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Controlling high blood pressure through lifestyle

Discussion in 'Singles (Only*)' started by Ukrainia, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Ukrainia

    Ukrainia Guest

    +0
    I’m a relatively young guy. I work out more days than not (both aerobically and weights), look quite fit and athletic, and this is something that’s been consistent throughout my life. I try to eat fruits and vegetables when I have the opportunity, and generally take my health seriously. On the other hand, eating healthily is relatively new for me and for most of my life I’ve had little concern for what I take in be it salty snacks, sodas, fast food, and all types of meat products. That said, it hasn’t been worse than the diet of the typical young American, and by most metrics I’m a healthy guy.

    So it’s been a disappointing trend that my systolic blood pressure (arguably the more important of the two) is high. Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day and with exercise, so one or two high readings may not be representative of one’s average resting blood pressure. But I’ve consistently been measured in the mid 140’s range over the past few years, so I think I can say I do have high blood pressure. I haven’t been clinically diagnosed with it, however (my blood pressure is taken at the local blood center, before I donate). High blood pressure may be asymptomatic, but that’s only until it’s not. If you have it long enough, strokes, heart disease and kidney disease may all result. Due to my age and family history, I’m sure I don’t have genetics in my favor, but like so many things blood pressure is a product of both nature and nurture.

    So over the next few months I’ve going to try to exercise a bit more than I already do, try to lose about 10 lbs, control my salt intake, and just in general eat a better diet. It would be really nice to control it by lifestyle rather than medication.

    Anyway, I know hypertension is very common so it might be interesting to hear from people who have it and what has and hasn’t worked when trying to control it.
     
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  2. Somber

    Somber ❈✿❈

    +3,334
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    I've read that people who eat a lot of fresh parsley have low blood pressure. I think something in the parsley is good for that. :) Also, I think I read somewhere that garlic is really good for lowering blood pressure.

    Maureen Kennedy Salaman has some really good books on nutrition and natural healing.
     
  3. PinkSweetart

    PinkSweetart Robots and rainbows, magic and mischief! ;)

    +2,292
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    My dad had high blood pressure and has been trying to find all kinds of natural stuff to take to help. I'm not sure on everything he has done, but they have worked. :)

    One, he cut down on sodas and drinks black tea (I'm not sure that helps... he mainly just wanted to cut down on the sugar) he's also taking Cinnamon pills. I know there are two types though... one that thins the blood and one that's good at regulating your blood sugar. I'm not sure which is which though, sorry. He takes the one that's good for your blood sugar.

    He's also eating a lot of oatmeal for breakfast and avoids eggs as much as he can. He also takes Milk Thistle for his liver because his HBP could have caused liver damage (which the doctor said he had). And then also, Hawthorn Berries for his heart.

    My dad had really high blood pressure and we were all worried for him, but thankfully with tons of prayer and research on natural things that could help, his blood pressure went down to a more normal number.

    I hope some of this helps... I don't know exactly what else he has been taking but it's all been natural. My dad didn't want to be given harsh medications that could end up making him sicker. So yeah, what he's been doing has seemed to help. :)
     
  4. Saucy

    Saucy Fear is faith in the enemy. Supporter

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    I think it's mostly based on genetics. I know people who are really fit, run marathons and eat right have heart attacks. And then there are those who are overweight and eat junk and have perfect BP and cholesterol. When I was a lot bigger and I was staying with my aunt, she insisted that there had to be something medically wrong with me, so she took me the doctor and ran all kinds of tests and couldn't find anything at all wrong. He said I was a smaller person living in a larger person's body.

    Now that I've lost 200 pounds, I'm a lot better than I was, of course, but I've always been healthy in that regard. My sister, who is skinny as a rail and 5 years older than me, is a nurse and is on her feet hours a day has BP problems. How is that possible?
     
  5. Living in the Light

    Living in the Light How may I be a better Christian?

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    Have you tried meditation and trying to reduce the stress in your life? Most Americans don't believe in relaxation.
     
