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PT docs—high blood pressure?
Old 03-06-2018, 01:21 PM
  #1

For several years,my bp has been around 140/90. Doctor said it was no reason for concern, probably just “white coat syndrome”.

Recently I have been to doctor and hospital for various things—a diagnostic mammo (not a routine annual), a colonoscopy, etc..Last 3 times it has been around 155/80. No one has said to do anything about it, but I was being seen for other things at the time. I am starting to be concerned.

Before I make a federal case out of it and go to the doctor again...what are some tried and true ways to bring it down? So far I have thought of a few:

-Lose a few pounds...(I am 5 foot 2 and weigh about 150, so I could lose 10 lbs and be a better weight)

-Cut back on salt. Lately I have been salting the food I cook more liberally (according to recipe directions, but more than I used to use)...so I could go back to rarely using salt when I cook.

-More fruits & veggies in my diet. I do eat lots already, but I tend to snack on bread and cheese, so I could eat fruit and veg for snacks instead.

-Stress may be a factor, but not sure I can avoid it right now...

I already exercise at least an hour each day (aquafit, yoga, and/or walking). I generally eat good food—whole grains, not much meat, etc. My cholesterol numbers are excellent (I don’t recall the exact numbers, but I remember the dr being impressed).

Other things I can do? Things that have worked for you? Supplements? (Nothing really wacky, please).

How will I know if my plan is working? (Short of making another appt with the doc, that is...). I used to go to the school nurse for stuff like this, but I am retired now...


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Old 03-06-2018, 01:36 PM
  #2

Plenty of sleep every night
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:46 PM
  #3

My doc has me monitor my blood pressure daily with a home device. Then you can see what's happening without the "white coat" influence.

Would you consider meditation? I think there are some studies about its benefits.

Listen to calming music. Lots on YouTube.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:02 PM
  #4

Before I'm seen by my doctor, I do a lot of deep breathing. Breathe in a much as possible. Hold it for count of 5 - 8. Exhale as much as possible. Repeat.

I do this while getting ready, in the car, and in the waiting room. Seems to help me.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:03 PM
  #5

I have high blood pressure even though I exercise nearly every day, am within an good weight range, and eat a pretty healthy diet. My doctor knows it frustrates me that I have high blood pressure. She has said that it is genetic. So I take a low dose blood pressure medicine ( lisinopril). It keeps it within a normal range. Everything I have always read says to lose weight and exercise to lower it. Sounds like you are doing what you can—- and that white coat syndrome is real!!


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Old 03-06-2018, 02:07 PM
  #6

I also have some issues with blood pressure, so I was interested to read an article recently that suggests increasing potassium intake.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifest...214-story.html
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:15 PM
  #7

I second the daily BP pressure routine at home.

I was in a similar situation a couple summers ago. Bought a home BP system and monitored.

Home BP systems may not be calibrated as well as the doctor's, but it does give you a record. Similar to how your weight is different on your scale compared the doctor's. Just keep a running record, and you will see an authentic pattern.

I bought the arm one, but it was difficult for me to get properly in place. I would suggest the wrist one.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:25 PM
  #8

For years the doctor would take my blood pressure and say white coat syndrome. Then after I retired, and lost weight, and started exercising, it crept up. So I started a low dose med.

All was fine for a couple of years and pressure numbers started increasing again.
Doctor suggested I get a home monitor and keep track for a couple of weeks. She thought it would be lower at home. But it was not. It was actually higher. I have white coat syndrome in reverse. Added another med and now it's fine.

Monitors are cheap and an easy way to check your pressure. Many monitors even hold a number of readings so you can easily track it. If you are uncertain if you are using it correctly most senior centers have blood pressure clinics and the nurse will show you how to use it correctly.

