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Author Topic: Who has high blood pressure?  (Read 15324 times)

golden eagle

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Who has high blood pressure?
« on: March 01, 2015, 10:09:38 AM »

I've had it for quite some time, but I didn't know how bad it really was until a couple of weeks during a health screening at work, my BP was 180/133!! :wow: :wow: With numbers like that, I should've been hospitalized. Since then, I've changed the way I eat. I rely now on home-cooked meals (nothing fried), replaced processed box lunches for lower-sodium turkey sandwiches and salads I prepare at home, more fruits and vegetables instead of junk food, and drinking more water. I'm also getting more exercise by going to the gym.

I really don't know how I could've allowed myself to get my BP to such a high number. For one, I believe I was a food addict. I'm not really overweight, though I could stand to lose a few pounds (another reason I go to the gym). I didn't really feel ill because of it, though I would get a slight headache on occasion. As I look back on it, I was too lazy to be mindful about what I was eating and not getting proper exercise.

Having said all that, it doesn't mean I'll never eat another piece of fried chicken, donut or even any kind of fast food. Just that when I do, I need to be careful of how much and when.

Soon, I'm going to go to a doctor to check on my progress. If you have or had high blood pressure, please tell me what you've done to combat it.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 02:32:13 PM by golden eagle »
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cjk374

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 11:13:35 AM »

It is amazing you didn't have a stroke with those numbers!!  My dad had a stroke in April 2012.  He is a totally dependent on others now.  He can't move, can't talk and can't do anything for himself.  I sit with him on Sundays giving my brother and step-mom a break from the 24-hour care they give him.  You definitely do not need to let this be your fate.  Keep working on your bp numbers.

I am going to see my dad's heart doctor Tuesday to get my ticker inspected.  I went through the battery of tests a little over 5 years ago (treadmill stress test, dye test to check arteries for blockages, blood work and bp check) and the tests came back with excellent results.  Since then, I have gained a little weight, been having to take bi-weekly shots for low-T, and haven't really changed any eating habits.  I believe the doctor will be scolding me this go around.  We'll see.

My bp numbers have been all over the place over the last year.  I had a dizzy spell a few months ago caused by low bp (experienced this about 20 years earlier also).  But my bp was also checked and was 155/100.  I have been told that the bottom number is the number to really watch.

Golden Eagle, you and I are southerners...our favorite fruit is fried chicken.  Our favorite vegetable is fried chicken.  Our favorite bread is fried chicken.  We have the best food in the country, and we want to enjoy it every chance we can.  But it is slowly, and in some cases painfully, killing us each and everyday.  I have a job that keeps me active, but it ain't enough.  I am aging, therefore my body doesn't process food the way it used to.  I have got to change my ways before it is too late.

If my doctor does scold me and gives me instructions, I will share them in this thread Tuesday evening.
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gonealookin

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 11:18:41 AM »

At 180/133 you definitely need to see a doctor sooner than "soon".  That's high risk for heart attack or stroke.  The doctor has me on a combination of three generic drugs (lisinopril, amlodipine besylate, hydrochlorothiazide), which aren't all that expensive; I just ordered a 90-day supply and my out-of-pocket for that came to $58.  One baby aspirin per day as well.

It sounds like you're on the right track with the diet and exercise.  The sodium in processed foods and junk foods can be lethal.  If you like red wine, I find that a glass of Cabernet in the evening helps some too.

Buy a home blood pressure monitor and keep a chart to monitor your progress.  Good luck!
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leroys73

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 11:41:34 AM »

Work is enough to give you high BP.  Since I retired mine is better.
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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 11:51:44 AM »

Mine is dangerously high, but they wouldn't tell me the numbers, because I wouldn't want to know.
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golden eagle

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 02:00:35 PM »

I appreciate everyone's concern. I don't really want to be on medication, but I'll do it if it's temporary. I'll ask about alternative remedies.

I mentioned about eating more fruits and vegetables. I've really been into avocados. I've never eaten one, except in the form of guacamole, until a week ago. Now, I'm almost addicted to them. It's one of the best foods you can have.
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US81

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 02:09:50 PM »

High BP is often called the "silent killer" because people are often asymptomatic until a catastrophic event - like  a stroke or heart attack - happens. Those numbers - 180/133 - are dangerously high and it is important to see a physician ASAP. That said, any one reading is not as important as a trend. Also, automated BP cuffs are pretty notorious for over-estimating BP.

