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Thread: Blood pressure

  1. #1
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    Blood pressure

    Been asked by the doctor to submit a reading.

    No symptoms of it being high, but wow the reading grabbed my attention somewhat. As did entering the numbers on the NHS website.

    Am sure I will get a call tmrw from the surgery asking me to use their equipment, if I donít Iím calling Weds for an appointment to discuss.

    Retests after havenít helped due to anxiety about the first few readings!


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  2. #2
    Equipment GPs use is often the same as a half decent monitor we might have at home - a £50-£75 Omron machine for example.

    Reading likely to be higher at surgery too with the extra anxiety...

  3. #3
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Get your wife to take your BP, 3 times at 5 minutes intervals while remaining seated and without showing you the readings
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Equipment GPs use is often the same as a half decent monitor we might have at home - a £50-£75 Omron machine for example.

    Reading likely to be higher at surgery too with the extra anxiety...
    Exactly the brand I have.

    Wake up call to drop my 7kg a bit quicker.


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  5. #5
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    My surgery uses a calibrated version of the Boots one I have. They both read the same. I think it was about £20.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Get your wife to take your BP, 3 times at 5 minutes intervals while remaining seated and without showing you the readings
    Thatís a really good idea, cheers.

    Last reading was ďget appointment today, or call 999 if you have the following symptomsĒ put me right off my glass of Rioja!


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  7. #7
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    A glass of red wine is supposedly good for the blood pressure.

  8. #8
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Itís really something that needs serious consideration as even without drastic lifestyle changes it can be addressed (Amlodipine for example). The list of possible consequential co-morbidities is frightening.
    It works extremely well for me, if it helps.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    A glass of red wine is supposedly good for the blood pressure.
    Given the sun went away, it had to be red tonight.


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  10. #10
    Cayenne pepper several times a day.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Itís really something that needs serious consideration as even without drastic lifestyle changes it can be addressed (Amlodipine for example). The list of possible consequential co-morbidities is frightening.
    It works extremely well for me, if it helps.
    Father and Uncle suffer and treated with meds, so am sure it will get under control for me, just need the first step.

    Indeed, Iíve stopped reading the internet now. So many co-morbidities!


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  12. #12
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    I an on one 10 mg Felodipine and one 10 mg Ramipril a day. And considering adding another. I'll take as many pills as they want if it keeps me healthy. Also on one 40 mg Simvastatin daily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbannister View Post
    I an on one 10 mg Felodipine and one 10 mg Ramipril a day. And considering adding another. I'll take as many pills as they want if it keeps me healthy. Also on one 40 mg Simvastatin daily.
    Sounds like a lot of meds to be taking, could any of that be replaced by lifestyle changes?

  14. #14
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    I got picked up for very high blood pressure about 5 years ago when I went to get a tick bite checked out (I'd have been 47 at the time). No symptoms, and I was reasonably healthy (running 3x per week) and not overweight. However, when checked I was coming in at 190+/110+, which is very high indeed (they told me there were 3 levels of hypertension and I'd jumped straight to the top one). I'd no idea, and given that I'm pretty healthy, I suspect it wouldn't have shown up until something bad happened. Anyway, took a couple of different meds to get it right (I had a reaction to the first couple they tried), but my BP has been stable in the normal range ever since. Basically, don't get too worried, take the meds, and if there are other lifestyle things you can do, then do them. (I did change my diet a bit to help with BP and higher cholesterol at the same time.) It's totally treatable and manageable, so try not to worry too much about it.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave E View Post
    I got picked up for very high blood pressure about 5 years ago when I went to get a tick bite checked out (I'd have been 47 at the time). No symptoms, and I was reasonably healthy (running 3x per week) and not overweight. However, when checked I was coming in at 190+/110+, which is very high indeed (they told me there were 3 levels of hypertension and I'd jumped straight to the top one). I'd no idea, and given that I'm pretty healthy, I suspect it wouldn't have shown up until something bad happened. Anyway, took a couple of different meds to get it right (I had a reaction to the first couple they tried), but my BP has been stable in the normal range ever since. Basically, don't get too worried, take the meds, and if there are other lifestyle things you can do, then do them. (I did change my diet a bit to help with BP and higher cholesterol at the same time.) It's totally treatable and manageable, so try not to worry too much about it.
    Agree with all of that. Iím a very fit 55 year old but need to take Lisinopril fairly low dosage to take care of it. I eat healthy am well within the recommended weight and donít drink that much alcohol.