  6. Miss Spaulding

    Miss Spaulding Virtus semper viridis

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    It's the cinnamon that he's taking that helps with the blood sugar. I know, I take cinnamon myself. I think it's fantastic that your dad is trying a natural, alternative way of controlling the health issues he has. It's so much healthier for you. ...Anyway, I think that's great that you've taken your BP and overall health seriously have made an effort by exercising and having a healthier diet.

    Got this from a website just now:


    Natural remedies as high blood pressure treatment

    -Eat more fruits and vegetables -- preferably fresh and organic. Eat a variety of vegetables, not just the same tomatoes and salads. -Studies show consuming berries lowers BP.
    -Eat more garlic since garlic could lower blood pressure.
    -Consume garlic or take garlic pills. There are compounds in this root that lower BP.
    -Avoid a high fructose intake which would include drinking more than a few ounces of fruit juice at any one time. A diet high in the sugar fructose raises blood pressure. A sweetener known as high-fructose corn syrup has been widely used in sodas and processed foods since the 1980s, and some researchers have blamed this trend at least in part for the concurrent rise in obesity and diabetes.
    -Eating more whole grains is helpful in lowering high blood pressure. Reduce or avoid white bread and processed grains. The fiber and other nutrients in whole grains also help lower cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as improve blood vessel functioning and reduce inflammation in the circulatory system.
    -Reduce salt intake, People with hypertension that isn't controlled by multiple medications are likely eating too much salt. People with so-called resistant hypertension have sharp reductions in their blood pressure when they dramatically reduce their salt intake.
    -Try to shed some pounds.
    -Learn how to sleep better and deeper. Consider the occasional use of Good Night Rx if you have trouble sleeping (I'd take melatonin instead. It's natural. Melatonin is what your brain produces at night to help get sleepy and eventually fall asleep. It works for me, so I definitely recommend it). Lack of adequate sleep can cause or contribute to high blood pressure. Afternoon naps appear to help lower blood pressure, a beneficial effect that does not occur with resting but remaining awake for the same period of time.
    -Reduce alcohol intake. Regular drinking is known to raise blood pressure in some people. Unlike younger men, men in their 50s who drink even moderate amounts of alcohol generally have higher blood pressure than non-drinkers. Among men in their 20s, only heavy drinkers show elevated blood pressure.
    -Reduce or stop smoking. Smoking constricts blood vessels.
    -Try to have less stress in your daily life. (Easier said then done, huh?)
    -Reduce fat intake, such as meats, lard, bacon, hydrogenated oils -- fats found in fish are good.
    -Reduce caffeine-intake -- skip that second cup of coffee, substitute caffeine-free herbal drinks, limit herbal teas with caffeine to one or two cups.
    -Exercise, walk at least one mile per day.
    -Drink more water.
    -Drink soy milk and reduce intake of regular milk (Milk is terrible for you, period. I'd cut it out completely and switch to Almond milk, or at the very least raw milk, if you can find a supplier anywhere).
    -Enjoying small amounts of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate daily appears to lower blood pressure.
     
  7. .Iona.

    .Iona. I love Jesus!

    +609
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    I second what people have mentioned here, and what you have too.

    There was some research I read about a couple of years ago that says beetroot juice lowers BP. If you like beetroot, that could be worth a go.
     
  8. K9_Trainer

    K9_Trainer Unusually unusual, absolutely unpredictable

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    Eh, you can take all the natural supplements and whatnot, I certainly do not question that they work.

    But I would still make changing your diet a primary focus. High salt/fat/sugar diets affect more than just your blood pressure, it overworks your pancreas, it can cause high cholesterol, which can cause heart problems. Taking a medication or an herb to target a specific symptom is fine, but it really address any possible root problems unless your BP is naturally/genetically high.

    Also, stress/anxiety can affect BP as well.
     
