How to normalize your blood pressure

How to normalize
your blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure is a common health issue today. Almost a third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure – perhaps you or someone in your family does? High blood pressure isn’t necessarily something you can feel, but it increases the risk of serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

The good news is that you can improve your blood pressure by way of simple lifestyle changes.

The usual treatment for elevated blood pressure today is medication. This is often reasonable. But what if you could achieve perfect blood pressure without pills or side-effects – with improved health and weight as welcome side-bonuses, instead?

The truth is that high blood pressure was extremely rare as recently as a few hundred years ago. Something in today’s environment is giving more and more people high blood pressure. What is it?

Contents

  1. What is blood pressure?
  2. How is blood pressure measured?
  3. What’s a “good” blood pressure?
  4. What’s a high blood pressure?
  5. Who needs blood pressure medication?
  6. Causes of blood pressure
  7. Five ways to lower your blood pressure
  8. Blood pressure medication
  9. Measuring blood pressure at home
  10. Further reading and studies

What is blood pressure?

Bloodvessels1
Blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like: the pressure in your blood vessels. With a normal amount of blood, a healthy heart and healthy, elastic blood vessels, you’ll experience a normal blood pressure.

Low blood pressure can make you feel dizzy, especially right when you stand up from having been seated. This is usually harmless and can be the result of dehydration or salt deficiency.

Mildly or moderately elevated blood pressure will rarely give obvious symptoms (a light headache might occur sometimes). A very high blood pressure can give severe headaches, fatigue and nausea. High blood pressure is the result of an increased amount of liquid and salt in the blood, and also of the blood vessel walls being thicker and harder than normal.

As high blood pressure often goes unnoticed, it’s common for people to live with it unawares for some time. As it’s a risk factor, it may be wise to check your blood pressure every few years, even if you’re feeling healthy in general. This advice is especially directed towards people who are middle-aged or older, as high blood pressure is more common with age.

A markedly raised blood pressure leads, in the long term, to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The higher your blood pressure, the higher the risk. High blood pressure is often treated medically to reduce health risks; however, you can also lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes (see below).

High blood pressure is known among doctors as hypertension, a word used frequently on this page.

How is blood pressure measured?

bloodpressuremeasurement
Blood pressure is usually measured by wrapping an inflatable cuff around your upper arm and pumping it up. The cuff pressure which stops the blood flow to your arm is then measured, and this is equal to the pressure in your blood vessels.

Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers, for example 120/80.

  • The first number is the peak pressure (when the heart contracts, “systolic” pressure). This is the highest pressure in your blood vessels.
  • The second number is the minimum pressure, taken when the heart relaxes (“diastolic” pressure).

To get your blood pressure checked, you can get in touch with your GP/medical specialist. You can also get it checked at many pharmacies. Another option is to buy your own blood pressure meter – they are reliable and easy to use at home, whenever you want.

What’s a “good” blood pressure?

happy
If you’re healthy, and not currently on any blood pressure medication, a lower-than-average blood pressure shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

An ideal, healthy blood pressure is not over 120/80. This is what young, healthy and lean people have.

Most people in the Western world, however, have a higher blood pressure than this. An elevated blood pressure is common in middle-aged people and older, especially in those who are overweight.

Between 120-140 systolic pressure and 80-90 diastolic pressure is considered a precursor to hypertension. This is nothing that needs to be treated in otherwise healthy people, but may mean that there is room for improved health by lifestyle changes.

Indigenous populations not eating a Western diet tend to have excellent blood pressure, even at old ages. We can learn and be inspired from them.

What’s a high blood pressure?

highbloodpressure
A reading of over 140/90, measured at at least three separate occasions, is considered elevated blood pressure. Temporarily having a slightly elevated blood pressure (when under stress, for example) is not dangerous.

As blood pressure tends to vary somewhat from day to day, it’s recommended to only diagnose someone with high blood pressure if they have given a repeatedly high reading. If the average of either of the readings (either the systolic or diastolic) is higher than the norm, it will be considered an elevated blood pressure. That is, an average of 150/85 or 135/100 over readings on several occassions will be considered too high.

