T Nation

Battling Chronic High BP

Hi all,

I have chronic high blood pressure (140/90 if I’m lucky, sometimes significantly higher) that is caused by some minor kidney damage when I was younger due to a problem which has now been fixed surgically. I have to take BP meds for the rest of my life. But the problem is I have tried many, many, many different meds and they all either don’t work very well or produce strange side effects that make working out very difficult. So I am wondering what the best way to assault my problem is. So far I have come up with:

-Daily fish oil supplement
-Yoga
-Meditation
-Good diet

I am a relatively fit 21 year old (thin, not weak, but not ripped), 180 lbs, 6’1. I don’t eat fast food and rarely if ever drink soda. I used to be very athletic and into martial arts, but not anymore (when I was 17 or so I started blacking out in fights and had to stop).

But is there anything else that I should potentially try? I’m really losing faith in doctors since their solutions to the problem always seem to be “Here, try this other drug.”

LONG low and slow cardio aint going to hurt either at getting it down

Phill

I’ve never had high blood pressure, but fish oil has given me low-ass BP reading - 111/69 range.

I would try Flameout (and that would be the ONLY change I would make) for 4 weeks to see what happens.

If you keep adding and subtracting shit at random, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t work.

Try ONE thing new every month. If it doesn’t work, throw it out. If it does work, keep it and add something else.

Etc.

Things shown to work

-Exercice and weightloss
-Relaxation technique
-Reduced sodium intake at or below 3 grams/d
-Various types of BP meds
-Aspirin at bedtime (acts as an angiotensin receptor blocker)
-High potassium diet (riskier when in the presence of reduced kidney function)
-Low fat diet with high monounsaturated fraction (omega-3 FA effects on BP are still investigated and debated some studies showing benefits and others do not).

Most BP meds drop BP very slightly but still have protective benefits in terms of mortality and morbidity. Generally chronic hypertension requires at least 1 or more pharmacological agents to bring undercontrol (more likely 2 than one).

No 1 med is going to drop you to 120/80, maybe 135/85, 130/80 if lucky.

The reason MDs want to prescribe the medication is 1) that you are going to need it 2)99.99999% of the population won’t do any of the other shit that’s needed.

You also shouldn’t feel like loosing faith in MDs since they tell you to try another drug as this is part of the protocol to find the best suited medication especially in ‘‘problem-patients’’ (those for which nothing ever seems to work, whether its genuine or not). Last time I checked, pharmacogenomic testing equipment to identifiy the best drug for one person hasn’t been invented yet so its still a trial and error thing.

Anyway, good luck.
AlexH.

[quote]pr0crastin8r wrote:
Hi all,

I have chronic high blood pressure (140/90 if I’m lucky, sometimes significantly higher) that is caused by some minor kidney damage when I was younger due to a problem which has now been fixed surgically. I have to take BP meds for the rest of my life. But the problem is I have tried many, many, many different meds and they all either don’t work very well or produce strange side effects that make working out very difficult. So I am wondering what the best way to assault my problem is. So far I have come up with:

-Daily fish oil supplement
-Yoga
-Meditation
-Good diet

I am a relatively fit 21 year old (thin, not weak, but not ripped), 180 lbs, 6’1. I don’t eat fast food and rarely if ever drink soda. I used to be very athletic and into martial arts, but not anymore (when I was 17 or so I started blacking out in fights and had to stop).

But is there anything else that I should potentially try? I’m really losing faith in doctors since their solutions to the problem always seem to be “Here, try this other drug.”[/quote]
I noticed a cardio regimen was missing from your list. try that.

Thanks for the tips, all. As a (very) casual lifter, I have naturally stayed away from cardio. I’ll try working that in…

There’s one more frustrating thing that I’d appreciate some input on–maybe someone has had a similar experience. When I’m on any BP med and I try to do strenuous exercise (heavy weights, interval sprints, anything to get the heartrate up), I get that thing where its like I have water in my ear and I can hear inside my head (breathing, teeth clinking, etc). It is immensely distracting. I’ve talked to two docs about it and they are utterly clueless–no one else they have encountered has ever had this problem.

Thanks again for the input–I will take everything that has been said so far into consideration. It’s quite frustrating being pretty fit and eating better than practically everyone I know and still having shitty BP, when someone like my dad who is totally sedentary and eats garbage can pop a pill and have perfect BP (just using him as an example, I harbor no resentment!).

May I ask what kidney problem you had, what surgery was performed and what specific BP meds you have tried, to get better insight into your problem.

Thanks

mk9576,

The operation was ureter reimplantation. The angle was causing reflux, which was damaging a kidney. So they repositioned the ureter.

Don’t have a complete list of meds, but right now I’m on Lotrel 10/20 (amlodipine/benazepril HCl) and hydrochlorothiazide, and in the past I know I’ve taken lisinopril and a couple others.

An update for anyone interested…
Over the last month I have conquered my BP. The meds alone get me down to 140/90ish, but after doing the following daily for 3-4 weeks I am consistently in the 120/65 range.

-green tea
-fish oil
-oatmeal
-almonds or walnuts
-dark chocolate
-red wine OR pomegranate juice
-light exercise (yoga or jogging or 30 minutes of lifting)
-Resperate

Of all these things, the one that seemed to produce the most noticeable benefit was the Resperate machine. It essentially guides you through controlled breathing / meditation for 15 minutes a day and is supposed to expand your smaller blood vessels over time. Hard to say for sure if this was the culprit because of all the other things above that I did, but right after doing this every night I would have ridiculously low BP, lower than I’ve ever had in my life - like 110/50. The user reviews at amazon are also very positive:

[quote]pr0crastin8r wrote:
An update for anyone interested…
Over the last month I have conquered my BP. The meds alone get me down to 140/90ish, but after doing the following daily for 3-4 weeks I am consistently in the 120/65 range.

-green tea
-fish oil
-oatmeal
-almonds or walnuts
-dark chocolate
-red wine OR pomegranate juice
-light exercise (yoga or jogging or 30 minutes of lifting)
-Resperate

Of all these things, the one that seemed to produce the most noticeable benefit was the Resperate machine. It essentially guides you through controlled breathing / meditation for 15 minutes a day and is supposed to expand your smaller blood vessels over time. Hard to say for sure if this was the culprit because of all the other things above that I did, but right after doing this every night I would have ridiculously low BP, lower than I’ve ever had in my life - like 110/50. The user reviews at amazon are also very positive:

[/quote]

Thanks for the update, and congratulations!