any constipation) before bed. Get capsules, not tablets.

              Magnesium Benefits Your Blood Pressure

              The Magnesium Solution for High Blood Pressure: Jay S. Cohen: 9780757002557: Books
              Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
              Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
              Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


              • #8
                I will second this, plus adding trace minerals.


                • #9
                  Any pre-diabetes or family history of type 2?

                  Any organ problems, endocrine gland issues?

                  Sleep apnea?

                  Any history of cardiovascular disease, family history of?


                  • #10
                    Make sure that you ingest no "sodium chloride" (the regular salt/sodium used in all processed foods)... use only real sea salt/pink sea salt/grey sea salt. "Natural Calm" (magnesium supplement) works well, too.

                    I cannot, personally, use any alcohol at all, as it buggers up the BP immediately. My ND has me also taking celery seed extract and L-Arginine to keep my BP on the lower side.


                    • #11
                      B/P: Cuff goes on your arm over bare skin. Sit and relax: tv, book, somesuch---for 15 minutes. The arm with the b/p cuff should rest on the table. Take it then. Most MD's take your pressure when you are running around and anxious.

                      No caffeine, lots of veggies, supplement mag and potassium.


                      • #12
                        Magnesium and potassium fixed my BP. It was 155/90-ish and now it's almost always around 130/65-ish. Didn't really change anything else. Even though I still regularly eat salty food like bacon and sauerkraut, the balance is there.
                        Crohn's, doing SCD


                        • #13
                          Someone has probably already suggested this, but yoga and deep breathing have been known to help BP, in addition to the primal diet. Getting outside more, spending time in nature, getting your feet in the dirt, and cutting as much stress as possible should help.

                          (I had high BP and now it's so "super-normal" my husband occasionally asks me if I'm alive! Usually below 120/60-ish. )

                          Still Craving Pterodactyl--my Primal Blueprint blog

                          70 is the new 50--without the hot flashes!

                          Goals: Feel good, be stronger, and hopefully kick that arthritis in the backside! Oh, yeah, and losing more weight would be okay, too.


                          • #14
                            Hey Karl - I know this thread is over a year old, so hopefully you have solved the problem by now. The advice from other posters is good. But just in case, let me suggest another possibility: Have your doc check your aldosterone level via an aldosterone/renin blood test.

                            I had the same sort of BP problem for years, and it would always spike after certain kinds of workouts and would stay elevated for weeks. I was taking 2 kinds of BP meds, and they worked OK as long as I stuck to relatively low level routines. But anything even remotely innovative would send my BP into orbit for a month. I won't bore you with the details, but the standard advice (don't smoke, don't use too much salt, get rid of the stress etc.) didn't do a thing. Well, it turns out that aldosterone, which is a hormone your adrenal glands produce, can cause BP to spike, and one thing that can cause your body to over-produce aldosterone is strenuous exercise. I just had the aldosterone test done last week and will see my doc next week to get the results. But in the meantime, my doc switched me from altace (which apparently can interfere with the aldosterone/renin test) to "bystolic", and it has done wonders. I'm doing workouts now that I have been afraid to do for years. I did a little research and found that one of the things that bystolic does is that it suppresses aldosterone. I'm not sure my doc even had that in mind when he prescribed the bystolic for me, he just wanted something to replace the altace while we did the blood test. But I'm 99% sure that the aldosterone is the culprit in my case. And like I said I will hopefully get a definitive answer next week.

                            Another thing that can lead to too much aldosterone is an adrenal tumor (almost always benign), which can be removed surgically. This is very unlikely in my case because my BP would always come back down after a few weeks when I reverted to my normal, lower level workouts. If the culprit was a tumor, my BP problem would not get better, it would keep getting worse.

                            Now if aldosterone is also your problem and you want to keep working out intensely, you probably will need to take a med to block or suppress it. Bystolic has worked well for me, but there are others (inspra is an aldosterone blocker that apparently works well). You should discuss this with your doc. Personally, I would rather be able to do sprint and strength workouts, so if I can keep my aldosterone level low safely and with no or minimal side effects, that is my preference. The only change I have noticed with bystolic is a somewhat slower HR when I'm doing cardio workouts on my bike. But just for day to day activity, my HR has slowed very little, if at all (it was already fairly low due to the cardio workouts I have been doing for years). But again, you should discuss all this with your doc to see what makes sense for you.

                            Hope this helps!
                            Last edited by Tider; 07-07-2014, 10:31 AM.


                            • #15
                              Wow, thanks for the reply! I've been out of the forum for awhile and finally checking back after ~6 months.
                              You offer some interesting suggestions here that I'll look into as I've exhausted the most "common" causes, with little improvement, and more drugs.

                              Sent from my SPH-L710 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app