I have noticed that deep breathing can dramatically alter my numbers. Just a bit ago, I took my pressure and it was 156/100. I sat there for ten minutes doing deep breathing exercises, and it dropped to 132/91. Has anybody done any investigation as to why this helps? And, how long do the benefits last? I started thinking maybe yoga wouldn't be a bad idea. I am trying to get off my drugs, and of course the pressure is going back up. But I have noticed this before. Any thoughts?
Maybe you should have a blood oxygen level done. I read an article a few weeks ago that advised Dr's to have patients to take 4 or 5 deep breathes in a minute when their b/p's are elevated in the office to rule out "white coat hypertension. Also, c-pap machines decrease b/p about 10 points in most patients with sleep apnea. So it increases the oxygen one is getting. I've often thought of experimenting with using my c-pap during the day while working in the kitchen to see if it changes my b/p.
Since my b/p goes up at the drop of a hat, it is hard for me to experiment. Keep us informed. Fam
From all the countless articles i read about "natural ways to reduce anxiety" what deep breathing does is it tells your body to calm down so to speak. When your anxious you may not even realize it but you start to pretty much hyperventilate and start taking shallow breaths and don't breathe correctly through your diaphragm, t not getting all the oxygen you need. When you take a deep breathe and expand your belly out you get all that oxygen to your blood, thus relaxing it
I've extensively tracked my blood pressure averages since 1998, having taken over 26,000 readings. I frequently do deep breathing, but mostly to increase the strength and quality of my heartbeat, for which it does very well. It also lowers my blood pressure temporarily, but doesn't keep it down.
I have lowered my chronically high blood pressure down to very constant and healthy levels through healthy diet, exercise, avoiding many things, like caffeine, and taking the most effective blood pressure medications.
For all of 2003, my average blood pressure averaged 151.2 / 95.7, based on 1032 readings. As a result of diet, exercise, etc., my average blood pressure for all of 2008 was 122.1 / 72.1 based on 2543 readings.
That means that, for every day, every hour, every minute of the entire year of 2003, my blood pressure was around 151.2 / 95.7; or one step in the grave.
Diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and taking effective medication obviously worked quite well for me.
Originally Posted by Editor
I am trying to get off my drugs
If you are having problems with blood pressure, why do you want to stop taking medications that are supposed to lower blood pressure? Are they just not working for you?
I have been on several different BP meds over the years. I was on Lisinopril (which really worked well, except for horrible, ulcer like stomach pains) so I quit that one. Then, I tried HCTZ, which worked a little, but exacerbated my PVCS. I tried Metaprolol, or whatever it's called, it lowered my BP by 0 and lowered my heart rate to 48.
Then, on to Cozaar, which worked a little, but by adding a small dose, 12.5 mg of HCTZ, worked okay; had average of 130/80-85 on that combo. After a while, it didn't work as well and the dosage was upped to 100 mg. of Cozaar a day. It didn'y help much more, and it also caused "Wallet-itis" at 3.00 per pill. Went on Crapitrol (oops! Capitrol) and it worked, but after a while, the stomach cramps again.
My mother takes Norvasc, 5 mg a day and it keeps her pressure to about 145/80. She was unmedicated til age 75 and had typical pressures of 200/110. She has been on Norvasc 3 years now.
My main concern, or theory, is this: After a while, if you are taking BP meds, whatever mecahnism it is in your body that wants the pressure up, seems to produce or overactivate that mechanism, so that the drugs aren't as effective. So, a fellow who is 150/95, and medicates down to 130/80 after a year seems to need a higher dose to do the trick. If he stops the pills, then BOOM, his pressures go up to 175/110. Now, let me posit this: would his pressure have been that high if he never took a pill in the first place? I doubt it. So, what are we doing to our bodies when we medicate? And, why exactly does the body want to "protect" it's pressure, much like when one goes on a diet and the metabolism goes into starvation mode and they stop losing weight?
I'm not "anti-medication", but how completely do we understand all this? My readings were not as high as I stated above, until after I stopped the Crapitrol. Maybe it would have been better not to start?
My pressures fluctuate wildly as I have an anxiety disorder and OCD. My mother has taken Valium for nearly 40 years!
I'm like you editor, with the anxiety and OCD. Especially about my blood pressure. I'm actually on effexor for the anxiety/ocd and i'm on Propranolol 40 mg twice a day for the BP spikes. I pretty much just have white coat hypertension, but i find it helps me not worry about my Bp as much, cause i know it's low while on it, even when i think it's up and i check it. I think the 40 mg is too high of a dose though, cause i'm getting readings of like 109/57 when i wake up, even before i take the Propranolol. I started to cut my dose to 20 mg 3 times a day. it's either that or i'm so used to taking my BP now that i actually relax and don't cause it to spike up[ when taking it, so who knows lol maybe thats my real BP and i'm just lowering it even more with the propranolol.
