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  1. #1
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    Anybody with pre-hypertension blood pressure?

    I just bought a blood pressure monitor because I have been getting high readings at the doctor for the last year or so. It's got me worried because I eat fairly well and I'm not very high (maybe 5-10lbs) over my recommended weight. It was high even when I was at that weight. Sigh.

    Has anyone successfully gotten their numbers down? If so, what did you do? I get so nervous when I have my BP read now because I'm so scared that it will be high (white coat syndrome)--and then it IS high!

    I hope I can check it when I am at home and instead of right after I rush into the doctor's office.

    I'm also wondering about my stress level--maybe mediation or some other relaxtion techniques might help me in addition to some dietary and weight related changes.


  2. #2
    Mega BHUZzer Sashy's Avatar
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    You mentioned that you´ve had high numbers in BP readings since last year,but it surprises me that your physician has not done anything about it.I´ve had diagnosed HBP since my early 40´s and had to be medicated for it.Usually when more than a week goes on with your blood pressure readings high and you´re in a normal day to day situation is absolutely necessary to get it down by all means.No matter how fit you are or how well you eat some people will suffer from HBP.On that situation there is no other method to lower it than by using antihypertensives.Depending on your reaction to a single medication your physician may want to add another type or change the therapy.Once you become diagnosed with hypertension you will always be hypertensive.It´s a chronic condition that one can live with,but it cannot be cured.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer resullivan's Avatar
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    I had high numbers for a while. One thing my doctor told me was to first make sure my arm was really really relaxed while taking blood pressure if I wanted an accurate reading.

    I did not go on any medication, but I did switch birth control pills. I also made an effort not to eat so many frozen/canned foods with too much salt and eat a bit more fruit. And my numbers did go back down.


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    Sashy, you're scaring me! I know...the doc seemed more concerned a year ago. Then this time, I said, "It seems to be high a lot lately." And she told me how to monitor it for a few months and suggested I <gulp> lose a little weight.

    I am going to try some of the mind and body things and see how those things change my readings.


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer tattood1's Avatar
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    i had hypertension a few years back & i was only in my early 40's. i was put on a water pill & clonidine; a blood pressure pill. i was told to loose weight. even though i've dropped a few pounds i still have trouble so i take the pills as needed. my hypertension stems from stress mostly. water pill helps alot. try to eat low salt too. it scared the crapola outa me but i feel it's a manageable deal now.

    have you had blood sugar checked too??. high blood sugar can cause high blood pressure. when i eat right, eat low carb it helps alot.

    i just recently had a big weight back slide. i've gained 20 pounds back & right off i noticed i needed the pills more. it wasn't so much the weight it was the high carb food i was eating. it transforms to glucose & again high blood sugar equals high blood pressure.

    i've seen pix of you so weight is not an issue. in my case i've had impaired glucose tolerance problems, pregnancy diabetes & now type 2 diabetes. since i was 19. i weighted 98 pounds then. my body just doesn't process sugar right.

    i would check sugar to see if there is an interaction going on. do you sit alot at work?? sitting even in a normal person makes blood sugar go up. that's why people get the sleepy headache in the afternoon. tina


  6. #6
    Official BHUZzer ashadanzatrice's Avatar
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    cutting back on stimulants/getting them out of your diet, watching salt, adding more potassium are all supposed to be good. this from a person who was diagnosed with crazy blood pressure in high school (mine fluctuates a lot, and is moderately high on the high end) and has been told by a truly excellent cardiologist that there's not much to do in my case, i'm just built that way. it has never been my weight or my lifestyle, though those have both been on the good and less-than-ideal sides of the spectrum... in my case, i now take medicine. a little depressing to do when you're 36, but well worth it to know it's under control.

    anyway - one thing i'd like to try, but haven't so far, is biofeedback. there is a device on the market called RespeRate, which you could google - sounds worth a shot to me.
    Last edited by ashadanzatrice; 07-08-2007 at 08:53 PM. Reason: more info


  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer Michelle75's Avatar
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    Mish, I believe this can also be passed down genetically. It comes in two forms. When it is passed down from generation to generation it is called anticipation.
    Most cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension, however, occur in individuals with no known family history of the disorder. These cases are known as idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

    I am awaiting to be diagnosed b/c everyone in my family has high blood pressure and heart disease. BLAHHHH!!!