    So Iíve done pretty much all of the lifestyle things to bring it in line.

    The medication doesnít have any adverse affect. Occasionally I get light headed when getting up quickly which would indicate low blood pressure so my Dr has been working with me to get the dosage right.

    But I can do all of the things I want to.

    You are lucky youíve spotted it now as for some itís too late.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave E View Post
    I got picked up for very high blood pressure about 5 years ago when I went to get a tick bite checked out (I'd have been 47 at the time). No symptoms, and I was reasonably healthy (running 3x per week) and not overweight. However, when checked I was coming in at 190+/110+, which is very high indeed (they told me there were 3 levels of hypertension and I'd jumped straight to the top one). I'd no idea, and given that I'm pretty healthy, I suspect it wouldn't have shown up until something bad happened. Anyway, took a couple of different meds to get it right (I had a reaction to the first couple they tried), but my BP has been stable in the normal range ever since. Basically, don't get too worried, take the meds, and if there are other lifestyle things you can do, then do them. (I did change my diet a bit to help with BP and higher cholesterol at the same time.) It's totally treatable and manageable, so try not to worry too much about it.
    I was in level 2 and was amazed I hadnít had any symptoms, well aside from tiredness but had that my entire life lol. It is interesting how you can exercise a lot and still suffer.

    The only other time the NHS app turned red for me after questions was when I had broken my foot. And a foot worries me a lot less than my heart as Iíve got another foot!


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Sounds like a lot of meds to be taking, could any of that be replaced by lifestyle changes?
    Probably a bit, but not as much as one might think.

    I am 65, try to jog a 5km every week, walk between 3 and 6 km every morning, and swim at least 2km twice a week. We hardly go out and cook most dishes from scratch and have a well balance diet. Yet I need both statins and HBP medication. Genetics trump lifestyle in my case.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  18. #18
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    Same for me. Was put on HBP at age 30, total shock as I was a complete gym bunny, playing rugby every week. They said it was either hereditary or down to the amount of weights I was pushing which apparently hardens the blood vessels

    The meds keep it under control

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  19. #19
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    On Amlodopine - was 150/95 now normalish 135/85.

    Took my blood pressure monitor into docs to check it was same reading.

    Be glad itís been discovered and take the meds!

  20. #20
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    Went through something similar recently - went to the opticians for a regular eye test and they saw something in one of the eye vessels.
    That led to a consultation with a neuro and a cardiologist. Neuro was negative after a MRI but cardiologist was concerned about blood pressure and cholesterol so now on Amlodipine and Arvostatin daily.
    One thing the cardiologist did say was that he wanted me to take 3 readings per day and for each one to take 3 readings and note down the lowest. Did that for a month and sent him the results so he could get a good idea of day/afternoon/eve and adjust meds accordingly.
    Initially he put me onto a 24 hour blood pressure monitor to get a base reading.
    So overall it was pretty thorough and I learnt a lot doing it. Maybe worth adopting something similar from a monitoring perspective?

  21. #21
    I started on a statin last week after a bout of tests (CT/ultrasound) showed a pristine coronary artery, normal function and structure, but age related furring.

    He did warn that if he looked he knew this would be an outcome.

    Happy to chow it down once a day for peace of mind.
    "Bite my shiny metal ass."
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stooo View Post
    I started on a statin last week after a bout of tests (CT/ultrasound) showed a pristine coronary artery, normal function and structure, but age related furring.

    He did warn that if he looked he knew this would be an outcome.

    Happy to chow it down once a day for peace of mind.
    I need to get booked in, sooner the better.

    Been feeling fine for years, now this & Iím happy to take what I need.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Exactly the brand I have.

    Wake up call to drop my 7kg a bit quicker.


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    Mine came in 2 1/2 years ago at 140/90 or something borderline. That and two slightly younger colleagues had quintuple heart bypass surgery which really focussed my mind. Lost over 3 stone from 15 3 to 12 3 (this morning) and that really impacted my BP. 120/70 now I think? Dropped a lot with the weight loss though which kept me going.

    I reckon that 7kg with make a dent in yours


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  24. #24
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    Noted there maybe some genetic markers in play but if you are overweight and donít exercise Iíd be looking to address that to avoid a lifetime of medication.

  25. #25
    I was told in my 20s that I was in imminent danger of having a heart attack due to high BP. I obviously didnít listen to them.

    Two years ago on a visa health check I recorded this and as such decided to do something about it.

    They donít mess around with the advisory at the foot of the reading.


