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Blood Pressure: Mountain, Molehill?

Discussion in 'Other Health Conditions and Diabetes' started by Grateful, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't someone who paid much attention to my health until getting the Type 2 diabetes diagnosis nine months ago. This had a powerful mind-focusing effect and I became determined to pay attention to all major aspects of health, in part because being ill and having diabetes can be no picnic. Also because I currently take no prescription drugs at all, and would like to keep it that way for as long as possible. Finally because I want to get to know my (future) great-grandchildren!!!!

    I didn't know anything about blood pressure. Then I looked up the reading from a recent doctor's visit and it was 130/80. This was Greek to me but when I looked it up on the American Heart Association website, this was "High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1." Didn't sound good.

    My doctor has never said anything about my blood pressure (good!). But I was still a bit concerned. So I have bought a home BP monitor and am starting some simple experiments today, which I will update in this thread. It may be a bit hypochondriac, but if there is indeed an issue (not clear at all) then this would be a good time to try doing something about it.

    For what it's worth, all of the lifestyle changes that the AHA recommends for good cardiac health (diet, exercise and so forth) are things that I have already done. Edited to add: and my diet is low-carb, low-fat so that should help avoid the controversy about high-fat vs. low-fat and their effect on cardiac health.

    I did two readings this morning:
    --Upon getting up in the morning, before eating or drinking anything: 125/84 (AHA calls that "Elevated").
    --Mid-morning, after breakfast, and after my normal four cups of cofee (I know, I know): 138/85 (AHA calls that "Hypertension Stage 1").

    The AHA blood-pressure bands are listed here: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Condi...-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.WgxmE1WnE-U.

    I am aware that BP readings can go all over the place during the day, depending on what you have been up to. (Also, that the two arms can be different, so I am making sure to use the same arm -- the left, in this case -- every time.)

    Edited to add: There is heart disease in the family. My 92-year-old mother has it, and so did her mother.

    Thoughts, suggestions? Mountain, molehill?
     
    #1 Grateful, Nov 15, 2017 at 4:12 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Molehill.. IMHO... The AHA recently changed their thresholds so that now I believe 46% of US citizens have hypertension so a new market for BP lowering drugs was born overnight.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/11/13/blood-pressure-of-130-is-the-new-high-according-to-first-update-of-guidelines-in-14-years/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_bloodpressure-4pm:homepage/story&utm_term=.491328608324

    evidence... hmmm

    The AHA are the guys whose president just had a heart attack at 52.. either he wasn't following their advice or there may be something wrong with that advice.. but hey they aren't likely to admit that are they...
     
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    #2 bulkbiker, Nov 15, 2017 at 4:37 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  3. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    It was only a few years back that "normal" systolic blood pressure was 100 + your age, so for many here 150/x or 160/x and nobody worried. Very high blood pressure can be damaging, but I am very suspicious of all the new, low levels. I'll vote "molehill".
    Sally
     
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  4. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Did you leave at least half an hour between breakfast and your ‘gallon’ of coffee before you did the reading?
     
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  5. Boo1979

    Boo1979 Other · Well-Known Member

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    Id say something to monitor but not to obsess about
    Just to throw another variable into the mix - I have to have 24 hour BP monitoring as the mere sight of a hospital / GP surgey sends my BP into the statosphere. My consultant is always very impressed that my BP shows “ a very nice nocturnal dip” - apparently the lack of a dip in BP overnight is a sign of significant arterial stiffness which is at least as important as overall BP as an indicator of CV risk.
    Guess what - arterial stiffening at an earlier age is another of D’s little gifts!
    http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/55/1/9
    https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Arterial-Stiffness.aspx
     
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    #5 Boo1979, Nov 15, 2017 at 5:06 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  6. hankjam

    hankjam Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I tend to sit still for about 5 mins before taking my own reading and I take the average of three.
    I find my position, device relative to your arm/heart can influence the numbers quite a bit...
     
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  7. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Nurse:D. Yes. I am following the advice you kindly provided in another thread, and also the instructions that came with my BP monitor.

    I am aware of those factors (sitting still for five minutes, position of arm). I am only taking a single reading at the moment, mainly because when I tested the machine a few times, running several readings in one session produced only tiny differences.
     
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  8. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's this one by the way. It has a memory for 50 readings and even a two-person switch so two people can both keep independent logs. Mrs. G. tested herself once, got quasi-normal readings (lower than mine) and quite rightly lost interest. As for my quest to figure it out: her vote is firmly for "molehill."
    [​IMG]
     
    #8 Grateful, Nov 15, 2017 at 5:21 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  9. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    I'm guessing that pic is from an ad for the Omron.. interesting to see that from last week to this that person, in the US at least, is now suffering from hypertension!
     
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  10. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Your Mother is 92 and has that shortened her life? She has certainly done something right to reach that grand age and is to be commended.
     
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  11. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where to start. She was born in Australia. Her mother was Scots from Glasgow and emigrated to Sydney when her husband, who was from Manchester, took a good job as a traveling salesman in Australia. She was a nurse and keeled over of a heart attack in fairly ripe old age. She was still working as a nurse at the time and it turned out that there were no accurate records of her age! (That is the family story. I have my doubts!!)

    My mother fell in love with Maurice Chevalier from the movies and songs, and emigrated to Paris in her early 20s. That is where she met my father, an Englishman who was born in London. My mother had three brothers, two of whom are still alive (and also in their 90s), the third one died in an accident. All of those uncles of mine are taller than I am (I am 6-foot-4) and thin. The eldest is approaching 100 years old and still goes hiking in China with his much younger Chinese spouse (they met during a hiking thing in China).