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer rassicahl's Avatar
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    I've had high blood pressure since I was pregnant at the age of 39. Since then I have been on a water pill which successfully controls it. I do know that my blood pressure tends to go up when I'm sick but not enough to put me in any danger. Mine is definitely genetic and the fact that I teach Middle School! I do need to make sure that I get enough potassium in my diet because the medication I'm on depletes the supply. Other then that, it's a pretty easy fix to take a small pill each morning.


  9. #9
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Mish_Mish,

    I saw this posting and thought I would chime in to offer a little advice. I'm a cardiovascular ICU RN and I have also had my own issues with intermittent borderline hypertension. Without knowing your history (any other medical conditions, medications you use, family history) I can't speak directly to your situation, but I can offer your general guidelines and information to help you manage this.

    1. Blood pressure is definitely affected by stress. Your pressure will fluctuate based on the amount of stress your body perceives it to be under. I tend to internalize my stress, and it manifests itself in my blood pressure. I was actually on anti-hypertensives for about a 6 month period while in my mid 20's for this reason. If your underlying cause is stress and you are unable to manage by incorporating stress-reducing activities into your lifestyle (meditation, yoga, reiki, etc) then your MD may put you on a beta blocker like Atenolol. These class of medications work great because it blocks your body's response in blood pressure to stress. It also blocks your heart rate from raising.

    2 Non-pharmacological methods first to manage your blood pressure would include: weight management (yes even 5-10 pounds will make a difference even if you are not overweight), avoid table salt and processed foods high in sodium, balanced HEALTHY diet, incorporating garlic into your diet can aid in lowering your blood pressure, avoid nasal decongestants (unless the medication specifically indicates that it is for people with high blood pressure. Nearly all nasal decongestants and cold medications include a medication that we actually use to raise someones blood pressure in the ICU).

    3. "White coat syndrome" is real, so it is great that you bought your own blood pressure monitor. Keep your monitor on your nightstand and take it first thing when you wake up in the morning. Be sure that your arm is lying relaxed. This will be the most accurate blood pressure. (Be sure to relax as well while you are measuring your pressure).
    Last edited by Shaunte; 07-08-2007 at 11:07 PM.


  10. #10
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    4. There are many causes of hypertension, so be sure to get a complete physical and work-up if you have not already.

    5. Someone mentioned that high blood sugar=high blood pressure. This is actually not true. Like blood pressure, our glucose (blood sugar) levels fluctuate throughout the day, this however does not cause hypertension. There is a link however between those who have type 2 Diabetes and hypertension. Research is currently ongoing between this link.

    6. I also saw a mention of potassium in one of the postings. I just wanted to mention that potassium is in no way related to managing your blood pressure. If you are placed on a diuretic (water pill) by your MD then they may add potassium because certain diuretics can cause a drop in your potassium levels with the excessive loss of fluids. I mention this because potassium is an electrolyte with a very tight range that you need to be within (and your body will regulate this on it's own with a normal diet). Going above or below this range can be VERY dangerous. Unless your MD has said otherwise, I would not worry about supplementing this.

    7. You could also have what is known as essential hypertension, which has no known origin. And in many of these cases, the only way to manage it is with medication.

    8. If all else fails, I wouldn't be resistant or feel bad about going on medication. Hypertension is known as the "silent killer" because there really are no symptoms. Once you get to the point that you are having headaches, your blood pressure is too high at the point and you are already doing irreversible vascular damage. If you smoke, it's time to quit. If you are not already monitoring your cholesterol levels, please be sure that you start. The combination of high cholesterol (specifically high LDL) and hypertension is almost a guarantee that you will be in my unit recovering from bypass surgery in your senior years. I hate to scare you, but I just want to stress that there are things that you can do now to help prevent developing coronary artery disease which causes heart attacks and strokes in the future (all leading causes of death in women). You can also irreversibly damage your kidneys and eventually develop renal failure. The implications of unmanaged hypertension is huge!!!

    I just feel really bad for many of my patients, because I feel if this had been managed when they were in their 30's and 40's, they could have avoided all of the issues they are experiencing in their 60's and 70's. Believe me you don't want to deal with cardiac disease later on in life. Take care of yourself! And it sounds like you are being proactive about it, which is wonderful!!!!

    Feel free to email me offline also if you want to discuss anything further.
    Last edited by Shaunte; 07-08-2007 at 10:31 PM.


  11. #11
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle75 View Post
    Mish, I believe this can also be passed down genetically. It comes in two forms. When it is passed down from generation to generation it is called anticipation.
    Most cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension, however, occur in individuals with no known family history of the disorder. These cases are known as idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

    I am awaiting to be diagnosed b/c everyone in my family has high blood pressure and heart disease. BLAHHHH!!!
    Pulmonary hypertension is a specific cardiac condition that is separate from the general hypertension that most people speak of.