Almost every third adult in the U.S. has elevated blood pressure, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the ASH (American Society of Hypertension).

  • Values between 140/90 and 160/100 are considered as slightly elevated blood pressure.
  • Over 160/100 is said to be moderately elevated.
  • Over 180/110 is a severely elevated blood pressure.

The calculated difference between the systolic and diastolic pressures is also of interest. If the difference is large (e.g. 170/85), it could be the sign of stiff arteries – often caused by heart disease. This means the blood vessels can’t dilate enough when the heart sends out a pulse, which forces the blood pressure to increase. (The walls can’t expand, so the pressure rises when the heart tries to pump the blood through.)

White lab coats cause high blood pressure

Many people find that their blood pressure increases because of subconscious stress from confrontation with medical institutions and the staff working there. This is usually called “white coat hypertension”, that is, elevated blood pressure levels from just seeing the white lab coats doctors wear.

This is a common problem: a full 10-15% of people diagnosed with high blood pressure after measurements taken at a hospital or medical facility, later find that measurements taken in their own home or averaged over 24 hours are normal.

If you’re one of the people with “white coat hypertension”, you have approximately the same risk of heart disease as other people with normal blood pressure. People with “white coat hypertension” don’t need blood pressure-lowering medication – but they often get it unnecessarily!

If you suspect a stress-related elevation in your blood pressure, you can borrow blood pressure meters from your medical facility, strap them on for 24 hours to register blood pressure several times an hour. You could also buy your own blood pressure meter to check up on yourself at home.

More on measuring blood pressure at home

When should hypertension be medicated?

pills
If your blood pressure is severely elevated (over 160 systolic or over 100 in diastolic), medication is wise. If you have other risk factors for heart disease (like smoking, diabetes or obesity), medication may be recommended even for a slight elevation in blood pressure (over 140/90).

Up until recently there was no evidence that medication improves the health of otherwise healthy people with mildly elevated blood pressure (140-159 systolic and/or 90-99 diastolic). This meant it was unclear whether it ws worth risking the side effects of the medication if all you have is a slight elevation.

A new large study, however, showed that people with hypertension lived longer and reduced the risk of heart disease if they lowered their systolic blood pressure all the way to 120, using drugs. Unfortunately this benefit comes with significantly increased risk of side effects:

Major New Study: Getting Blood Pressure Below 120 Saves Lives – and Increases Risks

Diabetics often have lower recommendations for blood pressure, the maximum normal value being seen as 130/80-85. However, it’s questionable whether it’s a good idea to medicate your blood pressure levels down to those values. Diabetics can probably stick to approximately the same upper limit as people with heart disease: 140/90 (according to new studies and expert comments, as well as the latest recommendations from the American Diabetes Association, ADA).

To summarize, the following are approximate limits for the levels of blood pressure at which medication becomes appropriate:

  • Otherwise healthy individuals: Over 160/100
  • Diabetics/people with heart disease: Over 140/90

With that said, smaller elevations in blood pressure could be suggestive of a need of some lifestyle changes in order to improve health and decrease the risk of diseases.

Reasons for high blood pressure

There are several rare causes of high blood pressure (such as kidney or adrenal disorders). If there’s reason to suspect  such disorders are the cause of hypertension, the appropriate measures should be decided by medical professionals.

However, the overwhelmingly more common type of elevated blood pressure is the kind that doesn’t have a clear cause, so-called primary hypertension. In these cases it’s often part of what’s called “metabolic syndrome”, also known as the disease of the Western world:
 
High blood pressureengmetabolicbellyfat
engmetabolicsyndromeengmetabolichighbs

engmetaboliccholesterol

The above health problems are grouped together because they so often appear as a cluster of symptoms in one individual. People with elevated blood pressure often carry extra weight around their belly, and they’re also likely to be in the risk zone for high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is: if you can get to the root and cause of this, you can often improve all these markers with one simple lifestyle change.

The common causebadcarbs2

Metabolic syndrome is typically caused by eating more carbohydrate than the body can handle. This primarily true for high-glycemic carbs that are quickly digested, such as white flour and pure sugar. Depending on how sensitive you are, you might be experiencing the same symptoms from more complex, lower GI carbs.

