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High BP resolved !

Old 12-17-19, 11:56 AM
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bruce19
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High BP resolved !

Consider this a PSA. For the past couple years I have been beset by high BP. I was prescribed medication and it almost killed me. Then a friend, and ND, suggested I try beet juice. I was skeptical but desperate so I tried it. And, it helped quite a bit. But, about a month ago I took my BP first thing in the morning before drinking the beet juice. It was 170/110. I had basically given up alcohol but it didn't seem to have much effect. I decided my next step would be to give up coffee. Now there is no question that I have been a coffee addict. Black and about 6-8 cups a day. So I switched to decaf and reduced intake. My BP dropped almost immediately and for the past 3 weeks my high was 140/90 and my lowest 117/73. This past week it's been consistently normal with this morning being 123/80. So there it is, something to consider if you have high BP and are a coffee drinker. Looking forward to see if it has an effect on the bike. Especially since I cut out alcohol.
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Old 12-17-19, 12:02 PM
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congrats man. cutting out coffee is tough
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Old 12-17-19, 07:06 PM
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Dropping 30 pounds help get my BP down to normal. Different for everyone. Some it's salt. Some it's alcohol. Exercise helps. For others it's genetic and there ain't nothing except meds works.
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Old 12-17-19, 08:48 PM
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My BP is all over the place. This year it's ranged from a low of around 80/50 immediately after a hard workout to nearly 200/90 while just resting. I don't worry about the spikes unless it persists for awhile. So far it usually drops to 160/90 or lower within 15 minutes. On good days it's around 120/70 or lower. At the moment it's 133/76, HR 65, and I've been resting all day -- but I've been at the PC a lot and if my posture slumps it affects my BP. Pretty typical.

Best my doctors can figure it's due to an old cervical vertebrae injury pinching a nerve. I'm due for more diagnostics soon. My C1 and C2 were broken in a 2001 wreck (my compact car was t-boned by a full size SUV that ran a light at highway speed). Took several years to recover. I resumed cycling in 2015 and was doing pretty well but during a ride I was hit by a car last year, re-injuring the neck.

Oddly, I'm more comfortable now on my drop bar road bikes than on my hybrids. So the neck alignment appears to suit me better on the road bikes. And it affects my BP as well. So I'll need to tweak my hybrid fit again and see what works. My road bike fit is more aggressive now than it was a few years ago, with the handlebar/stem lower, but not as aggressive as current racers. It's closer to the typical 1960s race bike fit, a little more stretched out, around 2"-4" below saddle height.

Massage, stretching, gentle traction from a soft neck brace, and physical therapy help a bit. Very careful traction and massage from a good PT or chiropractor help, but there are few people I'll trust to touch my neck. A hamfisted chiropractor nearly put me in the hospital earlier this year, even after we'd specifically discussed the cervical vertebrae damage and risks. Jerk. My BP and HR still vary a lot.

There's some effect from coffee and Sudafed. I also have chronic and often painful sinus congestion and headaches, and asthma. Nothing works except pseudo-ephedrine and ephedrine. I'm also waiting for an ENT referral to see if there's anything else that can be done.

But cutting back on caffeine (one or two cups of coffee a day), decongestants, etc., haven't made much difference.

I try every supplement that's reportedly useful for controlling BP: beet root, niacin, l-arginine, etc., especially stuff that encourages the body to produce nitric oxide during exercise. Nothing helps consistently with BP, although it does seem to help with my energy and ability to work out harder during intervals and endurance rides.

Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, metoprolol and similar meds can help a bit but I hate to take them. They sap my energy. I'll take them on days when my BP stays above 160/90, but not daily.
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Old 12-17-19, 10:01 PM
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As listed above there are a number of factors that can influience blood pressure. Two other things are refined sugar consummption and chemicals in the diet.
A keto or low carb diet will help lower BP in most people.
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Old 12-22-19, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
As listed above there are a number of factors that can influience blood pressure. Two other things are refined sugar consummption and chemicals in the diet.
A keto or low carb diet will help lower BP in most people.
I've tried to limit all the things you mentioned. The only thing that made a difference was coffee. I definitely agree that it's kind of an individual thing. For me it was coffee. I cut out all alcohol and it did nothing.
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Old 12-22-19, 08:57 AM
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I did the beet juice thing for a few months and ended up with kidney stones. Yeah, I was probably already heading in that direction but beets are high in oxalates so having a bunch of it almost certainly contributed. I've done a lot of different things trying to get the BP down: low salt, red wine, no caffeine, etc, etc until I finally gave up and went the meds route. It's done some good but still hasn't put me in the best range.

An increase in one of the meds back before sept did a number on me and the circulation in my legs still doesn't feel right a few months later. I have been running for years and was having my best ever year before that med increase (averaging 172 miles per month this year). Since then I've been recovering very poorly from my runs and my legs feel all beat up. I did switch things back to the old meds. Now I've got an appointment with a dietician and I'm going to see what making some dietary changes and losing some weight will do. Stupidly, I've managed to gain weight during the last few crappy months of running less and that hasn't helped.