You're on the right track with diet and exercise. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is effective for many people. Medication may be in your future, too.

Wishing you success in getting those numbers down.
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golden eagle

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 02:30:40 PM »

High BP is often called the "silent killer" because people are often asymptomatic until a catastrophic event - like  a stroke or heart attack - happens. Those numbers - 180/133 - are dangerously high and it is important to see a physician ASAP. That said, any one reading is not as important as a trend. Also, automated BP cuffs are pretty notorious for over-estimating BP.

You're on the right track with diet and exercise. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is effective for many people. Medication may be in your future, too.

Wishing you success in getting those numbers down.

It really is. I wasn't really feeling any real bad effects. I'm only 40 years old. I was a walking dead man; a ticking time bomb with one foot in the grave. Another thing to consider: I'm black. Hypertension is an epidemic among black Americans. About half of us have it. It's even more important that watch my sodium. It's recommended that I (along with anyone who's black, over 50, and/or already has HBP) should have no more than 1500mg per day, as opposed to 2400 for every one else.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 03:07:18 PM »

I don't have high blood pressure, but when I check it with a battery-powered drugstore cuff, it is usually closer to levels considered prehypertensive than I would like.  Therefore, I try to restrain sodium intake by fixing DASH-safe dishes (defined by me, not the NIH, as main course dishes that have no more than 20% of the daily sodium RDA) and not adding salt to my food.

There are many things that can cause blood pressure to be transiently higher, such as exercise or being very well-hydrated, so the standard advice is to establish a baseline blood pressure by using the same cuff at rest at a consistent time of day over a number of days.  I have never actually done this myself; I just act out of an abundance of caution.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2015, 03:11:51 PM »

To reiterate, cook your own food.  Not always possible, of course, but don't bring heat-and-eat anything into your home.  Keeping prepared food tasting good through industrial freezing, canning, or drying requires unfathomable amounts of sodium.  Cans of soup are terrible—I swore them off years ago.  Make your own and freeze it—even if you add salt, you won't approach the amount in a can.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2015, 03:31:04 PM »

To reiterate, cook your own food.  Not always possible, of course, but don't bring heat-and-eat anything into your home.  Keeping prepared food tasting good through industrial freezing, canning, or drying requires unfathomable amounts of sodium.  Cans of soup are terrible—I swore them off years ago.  Make your own and freeze it—even if you add salt, you won't approach the amount in a can.

There have been sodium reductions in a lot of pre-prepared foods (mixes and so on) as well as traditional junk foods to accommodate the sodium-conscious consumer.  As an example, the sodium content of whole packages of things like potato chips like Frito-Lays, snack crackers like Triscuits, etc. has gone down to about 60%-70% of the RDA.  Nowadays I would look more closely at foods traditionally marketed as healthy alternatives, including not just canned soups but also pre-prepared salsas, as stealth sources of sodium.  I make my own salsa (tomatoes, Fresno red chili peppers, and cilantro blenderized with lime juice added) because the amount of sodium in the ready-made fresh gourmet salsa sold at the supermarket is just unbelievable.

It is important to eat fresh food, especially vegetables whose bioavailability is at a maximum uncooked, and assess nutrition labeling by the proportion of the total package that is actually eaten in a sitting rather than whatever the stated serving size is.  I am not at all confident the serving size is regulated closely enough to prevent manufacturers from using artificially small serving sizes to obscure the impact of unhealthy food.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2015, 03:34:08 PM »

There have been sodium reductions in a lot of pre-prepared foods (mixes and so on) as well as traditional junk foods to accommodate the sodium-conscious consumer.  As an example, the sodium content of whole packages of things like potato chips like Frito-Lays, snack crackers like Triscuits, etc. has gone down to about 60%-70% of the RDA.  Nowadays I would look more closely at foods traditionally marketed as healthy alternatives, including not just canned soups but also pre-prepared salsas, as stealth sources of sodium.  I make my own salsa (tomatoes, Fresno red chili peppers, and cilantro blenderized with lime juice added) because the amount of sodium in the ready-made fresh gourmet salsa sold at the supermarket is just unbelievable.

It is important to eat fresh food, especially vegetables whose bioavailability is at a maximum uncooked, and assess nutrition labeling by the proportion of the total package that is actually eaten in a sitting rather than whatever the stated serving size is.  I am not at all confident the serving size is regulated closely enough to prevent manufacturers from using artificially small serving sizes to obscure the impact of unhealthy food.