Carbohydrate starts getting broken down into simple sugars as soon as it arrives in your stomach (for example, starch in bread and pasta becomes glucose) which raises your blood sugar the moment it’s taken up by the bloodstream. The body then produces more of the hormone insulin, in order to take care of this blood sugar.

Insulin is the main fat-storing hormone in the body, and too much insulin can therefore lead to overweight in the long run. In large amounts, this can also disturb the cholesterol metabolism in your body. What’s more, it can also affect your blood pressure.

High insulin and high blood pressure

Raised insulin levels seem to lead to the accumulation of fluid and salt in the body. This increases blood pressure. In addition, high levels of insulin can thicken the tissue around blood vessels (the so-called smooth muscle), which also may contribute to an elevated blood pressure.

Eating less carbohyrate has repeatedly been shown to decrease insulin levels and also blood pressure. Perhaps this is because a low-carbohydrate diet also tends to discourage the body from accumulating fluids, and increases the elimination of salt via urine.

Lifestyle changes for a healthier blood pressure

There are several possible lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure. I’ll go through five of them below. The first one is, in my experience, the most important. It eliminates the most common cause of high blood pressure:

1. Cure the Western disease

An elevated blood pressure is often the product of so-called metabolic syndrome, especially in people with some excess weight. This means you can accomplish great benefits to your health by reducing your intake of (bad) carbohydrates.

Multiple studies on low-carbohydrate diets show improved blood pressure and more improvements than on other diets. As a bonus, a low-carbohydrate diet also usually leads to weight loss and improved blood sugar levels:

This does not only work in scientific studies but also in real life. Many patients and readers of mine have tried it with positive results.

A low-carb diet for beginners

2. To salt or not to saltsalt

Eating less salt may lower your blood pressure a little. Research has shown that this effect is, however, minimal in the long term: an average of only 1 mmHg reduction was recorded.

We lack contemporary evidence that less salt in our food will affect the risk of heart disease or death. This was shown in a recent meta-study of all research on the subject. It’s unclear whether you will become healthier by eating less salt or not. Nobody knows.

Much of the salt we ingest comes from fast food, ready-made meals, bread and soft drinks – things to avoid when on a low-carbohydrate diet. This will lower your salt intake automatically. Furthermore, the hormonal effects of LCHF make it easier for the body to dispose of excess salt through urine; this can explain the slight lowering of blood pressure.

In summary, the demonising of salt is exaggerated. At any rate, if you stick to a low carb diet, you should be able to enjoy salt in moderation with a clear conscience.

More about salt and health

3. Avoid other things which increase blood pressure

Blood pressure can be lowered simply by avoiding the things that drive it up. Here are the most common causes of elevated blood pressure:

  • Common painkillers (so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAID), can increase your blood pressure by inhibiting the production of salt in your kidneys. This includes over-the-counter pills such as Ipren, Ibumetin, Ibuprofen, Diklofenak and Naproxen as well as the prescription drug Celebra. Painkillers with the active substance paracetamol are better for your blood pressure.
  • Cortisone pills, such as Prednisolon
  • Birth control pills (for some people)
  • Coffee (caffeine)
  • Alcohol in large amounts
  • Nicotine (smoking, other forms of tobacco) can give short-lived rises in blood pressure of 15-20 units
  • Drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine
  • Licorice in large amounts

This doesn’t mean it’s imperative to abstain from coffee or alcohol completely; however, if you are a big “user” it may be wise to decrease your intake. On the other hand, it’s always a good idea to completely stop smoking: kicking a smoking habit is excellent for your health in general, not just your blood pressure.

4. Exercise

Regular exercise has been shown to somewhat lower blood pressure. And, if nothing else, at least you’ll be burning carbohydrate and therefore increasing your carb tolerance.

5. Avoid deficiency of omega-3 fats or vitamin D

Studies indicate that omega-3 fats may lower blood pressure somewhat (especially the systolic blood pressure value). More on omega-3.