  9. Ukrainia

    Ukrainia Guest

    +0
    I've heard weightlifting also raises blood pressure - possibly quite a bit. But that's not something I'm considering quiting now. First off, I don't lift much. Once a week usually, twice a week max so I doubt there would be much change. Secondly, I think the long term benefits of lifting outweigh a little higher blood pressure. Third, I'm sure any beneficial change in diet will have a much greater impact anyways, and that's what I want to focus on.

    Edit: Apparently, it's just starting to weight lift that raises blood pressure. Over time weight lifting probably lowers blood pressure. I sort of think the jury is still out on the effects of weight lifting on blood pressure. Definitely don't want to scare anyone away from it, as overall it's a healthy activity.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2012
  10. SnowyMacie

    SnowyMacie Well-Known Member

    +5,932
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    That's the way my family is, I have to get a blood tests yearly to make sure I don't have high cholesterol.
     
  11. Toro

    Toro Oh, Hello!

    +12,162
    Christian
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    Wow and you are so young. I don't even do that I got almost 13 years on you.^_^

    Not to mention a diet that is probably 30 times worse than yours.... I love dead cow.:D

    Oh and there are pills you can take (supplements) that will help to naturally lower the bad cholesterol, you dont need to buy into the lipitor or whatever that stuff is they tr to sell that leads to bleeding toe nails or whatever other un Godly side effects they say so fast.
     
  12. SnowyMacie

    SnowyMacie Well-Known Member

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    I'm at high risk for it because my three of my grandparents have it, and my dad has it. I don't eat super healthy, and I don't consider my diet extremely unhealthy either, but because its so strong in my genes it is highly recommended. My family is very athletic, it's not our diet, it's our genes.
     
  13. Toro

    Toro Oh, Hello!

    +12,162
    Christian
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    Ahhhh, that makes sense.

    The only health exam I worry about is the oscopy..... cameras going where?! :eek: :nono:

    I do need to watch myself though, I know I am probably a heart attack waiting to happen.
     
  14. Miss Spaulding

    Miss Spaulding Virtus semper viridis

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    Quite true. However...a better diet 'will' help. And there a great supplements that help in such a case as cholesterol. I hate to hear someone says that because such-such they suffer from is genetic, then they figure it's hopeless and that doing nothing about or taking medications (*shudders*) is the only answer. Definitely 'not' true.

    But anyway! That's all up to you. You're an adult and can certainly choose whatever way you feel is best in handling your cholesterol.

    Yeah, don't quit your weightlifting. 1-2 times a week isn't going to do you any harm.
     
  15. Ukrainia

    Ukrainia Guest

    +0
    I think your last two sentences conflict with each other. If it was all in your genes and had nothing to do with diet, eating a healthy diet would be irrelevent. But things are more nuanced than that. Diet affects how some genes are expressed (are they making a lot of a certain protein, or not so much).

    Here's an interesting post on what is quickly becoming my favorite blog:
    Sweat Science » Good diet trumps genetic risk of heart disease

    It breaks down a scientific paper looking at the correlation between eating lots of vegietables and risk of heart attack, among people with various genetic risk factors for heart disease.

    So to breakdown the breakdown, among people who did not eat many vegetables, people who had genetic risk factors for heart disease were much more likely to have a heart attack than those without the bad genes. However, among people who did eat lots of vegies, those who had the genetic risk factors for heart disease almost had the same (very small) chance of a heart attack as those without the genetic varients associated with heart disease.

    At least for the genes studied in this instance, lifestyle choices play a huge role in how much the genes impact one's life.

    The moral of the study is that even if you have gene varients associated with disease, it pays to be healthy.
     
  16. SweetAvenue

    SweetAvenue Junior Member

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    Do you have any pets? I've heard that spending time with animals, especially cats can help with that. I don't know if there's any science behind it. I've just heard that.
     
  17. SnowyMacie

    SnowyMacie Well-Known Member

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    I was replying to Toro explaining that it was my genetics that put me at risk not my diet. I never said the diet doesn't matter.
     
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