  26. #26
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    Mj2k dont under estimate how much you can influence your bp with anxiety. I know, i speak from experience! Stop using your monitor tonight as it will just wind you up and you wont sleep and bp will rise. Get in to see the doctor or nurse. They will certainly take two readings and then take it from there.

    My surgery was much more pragmatic than the web based NHS guidance of “get an appointment or visit A&E” that the web gives you.

  27. #27
    Master Tifa's Avatar
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    Low-ish BP (in the lower half of the 'green' band)
    Never smoked
    No heart problems in the family
    Don't drink much....well never 2 nights on the trot (few pints a week)
    Low cholesterol levels.
    Healthy diet, loads of fruit & veg (don't add salt to food) for last 30 years
    Not overweight. (...maybe a few lbs? but this changes)
    Regular exercise
    Fairly active and healthy lifestyle...but...needed a triple heart bypass two years ago.
    Came as an absolute shock to everybody.

    Not convinced meds are always the answer....they might fix your BP, but at the expense of your kidneys or digestive system etc....

  28. #28
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    Please don't underestimate how serious higher BP can be, particularly if you also have high cholesterol too.

    I had 'borderline' (ie slightly) high BP readings at every GP check since my mid 20's but it was never enough for them to medicate as they always put it down to white coat syndrome (which it was not).
    At the age of 52, while fit, active and eating a 95% veggie diet for many years I had a heart attack which very nearly killed me due to a 95-99% blocked LAD artery. There were almost no warning signs either.

    Post heart attack (and stent), I felt slightly cheated as everything within the guidance leaflets I was already doing. I was fit, active, ate well, did not eat much salt or processed food etc - it was all due to the moderately high BP and cholesterol, which turns out was hereditary meaning no diet changes or increase in activity was going to solve it. That is the benefit of hindsight though.

    Please look after yourself and get your BP under control. The other thing I learnt is that YOU need to be proactive about your OWN health - don't assume your GP is looking out for you, they are far too busy, so you have to push the matter if you have concerns.

  29. #29
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Kenney View Post
    I was told in my 20s that I was in imminent danger of having a heart attack due to high BP. I obviously didnít listen to them.

    Two years ago on a visa health check I recorded this and as such decided to do something about it.

    They donít mess around with the advisory at the foot of the reading.

    Were you resting properly? Your heart rate is quite high if you were
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Were you resting properly? Your heart rate is quite high if you were
    Could have been a Benny Hill style naughty nurse?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Noted there maybe some genetic markers in play but if you are overweight and donít exercise Iíd be looking to address that to avoid a lifetime of medication.
    Why would it need to be a lifetime of meds?

    Obvious thing would be to take meds AND improve lifestlye, wouldn't it? It's not one or t'other.

    You would then see if the changes had been enough.

  32. #32
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    I drink a glass of Beetroot juice juice every day, seems to help. I've cut back on processed foods. We eat very vegetarian a lot of fish. I've had hypertension for about ten years blood pressure readings all over the place. Eat less and move more if you can?

  33. #33
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    Lots of good advice here, thank you. Especially about the chasing my doctor, Iíve not had a message or call today, so will call them first thing tmrw to get an appointment booked in.

    Have not had a cholesterol test before, so will be pushing for that too.

    Certainly swapping the hard exercise at the gym for walking until Iím assessed. It really does play in the back of your mind.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Were you resting properly? Your heart rate is quite high if you were
    White coat syndrome I suspect.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenikjones View Post
    Why would it need to be a lifetime of meds?

    Obvious thing would be to take meds AND improve lifestlye, wouldn't it? It's not one or t'other.

    You would then see if the changes had been enough.
    Yes you are correct but it seems often people think medication will allow them to continue to abuse themselves.

    My best man had a heart attack a couple of years ago. Heís an intelligent guy but has done very little to improve his lifestyle. He takes loads of meds and just thinks that allows him to continue as he is Ö

    All of us have had words with him about his lifestyle but heís stubborn and just carries on.

    We are all worried we will lose one of our best mates too early. But we canít nag him any further as it just causes bad feeling.

    I wish heíd help himself. :-(

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Lots of good advice here, thank you. Especially about the chasing my doctor, Iíve not had a message or call today, so will call them first thing tmrw to get an appointment booked in.

    Have not had a cholesterol test before, so will be pushing for that too.