TAOEP mentioned potassium. Your last lab blood work from your doctor might list a potassium level. If it's on the low side you could add some food high in potassium to your diet.
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I think someone already suggested
Old 03-06-2018, 03:11 PM
  #9

getting a blood pressure monitor and monitor your pressure at different times during the day and night. Maybe you are just having a raised bp during visits to the drs and during stressful procedures.
Don't be afraid to go on meds. There are a lot of different ones out there and most are highly successful and have very little side effects.
I had a huge kidney stone and because it was stuck in the kidney and didn't move I had no pain with it. My bp spiked off the chart. I thought after it was removed my bp would go back to normal but when I mentioned it to my doctor he said it just wouldn't. I have been on meds. I have had normal bp ever since.
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Another place to check your BP
Old 03-06-2018, 03:28 PM
  #10

Another place to check your BP would be in the pharmacy section of your grocery store. If you grocery shop there once a week, you could just swing by the pharmacy section if they have a free blood pressure check machine.... that's if you only need to check it once a week!


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Blood pressure
Old 03-06-2018, 03:46 PM
  #11

sounds like you are doing the right things

My doctors always take a second blood pressure after I have been in the office, settled, and talking to them. It is usually lower on the second read.

I take my small home meter to the doctors office. Right after there reading I use mine so I have an idea if the reading is similar.

Watch for hidden sodium in foods. Chinese, diet soda, celery can be high. Do you have a water softener? how does your town purify water?

Some OTC medications can raise blood pressure.
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hbp
Old 03-06-2018, 04:01 PM
  #12

Your ideas to improve your blood pressure are great as well as the PP.

Your dr. will watch to see if your blood pressure is high on three different visits. These could be an ER visit, a regular wellness, coming in for a flu shoot. If they all show the figures you mentioned, the dr. should suggest trying a bp medication, starting with a low dose and then scheduling you to return in a month to check on you.

I've read that magnesium and flax seeds are good to help with bp.

Good luck, let us know how I it goes!
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:22 PM
  #13

Thank you all for the great information! I was surprised at how inexpensive the home bp monitors are...I think I will get one and start keeping some data.

I do have good sleep hygiene...that is not a problem.

I rarely—almost never—have Chinese food or diet soda. In fact, I eat very little processed food. I bake my own bread, eat home canned tomatoes (no salt), make my own broth for soups and sauces. So I shouldn’t have much hidden sodium in my food.

I will check on the sodium levels in town water. We do not have a softener.

I would like to avoid taking another med. I take several for my arthritis, plus some supplements. So if I can control it without meds, that would be best.

I do meditate, and I practice breathing exercises regularly...but maybe not at the doctor’s office. So I will try that, too.

Lots of good ideas here!
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Swim
Old 03-06-2018, 04:43 PM
  #14

My blood pressure gets as high as 140 over 80 during the school year. In the summer, though, I try to swim a little bit every day, and my BP will run about 120 over 55, or sometimes even lower. Could be because there's less stress in the summer, or it could be the swimming.
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Please get this addressed!
Old 03-06-2018, 05:51 PM
  #15

A teacher in our district had high blood pressure (don’t know her numbers) and had a stroke at 45 last weekend.

I’m not saying that would happen to you but your health is #1 important!
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:08 PM
  #16

I am guessing that based on your life circumstances right now yours is mostly related to stress and anxiety. I think the exercise is great! That is helpful both physically and mentally. Do you have a prayer/devotional time each day? Can you break away for things like a pedicure now and then? If that doesn't help you might want to speak with your doctor about medication. Something like a low dose water pill might be very helpful and there are few if any side effects (as long as your kidneys are healthy). Something for anxiety might also help. My BP has improved since I started taking Lexapro.

(((HUGS)))

Nancy
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:51 PM
  #17

Many great ideas so far. Other things that are supposed to help: squeezing a small rubber or tennis ball for a few minutes each day, adding Ceylon cinnamon to your diet, and drinking beet juice.
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Cuff
Old 03-07-2018, 02:26 PM
  #18

My doctor usually takes it again a few minutes later.

My husband was told to ask for a larger cuff than the basic on in the exam room...they had one. Pressure went down. They know to use it now.
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