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Old 05-24-2007, 06:24 AM   #1
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Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

For those of you interested in knowing how much lifestyle changes can reduce one's systolic pressure, I came across this info from a government document...

Lifestyle Change Reduced systolic bp by an average of

Weight reduction 5-20 mmHg

DASH eating plan 8-14 mmHg

Dietary sodium reduction 2-8 mmHg

Aerobic activity 4-9 mmHg

Moderate alcohol use 2-4 mmHg

I added these changes up and got a reduction of between 21-55 points based on lifestyle changes alone! Again, these are AVERAGE figures so if your lifestyle is really out of whack and you comply with the recommendations, you may see better results than the average (providing there are no underlying medical conditions).

Sleep medicine is a relatively new field so the studies are just starting to come out and were not listed on the government document that I read. However, medical studies thus far, suggestthat treatment of sleep apnea can reduce the systolic bp by at least 10 points with similar results with the diastolic.

Bsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 07-23-2007 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Added ps. and spelling

 
Old 07-23-2007, 05:34 AM   #2
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

I have re-reviewed the posting rules and believe I can share with you the government website where I found this information. It is the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of Blood Pressure and is basically one stop shopping for everything you wanted to know about bp...the site is:

[url]http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/jncintro.htm[/url].

Bsheba

 
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
For those of you interested in knowing how much lifestyle changes can reduce one's systolic pressure, I came across this info from a government document...

Lifestyle Change Reduced systolic bp by an average of

Weight reduction 5-20 mmHg

DASH eating plan 8-14 mmHg

Dietary sodium reduction 2-8 mmHg

Aerobic activity 4-9 mmHg

Moderate alcohol use 2-4 mmHg

I added these changes up and got a reduction of between 21-55 points based on lifestyle changes alone! Again, these are AVERAGE figures so if your lifestyle is really out of whack and you comply with the recommendations, you may see better results than the average (providing there are no underlying medical conditions).

Sleep medicine is a relatively new field so the studies are just starting to come out and were not listed on the government document that I read. However, medical studies thus far, suggestthat treatment of sleep apnea can reduce the systolic bp by at least 10 points with similar results with the diastolic.

Bsheba
Are these incremental changes though? I wonder if even though positive they cancel each other out, so what you are left with is the average of all of them?

acp

 
Old 07-24-2007, 07:29 AM   #4
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

What I find interesting about these numbers is that they seem very low, compared to what these seem factors do to RAISE your blood pressure. For example, cutting back on alcohol lowers BP only 2-4 mm, BUT alcohol can cause spikes as high as 10-20+ mm. Reducing stress gives you less then 10 mm, but stress can cause spikes as high as 50+mm!!!

This highlights the problems, I think, people have where lifestyle changes simply don't work in many cases. All too sadly the benefits of doing what's RIGHT are dwarfed by the costs of doing what's WRONG.

acp

 
Old 07-26-2007, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

I think these must be average reductions. For instance, someone who is drinking to an extreme can drop a large amount of blood pressure by reducing alcohol.
Same goes for weight loss and exercise. These figures are conservative averages.
People with their lifestyle seriously out of control can often recover healthy bp with lifestyle changes.
It gets more difficult in cases of hypertension that are not caused or influenced by lifestyle. This happens too and it was a problem with me. I was fit and had a very healthy lifestyle and yet I developed hypertension.
I made further lifestyle improvements and it didn't help. Obviously they were not related in my case.

 
Old 07-26-2007, 12:16 PM   #6
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

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Originally Posted by joe86 View Post
I think these must be average reductions. For instance, someone who is drinking to an extreme can drop a large amount of blood pressure by reducing alcohol.
Same goes for weight loss and exercise. These figures are conservative averages.
People with their lifestyle seriously out of control can often recover healthy bp with lifestyle changes.
It gets more difficult in cases of hypertension that are not caused or influenced by lifestyle. This happens too and it was a problem with me. I was fit and had a very healthy lifestyle and yet I developed hypertension.
I made further lifestyle improvements and it didn't help. Obviously they were not related in my case.
This touches on an earlier point I raised, e.g. that medical professionals seem less interested in getting to the causes of hypertension than they are in treating it. I simply refuse to believe that hypertension "just happens." Something causes it, either lifestyle, damaged arteries, etc. It would be nice to be able to find out the cause, and tailor treatment based on that.

acp

 
Old 07-27-2007, 11:48 AM   #7
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Acp,

You might want to read the report...the answers to your questions are in it.