    Having a non-modifiable risk factor such as family history definitely increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. I'm in the same situation as you, so believe me I understand. BUT you can still do things such as keeping your weight under control, stress management, and balanced diet in order to decrease your chances even if by just a little, it's still worth it..g.:


  12. #12
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sashy View Post
    You mentioned that you´ve had high numbers in BP readings since last year,but it surprises me that your physician has not done anything about it.I´ve had diagnosed HBP since my early 40´s and had to be medicated for it.Usually when more than a week goes on with your blood pressure readings high and you´re in a normal day to day situation is absolutely necessary to get it down by all means.No matter how fit you are or how well you eat some people will suffer from HBP.On that situation there is no other method to lower it than by using antihypertensives.Depending on your reaction to a single medication your physician may want to add another type or change the therapy.Once you become diagnosed with hypertension you will always be hypertensive.It´s a chronic condition that one can live with,but it cannot be cured.
    Her actual blood pressure readings are what determine whether or not to add medication. If her systolic (top number) is less than 140, then lifestyle modification is usually recommended. And remember, we only know a small bit of what's going on here, as opposed to her MD who know her history and is taking all of those factors under consideration.


  13. #13
    Official BHUZzer ashadanzatrice's Avatar
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    thanks for the expert advice to a lot of us here, shaunte, and for clarifying what i didn't say very clearly at all about potassium. you're right, of course! i meant adding more potassium-containing foods to the diet, which is my cardio's advice. he said the same as you about taking supplements only if needed because of the effect of a diuretic.


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    This is great information! Thank you! My grandfather died of a heart attack and my uncle has had bypass surgery so I just don't want to mess around with this.

    I am young enough and relatively healthy enough to deal with it. I checked my BP tonight and it was normal. I made sure to sit quietly for about 15 minutes beforehand.

    The suggestions above are what I need to keep me eating healthy and exercising--FEAR will motivate me to do most things! My BMI is at the high end of "healthy" and I don't smoke, but I do need to lay off the salt more. I just like it on things and I have salt cravings, but they aren't worth it.

    I also get a lot of sinus headaches so I take decongestants a couple of times a week. I had no idea they could affect my BP.


  15. #15
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mish_mish View Post
    This is great information! Thank you! My grandfather died of a heart attack and my uncle has had bypass surgery so I just don't want to mess around with this.

    I am young enough and relatively healthy enough to deal with it. I checked my BP tonight and it was normal. I made sure to sit quietly for about 15 minutes beforehand.

    The suggestions above are what I need to keep me eating healthy and exercising--FEAR will motivate me to do most things! My BMI is at the high end of "healthy" and I don't smoke, but I do need to lay off the salt more. I just like it on things and I have salt cravings, but they aren't worth it.

    I also get a lot of sinus headaches so I take decongestants a couple of times a week. I had no idea they could affect my BP.
    Patient education is one of the things I really enjoy and when it's in the prevention arena that's even better! My BMI was also on the high side of the healthy range and losing 10 pounds made a huge difference.

    re adding salt... you'll find that once you cut it out, you won't even want to add salt....everything will taste really salty! lol. I table salt out about 10 years ago and I really don't miss it. Using pepper and garlic powder helped wean me away from it, but now I'm fine....it's worth trying..g.:

    If your nasal decongestant contains neosynephrine or phenylenephrine it is absolutely affecting your blood pressure. We use this medication (we refer to it as neo for short) in the ICU to raise someone's blood pressure when it is critically low and it is very potent! They use it in nasal decongestants because it helps to clamp down everything! So while this helps stops sinus drainage it is also raising your blood pressure! While this happens with everyone, it becomes a problem with people who have hypertension because the blood pressure is high to begin with. I would ask your MD for sinus inhalers instead. These changes alone may help manage your blood pressure!..g.:


  16. #16
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashadanzatrice View Post
    thanks for the expert advice to a lot of us here, shaunte, and for clarifying what i didn't say very clearly at all about potassium. you're right, of course! i meant adding more potassium-containing foods to the diet, which is my cardio's advice. he said the same as you about taking supplements only if needed because of the effect of a diuretic.
    Oh no problem, I knew what you meant. I just wanted to make sure everyone else understood that this wasn't something to necessarily worry about. I'm not sure which one you are on, but hopefully your MD is monitoring your blood potassium levels because this is often something that is overlooked. I work on-call in the ER and I can't tell you how many times I've had patients who are on potassium supplements and have come in with dangerously high as well as low levels because either their MD had not followed up serum blood levels or the patient had not been taking it as ordered.
    Last edited by Shaunte; 07-08-2007 at 11:21 PM.