One study shows the lowering of blood pressure by about 4 units systolic and 3 units diastolic by administration of vitamin D supplements in deficient people (common during the winter half-year). More on vitamin D.

Follow up your blood pressure

Following up a decrease in blood pressure is most easily done at your local medical centre or with the DIY instruments.

Blood pressure medication

BP-woman

At levels of blood pressure which are at least moderately elevated (>160/100), such as those induced by heart disease, medication may be appropriate. Keeping in line with the lifestyle suggestions above is still a good idea, though – they may help ensure that you don’t need to take more medication than necessary for your treatment.

Blood pressure-lowering medication tends to primarily reduce the risk of the having a stroke, heart failure or damage to the kidneys caused by elevated blood pressure.

There are many good options when it comes to such medication. Examples are ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitors or AII-blockers (angiotensin II receptor blockers) such as Enalapril or Losartan. If this kind of medication doesn’t give the desired effect, you might have to add other medication such as so-called calcium antagonists (e.g. Felodipin) or a mild diuretic (can be found as a combined pill with Enalapril and Losartan).

If possible, avoid using beta blockers to treat blood pressure (this means pills like Atenolol, Metoprolol or Seloken). They are less effective and cause more side effects (such as decreased potency, fatigue and weight gain). These medicines can, however, be of use in cases of heart disease (such as angina).

Coming soon: More on blood pressure medication.

Measuring blood pressure at home

It’s easy to measure your blood pressure with an automatic blood pressure meter – if you do it right. There are, however, common sources of error which can lead to unreliable results.

In order to accurately measure blood pressure, two things are important: good equipment and the right measuring technique.

Equipment

The blood pressure meter should be high-quality, preferably a tested and certified type. It should measure the blood pressure at your upper arm (wrist measurements are less trustworthy). Here are two blood pressure meters I can recommend:

m6-m2

Omron M6 Comfort and Omron M2

The arm cuff needs to be the right size. If you have large upper arms and measure your blood pressure with cuffs for normal-sized arms, you’ll get disproportionately high values – sometimes as high as 20 units more than your actual blood pressure. In other words, it’s possible that the measurement might falsely indicate an elevated blood pressure.

If you’re unsure of your upper arm size, measure the circumference with measuring tape:

A circumference of roughly 8.5-12.5 inches will fit normal-sized cuffs (and Omron M2). Upper arms larger than this might need a cuff size of 8.5-16.5 inches (such as the one accompanying Omron M6 Comfort).

Measuring technique

Blood pressure is best measured when seated, as that’s the way it’s usually measured in the studies determining healthy values. Being systematic and conforming to measuring standards decreases the risk of over-medication following wrongful measurements.

For highest accuracy, blood pressure measurements should be performed like this:

  1. In the half hour before measurement, refrain from exercise, tobacco use or eating.
  2. Rest at comfortable room temperature for 5-10 minutes before the measurement.
  3. Expose your upper arm.
  4. The cuff should be wrapped so that its lower edge is about 0.7 inches above the crook of your arm. The cuff should neither be too tight nor too loose – two fingers should just be able to fit underneath it.
  5. Take a seat with a back rest and make sure your back and feet are at comfortable rest, do not cross your legs.
  6. Rest your arm comfortably and position it so that your upper arm is at the same height as your heart, by e.g. placing it on a table.Measuring blood pressure
  7. Relax and take the measurement.
  8. Repeat the measurement at least once, with one minute’s pause in between. The average of two or more measurements should be noted.

Accurate results

As long as the measurement is conducted correctly, with certified blood pressure meter, you’ll be getting results just as accurate as you would at a medical clinic. In fact, in Sweden, an investigation has shown that medical practices sometimes wrongly take blood pressure measurements with the patient lying down – so you might even be getting more accurate results at home!

The difference between blood pressure sitting up and lying down

In Sweden, blood pressure is often wrongly measured at clinics with the subjects lying down. The differences tend to be small, however: when seated, the systolic blood pressure registers a little lower, and the diastolic a little higher. Trying this on myself, I noted readings of 116/73 averaged over several seated measurements and an average of 119/72 lying down.