    My mother is extremely thin and has probably not been much more than 50 kilos for most of her life. She eats like a horse and woe betide if lunch is ever late! She is an excellent cook and everything was always made from scratch (although in her extreme old age she is now fond of a French frozen-foods chain called Picard). She was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia and high blood pressure in her 70s and takes meds for that. She suffers from the various aches and pains and other issues typical for a person in fairly extreme old age but otherwise seems indestructible. She drinks in moderation with meals, and enjoys a daily whiskey. Until very recently she was extremely physically active: long daily walks, and impossible to "pin down" for more than a couple of minutes.
     
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    #11 Grateful, Nov 15, 2017 at 6:38 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  12. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    My grandmother died aged 92 in her sleep. Her daughter, my mother, dropped down dead of a heart attack aged 55. Sometimes, you just have to put familial history behind you and just do your best.
     
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  13. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If it's not to push new drugs, the world must be a pretty awful place when half of the population is ill.:wacky:
     
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  14. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    In some ways getting the home BP monitor is helping already. It has clarified to me that the reading taken in the doctor's office is awfully unreliable, because it violates most of the advice given for an accurate BP reading. So, I think I now understand why my doctor has never said anything about it. Presumably he would act only if the reading were extremely high, or extremely low. It is also interesting that in his chart, he rounded the numbers to the nearest 10 -- or maybe he rounded them down!

    I can distinctly remember during the August consultation (the first one where we discussed how I had "reversed" the T2D) that when the doctor did a quick physical examination, he muttered "good!" when he had just finished taking my blood pressure (130/80).

    My 92-year-old father-in-law has both hypertension and hypotension (both high and low blood pressure) and takes meds (I don't know which). When he has the BG "hypos" he gets all woozy and faint. I must admit, however, to wondering sometimes whether the "hypo"-tension might not be partially aggravated by the meds. (Edited to add: His meds, for BP and other conditions, fill an entire bathroom cabinet.)
     
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  15. archersuz

    archersuz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    On my DESMOND course last week I was told that target blood pressure is 140 over 80.
     
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  16. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    OK that's it for today. I measured at three points during the day:

    --Upon getting up in the morning, before eating or drinking anything: 125/84 (AHA calls that "Elevated").
    --Mid-morning, after breakfast, and after my normal four cups of coffee (I know, I know): 138/85 (AHA calls that "Hypertension Stage 1").
    --Mid-afternoon, having gone for the usual brisk 3-mile walk late morning, then lunch (mixed salad, avocado, mineral water), then my usual two cups of coffee, reading taken more than an hour after coffee: 156/95 (AHA calls that "Hypertension Stage 2").

    Average of the three readings: 139/88 (for AHA that is right at the top of Stage 1 Hypertension).

    I had an excellent night's sleep last night (10 hours) and today has been low-stress. This has been a pretty typical, indeed if anything a rather easy-going, Day At The Office.

    The next experiment involves eliminating coffee, maybe tomorrow if I have the nerve. (Eliminating carbs seems easy by comparison!!!) You don't want to be anywhere near me when the non-coffee experiment happens.:mad:
     
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    #16 Grateful, Nov 15, 2017 at 8:50 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  17. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    My blood pressure has come down considerably since my diabetes diagnosis (140/82 on the day I was diagnosed down to, for example today 118/75). I don’t know how much to attribute to each of the following: the loss of over 4 stone (25.5kg) in weight, my change in diet or reduction in caffeine intake (I was drinking up to 6 mugs/day of real ground coffee, I now drink just two/day)? I guess it’s a bit of all three. I’m now at the point where my lowest reading recently was 104/72 and I’m feeling dizzy if I stand up too quickly, so I’m hoping I can drop one of my BP meds, I’m currently on two.
     
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  18. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    My non diabetic hubby has high blood pressure according to 24hour monitor but during night it goes to normal.. so GP just last week said nothing concerns her...his average bottom number during day is between 80-90 and normally 85.. up to 100 whilst he was at work. The top number was always diring waking hours between 140-165 (at work) but at night sleeping average was 125/78..

    My concern is that he is 51 and his dad had heart attacks and strokes starting from 60 years old...

    He eats lower carb and meditereanean fats.. no meds besides levythyroxone (??)...

    I'm still amazed he's not on low dose BP meds. He's normal weight, jogs/runs every other day walks everyday and cycles 7 miles 5/7 days.

    I'm not convinced really. Bit confused on BP...

    Following...
     
  19. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It really is awfully confusing. I am 60 years old, and in America....

    "Adults aged 60 or older should only take blood pressure medication if their blood pressure exceeds 150/90, which sets a higher bar for treatment than the current guideline of 140/90, according to the report, published online Dec. 18 [2013] in the Journal of the American Medical Association." https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-...elines-raise-the-bar-for-taking-medications#1.

    Under that guideline my numbers amount to: molehill.
     
  20. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I too drink the real stuff and grind it at home.

    That's what happens to my elderly father-in-law, basically every time I see him stand up. He is very unsteady on his feet for a few seconds. He knows that it is caused by hypotension. Perhaps the meds are badly dosed, who knows? He is 6-foot-7, so when he falls, it is from a considerable height. (The last big fall was down a flight of stairs.)

    I am really confused too. Even more confused, the more I learn (and that happened when I was learning about diabetes, too!).
     
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