    Certainly swapping the hard exercise at the gym for walking until Iím assessed. It really does play in the back of your mind.
    As already has been said already above, I would VERY strongly suggest you get yourself an Omron BP monitor and take your BP reading twice in the AM and twice in the PM for 7 days (at least), then keep the results and take them with you to the GP's when you see them. These gadgets cost peanuts these days and are pretty accurate, plus taking the readings at home allows you to take 5-10 minutes resting before taking a reading so you can rule out the white coat syndrome and/or other external influences. (All joking about Benny Hill nurses aside).

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Kenney View Post
    White coat syndrome I suspect.
    If I may , and I appreciate it's none of my business, I'd suggest you got yourself a basic Omron and started taking several readings daily for a week (make sure the cuff that comes with it is big enough; ask me how I know).
    It will completely eliminate the WCS and will give you a better appreciation of the situation.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    As already has been said already above, I would VERY strongly suggest you get yourself an Omron BP monitor and take your BP reading twice in the AM and twice in the PM for 7 days (at least), then keep the results and take them with you to the GP's when you see them. These gadgets cost peanuts these days and are pretty accurate, plus taking the readings at home allows you to take 5-10 minutes resting before taking a reading so you can rule out the white coat syndrome and/or other external influences. (All joking about Benny Hill nurses aside).
    I stole my parents omron (my old one) at the weekend, these are all home tests, so no white coat issues. I have a new omron arriving tomorrow, but tonightís readings have been 176/117 and 165/118 which is even worse. That is with me resting for 10mins and breathing. Part of me hopes their one is out of calibration, but the reality is that wonít be the case.

    I know I consume too much wine, and I enjoy eating out 1-2 times a week and scratch cooking. The cooking I do is pretty healthy (aside from weekend treats) as Iím control of fats & quantities, but I do consume a lot of red meat, chicken thighs and wings (oven baked) as prefer the flavour to breast / fish.

    I cook from scratch every night we arenít out, so should be healthier than processed food / ready meals. Chicken Karahi from scratch tonight with next to no oil & chicken breast which lacked the depth of flavour of lamb but much better for me.

    Maybe I need to get an extra hour of walking in & have ready meals instead of spending an hour cooking dinner each night after work. My work means my ability to get a 30 min break midday for a walk is limited, which sucks a bit (lot!) but I get paid well for what I do, so guess I canít complain; there is pre work time I can use more effectively.

    Apologies all for a long post, a bit cathartic to type my thoughts out to be honest. Thank you all.


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  39. #39
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Does your job include perks like Bupa? If yes, get a referral from your GP and find someone who will have the time to do all the tests required that unfortunately would take ages on the NHS. They may help you make the choices that will actually benefit you.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  40. #40
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    My mildly elevated blood pressure was cured by retiring early at 52, stress can be a major factor. Doing all the sensible things helps, I`m a strong advocate for exercise and plenty of sleep, but for me eliminating the stress factor of a job I didn`t enjoy was a game-changer.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    I stole my parents omron (my old one) at the weekend, these are all home tests, so no white coat issues. I have a new omron arriving tomorrow, but tonightís readings have been 176/117 and 165/118 which is even worse. That is with me resting for 10mins and breathing. Part of me hopes their one is out of calibration, but the reality is that wonít be the case.

    I know I consume too much wine, and I enjoy eating out 1-2 times a week and scratch cooking. The cooking I do is pretty healthy (aside from weekend treats) as Iím control of fats & quantities, but I do consume a lot of red meat, chicken thighs and wings (oven baked) as prefer the flavour to breast / fish.

    I cook from scratch every night we arenít out, so should be healthier than processed food / ready meals. Chicken Karahi from scratch tonight with next to no oil & chicken breast which lacked the depth of flavour of lamb but much better for me.

    Maybe I need to get an extra hour of walking in & have ready meals instead of spending an hour cooking dinner each night after work. My work means my ability to get a 30 min break midday for a walk is limited, which sucks a bit (lot!) but I get paid well for what I do, so guess I canít complain; there is pre work time I can use more effectively.

    Apologies all for a long post, a bit cathartic to type my thoughts out to be honest. Thank you all.


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    Finding and making the time for a daily walk is a chore but well worth it. What tipped me into doing it was that I set a target on my iPhone (300kcals/day) and once I had done it consistently for a few weeks I wanted to get to 3 months, then 6 monthsÖ now Iím almost at a year. Itís a real pain sometimes but I found that getting up a bit earlier and going out is one way of getting it in. Also I found that I now know what routes and pace will get me to hit the target.
    Iíve done it in all weathers and even when Iíve been away.
    Not sure if Iíll continue after 365 days but it is part of my day now.
    Maybe worth a try?

