High Blood Pressure and High Cholestrol

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  • knittnponder
    knittnponder Posts: 1,954 Member
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    Have you had your blood sugars checked? One underlying cause of high blood pressure is uncontrolled blood sugar. That's not to say that it's true for everyone but it is in many cases; get the blood sugar stable and often the blood pressure comes down on its own. Alcohol effects the blood sugar and can raise it substantially. I think you already know you need to cut that out or dramatically back but be careful while you do it because alcohol withdrawals can be deadly (though it doesn't sound like you drink enough for it to be that bad). You can either have your doctor do a diabetes screening or you can get an inexpensive glucose meter and check at home if you want to explore that route. This is why many people who go low carb see an improvement in their BP, because low carb helps stabilize blood sugar. Many people also find their cholesterol improves on it even though that seems counter intuitive because of all the fat and meat.

    I'm not a low carb advocate and not pushing that diet in particular, just throwing out an option that I hadn't seen presented. I have several diabetics in my family so I'm unfortunately familiar with this topic.
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,948 Member
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    I would cut down on the drinking. You mentioned it as a necessity for an overly stressful day. IMO, stress is a dark horse when it comes to health markers. I would find another way to distress (meditation maybe) and cut back on the booze...
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    edited April 2017
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    Lots of fruit and fiber (vegetables, beans, lentils etc). Nothing processed, no things out of cans, prepackaged, everything from scratch unless it is e.g. something frozen and it is very clear in the ingredient list that there are zero additives. When I say be careful of prepackaged things, this unfortunately includes things that seem "innocent", like sliced bread or cookies. If you eat lots of bread (e.g. not just a slice per day), see if your local bakery has low sodium products, because it all adds up.
    Obviously when cooking do not add salt at all, your meals have to be removed from the pot/pan etc before salt is added. Be very careful with spice mixtures as some contain salt, so buy single ingredients and mix your own. Experiment a lot with spices and herbs, because no salt diets are tricky to get used to. Obviously no store bought sauces.
    Avoid animal fat, try EVOO in cooking if you can afford it. No deli meats, no salty snacks, only low fat - low sodium cheese. In general, if it tastes salty, it is off limits. If it is high in animal fat, it is off limits, eat lean meats in moderation, your fat intake should mainly come from plant sources and fish. Also no fried food.

    Daily cardio, but low-moderate intensity (whatever this means for you, just do not push yourself to the limits).
    Avoid strength training (at least with weights high enough to really make it challenging) and avoid sprints etc, before getting approval from a cardiologist.
    So unfortunately this might mean long walks and slow jogs for a while, instead of all the things you are doing, until you get cleared.

    All the above is the most common medical guidelines for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. You will see advice claiming the opposite, such as going low carb etc. Be very careful, because in your case, following advice your dr does not approve of, it could cost your life literally. So double check whatever you do.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
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    Also, I remember reading in the past in some medical journal that BMI in the overweight range is an indicator of some problems, such as blood pressure, heart issues etc EVEN in athletes, so even if the weight comes from muscle mass. I cannot remember where I read, will update if I find it. You might want to discuss this with your dr and see if you need to further lower weight even at the cose of losing muscle.
  • quebot
    quebot Posts: 99 Member
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    I have similar problems, but mine are hormone related and celiac related. I am still struggling with it (it's been a problem growing over the last 5 years. I increased the omega's and reduced my drinking from 1-3 drinks a night to 1-3 drinks a week (this happened by accident, mostly wanting to save money but has had good effects on my health). In the past 30 days, I've only had 2 drinks all together, and my bp is already responding. I hated bp meds because they made my hair fall out and I am desperate to get it figured out so that I don't have to take them. I also starting taking ashwaghanda recommended by my midwife which is supposed to help with the hormone situation. My numbers have gone from freaky high to borderline and I'm off all meds. Weight does impact this for me too, but that's becoming a non-issue as well as I lose it.

