Weight Loss Support - Do you have high blood pressure, too?

04-27-2007, 07:27 PM
Cross-posted from "Dieting with Obstacles":

I'm not sure if this goes here as having high bp doesn't make it harder for me to lose, it's the most compelling medical reason I have to lose. But I thought I'd check here just in case. I may cross-post around.

I have battled my weight all my life. I've been everything from under to over and average and back again and I've never had high bp. My health just never suffered (no high cholesterol, easy pregnancy - except for high bp in the end, etc) because of my weight. I've even been pretty fit at times. But now I have high bp and I'm trying to control it with diet and exercise instead of meds.

Anyone else managed to get your bp down with diet and exercise? Anyone losing to lower your bp? Any thoughts? I'd welcome advice from someone with experience or anyone just starting out.

Maybe we could have a "lowering your bp" support group?

Janny O
04-27-2007, 07:47 PM
Hi Nicole-
Just want to let you know that I had NASTY hbp. 159/120 whew..... I was at 262 lbs. I cut out all of the sodium and salt and "voila" 46 lbs later, I'm back to normal with no meds. Feel better, no acid reflux, no nothing. DH was also in the heart attack range-he lost 120 lbs and now he is 125/90. So, maybe weight loss will help you too.
Good luck to you!!!

04-27-2007, 08:00 PM
Thanks, that so great to hear. I have already reverted to my "no fast food, canned food, processed food, canned food" rule and I've cut WAY back on caffeine. The top number is now consistently fine (in the 120s) but the bottom number stays between 94 and 101. Yikes.

Have any recipes or tips or is it pretty much just low sodium, low fat? It seems simple so I'm hopeful.

04-27-2007, 09:50 PM
All of my stats were always fine until I hit about 225 pounds, then suddenly I needed BP meds. That wasn't enough of a wake up call for me, so I continued to balloon up to 246. At that weight I was put on a second BP pill, and I started noticing heartburn, which I had also never had. The lightbulb went off in my head and I got my act together. Since August I've dropped 76 pounds and ONE of the BP meds. I'm now 55 pounds lighter than when I first needed the medication, yet my body still needs it. I truly thought I would be off of it completely by now. My doctor is hoping that when I hit my target weight of 140-145 I'll be able to come off the other pill. I'm hoping I didn't do permanent damage to my body that will require me to be on the medication for the rest of my life, even at a healthy weight....that would really suck!

04-28-2007, 02:03 AM
Kelly, congratulations on your amazing weight loss! That's really impressive!

And I do hope you get to drop your other med. I imagine it must be frustrating to have such great results in one way and still be waiting for results on the thing that got you started.

04-28-2007, 03:27 AM
At 234 lbs. my BP registered as 250/149. Critically high and I was on 8 BP pills a day at the time. After losing the wt. my BP is now 110/60 and I take a half of a BP pill a day. It's a true miracle that I never suffered a stroke or a heart attack. I had no symptoms with the humongously high BP. Losing the wt. certainly saved my life.

04-28-2007, 08:42 AM
I don't think anybody would debate the issue of blood pressure & weight...clearly, being overweight is a major factor in high blood pressure. And I certainly would never suggest that losing weight won't HELP - sometimes, as in Lillybelle's case, there are drastic changes, to be sure - BUT, I would caution against the expectation in all cases of being able to completely throw out the medication. There are some genetic predisposing factors when it comes to high blood pressure, and you can be at an ideal weight and exercise religiously and STILL may have to be on some kind of meds. Probably not as many, or as much as if you were morbidly obese, but it still may take medication to stay within the normal ranges for blood pressure.

My sister, who has never weighed much more than 100 pounds soaking wet (she's 5'3) and has always been active - day-long hiking outings, bike riding, skiing, boating, swimming, etc., etc., has been on blood pressure meds since she was in her early 40's. I started on them in my mid-forties, and at 140 pounds (I'm 5'6, and that's not very heavy for that height and my bone structure) and MY DOCTOR used to tell me I should lose weight, and that I could probably go off the meds. NOT true! I dieted down to 130, looked AWFUL, and my blood pressure still needed to be regulated by meds!!!!!! Needless to say, I have now gained WAY too much weight and am struggling to take it off, but I don't think I'm ever really going to be able to completely throw away my blood pressure meds. My MOTHER had high blood pressure, my AUNTS on her side all had high blood pressure, and THEIR MOTHER had high blood pressure.

BUT, yes, losing weight will certainly help. Let's ALL lose our weight!!! Yay, us!!!! :D

Have a great day,

Ella :twirly:

04-28-2007, 08:46 AM
Welp mine has fallen also. It is now 120/70 everytime I go. It was getting up there to 140 when I was at 212. I am a little disappointed it hasn't fallen more.