  42. #42
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    Wouldnít go the ready meal route

    If you like cooking, why not batch cook? Dedicate one afternoon at a weekend and get your freezer stocked. A ďhome made ready mealĒ would be better than one bought from a shop.

    That said, look at your quantities I halved my rice and pasta serving size and havenít really deprived myself.

  43. #43
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    Apologies, I've not read through all of the replies, so this may be irrelevant.

    Earlier this year, both Mrs C and I were found to have high blood pressure.

    Mrs C is not 'doing anything wrong' with regards to diet, weight, lifestyle etc. She is now taking meds, and bp is coming down.

    On the other hand, I was doing everything wrong. Poor diet, overweight, not enough exercise, too much caffeine. I received a telephone call from the practice pharmacist which went along the lines of:

    P: Your blood pressure is too high, you need to take meds.

    Me: Can I try to make lifestyle changes first?

    P: No, you need to take these meds. Come in after two weeks so we can take a blood test to make sure they are not killing your vital organs

    Me: Will I need to take them for long?

    P: You will be on them for life.

    I've never met the pharmacist, and she knows nothing about me. So, went to see my GP for a second opinion. We've agreed for me to try lifestyle changes first and reassess after 6 months.

    I've put my running shoes back on, and am gradually building up distance. Re-engaged with the gym, made some modest changes to diet, cut down on the caffeine. So far, so good. Rolling average is coming down, and BP was at a healthy level three days last week.

    I'm not opposed to taking meds, and will do so if necessary. However, I'd rather take a more holistic approach to addressing the issue if possible.

  44. #44
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    The problem with HBP is that you don't feel the damage it does until it's too late.
    In your situation I asked my best mate who's a GP (now just retired, but we've been friends for 50 years and he's always been my "health consultant") and he strongly recommended doing both (i.e. Meds + lifestyle change) as the meds would stop the damage that HPB is doing now, while the lifestyle changes could potentially make the meds unnecessary at a later stage.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  45. #45
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    I had a general check up/blood test recently (48yr/extremely active-fit) and, beforehand, was asked to submit a week of x4 daily readings (Amazon £15 jobby). Averaged around 135/90. After nearly 3wks of Amlodopine 5mg, reduced salt/caffeine/cholesterol and 3L water daily it has come down to an average of 122/88. Annoyingly, I was also told that I had vitamin-D deficiency, which is weird because I'm out daily with the dogs and running often - not my fault there's never any bloody sunshine!

  46. #46
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    Great thread this. I'm 47 in a week, 129 kilos (down from 136 a couple of months ago and on keto), 6 foot tall, not had a BP check for years.

    Just off to Argos to pick up a BP monitor.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenikjones View Post
    Wouldnít go the ready meal route

    If you like cooking, why not batch cook? Dedicate one afternoon at a weekend and get your freezer stocked. A ďhome made ready mealĒ would be better than one bought from a shop.

    That said, look at your quantities I halved my rice and pasta serving size and havenít really deprived myself.
    I despise batch cooking with a passion as high as my love of cooking lol. I was planning a salad last night but made a chicken karahi instead as the weather was miserable.

    I suppose a batch of curry variants could work, base gravy seems to be the only thing I batch cook. Most things I do are pan seared or griddled and as there is little sauce they donít freeze overly well & the wife doesnít like stew / saucy meals - but loves curry, go figure!

    Awaiting a call from the doc currently.

  48. #48
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    OK 149/100

    Time to see the GP

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    OK 149/100

    Time to see the GP
    Ryan the gp will want a few measurements. Also technique is important with these gadgets. As stated above you need to sit down, feet flat on the floor, relax for at leat five mins then do TWO tests about 3 mins apart. Record the lowest measure ( usually the second) BP goes up and down during the day so they normally ask you to do a reading am and pm.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    Ryan the gp will want a few measurements. Also technique is important with these gadgets. As stated above you need to sit down, feet flat on the floor, relax for at leat five mins then do TWO tests about 3 mins apart. Record the lowest measure ( usually the second) BP goes up and down during the day so they normally ask you to do a reading am and pm.
    Thanks. I just want to get the ball rolling at this stage so I can get the meds.

    Edit I followed your advice and did the test after 5 mins relaxing, feet on floor.

    133/97
    Last edited by ryanb741; 12th June 2024 at 13:00.

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