Blood pressure measurements lying down can bring errors and the risk of overtreatment in some people, especially elders (in the case of “orthostatism”, i.e. blood pressure drop in sitting/standing).

Fluctuations during the day and year

Blood pressure is usually at its lowest in the morning, and rises slightly towards the afternoon and evening. It tends to be lower during the summer half-year and slightly higher during the winter.

Studies

Treatment of high blood pressure

Treating slightly elevated blood pressure (140-159 systolic, 90-99 diastolic) in otherwise heart-healthy patients does not necessarily result in health gains:

Diao D, et al. Pharmacotherapy for mild hypertension. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Aug 15;8:CD006742.

Appropriate technique for blood pressure measurements

Overviews:

Williams JS, et a. Videos in clinical medicine. Blood-pressure measurement. N Engl J Med. 2009 Jan 29;360(5):e6.

Pickering TG, et al. Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in humans and experimental animals: Part 1: blood pressure measurement in humans: a statement for professionals from the Subcommittee of Professional and Public Education of the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure Research. Hypertension. 2005 Jan;45(1):142-61.

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116 Comments

  1. Ginny
    Digestion is very resource-intensive; big meals and high-carb meals are likely to cause a bigger dip in BP, for people who have this issue. Resting for a little while with feet up can help minimize other demands on circulation.
    Have you tried checking your BP before getting out of bed? Some people whose BP takes a dive after meals actually have low BP that rises a lot when they get up, overreacting to the change in position. For these folks, raising the head of the bed at night (raising the whole bed or mattress a couple inches, not just adding a pillow) may be helpful; also possibly helpful, wearing PROPERLY FITTING medical compression hose, or sportswear or shapewear that provides lower abdominal compression.
    I have much less of a problem with labeled BP and high BP spikes since my doctor had me switch to a high-salt diet. O.o
    Bodies are strange!
    Your mileage may vary.
    (If this sounds like you, then DynaInc.org/Dysautonomia has some good info to maybe discuss with your doctor.)
  2. Nette
    I'm 51 and on bp med. I've been doing low carb for a few months. No significant weight loss yet. The doctor I saw recently wants to change up my medication since I've been on those for quite awhile now. He says he's not a big fan of that particular medication. Lately I've been having dizzy spells, fatigue and not feeling well. Could I be going to the extreme on this lifestyle change? I didn't tell him I was doing low carb. They ran some blood work but no news is good news I guess.
  3. John Carpenter
    https://www.facebook.com/John.Carpenter57/ I am 57 years old. I had Hypertensive High Blood Pressure for most of my life. I changed my diet and exercise. The above link is my 30 day journey of exercise and my recipes that eliminate the unhealthy things we eat that kills our hearts. These recipes also help to control high blood sugar. Thanks for checking it out.
  4. mengfei
    very good read! i'm 53 & been using meds for the past 15 years, sometime my bp goes up to 160/110 even on meds last week i took some test & my doc say i have elevated blood sugar & at the same time took an agiogram test, there it was two block center arteries about 80-90%. left & right where ok. before & during these i'm a fan of fast foods, fried foods & many other junk food - you are what you eat :( . now I have to do a "real" lifestyle change coz I'm having 2nd thoughts about stents, 2 of my friends had problems after 3 & 5 yrs. i'm on a lot of meds for my hbp & diabetes.

    is it recommended for me to go LCHF diet? or should I just become a vegetarian/ fruitgetarian.

    Reply: #123
  5. Eileen
    Going low carb can't hurt so try that first. Drop sugars, fast foods and junk food - go online to find a recipe for homemade mayonnaise or olive oil dressing. Cook yourself half a steak - save the other half for breakfast the next morning, with eggs. This is not so hard once you get the hang of it.
  6. Mark Curran
    My blood pressure dropped very nicely on HIGH complex carb died. I had 200/100 at one time, and went on plant based -- essentially all starches and veggies, probably 70% complex carbs.

    My BP went to 118/76

    I also lost 60 lbs.