I think a few years ago there was a radical change in the *normal* numbers and those numbers dropped 20 pts. So that was really concerning because I was sure I was normal at 140.

04-28-2007, 09:33 AM
Yup, mine was inching up into the 90's. Now it's nicely around 115/70 most of the time. My resting pulse is a lot lower too.

04-28-2007, 09:47 AM
Have any recipes or tips or is it pretty much just low sodium, low fat? It seems simple so I'm hopeful.
From my understanding, you can eat low sodium, low fat all day long. but to really lower the bottom number, they recommend regular cardiovascular exercise. At least, that's what one of my doctors told me.

I've had drastically varying BP readings because I get myself very VERY worked up and anxious about being at the doctor's office. I've had readings as high as in the 160s/110s range, but also as low as 120/80. Sometimes they forget to use a bigger cuff, which can give me an incorrectly higher reading, and for some reason, the automatic BP machines can never get a good reading for me--the machine squeezes my arm at least 3 times, comes up with a super high reading, and then the nurse does it manually and comes up with something much more normal (meanwhile, I go home with giant red lines of bruises from the tightness of the cuffs :dizzy: ).

04-28-2007, 10:13 AM
What jillybean says makes sense--regarding exercise. That lower number has to do with stress. Cutting down on caffeine can also help. But you should always check with your doctor.


04-28-2007, 10:40 AM
My husband significantly lowered his BP with diet. He stopped eating simple carbs and sugar and dropped about 50 lbs and his high blood pressure. He was looking at going on medication before he went on the diet.

04-28-2007, 11:59 AM
Thanks for all this info. I was so excited to see all the responses!

I have cut WAY down on sodium, fat, and caffeine (so sad. Caffeine gets me through the day!). I am having a bit of a hard time figuring out what to eat if I also cut out simple carbs and sugar so it's a learning process. I know that sugar isn't good for anyone, but I'm very leery of fake sweetners (unless they're in Diet Coke and then I am certain they are magically OK - ha!).

I AM starting with some cardio, it's just hard to carve out the time but really, even *I* am getting tired of hearing me make that excuse. If I have to get up at five to be awake before the baby, then I'm just going to have to do it. And we are closing on a house with a big yard and a pool so I'm expecting to get a LOT more exercise soon.

Thank you again for all the info. I'm carefully reading everything and making notes!

04-28-2007, 02:13 PM
Potassium is supposed to help counter b.p. I can't remember exactly how or why. Bananas are a great source.

04-28-2007, 02:44 PM
That is good to know. I'm going to look it up right now - thanks!

04-28-2007, 04:47 PM
Worlds Healthiest foods List (http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php)

This list is very good for finding out about fruits and veggies.

Health Benefits for bananas (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=7#healthbenefits)

Cardiovascular Protection from Potassium and Fiber

Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis. The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. For example, researchers tracked over 40,000 American male health professionals over four years to determine the effects of diet on blood pressure. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine also confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as bananas, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD. In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=disease&dbid=15)

Good luck!

04-28-2007, 05:08 PM
I would just add that we should also look for studies that are done on women, since those done only on men may not tell the whole story. (Thanks, MariaMaria.)


04-28-2007, 07:38 PM
Anyone else managed to get your bp down with diet and exercise?

Sure did :)

When I was heavy, my bp was high. As well as my cholesterol. Now that I've lost weight, my cholesterol is normal and so is my bp.

So just chiming in to say that, yes, my bp came down once I got rid of the excess weight I was carrying around.

04-29-2007, 05:11 PM
My BP has lowered quite a bit too. I was in the 145/100 range a while back, my doc felt because I am still fairly young (29) and losing weight that I don't need to go on meds. I lost about 30 lbs and checked it a local drugstore - still 145/100 or so. I had a physical last Thursday, down 60 lbs now, and my bp is now 130/82. Still at the high end or normal, but I think it will keep going down as I lose weight. Definitely a big concern & motivation for me - my family has a history of high bp and heart issues as well.

04-30-2007, 01:00 PM
ellabella, thanks for explaining that sometimes even with wt. loss a person can still have high blood pressure esp. if it is genetic. Like I posted, I now take a half of a bp pill a day. My entire family, (mom, dad and every sibling) has been on bp med's regardless of whether they were thin or heavy. My Dr. (for this reason) chooses not to ever have me completely off BP pills. I think I was only 25 when I first got put on BP pills. I lost a bunch of wt. and was taken completely off of them. As I gained wt. again and was older was when I started having seriously high BP.