Yes. Yes.
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cjk374

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2015, 04:25:00 PM »

I don't have high blood pressure, but when I check it with a battery-powered drugstore cuff, it is usually closer to levels considered prehypertensive than I would like.

I have always hated those battery operated things...they always show my bp at stroke levels.  My fiancee' had a manual bp checker before it broke.  Gotta get a new one.
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bugo

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2015, 04:48:53 PM »

I might have it.
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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2015, 05:56:14 PM »

I was actually very worried I had it starting recently (and it didn't seem too surprising, as I eat terrible - one time I had 5 sodas in one sitting, have literally purposefully exercised 1 or 2 times in the last several months, and due to various things, stress levels have been at an all-time high), as I was having several symptoms. But I went to the doctor recently (actually just a few days ago), and I found out I thankfully don't have it, though my blood pressure is a little on the high side. I'm actually not very overweight, but in the past several months I have gained tons of weight very fast, and am starting to push the borders of a healthy weight, especially since I have practically no muscle. Prayers are out to you golden eagle, and anyone else who has high blood pressure. A stroke or heart disease is indeed a very bad fate.
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golden eagle

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2015, 08:02:54 PM »

To everyone here who has it or thinks they have it and have not addressed it correctly, please do something. I buried my father last year and my mother last week both due to stroke complications. I finally dragged myself to the doctor last September and was put on medication to bring my BP down to normal levels. I go back tomorrow with more normal levels and 15 less pounds. I'm not bragging, I'm just throwing this out there in the event it helps someone else.

OMG! I'm so sorry to hear about you losing both parents. Though I have no children, as I stated earlier, I do have a nephew who's six. I want watch him play ball, graduate high school and college and do other big things in his life.
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hbelkins

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2015, 08:11:24 PM »

I do. Given my weight and size, plus my genetics (it runs on both sides of my family), that's not surprising.

Years ago (sometime in the late 1990s, when I still worked in Frankfort) I had an ear infection and went to the doctor, which was my first time going to a doctor since I was very young. My BP was high so the doctor put me on some medication for it. The only problem is, they like to do blood tests if you're on BP medication and I don't like blood tests because I don't like needles and I'm such a hard stick, so after a couple of years and running out of refills, I just quit going to the doctor.

Fast forward to a few years later, when I had another ear infection and had moved back to my hometown, and the doctor was the son of my childhood doctor and my grandfather's fishing buddy. They took my BP and were astonished at the numbers. They freaked out and gave me a pill to get it down immediately and they kept asking if I felt this way or that way. I didn't; except for the ear infection I felt fine. The doctor said given my lack of reaction to such a high BP, he'd know that if I ever did come in feeling sick, I was definitely sick and needed care.

Only symptoms I'd ever had were that three or four times a year, I'd wake up with a severe, splitting headache that just about incapacitated me. (Unfortunately, it happened to me once on a roadtrip, and had to stop twice to take hour-long naps on what would otherwise have been a 5.5-hour drive home.)

Thus began an adventure to get my medications regulated. Between my PCP and a nephrologist he referred me to, they tried all sorts of medicines, but the side effects were unacceptable. I got winded real easily and severely constipated, plus also had a lot of leg cramps. They finally found a combination of two meds that seem to work well, and my numbers regularly show up lower than 120/80.

Only problem is that they still have to do routine bloodwork, which I hate, and through that they discovered hypothyroidism and an elevated A1C level. Plus, my insurance is so bad now that I can't afford the bloodwork on the schedule they recommend. That's a direct result of the (un)Affordable Care Act, but that's not an acceptable topic for this board.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2015, 09:17:00 PM »


I was actually very worried I had it starting recently (and it didn't seem too surprising, as I eat terrible - one time I had 5 sodas in one sitting, have literally purposefully exercised 1 or 2 times in the last several months, and due to various things, stress levels have been at an all-time high), as I was having several symptoms. But I went to the doctor recently (actually just a few days ago), and I found out I thankfully don't have it, though my blood pressure is a little on the high side. I'm actually not very overweight, but in the past several months I have gained tons of weight very fast, and am starting to push the borders of a healthy weight, especially since I have practically no muscle. Prayers are out to you golden eagle, and anyone else who has high blood pressure. A stroke or heart disease is indeed a very bad fate.

Take a good long think about all the things you just wrote, and remember that now that you've laid it all out, you have a list of fixable problems.

I have lost a few diabetics.  It's not a happy road.  It ages you before your time, and makes every other condition worse.  You describe a road map to this.