    I am really hoping to get some good ideas from this thread to look into as well. I'd love to get a handle on this too!
  • knittnponder
    knittnponder Posts: 1,954 Member
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    Some other things you can do: celery seed extract or drinking celery juice is good for lowering. Beets or beet juice is also helpful. I've done beet juice shots and my BP is lower with this and the added benefit is, if I drink it right before working out I get a better workout. Some endurance athletes drink beet juice shots during their training and races and that's actually how i came across it. Further research showed the benefits on BP so I was extra happy. Hibiscus tea has also been shown to lower BP, so effectively in fact that there are warnings on BP medications not to drink it while taking the meds because it can drop your BP too low. Why you wouldn't just drink the tea instead of the meds with their side effects is beyond me, especially because hibiscus tea is very refreshing if you drink it iced in the summer. A little lime or mint is extra tasty. Just thought I'd throw some other ideas out there. I've used all of these and took my BP from 180/101 down to a normal range so something worked. :)
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,397 MFP Moderator
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    aggelikik wrote: »
    Lots of fruit and fiber (vegetables, beans, lentils etc). Nothing processed, no things out of cans, prepackaged, everything from scratch unless it is e.g. something frozen and it is very clear in the ingredient list that there are zero additives. When I say be careful of prepackaged things, this unfortunately includes things that seem "innocent", like sliced bread or cookies. If you eat lots of bread (e.g. not just a slice per day), see if your local bakery has low sodium products, because it all adds up.
    Obviously when cooking do not add salt at all, your meals have to be removed from the pot/pan etc before salt is added. Be very careful with spice mixtures as some contain salt, so buy single ingredients and mix your own. Experiment a lot with spices and herbs, because no salt diets are tricky to get used to. Obviously no store bought sauces.
    Avoid animal fat, try EVOO in cooking if you can afford it. No deli meats, no salty snacks, only low fat - low sodium cheese. In general, if it tastes salty, it is off limits. If it is high in animal fat, it is off limits, eat lean meats in moderation, your fat intake should mainly come from plant sources and fish. Also no fried food.

    Daily cardio, but low-moderate intensity (whatever this means for you, just do not push yourself to the limits).
    Avoid strength training (at least with weights high enough to really make it challenging) and avoid sprints etc, before getting approval from a cardiologist.
    So unfortunately this might mean long walks and slow jogs for a while, instead of all the things you are doing, until you get cleared.

    All the above is the most common medical guidelines for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. You will see advice claiming the opposite, such as going low carb etc. Be very careful, because in your case, following advice your dr does not approve of, it could cost your life literally. So double check whatever you do.

    Why avoid strength training?
  • MWBetts
    MWBetts Posts: 2 Member
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    With all the exercise you get, could it be you're not be eating enough, especially of the right foods as mentioned? Do you have your MFP goals set? I know as a person who struggles with weight, if you don't eat enough and of the right foods, your body goes into a mode of it's own; kind of shuts down. Personally, I have sodium set to 1500 mg and just reduced calories to 1520. My BP has come down since I started using MFP again a month ago. And I've lost several pounds.
  • GottaluvFood
    GottaluvFood Posts: 65 Member
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    Both of these conditions can be stress-caused, too. I did some research recently on cholesterol & why our bodies make it. I found out cholesterol is part of our fight-or-flight system. It increases with stress. Most studies used pre-med students, or maybe Navy Seal trainees, and monitored their cholesterol during stressful & non-stressful times. They repeatedly found that cholesterol increased "significantly" during the more stressful times. I could not get a precise definition of "significant increase".

    Of course, everyone knows that blood pressure is connected to stress.