I bought a bicycle thinking it would be easier on my legs and plan on my first ride today. I used to race a bit when I was in my 20s so I'm not new to cycling although so much of the hardware has changed...
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Old 12-22-19, 07:16 PM
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My BP is all over the place too. It used to be low ... sometimes a bit scary low but as I aged, it came up to normal low.

Then Rowan had his accident and now it's anyone's guess what my BP will be at any given moment. Stress seems to be the big trigger for high readings.


Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
There's some effect from coffee and Sudafed. I also have chronic and often painful sinus congestion and headaches, and asthma. Nothing works except pseudo-ephedrine and ephedrine. I'm also waiting for an ENT referral to see if there's anything else that can be done.
See my post in the Weekend Rides thread in Road regarding this!!
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Old 12-23-19, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
My BP is all over the place too. It used to be low ... sometimes a bit scary low but as I aged, it came up to normal low.

Then Rowan had his accident and now it's anyone's guess what my BP will be at any given moment. Stress seems to be the big trigger for high readings.




See my post in the Weekend Rides thread in Road regarding this!!
Do you meditate. I actually don't do that with any regularity but I've seen lots of articles that say it's effective.
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Old 12-23-19, 07:24 AM
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For some, potassium supplements help normalize BP — Na is regulated by K in the bloodstream. But probably should only be taken upon consultation with a physician.
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Old 12-23-19, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
For some, potassium supplements help normalize BP Na is regulated by K in the bloodstream. But probably should only be taken upon consultation with a physician.
This is even more important if you're already taking medication for BP.
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Old 12-23-19, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Do you meditate. I actually don't do that with any regularity but I've seen lots of articles that say it's effective.
No never ... it stresses me out. The moment I try I have a wave of the 1001 things I should be doing and I feel better if I just do one of those things.
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Old 12-23-19, 02:28 PM
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Meditation gives me too much free time to worry about my problems.

Deep breathing helps a bit. But for me it works better if I'm "doing something." It seems more effective for me when I use my incentive spirometer.
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Old 12-23-19, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
No never ... it stresses me out. The moment I try I have a wave of the 1001 things I should be doing and I feel better if I just do one of those things.
That's always been a problem for me as well. But, there are a couple things you can do. First, aside from meditating, you can just do some breathing techniques. I'd suggest doing a search for technique. This actually works. Also, you can meditate by focusing on listening to your breathing and focus on the feel of breath going through your body. These actually work and don't require you to get all "Om" and guru stuff.
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Old 12-23-19, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Meditation gives me too much free time to worry about my problems.

Deep breathing helps a bit. But for me it works better if I'm "doing something." It seems more effective for me when I use my incentive spirometer.
Yes this.

I've got my list and if I can accomplish something on the list today, I feel better than if I try meditation.

Exercise is a big stress reducer and makes me feel like I've accomplished something. And I also employ something I've called, "Smelling the roses" or "Notice beauty". As I'm rushing from here to there, occasionally I'll force myself to slow down and find something beautiful to look at for a moment. And then I'm back to rushing again.
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Old 12-24-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Marylander,
Is one of the meds you are taking for diabetes? Those can cause the difficulties you are experiencing with your legs. HTH MH
No, this is specifically a BP medicine. It doesn't seem to be a common side effect although the medication is, of course, intended to impact circulation so not too surprising. It's potentially getting me back in cycling so maybe it works out anyway.
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Old 12-25-19, 08:46 AM
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Re: BP meds. There are two types. One will dilate your blood vessels (vasodilators) and the other acts as a governor on your heart (Beta Blockers). At least that's the way I understand it. Beet juice, although not a med, acts as a vasodilator. I was on Coreg which is a beta blocker. So, my heart could not beat past a certain point. I don't have to tell you what happened on group rides when we hit a climb. In addition, I was always tired and depressed. I'd get up at 6 AM and have to go back to bed by noon every day. It was miserable.
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Old 12-25-19, 10:02 AM
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There are a number of natural remedies to combat high blood pressure, as disclosed in this thread. You may have to try some in combination to get the required result.
Doctors just want to prescribe Pharma Drugs, because they profit from it. Be aware of this.
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Old 12-27-19, 05:40 PM
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Usually I'm open to trying supplements and will stick with 'em if they seem to work for me.

But let's not go overboard with the scare tactics about Big Pharma and prescriptions. Doctors ain't making a profit off beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. That's old school stuff, very low cost and profit margin. And they work. That's one type of prescription for which there is no alt-med substitute that's as effective.

High BP can be incredibly destructive. The risks of living with high BP far outweigh any minor concerns about the prescription meds. I've spent enough time doing patient care in hospitals and dialysis units to see the damage from uncontrolled blood pressure.

So far I don't need BP meds full time. I do use them as needed for migraines. It's a quirk of migraines -- some respond well to beta blockers and even to valproic acid, a med originally intended to control seizures but also effective for controlling bipolar disorder and helping to prevent migraines.

