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Old 01-26-2005, 06:52 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Right here
Posts: 18,134
Tell me how you control your hypertension.

I just got yelled at by a surgeon about my "uncontrolled hypertension". I'm on medication, stopped drinking AND smoking. My doctor wants me to buy a cuff so that I can take my pressure every day to help control it. I'm still trying to figure out how that would help. Knowing it doesn't change it.

1 in 4 Americans have hypertension, if all the pamphlets are to be believed, so that means there's gotta be more than a couple here with it. I'd like to know how you've managed and controlled-- or not controlled-- your blood pressure.
Old 01-26-2005, 07:10 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 19,207
What are your readings? Mine went down with regular exercise, stress reduction and weight loss.

I used to be 290-302 lbs with alot of pent up emotions and I didn't exercise regularly. My readings were around 160-170/90-110. However now I exercise 4-5x a week, I am 259 lbs and I have dealt with alot of the pent up emotions. My readings are now about 120-140/80. My diastolic is almost always 80, but my systolic varies by 20-30 points from one day to the next, one day it'll be 119, the next it'll be 145.

My resting pulse is still high though. It used to be about 100, now its about 85-90 even though I exercise regularly. I have no idea why.
Old 01-26-2005, 07:41 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Right here
Posts: 18,134
My doc worries a little because it fluctuates wildly. The first and surprising 245/125 put me in the hospital. That was around a year ago. Since then it's been as low as 120/90-- and every other point in between. Up, down WAAAAAY up, down, down, up. . .

I've rejoined Weight Watchers after 2 years. The surgeon is for my knees, which I wrecked 2 years ago. I think he's pissed because he can't do his thing while my blood pressure climbs up and down.
Old 01-26-2005, 08:54 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 26,064
Assuming one has primary hypertension (other causes like kidney, thyroid disease etc. having been ruled out by a doc), I tell my patients to lose weight, exercise more, and cut back on salt. If pressures are still too high despite the patient following/ignoring that recommendation, I generally start the person on a thiazide diuretic, and see what happens.

Next, I'll either go to an ACE inhibitor, a Beta-blocker, or a Calcium channel blocker, depending on clinical circumstances. Each med will generally get pushed near it's maximum common dose before I'll add another med. If the 4 types of drugs outlined above don't do it, I'll go to an alpha-blocker like clonidine. If being on those 5 blood pressure meds doesn't do it, I'll generally send them to a cardiologist.

Personally, my BP is controlled by my doc with two meds and regular exercise. Without the exercise, it used to take 3 meds, and it wasn't controlled very well. Exercise means pedalling a stationary bike for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
Old 01-26-2005, 10:07 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
Posts: 48,869
I would suggest meditation for a virtually risk-free, non-invasive addition to your existing treatment. Us North Americans don't seem to have any idea how to release stress, so we turn it into high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety, depression, etc, etc.
Old 01-26-2005, 11:10 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 76,213
What about caffeine? I was advised to cut down on my (admittedly high) daily caffeine intake.
Old 01-26-2005, 11:16 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 11,261
While it was a staple for decades, I dropped the salt shaker completely. I haven't stopped drinking, but I have cut my smoking by a huge amount by not taking cigarettes to work anymore, this now being the regimen for almost 2 years. Thus, I've become accustomed to going without for 10 hours or so, and I smoke far fewer cigarettes during my OK-to-smoke time.

My doc tells me that aerobic exercise is important, so I walk ~2 miles a day (~30 minutes) at a brisk pace. I've also cut out most fried foods, but I'll admit my diet is in flux as I'm not sure I'm getting all that I need.

I take Inderal (propranalol), and I also take my BP at the office, with an automated cuff. I don't know where I fit on the profile of those with hypertension. I'm 5'11" and 155#. My last BP reading with a physician was 197/140, but when I take it myself, I'm usually around 117/66 in the morning and around 155/90 in the afternoon.

While my doc won't ascribe any significance to it, I suspect that me rather pronounced ET (Essential Tremor) is a contributor.

Anyway, you know the drill about getting medical advice on a message board. Good luck with it.
Old 01-27-2005, 11:04 AM
BobbySuezQ BobbySuezQ is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 231
I had high blood pressure for a short period of time. I had gained 40 pounds from a medication that had been given to me and suddenly found my self in the Doctor's office with the effects of high blood pressure.

Exercising and losing the extra weight got me off all medications. With as little as a 10 pound loss my medication was greatly reduced. While I was taking the medication my Doctor had be take my own BP several times through out the day and log it. It helped him come up with the best combination of medicines for me. It took trying a few different ones before we landed on something that worked best for me. So IMHO, using a cuff to monitor your BP at home, does do some good if the Doctor is planning to take a look at it.
I don't drive too fast, you just look too slow.
Old 01-27-2005, 11:13 AM
LindyHopper LindyHopper is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 1,861
I'm on medication now (Atenolol--a beta-blocker, but a light dose [25 mg/day]), and my highest BP before medication was 190/110. In addition to medication, I've reduced my drinking, reduced my fat intake (some; that's the hard part), and I've almost stopped adding extra salt to my food at the table. I still need to exercise more than I do, but my BP has dropped to around 130/85, so my doctor's happy, and I'm pretty pleased myself.
Old 01-27-2005, 11:26 AM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 15,764
Beyond "giving up salt", really research how much sodium you're consuming--it's probably a whole lot more than you realize. Read labels (that'll be a real eye-opener). Cook more for yourself and eat fewer canned/frozen/processed foods (and eat out less). Go to alternative grocery stores like Whole Foods that carry staples with no-salt-added options that you'll never find at Safeway. I keep mine under 2000mg a day and, along with diet, exercise, and medication, am keeping my HBP under control.


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