    I avoided salt -- and if I stupidly got back into packaged goods (SOOOO much salt there) my bp went up to 140, 150, even 160. So I had to avoid salt, and watch the numbers.

    IMHO low carb diets are not healthy in the long run.But if it works for you, great. If you are doing low carb, that means by definition you are doing hi fat and or hi protein.

    The important thing is COMPLEX carbs and keep track of you numbers.

    No, you don't have to limit your calories, at least I never did. Ate a bunch if hungry, but avoided very much things that spike blood sugar.

    In fact I got a glucose meter and tested my blood sugar. Great way to learn what spikes your blood sugar-- you might be surprised. But I did fine with black and red rice, potatoes, hi fiber pasta.

    You do get surprised once in a while, big thing for me was never get complacent. Always get your numbers checked. About the time you think you don't need to check your numbers, is the time you need to check your numbers even more. Daily checking iss not too much.

    Reply: #116
  7. Bonnie
    After 2 months of strict LCHF eating my High BP fell to normal and stable levels. I am not on LCHF for weight loss but for cardiac health. So - after 2 decades of hypertensive meds, I no longer take any. For two decades I had been faithfully taking those stupid little pills prescribed to me. .... BUT -
    Unfortunately my LDL levels are now sky high, frightfully high to me ... One problem solved but another has arisen.
  8. Deburajianu
    Very very good comments Marika! My family (I have 5 sisters) and my mom ...some of us, including me have why you are describing...that adrenalin/cortisol/almost angry can't control mood! I will read Dr. Platt. Thanks so much!!
  9. Baus
    High pressure is bad thing and in one point of life we need to take care of ourselves so i would recommend better safe than sorry : https://tinyurl.com/yap9hg2o
  10. Jodi
    Thank you for this. I have had high blood pressure for years, and nobody could tell me much about it. Now I have heart disease as well, and am on a number of medications to lower it. In the past 6 months I have completely changed my lifestyle. I now try to work out at the gym at least 3 times a week - though lately my heart disease has put a bit of a damper on this - and I have finally gone back on the low carb diet. I believe that eventually I will be able to lower not only by blood glucose and a1c with the low carb way of eating, but also lower my blood pressure by losing weight. I do not expect to do this in days, but plan to make sure I do it right and take the time to lose the weight properly so that I do not give up and gain it all back.

    I was particularly interested in your section about the proper way to take your blood pressure at home, because I have been lying down to take my blood pressure. Because of the comments in your article, I will begin to take it sitting up.

    Again, thank you for your very helpful article. <

  11. 1 comment removed
  12. Michael
    nice article so helpful and informative.. hope it will also help https://tinyurl.com/ybzbk245
  13. Advika Arora
    Nice information !! About blood pressure . This is useful . Many thanks :)

    You can also check my blog too ( http://www.esymptomschecker.com/ ) Hope it will also helpful for you. Please checkout.

  14. Rosie
    I've always had low blood pressure, not high. (It ranges around 90/60 to 110/70.) Should I be concerned about going ketogenic?
  15. cheah
    Hi I have tried cutting my carbo when switching to LCHF but end up no energy to exercise. My blood pressure is at 138/86 due to lack of exercise.
  16. Judie
    To make a blanket statement that low carb method of eating isn't good for you is just not right. No one way of eating is right for everyone. I, along with my integrative dr, find that a lot has to do with your blood type, but beyond that we are all individuals and each have unique requirements. LCHF eating works very well for me. VERY well. You refer to "complex carbs"...... some are good for me and some are bad. I have learned to TEST everything that goes into my body, using a form of applied kinesiology. Your body will tell you the truth every single time. It canNOT lie. I appreciate that LCHF is not correct for you, but please don't say it is not good for everyone.
    Replies: #124, #126
  17. Abigail
    Eating pineapples works wonders for reducing blood pressure. My mom had a severe stroke about 6 months ago. The stroke caused a brain hemorrhage. It was so serious that she could not talk for almost one month and she could not walk for a couple of months. She had to re-learn to walk.