The best, BEST part of taking good care of yourself is feeling better.  Moving lighter, easier, faster, with more energy.  It's hard to be good about it, but it's a more fulfilling addiction than soda. 

I am in alright shape, but at my best I ran a bunch, which was boring until I turned it into micro-roadgeeking.  I went down every street and took in every detail.  Suddenly it wasn't a chore. 

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adventurernumber1

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2015, 10:35:04 PM »

@Pete, yeah, I seriously need to change my habits or else something really bad is going to happen in the future.

Also, whenever I bike or run (when I do exercise, roughly the only things I do) I try to make the whole thing into a little driving simulator (the roads themselves are interstates, and the sidewalks are two-lane roads - my driveway is usually either a four-lane arterial with a center turn lane or an invisible median (visible in my imagination though of course) - and sometimes for even more variety I'll go as far as having the sidewalks parallel to the road be frontage roads, or even a bound of an interstate that has a wooded median). I am never allowed to leave my gated neighborhood walking or biking, so I can't really actually micro-roadgeek on the main roads, but I do what I can with the few roads and many sidewalks in my neighborhood  :-P

If it wasn't for what my crazy road-obsessed mind can come up with, exercise would be a crazily dull chore for me. Though with that motivation, I could've exercised a whole lot more in the past several months (last year I biked and/or walked at least a good bit every week), but I haven't due to my poor diet that keeps me weak and sucks out my endurance, as well as it being cold (but of course that's only been an obstacle the past few months), and for other reasons. I hope once spring comes around I can get back on track with the exercise. I could also cut it down with the fried food galore, insane portions of sweets, and definitely the soda. I love plenty of healthy stuff like salads (if done right), it's just I cant get enough of the unhealthy stuff.
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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2015, 10:37:03 PM »

My mom has high blood pressure and my dad has high cholesterol. I don't know if it runs through genetics though. I go to the gym regularly and (kind of) try to eat healthy.

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 11:01:21 PM »


@Pete, yeah, I seriously need to change my habits or else something really bad is going to happen in the future.

Also, whenever I bike or run (when I do exercise, roughly the only things I do) I try to make the whole thing into a little driving simulator (the roads themselves are interstates, and the sidewalks are two-lane roads - my driveway is usually either a four-lane arterial with a center turn lane or an invisible median (visible in my imagination though of course) - and sometimes for even more variety I'll go as far as having the sidewalks parallel to the road be frontage roads, or even a bound of an interstate that has a wooded median). I am never allowed to leave my gated neighborhood walking or biking, so I can't really actually micro-roadgeek on the main roads, but I do what I can with the few roads and many sidewalks in my neighborhood  :-P

If it wasn't for what my crazy road-obsessed mind can come up with, exercise would be a crazily dull chore for me. Though with that motivation, I could've exercised a whole lot more in the past several months (last year I biked and/or walked at least a good bit every week), but I haven't due to my poor diet that keeps me weak and sucks out my endurance, as well as it being cold (but of course that's only been an obstacle the past few months), and for other reasons. I hope once spring comes around I can get back on track with the exercise. I could also cut it down with the fried food galore, insane portions of sweets, and definitely the soda. I love plenty of healthy stuff like salads (if done right), it's just I cant get enough of the unhealthy stuff.

Well, you're saying all the right things, and that's the first step.  As silly as they are, I started doing (badly at first) local 5ks and they really made the whole chore into a periodic party.  Great for building mental momentum.

Just keep focusing on the stuff you're talking about.  The weather's gonna turn soon and it's a fun time to start getting out.  You'll be fine. 

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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 11:02:46 PM »

180/133??  Wow, I have hypertension and my diastolic I don't think has ever been that high.

Hope you get that under control.
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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2015, 11:05:08 PM »

I am on several different meds including a beta blocker.  Since I have started eating more at home, my weight, and hopefully my BP, will be under control next time I go to the doctor.

 My wife has been an angel for trying to watch my dietary needs.  She's not a roadgeek, but I just sit there and make observations in my head as we go somewhere.
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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2015, 11:50:46 PM »

Somehow, with my lack of exercise, horrible diet, and other bad lifestyle choices, I have extremely good blood pressure (can't remember the exact numbers...). I know, I should probably change the bad things before that comes around and bites me in the ass.
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Re: Who has high blood pressure?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2015, 05:15:47 PM »

Wow NE 2 is in good health?  I would figure with his short fuse that he would definitely have it over anyone I know and at risk for that "big one."
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