Bethsheba

 
Old 07-27-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe86 View Post
I think these must be average reductions. For instance, someone who is drinking to an extreme can drop a large amount of blood pressure by reducing alcohol.
Same goes for weight loss and exercise. These figures are conservative averages.
People with their lifestyle seriously out of control can often recover healthy bp with lifestyle changes.
It gets more difficult in cases of hypertension that are not caused or influenced by lifestyle. This happens too and it was a problem with me. I was fit and had a very healthy lifestyle and yet I developed hypertension.
I made further lifestyle improvements and it didn't help. Obviously they were not related in my case.
Yes, Joe,

I said they are average reductions which is what the report said.

As far as alcohol goes, alcohol elevates bp...you don't have to be a "heavy" drinker to experience this effect. The older we get, the more susceptible we may become because our liver function declines, and our liver is the organ that breaks down alcohol in our bodies. So we may have 1 glass of wine every night with a meal, with no "problem" , until we get older and that one glass of wine can become a "problem" with alcohol because although our liver may be healthy, we now only have 50 percent of it's original function, and we're not able to get the alcohol out of our system the way we did when we were younger. Same scenario with prescription medication. That is why the drug problem in our country is in the older adult population.

But back to the alcohol...I don't remember what the recommendation is for men, but I think the medical people suggest women limiting their alcohol intake to 1 drink per day (and that doesn not mean 1 drink EVERY day).

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 07-27-2007 at 12:43 PM.

 
Old 07-27-2007, 03:10 PM   #9
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

[removed]

I am curious about whether the liver's ability to process alcohol leads to alcohol's BP effect. We should certainly all watch our livers more carefully...I take milk thistle and a few other things to give the old organ a little help.

acp

Last edited by mod-anon; 07-27-2007 at 11:08 PM. Reason: ignoring moderator instructions

 
Old 07-27-2007, 09:35 PM   #10
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by acp44 View Post

I am curious about whether the liver's ability to process alcohol leads to alcohol's BP effect. We should certainly all watch our livers more carefully...I take milk thistle and a few other things to give the old organ a little help.

acp
acp,

I see in alot of your posts that you seem to take many different herbal suppliments... while chances are that they do not harm you in any way you have to remember that herbal suppliments are not monitored by the FDA... basically, there are no guidelines for chemical make-up, composition and regulated dosing. The ammount of nautral pharms' in a herb can depend on many factors... what kind of soil it is grown in, what kind of fertilizers are used, pesticides, rainfall ammount, which harvest it came from (there can be many many harvests from the same feild of herbs during the growing cycle), what parts of the plant are used, how they are dried, how they are processed, tempatures they were kept at in shipping and storage... the list goes on and on.

When dealing with HBP you need to let your Dr know of any homeopathic, herbal or OTC medications you are taking because they can effect how any medications you take are absorbed and utilized by your body... and not just HB medications but all prescription meds. Remember that anything you put in your body must be metabolized by your liver... so use caution and discuss with your Dr before trying anything.

When it comes to the liver, you will want a AST/SGOT and a ALT/SGPT done with your regular bloodwork to check the health of your liver... these tests check for liver damage and liver health.
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by penybobeny View Post
...you have to remember that herbal suppliments are not monitored by the FDA... basically, there are no guidelines for chemical make-up, composition and regulated dosing. The ammount of nautral pharms' in a herb can depend on many factors... what kind of soil it is grown in, what kind of fertilizers are used, pesticides, rainfall ammount, which harvest it came from (there can be many many harvests from the same feild of herbs during the growing cycle), what parts of the plant are used, how they are dried, how they are processed, tempatures they were kept at in shipping and storage... the list goes on and on.

When dealing with HBP you need to let your Dr know of any homeopathic, herbal or OTC medications you are taking because they can effect how any medications you take are absorbed and utilized by your body... and not just HB medications but all prescription meds....
Very, very well said. In addition, I would like to say that these "natural" supplements have not been studied extensively, if at all! Although, there may be some basis for the claims, there is very little actual proof.

Quote:
Remember that anything you put in your body must be metabolized by your liver... so use caution and discuss with your Dr before trying anything.
Although much of what we put in our body is metabolized by the liver, I do not think everything is...but you make a good point because it is not uncommon for the liver to experience overload and toxicity.

In addition to discussing supplements with one's doctor, I would also encourage anyone thinking about taking supplements to check with one's pharmacist, and to do research on one's own. No one medical person knows it all, and it could be beneficial to get info from different disciplines.