    Anyway, once she recovered our family had to really figure out how to keep her blood pressure under control. In addition to taking her medicines, she eats a few pineapple chunks throughout the day. A chunk or so in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. We buy the pre-cut pineapple chunks in the produce section of Walmart or Whole foods. On a side note, 1-2 spoonfuls sesame oil a day is helpful as well, but the pineapple seems more effective.

    On another note, please get a blood pressure monitor at home so that you can check multiples times a day (2-3 times a day) so you know what your blood pressure is.

  18. Fleur
    What about a high systolic and low diastolic blood pressure - (example 165/65) - which is common as one ages. Isolated Systolic Hypertension. In these cases it is dangerous to lower the diastole even further so how should this be addresses to ensure the systolic pressure is reduced without lowering the diastolic.
  19. 2 comments removed
  20. GUNA
    This is the best and to the point article I have ever read on blood pressure. I am surprised there are a lot of differences across the world about what is an elevated blood pressure. I am 34 and my BP usually is around 145/95 and doctors put me on Bisoprolol 2.5 mg and amlodipine 5mg combo. After 3 months I found that bisoprolol raised my blood sugar levels and stopped taking it. Now I take only amlodipine 2.5mg but by blood pressure never reported close to 120/80 any time and I get headaches often (which was not the case before starting medication) . One more observation is that the cuff is applied very tightly when measuring BP. I am not sure now whether to stop the medication or not. Obviously there is no use of the medication. Otherwise my physical activity level is good with daily workouts in the gym. Would you please suggest what I can do next?
  21. 1 comment removed
  22. Beta
    My cholesterol was 240 and my BP was 150/90. They put me on meds for both.
    I did my own research, the I started a plant-based diet. I got off the meds.
    My cholesterol is now 170 and BP is 135/85.
    I hate medication.
  23. Beta
    I agree, Judie. I have known a lot of people that went on the LCHF diet and lost weight. Then, they gained back more weight than they lost.
    The plant-based diet has worked very well for me over the past 7 years.
  24. 1 comment removed
  25. Barbara
    Judie I also have a strong belief that your blood type has more to do with this and how you eat than is said in Drs offices. Can you give me any info your DR gave you on blood types. I am an o-. I don't have the info but feel strong it is part of things. You can email me separately with the answer rosetta0229@yahoo.com please put the follow in the subject line so I can catch your email if it goes to my spam "Blood type High blood pressure and eating relationships" Thanks so much for your time and information.
  26. 1 comment removed
  27. Denise Spurlock
    I have been on the Keto diet for six weeks. Feeling so much better and my inflammation has improved. Losing weight and mentally feeling more confident. I have high blood pressure so I hope when I go to the doctors in a few weeks, that has dropped. Keto has to be my way of life because I am not ready to die at 57 years old. Wish me continued luck. I have lost almost 30 lbs, I have so much more to lose.
  28. Lara Chan
    So my husband is on a very low dose of lysenaprol for his blood pressure it’s typically normal under 120/80 range and also has osteoarthritis so he takes naproxen and he has gout in the last 18 months or so and takes the other Med for it
    I can’t recall the name starts with A.
    So my question is will keto which we do low carb but not strict enough help all this
    It’s a catch 22, if he goes off his meds will all this help with weight loss but hinder these ailments? I see that every thing would be better and in ordering to reduce gout just not eat red meat for our diet

    Any thoughts or advice
    Thank you Lara

  29. 1 comment removed
  30. CHARMAINE
    I really need to ask this. I'm a beginner of keto diet and I have a high blood pressure. I am also getting married and was so disappointed when I've found out that I have PCOS. I've also been living with an anxiety disorder for 8 years so I wanted to try this diet.

    My friend and I got really interested to try keto but she's also concerned about the meat that I am supposed to eat. I checked the internet specifically from healthline that transfat and saturated fat from chicken skin, red meat and butter should be reduced for people with high blood pressure. Can you tell me why red meats are allowed in keto even for those with hbp?

    I really want to continue keto and enjoy eating fresh meat and vegetables too but this made me really worried.

    Thank you for your time!

    Replies: #132, #138
  31. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Charmaine!

    We can't give personal medical advice, but a lot of people actually get lower blood pressure with the keto diet.