    So, I do recommend increasing fish, beans, reducing salt & alcohol. But I also suggest looking at your stress.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,599 Member
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    You can be in the best shape and eat perfect and still have both in high numbers. Genetics rules over everything else till gene splicing can be perfected.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
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    psuLemon wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    Lots of fruit and fiber (vegetables, beans, lentils etc). Nothing processed, no things out of cans, prepackaged, everything from scratch unless it is e.g. something frozen and it is very clear in the ingredient list that there are zero additives. When I say be careful of prepackaged things, this unfortunately includes things that seem "innocent", like sliced bread or cookies. If you eat lots of bread (e.g. not just a slice per day), see if your local bakery has low sodium products, because it all adds up.
    Obviously when cooking do not add salt at all, your meals have to be removed from the pot/pan etc before salt is added. Be very careful with spice mixtures as some contain salt, so buy single ingredients and mix your own. Experiment a lot with spices and herbs, because no salt diets are tricky to get used to. Obviously no store bought sauces.
    Avoid animal fat, try EVOO in cooking if you can afford it. No deli meats, no salty snacks, only low fat - low sodium cheese. In general, if it tastes salty, it is off limits. If it is high in animal fat, it is off limits, eat lean meats in moderation, your fat intake should mainly come from plant sources and fish. Also no fried food.

    Daily cardio, but low-moderate intensity (whatever this means for you, just do not push yourself to the limits).
    Avoid strength training (at least with weights high enough to really make it challenging) and avoid sprints etc, before getting approval from a cardiologist.
    So unfortunately this might mean long walks and slow jogs for a while, instead of all the things you are doing, until you get cleared.

    All the above is the most common medical guidelines for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. You will see advice claiming the opposite, such as going low carb etc. Be very careful, because in your case, following advice your dr does not approve of, it could cost your life literally. So double check whatever you do.

    Why avoid strength training?

    My (non-medical, just personal experiece) view would be to avoid strength training (with weights heavy enough to require real effort), as well as sprinting etc, until he gets in touch with a dr. Stressful (even physically stressful activities) can affect blood pressure and circulation, and once you get blood pressure unusual readings, you need a checkup by a cardiologist to get cleared for "hard" workouts.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,397 MFP Moderator
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    aggelikik wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    Lots of fruit and fiber (vegetables, beans, lentils etc). Nothing processed, no things out of cans, prepackaged, everything from scratch unless it is e.g. something frozen and it is very clear in the ingredient list that there are zero additives. When I say be careful of prepackaged things, this unfortunately includes things that seem "innocent", like sliced bread or cookies. If you eat lots of bread (e.g. not just a slice per day), see if your local bakery has low sodium products, because it all adds up.
    Obviously when cooking do not add salt at all, your meals have to be removed from the pot/pan etc before salt is added. Be very careful with spice mixtures as some contain salt, so buy single ingredients and mix your own. Experiment a lot with spices and herbs, because no salt diets are tricky to get used to. Obviously no store bought sauces.
    Avoid animal fat, try EVOO in cooking if you can afford it. No deli meats, no salty snacks, only low fat - low sodium cheese. In general, if it tastes salty, it is off limits. If it is high in animal fat, it is off limits, eat lean meats in moderation, your fat intake should mainly come from plant sources and fish. Also no fried food.

    Daily cardio, but low-moderate intensity (whatever this means for you, just do not push yourself to the limits).
    Avoid strength training (at least with weights high enough to really make it challenging) and avoid sprints etc, before getting approval from a cardiologist.
    So unfortunately this might mean long walks and slow jogs for a while, instead of all the things you are doing, until you get cleared.

    All the above is the most common medical guidelines for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. You will see advice claiming the opposite, such as going low carb etc. Be very careful, because in your case, following advice your dr does not approve of, it could cost your life literally. So double check whatever you do.

    Why avoid strength training?

    My (non-medical, just personal experiece) view would be to avoid strength training (with weights heavy enough to require real effort), as well as sprinting etc, until he gets in touch with a dr. Stressful (even physically stressful activities) can affect blood pressure and circulation, and once you get blood pressure unusual readings, you need a checkup by a cardiologist to get cleared for "hard" workouts.

    Heavy lifting is actually beneficial for blood volume and blood pressure. Its actually one of the few exercises my wife can do with her condition (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which comes with lower blood volume.

