Thursday, October 17, 2013

How a man with partial high blood pressure may fix it with no drugs....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-17-2013

Elevated blood pressure can harm your health. And it very definitely IS important to lower it if you can AND take steps to protect yourself from the heart attacks and strokes it can help cause.

But what is far less known is that if it’s above 160 over 100 almost all the time it’s important initially to bring it down with drugs even though they usually have unpleasant side effects.

However what is even less known than that is that below 160 over 100, drugs are not needed if you do the things you should be doing to lower it and protect yourself from the heart attacks and strokes it can help cause.

Specifically, when it was tested, the Cochane group found that people who built up to vigorous exercises, ideally slow motion strength training and short bursts of intense cardio most days of every week from that alone people were protected from strokes and heart attacks as well as people who took drugs for high blood pressure.  (One to three sessions both of slow motion strength training and as few as two or three sessions of burst cardio every week is protective.)

When they took a group of people doing such exercises and added the drugs, there was zero, repeat, zero additional effect.

In addition to that, you can stop ingesting the foods and drinks that cause strokes and heart attacks and obesity and eat real foods, mostly organic vegetables, with some health OK protein foods and extra virgin olive oil and other foods with monosaturated oil.  You can cut back some on sodium salt and other kinds of sodium replacing them with herbs and spices and a smaller amount of sea salt and or magnesium chloride instead.

When people stop the bad stuff, soft drinks and diet soft drinks and packaged foods and junk foods, and eat these extra vegetable versions of the DASH II and Mediterranean diets their blood pressure goes down; often they become less fat; and their risk of strokes and heart attacks goes down fast!

Lastly, it will help both lower their blood pressure and prevent strokes and heart attacks to stay 100 % away from tobacco smoke.  Exposure to tobacco smoke causes plaque and heart disease with EVERY SINGLE EXPOSURE.  After this builds up, it causes high blood pressure.  But even worse than that, tobacco smoke exposure triggers heart attacks in people who otherwise would have avoided them.

The maker of the Resparate breathing device FDA approved to lower high blood pressure writes an answer column.

(This device or Tai Chi or for some people yoga, enables people to get physical stress relief with daily use or 5 or 6 days a week.  And this is in addition to the improvements from drugs or the set of things I just listed!)

A man wrote in with this:

“My blood pressure spikes a lot, i.e. I have 155/94 at 5 AM in the morning, go out for a 3 miles run and my blood pressure goes down to 133/83. I am not on any medication and don’t want to take any medications. I don’t eat any meat but do eat fish. I eat very healthy, barely anything with white flour, try to cut sugar, exercise 5 times per week, 3x running (training for a 1/2 marathon) 2x gym but my blood pressure still jumps. Any idea what can cause the spikes especially the diastolic number sometimes is much higher?”

Their woman answering lady doctor suggested the Resparate.  Although this was an appropriate reply noting that she and others have found that using it keeps them from developing higher blood pressure as they get older.

But I think it could be far more complete.

If 24 hour testing shows that for much of the morning just before and after he wakes up is that high, I think he would do well to do far more.

He still seems to have some white flour.  Some sugar is OK; but foods made with white, refined flour are not really.  They cause blood sugar issues and that often causes high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  And he may be eating twice the maximum amount of sugar or more.  He also may not yet be eating enough vegetables or have stopped soft drinks and other harmful foods as much as he thinks he has.

He may not be working hard enough on strength training in the gym.  And he may be running long enough at steady state speeds to harm his heart.  He should find out how to have that checked and do it.  (It’s a recent discovery that such endurance exercise strains your heart.)

The fact that he is waking with this may mean that he has loud noises at night that do not wake him but cause sudden stress to his body at that time of night.

Worse, it may mean he has sleep apnea.  The EOS group in San Francisco knows how to evaluate for that and can fix it for most people without the cumbersome all night breathing mask.  If he DOES have sleep apnea, it is essential that he fix it because it both causes his blood pressure to be elevated AND his risk of heart attack and stroke to go up directly too!

Next there are medical conditions besides sleep apnea that can cause such patterns of high blood pressure.  People who have them can often be cured and have the problem go away.  But to find out, he needs to see a hypertension specialist who knows what to check for and how.

Lastly, if none of these fixes works or is needed or both, but this persists or gets worse to above 160 over 100, taking a modest dose of a calcium channel blocker is known to lower this kind of high morning blood pressure if you take your dose the night before.

That may help him.  And between the other things and taking it at night and the low dose, he might be able to take it with little daytime side effects other than feeling better rested and more awake.

But I suspect if he addresses these other things, he’ll not need it.

That’s what the information I’ve read suggests strongly to me.  But since in his case there are some potential medical problems involved to cause it, besides doing some of these other things that are almost always protective, he should get the opinion of a hypertension specialist to have it evaluated too.  

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