    I really need to ask this. I'm a beginner of keto diet and I have a high blood pressure. I am also getting married and was so disappointed when I've found out that I have PCOS. I've also been living with an anxiety disorder for 8 years so I wanted to try this diet.
    My friend and I got really interested to try keto but she's also concerned about the meat that I am supposed to eat. I checked the internet specifically from healthline that transfat and saturated fat from chicken skin, red meat and butter should be reduced for people with high blood pressure. Can you tell me why red meats are allowed in keto even for those with hbp?
    I really want to continue keto and enjoy eating fresh meat and vegetables too but this made me really worried.
    Thank you for your time!

  32. Karen
    My BP went up a little with Keto but, I added some potassium supplements and now I am back to normal. I am allergic to seafood and shellfish so I eat Grass Feed Beef for Omega 3.
  33. Charlie Hoon
    Its not only potential victims who cannot recognise the signs of stroke, there are many in the caring profession from doctors down who misdiagnose, ear infection, diabetic episode, just a few wrong diagnoses, the much-vaunted TV classic signs are misleading as stroke manifests in many ways, and those quoted are only the most common which means people presenting with the less common signs are generally side-lined and not recognised until days later.

    For more information about high blood pressure symptoms, please check this

    https://highbloodpressuresymptoms.net/blog/symtoms

  34. Edna
    I'm so confused and hope someone helps me understand. My doctor says that if my systolic bp is less than 110 do not take the medicine that day. That means I would have to check every day and that stresses me. A pharmacist told me that is not right to interrupt the medicine intake. I have started the day below 110 and later in the day it got up in the 120s. When it goes up I feel it; cold feet, bowel movement, headache. Usually goes up after I have been 3-4 days not taking the pill because it has been less than 110. My average in the last 3 months (taking the pill almost every day) is 110/78 but I have had days of over 130/90. Will like to hear from someone on the take/hold the pill practice.
    Reply: #137
  35. 1 comment removed
  36. Brenda
    Your pharmacist is right and he knows more about the medication being prescribed than the doctor prescribing it. My personal opinion is get a second opinion.
  37. Brenda
    My BP went down eating LCHF, as well as my blood lipids, my weight and my waistline; my HDL went up which really made me happy. My blood glucose is in the normal range (<100) daily, I feel better and I sleep better. I've also search through the internet just to get the vibe of what's out there, however, most "health" internet sights are against LCHF eating for the reasons your friend claims, plus some I think they've made up. View the videos and do you own personal research on the research. Educate yourself.
    Back when Dr Atkins first started his low carb diet plan, I tried it but I modified somewhat, allowing myself the occasional piece of toast and a backed potato. The reason I went with low carb then was because my triglycerides were high (333) and my doctor just said to "watch my calories." My question was, What kind of calories? I did my own research and discovered that too many high carbohydrate foods in the diet cause high triglycerides (this was back in the mid- to late-80s). My next annual checkup: triglycerides at 113.
    And that is why I've gone back to the low-carb lifestyle, but I like this program better than Atkins. No one will convince me it doesn't work to my good!
  38. anna
    Very Informative all the information in this blogs.. I just wanna share another way help to maintain anormal blood pressure .https://bit.ly/2KXb4gQ
  39. 1 comment removed
  40. Alana
    Thank you for the informative article. The numbers defining 'high' are higher than my cardiologist is promoting as 'OK' . She wants to see 120/80 in any age group. And so is promoting the medication route. Before agreeing to that, I am exercising with daily walking and a swim. I am going to give this regimen some time to lower my numbers. I have not seen any weight loss on the LCHF diet, (after over a year) but I feel better when I keep the carbs out of my life.
    One significant (I think) point to remember is that the measurement of blood pressure began in 1896 and so it is not as this article said "high blood pressure was extremely rare as recently as a few hundred years ago' as there was no method of measuring that 'a few hundred years ago' ( see https://blog.health.nokia.com/blog/2014/05/21/the-history-of-blood-pr...
    I don't think BP measurement is not helpful, but neither is it going back many hundreds of years . .
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