I'm careful about my diet. I take all the supplements purported to help control BP. I exercise. I'm less than 5 lbs over my optimal weight. But occasionally my BP spikes due to a C1-C2 injury that puts pressure on nerves and cause bizarre symptoms including high blood pressure. Usually temporary and often relieved with gentle traction on the neck. But when my BP goes over 160/100, I take a BP med. It's been as high as 200/100 and I'm not gonna risk stroking out over unwarranted concerns about Big Pharma.

But don't get me started on cholesterol meds. Those are a scam for many folks. At the very least the early research was flawed and should be redone to be sure cholesterol meds are justified considering how extensively they're prescribed. I declined them when my doc was concerned about a spike in my cholesterol. I'd forgotten about my appointment that day and had eaten a big breakfast before the blood draw. But my doc didn't even ask whether there was a reason for the spike. She just immediately said she was putting me on meds. I declined.
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Old 12-28-19, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Usually I'm open to trying supplements and will stick with 'em if they seem to work for me.

But let's not go overboard with the scare tactics about Big Pharma and prescriptions. Doctors ain't making a profit off beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. That's old school stuff, very low cost and profit margin. And they work. That's one type of prescription for which there is no alt-med substitute that's as effective.

High BP can be incredibly destructive. The risks of living with high BP far outweigh any minor concerns about the prescription meds. I've spent enough time doing patient care in hospitals and dialysis units to see the damage from uncontrolled blood pressure.

So far I don't need BP meds full time. I do use them as needed for migraines. It's a quirk of migraines -- some respond well to beta blockers and even to valproic acid, a med originally intended to control seizures but also effective for controlling bipolar disorder and helping to prevent migraines.

I'm careful about my diet. I take all the supplements purported to help control BP. I exercise. I'm less than 5 lbs over my optimal weight. But occasionally my BP spikes due to a C1-C2 injury that puts pressure on nerves and cause bizarre symptoms including high blood pressure. Usually temporary and often relieved with gentle traction on the neck. But when my BP goes over 160/100, I take a BP med. It's been as high as 200/100 and I'm not gonna risk stroking out over unwarranted concerns about Big Pharma.

But don't get me started on cholesterol meds. Those are a scam for many folks. At the very least the early research was flawed and should be redone to be sure cholesterol meds are justified considering how extensively they're prescribed. I declined them when my doc was concerned about a spike in my cholesterol. I'd forgotten about my appointment that day and had eaten a big breakfast before the blood draw. But my doc didn't even ask whether there was a reason for the spike. She just immediately said she was putting me on meds. I declined.
Sure, why not get you started? It's a fun discussion. Yeah, so it turns out that mortality is not associated with either total cholesterol levels or levels of the individual lipoproteins. However suddenly increasing or decreasing total cholesterol is associated with mortality. So get your blood done every year, and yeah, fasting. Always go to a physical fasting. Be that as it may, statins are interesting. It turns out that statins have been prescribed for high cholestrol levels and they do reduce said levels and also reduce particular lipoproteins in a very satisfactory manner which is accompanied by reduced mortality. Huh. So it turns out that yes, statins do reduce mortality, but the cholesterol-reducing effect probably has nothing to do with the reduced mortality. Researchers are still trying to figure that out, but they guess that it has something to do with statins preventing the fatty bits lining our arteries from coming loose and causing heart attacks.

So yeah, take a statin if it's prescribed and your body can tolerate it. Mine apparently can't, but one of the strongest older riders I know has been taking a statin for 20 years - for hypercholesterolemia - with no apparent effect on his ability to ride the legs off most folks.

And all the forgoing said, high levels of triglycerides are associated with increased mortality.
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Old 12-31-19, 11:48 AM
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Some of us have high BP due to genetics as we eat well, regularly juice with organic veggies, watch sodium intake, exercise a lot our whole lives, meditate... you get the drift. Keeping the alcohol intake down and getting some good sleep on occasion. Pharma for many, is the only way to keep the BP levels 'reasonable'.
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Old 01-01-20, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Climb14er View Post
Some of us have high BP due to genetics as we eat well, regularly juice with organic veggies, watch sodium intake, exercise a lot our whole lives, meditate... you get the drift. Keeping the alcohol intake down and getting some good sleep on occasion. Pharma for many, is the only way to keep the BP levels 'reasonable'.
I always thought my high BP was genetic because my father had it too. Then I realized that I never saw him without a cup of coffee and a cigar.
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Old 01-01-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I always thought my high BP was genetic because my father had it too. Then I realized that I never saw him without a cup of coffee and a cigar.
My Dad was in fine condition, other than the high BP. His Dad died at 52, heart attack. Put two and two together, it's genetic.
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Old 01-03-20, 06:52 AM
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Just a little update....Today's BP was 124/86. It's been about that for the past couple weeks. Really a game changer for me.
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Old 01-03-20, 04:53 PM
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Mine has always hovered around 120/70. I eat lots of salt and enjoy morning espresso drinks.
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