I don't have high blood pressure though ( i can finally say that after test after test) i have bad BP spikes though and white coat hypertension. Only thing i'm worried about now is i was reading up about how 40 mg of propranolol is a high dose to take at once ( especially just for anxiety and not true hypertension) But i like how it also keeps my heart rate low, otherwise my heart would beat like crazy when nervous. I heard some horror stories aout people developing a heartblock from propranolol and also needing a pacemaker, but i mean, those are usually from people with already existing heart conditions no? my heart is perfectly fine, cardiologist said it was strong and i'm going to live along life with it. I'm just worried i'm killing it with the beta blockers.
Hopefully when we get our anxiety in check our BP will level out and we wont need any BP meds. September will be a year that i've been on beta blockers and i love them. I have had no serious side effects from any of the ones i have taken.
I'm glad that it is working for you. I wish I could take the Lisinopril, because it was the only thing that really worked. Still, I wish I understood the "mechanism" that I referred to earlier; maybe if we knew that, we could "short circuit" it.
So you just want to get off the drugs just for the sake of getting off them? I hear that, i mean i'm only 28 and taking beta blockers, so i know where you're coming from.
But the thing is wouldn't it better for you to naturally try to lower BP while on the medications? Instead of just trying to do it while your BP is so high off them?
I know what you mean though. Seems like after a while just like with other types of meds, your body gets used to them, and therefore produces more of the chemicals to overcome the effects of the meds. it's very adaptive. Thus having to increase our doses over time. So, while taking the meds, they are still blocking the chemicals or whatever, but the body is producing more. So if you just decide to stop taking them not only are those chemicals that have been blocked for so long going to start getting back in but also are the ones that the body started to make to rep[lace the ones being blocked! Thus, making adrenaline and BP surge to even greater heights. ( hope that makes sense, i don't really know the scientific terms)
Whats your story though, are you overweight? heart/kidney problems do you exercise? or are you like me and it's mostly stress/anxiety causing the BP problems?
Well, my story is a long one and it can be read by searching my posts. But I joined health boards due to suffering from chronic spaciness/dizziness. I attribute it (though not officially diagnosed) to an inner ear problem of some kind. Either way, I have had primarily systolic hypertenstion since I was in my 20s. But, the diastolic readings started going up in my 30s. When I turned 39, I started on my sojourn with BP meds. I am 43 now. My reason for stopping each of the pills I have taken has been due to side effects. I don't have anything against taking them per se, it's just that I always seem to have a side effect that makes taking them troubling. I am thinking of asking my doctor to prescribe me Lisinopril again, and start with 5 mg. to see if that gives me any results without the side effects.
The only stomach pain side effect that is listed for Lisinopril is pancreatitis, which my doctor at the time said I didn't have. I then was able to finally find on Google that a condition known as intestinal angioedema was associated with 1% of users. Now, if the pain were minor, I would probably just put up with it. But, if the pain means something is wrong; something attributable to the pills, and that something could in and of itself become a danger, then what's the point? Know what I mean?
Either way, maybe I'll try the pill again at a lower dose and see if I can't go the natural route in conjuction and titrate off the drug over time. BTW, I am 6' 2" and weigh 205. I work as a painter (construction) and enjoy a couple of micro brews a day :-) I try to avoid sugar as much as I can, and eat a reasonably healthy diet. I try to keep junk food out of the house....otherwise....:-)
RE: Breathing, check out my thread here: [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?p=3886475#post3886475[/url]
So far, I am very enthusiastic about this device. I know that you can probably achieve similar results with various deep breathing exercises, but this gives you a structured way to sit down and do it for 15 minute sessions. I had a hard time on my first and second sessions--the breathing was just not going very smoothly. But, by the 4th and 5th, it's starting to feel great, and it is giving immediate BP results. BP aside, I am also really enjoying the "me time" that I get when I sit down and do a session. It's really a nice feeling.
You have to think though abergeron, while the deep breathing can help to calm you down, you are manually breathing pretty much, so your kinda making yourself relax. Then once something happens, you forget all about your breathing and go back into panic mode and your BP will go right back to where it was. I don't think the deep breathing will help, unless you can do it subconsciously, then i guess you would always be in a a state of calm. But like the other guy who posted in abergerons topic he linked, I also normally breathe the right way, so when i try and do breathing exercises i just get my rhythm all messed up and end it works better for me when i don't think about it.