I was really sick for almost three months beginning in the later part of January of 2016. I went to the doctor three times to get more medicine and check on progress. Everything in my eyes, nose, throat cleared up in a few days, my ears were something else. When I went to the doctor the last time, I was at my wits end with the amount of hearing loss I was still experiencing. I was also irritated that it took two hours past my appointment time to see the doctor. When they checked my blood pressure, it was high. As a result, my doctor wrote me a prescription for blood pressure medication. It was a mild medication, but I really didn't want to take it if my blood pressure was only high occasionally.
I started checking my blood pressure at home and it was sometimes high when I first got up in the morning or if I had been under emotional duress, but my resting blood pressure was in the low to medium range.
So this is what I tried:
I made some lifestyle changes (outlined below) to see if I could bring it down a few points without medications. I gave myself six months and decided that if I couldn't do it, then I would take the medication. I only needed to reduce it by 5 to 10 points.
I researched everything I could find on reducing blood pressure without medications and they all agree on pretty much the same things:
⦁ Exercise - specifically walk everyday for at least 30 minutes
⦁ Eat a healthy diet - fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains, low fat
⦁ Supplements may help: CoQ10, Fish Oil, Potassium, and B vitamins
⦁ Quit Smoking (This is easy for me, I have never smoked!)
⦁ No Alcohol (Another easy one for me.)
⦁ Lose weight if you are over your ideal weight (This is a killer for me, working on it though!)
⦁ Reduce or eliminate salt from your diet
All of these will help lower your blood pressure and help with a load of other issues. The one thing on this list that gave me the most trouble (and still does) is the ideal weight. I am working on this, but I struggle with it daily. For the years that I raised my children, I neglected my weight. I have always enjoyed healthy food, but I have learned that I am an emotional eater. Now that I know this, I am trying to get my weight under control using a different mentality. It seems to be working...only time will tell.
In the meantime, I made my blood pressure a priority. They say that by age 90 almost everyone will be on a blood pressure medication and by age 65 about 35% of people will need blood pressure medication.
If you have high blood pressure and it stays high, you need to go on medication and stay on it until your doctor tells you to stop. If your blood pressure is like mine, only slightly high and only under certain conditions, you can go on medications or you can try to lower naturally. This is your personal choice, I can not make this choice for you. I am not recommending that you do one thing or the other, I am only sharing with you what I did.
Here is great blood pressure chart that helps put the numbers in perspective:
Six months later, my blood pressure was down. It is still high sometimes when I go to this one doctor, but that's because I always have to wait for at least an hour or two before I get in and then I sit in the exam room for another extended period of time which means my whole day is taken by one trip to the doctor. This irritates me, so it's no surprise that my blood pressure may rise. But with the changes I made, even this is a minor rise and medication is not needed.
So lowering my weight, exercising more, eating healthy, and avoiding stress have proven to have been successful for me. That doesn't mean it will be for you, but for me, it worked. I may have to take medication in the future, but for now, I am doing good.
Keep your blood pressure under control. It is dangerous to let it stay high for a period of time. Whether you take medications or control it on your own, is your decision. Discuss it with your doctor.
Do you have high blood pressure? Do you take medications? Do you control your blood pressure using the suggestions in the list above? If so, how has that worked for you? Do you believe that high blood pressure is the main contributor to other health issues? Please share your experiences, this may improve someone's life or save it.