  17. #17
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    I don't add a lot of salt when I cook, but I have noticed that most pre-packaged foods (even pancake mix and bread crumbs) have a ton of salt.

    It sucks, but I'd much prefer to be alive and choose my salty foods wisely!


  18. #18
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mish_mish View Post
    I don't add a lot of salt when I cook, but I have noticed that most pre-packaged foods (even pancake mix and bread crumbs) have a ton of salt.

    It sucks, but I'd much prefer to be alive and choose my salty foods wisely!
    Good Choice!!!! P.S. not to be a stickler, but I wouldn't add salt at all when you cook. We call it a "no added salt" diet. I would use things like garlic and lemon instead. There are also substitutes out there. I personally don't use them, because I no longer have a taste for salt. The unfortunate reality is that all processed foods have sodium, some more than others. You would be hard pressed to find something without sodium in it unless it is sodium-free. I forget the content, but the amount of sodium in in a tsp of table salt is extremely high. Without adding salt to your foods, you will still get plenty of sodium. This is why we recommend avoiding table salt. I don't even have it in my house.......


  19. #19
    Ultimate BHUZzer lizajuk's Avatar
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    I was diagnosed in my early 50s and my mother has similar problem. She has just gone a little higher but is after all 85. I believe BP rises with age but also that it is hereditary. That isn't to say..do nothing but take the tablets (I'm on water tablets, the very basic) but I believe there are no newer drugs as my doctor was considering them but the fact I have had kidney stones seems to stop her trying them.
    I should lose weight but have only lost a little, I do take low sodium salt on meals and don't cook with it. I do of course exercise, don't smoke and have low cholestorol readings in the past. Yes I am back on decongestants but without them I was up for ear problems. The only bug bear is caffeine..cannot give it up.
    But I reckon if you know early on about HBP then you are lucky as they say so many go along thinking they are fine and suddenly...........
    I have a work colleague(yep I still venture forth to the chalk face when they beg me too) and she has very very high blood pressure and they cannot fathom it just monitor it and treat it best they can. Genetic? probably.
    Tell me are there any problems associated with Low BP(which I used to have) and what is counted as low?


  20. #20
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizajuk View Post
    Tell me are there any problems associated with Low BP(which I used to have) and what is counted as low?
    Many people have blood pressures that are on the lower end of the spectrum, especially marathon runners. Systolic numbers at or below 100 are considered on the low end and are perfectly fine. When it comes to low pressure, it is very individual on what number is considered too low. Your blood pressure is too low and is considered hypotension when you have symptoms associated with it (ie feeling faint, dizzy, lethargic, confusion, etc) Believe me, you won't last long at all like that anyway. This is an acute situation that always has an underlying cause such as dehydration, shock, or overdose on antihypertensive medications. This is all to say that it's not a chronic condition like hypertension. So if your numbers were on the lower side and you had no symptoms then you were fine. Believe me, your body will absolutely let you know if your blood pressure is too low.
    Last edited by Shaunte; 07-09-2007 at 06:35 AM.


  21. #21
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    I just wanted to add for those of you who are on medication to control your BP that you may experience a condition called orthostatic hypotension. This occurs when you suddenly feel faint or dizzy upon rising from a lying position. You can avoid this by rising slowly and sitting at the side of your bed for a moment or two before actually standing. It's actually pretty common and not a cause for alarm if you only experience it during position changes.


  22. #22
    Ultimate BHUZzer lizajuk's Avatar
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    I have read somewhere that chocolate and red wine can lower blood pressure or was I just having a very pleasant dream!!!!!!!!!!..g.:


  23. #23
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    I got a Deepak Chopra meditaion CD on iTunes last night and I listend to about 10 minutes of it when I woke up this morning. It was a nice way to start the day. When I took my BP it was 110/72. Not too shabby. I will continue to monitor it at the same times during the day and see if there is a pattern.


  24. #24
    Official BHUZzer Shaunte's Avatar
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    yay! good for you


  25. #25
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    I got a good reading last night and this morning, too!

    Yay! I think one of the biggest problems is that I am always nervous and rushing when I go to the doctor and it definitely shows!


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