Today's Post: Monday, 8-29-2011
The company that makes the relaxation device, Resperate, that has helped some people lower high blood pressure sponsors an email called, Ask Dr Rowena, (see http://www.lowerpressure.com/ .)
Their email last week sent on Thursday, 8-25, 2011 had this question.:
"I am 6'7" and when I weighed 285 my BP was 165/90. On the advice of my Dr. I have lost 30 lbs. My BP is now 170/110.
I am on Diovan 160 once per day. Bumping to a 320 per day has not changed my BP. Adding Lisinopril 10MG has not changed my BP.
Is it common to lose 30lbs and have your BP increase? Not making much sense to me or my doctor.
My diet is good - low sodium, few carbs (and those are whole wheat carbs). I exercise 3x per week doing cardio and lift weights 3x per week. Where else should I be looking to lower my BP? Thanks”
1. Dr Rowena gave a great answer:
Here's my summary of it.
a) Try losing a second 30 pounds.
b) There are treatable medical conditions that produce the effect he has experienced. They can prevent high blood pressure from going down. So she said for him to be sure to have his doctors check him very thoroughly for those!
The three she listed were: "kidney disease, thyroid disease and sleep apnea." She noted that there are others to check for too.
This a superb point. If he has one of these, treating it well will not only remove a barrier to lower blood pressure, it may be life-saving on its own merits. And the point of lowering blood pressure is to prevent harm to the person doing it.
c) She also said he was doing the right thing by his fat loss efforts, eating right, and exercising. Absolutely correct!
2. This post is to add several other things he can look at or do in his situation. Or people like him can add. They too can help fix his problem. And doing them will help lower his blood pressure and protect his health.
a) First of all her idea of losing a second 30 pounds is a good one. At 6'7" and 255 pounds, his BMI is 28.7. A more desirable 25.0 BMI would about 222 pounds. So it might well pay him to lose 30 to 32 more pounds.
b) He is eating a high protein, low carb diet. But there are some upgrades he does NOT say he is using that will give him better health protection. They will also help him lower his blood pressure.
*And one such upgrade will be a huge help in both lowering his blood pressure AND losing some of the second 30 pounds.
He does not say he is using a variation of the DASH II diet in a low carb form.
That diet is very strong on gradually adding more and more nonstarchy vegetables until you eat much more than most people do now. Foods such as tomatoes, raw broccoli florets, kale, romaine lettuce, cooked green beans, asparagus, mild green chilies, Brussels sprouts, all are high in fiber and potassium and nutrients. And, some of those also protect against cancers.
They are also amazingly high in nutrition and very, very low in calories.
Adding those very low glycemic vegetables to what he eats will definitely cause him to lose a good bit of his remaining fat and weight.
In fact, people who go on the DASH II diet often lose 10 to 25 pounds with no extra effort or hunger from just doing this one thing.
**Eating far less whole wheat and eating such vegetables instead will actually lower the effect of the carbs he still eats. Even though whole wheat at least has fiber and nutrients well above that of refined grains, it still tests as nearly as high a glycemic food. That means that every time he eats whole wheat, he is spiking his blood sugar and insulin. Doing that is a proven fattener. If he makes this switch, that too will help him lose his remaining 30 pounds of fat.
***The DASH II diet is proven to lower high blood pressure. The main reason for this is that it adds so much potassium in a natural form. The moderate salt restriction in the DASH II diet helps some people get lower blood pressure more than others; but this added potassium will lower blood pressure for almost everyone.
****He might be eating lots of processed meats, other fatty meats from grain fed animals, and too much full fat dairy from cheese or butter or cream. That’s still a low carb way of eating.
But such fatty but low carb foods are high in omega 6 oils which produce chronic inflammation which damages the inside of your arteries which in turn is a cause of high blood pressure.
The DASH II diet includes lowfat dairy and fat trimmed chicken instead.
Other protein foods without this problem include raw, unsalted nuts for people not allergic, and beans and lentils which are also low glycemic and inexpensive, some whole eggs each week, wild caught salmon and other fish high in omega 3 oils, and 100 % grass fed lamb and beef or buffalo on occasion. Egg or whey protein supplements also work for some people.
The other problem with the fatty kinds of high protein foods and higher intake of fats from animals is that they are less health beneficial than smaller amounts of extra virgin olive oil would be.
If he is eating 2,100 calories a week of animal fats now, switching to 1330 calories a week of extra virgin olive oil and 420 calories a week of animal fats, will cause him to lose a pound every 10 weeks. It may be gradual. But he won’t be extra hungry. And in two years he will lose an extra 10 pounds every bit of which is fat.
Even better, he will get multiple health benefits of eating the extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil instead of cheap vegetable oils high in omega 6 and instead of fats from grain fed animals with the same problem is a key reason the Mediterranean diet provides the multiple health benefits it does.
c) Stress can cause higher blood pressure quite effectively and often does.
So, if his stress level at work or at home went up during this time, that too would explain a lot!
The Resperate the sponsoring company sells -- if used 4 to 7 times a week with 6 or 7 times much more effective -- is FDA approved because it has been tested to lower such stress driven high blood pressure.
But it takes about 15 minutes a time to do and is very difficult for the kind of proactive man this man sounds to be in his question to sit through.
Tai Chi is a better choice. It can take as little as 10 minutes to do. It’s active.
And, it burns as many calories as walking for that long does. It also has tested as lowering stress driven high blood pressure a bit better than the Resperate.
So, if he can add a 10 minute a time Tai Chi session and do it 4 times a week or more to his current exercise program, his blood pressure may well go down 15 to 20 points from the stress relief; and he’ll also lose a bit more fat from the calories burned.
d) Doing the set of things just listed would be a priority, particularly getting checked for treatable medical conditions that might be the cause and doing these food and stress relief upgrades.
But it also may be that in his case he needs different kinds of drugs for hypertension than he is now getting.
People are quite variable in what they respond to and what side effects they get.
The drugs he is taking now may not lower high blood pressure as much as alternatives possibly in even lower doses. Or the side effects of his current drugs may stress him enough to be the underlying problem.
So working with his doctor to try other kinds of drugs might also help.