White coats? labile hypertension
Labile high blood pressure; is a problem I have been dealing with since the early 1990s. When the problem was first diagnosed I was fairly physically fit, more so than I am now. I hope to mention some of the oddities I have noticed with my labile hypertension, and in one example you have to wonder whether the diagnostic techniques can make the problem perhaps look worse than it was. There are times mostly in the morning my BP is fairly good 120/72! But there are also times it is 150/90 or even 150/100. My old BP meter to the right still works fine. The numerator (left number) is the systolic pressure and the denominator (right number) is the diastolic pressure.
Some weird suggestions (see below); you are on your own with these.
When I was first diagnosed with high blood pressure.
My doctor at that time insisted my blood pressure should almost always be the same stable value (high or low), nothing in a normal day affects it. Not drinking coffee, eating food, even stress, should have much impact. I believe the medical profession has now moved away from this somewhat simplistic view point of blood pressure.
White Coat Syndrome
I definitely have White Coat Syndrome. When I visit my doctor's office my blood pressure is almost always quite a bit higher than it is at home, especially the systolic pressure. Once I was having SLT laser surgery for my normal tension glaucoma. Just before this surgery they check my BP, 200/100, whoops the doctor will not operate. They sent me to another room to lay down for 10 minutes, then I was down to 150/ 90, good enough for the surgery. By the way this is with blood pressure medication (Hyzaar).
I went to the dentist, now they are checking BP, whoops 170/100. They insisted I go right to the doctor's office, they would not let me leave without promising to go directly there. And I did, my doctor said, ah, mildly elevated BP, go home.
An interesting observation
I have higher than normal cholesterol (what a surprise). I am a little overweight, not a lot, I get what I would call sporadic exercise, but quite a bit on average. I certainly do not have an exercise "regimen". I am going to start one day though.
I have my own blood pressure meter. I have gone through several tests, while visiting my doctor to assure this meter's accuracy. In fact my guess is it is more accurate than the measurements made at my doctor's office.
I noticed in the morning when I measured my blood pressure, sometimes it was very good 120/72, sometimes not so good 150/90. I finally figured out what makes a huge difference, what is it? Whether I have eaten breakfast or not. As soon as I eat food my blood pressure drops a lot. Remember that story that the blood all goes to the stomach when you eat, looks like that is what happens for me.
So What, before you eat your BP is high.
Well what happens when you have high cholesterol? Just about every time I go to the doctor I prepare by fasting so I can take the "fasting cholesterol test". So what happens to my BP? Every time I go to the doctor it is high because I have not eaten, not to mention my White Coat Syndrome. Right after the appointment I go get some breakfast and boom, my BP drops to a much better value. Preparing for the cholesterol test makes my BP look quite a bit higher than average!
Monitoring your own blood pressure
If you have BP problems buy yourself a meter. Get one that is electronic and automates the actual reading. I found that using the basic blood pressure cuff and stethoscope to be a very subjective measure, likely to be very inaccurate. The meter I have you do pump up manually, but it does all the work of taking the actual reading.
Surgery for blood pressure?
Yes, one of my Consumer Guide books indicates one potential source of labile hypertension is a tumor called pheochromocytoma which produces adrenaline. People like me who are treated for blood pressure, but it still varies wildly, may have these tumors, but it is not that likely and I have not asked my doctor yet.
My own home grown self treatments, tips?
Recently I have been trying to turn myself into an Eskimo, taking Omega 3 supplements (fish oil) several times a day. Also I make sure I eat some walnuts which are an excellent source of Omega threes. Omega threes may support arterial health. To counteract all the salt in my diet that I just cannot avoid, (and do not always want to), I compensate by making sure I get enough Potassium. The "light salts" in your supermarket contain Potassium Chloride, a source of potassium. BE REALLY careful if you take blood pressure medications, potassium chloride can be dangerous when combined with these drugs. Avoid grapefruit if you take BP drugs, (check your label, you will see!).
In the morning I always have a fruit juice drink which I spike with 1/4 teaspoon Potassium Chloride (more ingredients below), it is like taking a sports drink, but with no salt, and it is cheaper too. I have stopped my BP medicine for now, I am a bad boy! I am trying to correct my problem with these more straight forward natural approaches.
Also the USDA now reports cinnamon will significantly reduce your cholesterol, and it is a long term effect!
So, again, in my special homemade fruit juice sports drink I add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. To the right a cholesterol tester at Amazon, cannot say I have tried these, but I am tempted.
Reports in AARP magazine indicate that Ginger is excellent for joint pain, so now my sports drink has 1/4 teaspoon of Ginger.
AARP articles on health AARP Generic health link
Grape juice is the base for my "sports" drink
I use grape juice which I buy from Walmart, it is Sams club brand, but it is pure Grape Juice, NO sugar added, now that is rare! Grape juice, with all the above ingredients mixed in, tastes pretty good! It is hard to stir it up well, cinnamon just does not like to dissolve!
Well I hope this helps you! Please, always consult with your doctor, especially with the crazy ideas I am mentioning here.
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