Bethsheba

 
Old 07-28-2007, 09:40 PM   #12
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Beth,

Quote:
I would also encourage anyone thinking about taking supplements to check with one's pharmacist
,

It's a good idea. However, in my experience, the pharmacists I have approached for help regarding supplements were not helpfull at all. Perhaps their education focuses on prescription drugs only. Perhaps the pharmacists are taught to discourage people from using supplements in favor of prescription drugs. I am only guessing, but this was the feeling that I got with many. I go to maybe a dozen pharmacies. I approached many pharmacists when needing help with supplements, or with questions about them. I got nowhere. They tell you that because it's an unregulated industry, it's best not to use the supplements. They are also quick to point out that not enough studies have been done...the supplements have not been proven to work...etc. etc. I had one tell me NOT to buy a product I was thinking of purchasing and had in my hand.

Perhaps health food store employees would be better sources of information about supplements. The only problem with those is that they expect you to walk out with the product you inquired about. They are too pushy.

Flowergirl

 
Old 07-28-2007, 09:47 PM   #13
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

There is a good PDR for herbs & supplements. It would be wise to consult a reference like that before taking herbs etc. I believe a new law was passed recently saying that supplements have to have the ingredients in them that is listed on the package. I considered supplements but was afraid of having bad reactions especially after my experience with Rx drugs. Some of the current Rx drugs were made from herbs. Fam

 
Old 07-28-2007, 11:33 PM   #14
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post

Perhaps health food store employees would be better sources of information about supplements.

Flowergirl
Unfortunately, Health Food store employees can only tell you what they are trained to tell you... there are a few natural alternatives that I do use... I use peppermint oil to calm an upset stomach (you know those mints sold as tiny little jell balls filled sold as breath fresheners in peppermint) because most OTC aids often have calcuim in them or sodium, two things I am not supposed to use. I also will use ginger for motion sickness (once again, for the same reasons) but I only started after discussing it with my Dr and pharmacist.

Until homeopathic and 'natural' aids are regulated you just cannot be sure that the quality and dosage are the same from capsul to capsul due to the reasons I have listed before.

Don't get me wrong... before the evolution of the FDA many cultures knew the benefits of different herbs and suppliments and used them to promote health and heal the sick... digitalis comes from foxglove, aspirin comes from willow bark, cough syrups come from cherry bark... there are chemicals in plants that can put you to sleep and hype you up... but even back in ancient times only one or two people in a community knew how to properly harvest, dry and prepare these herbs.

Add to this that the Vitamin market is a booming economy... vitamins can boost the immune system and promote healthy organs, but many people do not know that Vitamin D is only obsorbed in proper ammounts when combines with sunlight... you need a little sun on you to metabolize it or that certian vitamins only get used with certain foods.

The best bet is to research research research... there are books upon books about herbal helpers... you can even get information from your local Agricultural Commission or Master Gardeners.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:03 AM   #15
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Re: Lifestyle Modifications Can Reduce Systolic BP by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
...However, in my experience, the pharmacists I have approached for help regarding supplements were not helpfull at all. Perhaps their education focuses on prescription drugs only. Perhaps the pharmacists are taught to discourage people from using supplements in favor of prescription drugs....
Flowergirl, I am so sorry you have had that experience. Perhaps it is a difference in health care in our two countries...or perhaps you haven't found the "right" pharmacist. Years ago I learned the value of the pharmacists knowledge when I wasn't responding to an antibiotic...the doctor told me I could try another dose or I would need to see a specialist. I opted for another dose and had it filled at another pharmacy. The second pharmacist was better educated on food interactions, and told me why the first dose wasn't working. I started the new dose and within a week my toe had healed (I had the infection for over a month). Pharmacists in our country are requesting and receiving more training on herbals, and I have read of one study which indicated that over 50 percent of the pharmacists in the study used them personally and for their families. In our country, they buy the supplements to stock their shelves in their pharmacies...

Interesting enough, I have read that 33 percent of Canadians take herbals, but only about 10 percent of them consult their pharmacist or doctor, this according to the Non-prescription Durg Manufacturers Association of Canada (which admittedly, may be biased in its info).

Quote:
I had one tell me NOT to buy a product I was thinking of purchasing and had in my hand.
Sounds like an pharmacist with a moral conscience.

Given the amount of interest in supplements, I'm going to post a thread with a government link that is a reference for herbals...it includes the background, synonyms, evidence, dosing, safety, interactions, methodology, and selected references.

I do not deny the potential benefits of herbals...unfortunately, in our country the $$$ and marketing has been used to develop and promote rx drugs.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 07-29-2007 at 06:04 AM. Reason: quotes

 
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