    Heavy lifting focuses increases in blood volume due to the increase oxygen needa that large muscles need when carrying heavy loads.

    I do agree that discussions with doctors should occur.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
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    psuLemon wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    Lots of fruit and fiber (vegetables, beans, lentils etc). Nothing processed, no things out of cans, prepackaged, everything from scratch unless it is e.g. something frozen and it is very clear in the ingredient list that there are zero additives. When I say be careful of prepackaged things, this unfortunately includes things that seem "innocent", like sliced bread or cookies. If you eat lots of bread (e.g. not just a slice per day), see if your local bakery has low sodium products, because it all adds up.
    Obviously when cooking do not add salt at all, your meals have to be removed from the pot/pan etc before salt is added. Be very careful with spice mixtures as some contain salt, so buy single ingredients and mix your own. Experiment a lot with spices and herbs, because no salt diets are tricky to get used to. Obviously no store bought sauces.
    Avoid animal fat, try EVOO in cooking if you can afford it. No deli meats, no salty snacks, only low fat - low sodium cheese. In general, if it tastes salty, it is off limits. If it is high in animal fat, it is off limits, eat lean meats in moderation, your fat intake should mainly come from plant sources and fish. Also no fried food.

    Daily cardio, but low-moderate intensity (whatever this means for you, just do not push yourself to the limits).
    Avoid strength training (at least with weights high enough to really make it challenging) and avoid sprints etc, before getting approval from a cardiologist.
    So unfortunately this might mean long walks and slow jogs for a while, instead of all the things you are doing, until you get cleared.

    All the above is the most common medical guidelines for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. You will see advice claiming the opposite, such as going low carb etc. Be very careful, because in your case, following advice your dr does not approve of, it could cost your life literally. So double check whatever you do.

    Why avoid strength training?

    My (non-medical, just personal experiece) view would be to avoid strength training (with weights heavy enough to require real effort), as well as sprinting etc, until he gets in touch with a dr. Stressful (even physically stressful activities) can affect blood pressure and circulation, and once you get blood pressure unusual readings, you need a checkup by a cardiologist to get cleared for "hard" workouts.

    Heavy lifting is actually beneficial for blood volume and blood pressure. Its actually one of the few exercises my wife can do with her condition (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which comes with lower blood volume.

    Heavy lifting focuses increases in blood volume due to the increase oxygen needa that large muscles need when carrying heavy loads.

    I do agree that discussions with doctors should occur.

    I agree in general. But, a few years ago (and after years of VERY intense exercise) I was diagnosed with a heart issue in a routine checkup. Nothing life threatening, what the dr described as almost innocent, but I was told that working out at 100% of my potential was no longer an option. In general, he recommended never lifting to failure, slow weight progression, no HIIT type workouts, no sprinting to the point of feeling I am giving it my 100% etc. And I am female, 10 years younger than the OP and my blood pressure is normal without medication.
    Of course the OP's case might be different and different limitiations might apply, but still, better safe than sorry, so slowing down on exercise for a week or two, until he gets the ok from a dr, will not hurt.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,397 MFP Moderator
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    aggelikik wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    Lots of fruit and fiber (vegetables, beans, lentils etc). Nothing processed, no things out of cans, prepackaged, everything from scratch unless it is e.g. something frozen and it is very clear in the ingredient list that there are zero additives. When I say be careful of prepackaged things, this unfortunately includes things that seem "innocent", like sliced bread or cookies. If you eat lots of bread (e.g. not just a slice per day), see if your local bakery has low sodium products, because it all adds up.
    Obviously when cooking do not add salt at all, your meals have to be removed from the pot/pan etc before salt is added. Be very careful with spice mixtures as some contain salt, so buy single ingredients and mix your own. Experiment a lot with spices and herbs, because no salt diets are tricky to get used to. Obviously no store bought sauces.
    Avoid animal fat, try EVOO in cooking if you can afford it. No deli meats, no salty snacks, only low fat - low sodium cheese. In general, if it tastes salty, it is off limits. If it is high in animal fat, it is off limits, eat lean meats in moderation, your fat intake should mainly come from plant sources and fish. Also no fried food.

    Daily cardio, but low-moderate intensity (whatever this means for you, just do not push yourself to the limits).
    Avoid strength training (at least with weights high enough to really make it challenging) and avoid sprints etc, before getting approval from a cardiologist.
    So unfortunately this might mean long walks and slow jogs for a while, instead of all the things you are doing, until you get cleared.

    All the above is the most common medical guidelines for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. You will see advice claiming the opposite, such as going low carb etc. Be very careful, because in your case, following advice your dr does not approve of, it could cost your life literally. So double check whatever you do.

    Why avoid strength training?

    My (non-medical, just personal experiece) view would be to avoid strength training (with weights heavy enough to require real effort), as well as sprinting etc, until he gets in touch with a dr. Stressful (even physically stressful activities) can affect blood pressure and circulation, and once you get blood pressure unusual readings, you need a checkup by a cardiologist to get cleared for "hard" workouts.

    Heavy lifting is actually beneficial for blood volume and blood pressure. Its actually one of the few exercises my wife can do with her condition (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which comes with lower blood volume.

    Heavy lifting focuses increases in blood volume due to the increase oxygen needa that large muscles need when carrying heavy loads.

    I do agree that discussions with doctors should occur.

    I agree in general. But, a few years ago (and after years of VERY intense exercise) I was diagnosed with a heart issue in a routine checkup. Nothing life threatening, what the dr described as almost innocent, but I was told that working out at 100% of my potential was no longer an option. In general, he recommended never lifting to failure, slow weight progression, no HIIT type workouts, no sprinting to the point of feeling I am giving it my 100% etc. And I am female, 10 years younger than the OP and my blood pressure is normal without medication.
    Of course the OP's case might be different and different limitiations might apply, but still, better safe than sorry, so slowing down on exercise for a week or two, until he gets the ok from a dr, will not hurt.

    My wife can do amy cardio and has to allow for increased recovery as her heart rate can sky rocket quickly. She also cant lie flat. So i actually train her. She can lift heavumy but we have to adjust for a ton of variables.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,397 MFP Moderator
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    JerSchmare wrote: »
    This is the 3rd attempt at posting. Not sure what the hell is going on. Anyway, the main thing I wanted to say is that the Dr told me to keep with my exercise routine. Wanted me to just clean up my diet. I'm going to start eating a lot more fish, nuts, veggies, fruit, fiber, and less red meat, alcohol, and saturated fats.

    In mid May, I will see the doctor and we'll see where things are at that time. Hopefully, this can be fixed with diet.

    If stress related, I'll have to seek out relaxation techniques. But, I only want to change one thing at a time. I'm about 98% sure it's diet related.

    Thanks.

    Best of luck man. Keep us posted.
  • Traveler120
    Traveler120 Posts: 712 Member
    edited May 2017
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    JerSchmare wrote: »
    This is the 3rd attempt at posting. Not sure what the hell is going on. Anyway, the main thing I wanted to say is that the Dr told me to keep with my exercise routine. Wanted me to just clean up my diet. I'm going to start eating a lot more fish, nuts, veggies, fruit, fiber, and less red meat, alcohol, and saturated fats.

    In mid May, I will see the doctor and we'll see where things are at that time. Hopefully, this can be fixed with diet.

    If stress related, I'll have to seek out relaxation techniques. But, I only want to change one thing at a time. I'm about 98% sure it's diet related.

    Thanks.

    Good plan. My total cholesterol went from ~278 mg/dl to ~180 mg/dl mainly by reducing saturated fats. I reduced my consumption of meats, eggs, cheese and full fat dairy and reduced cooking oils. I was doing a paleo diet before. Now I eat more fiber, plant foods and starches like oats, potatoes, lots of beans and lentils, fruits/veg. My LDL went from 203 to 109. So yeah, less saturated fats are key to lowering cholesterol.