Just wanted to share my story with everyone...
About 7 years ago I somehow developed borderline-high blood pressure. There is no history (that I know of) of high bp in my family, I wasn't really overweight (within 5 lbs. of ideal weight), but I was on birth-control pills. The dr. immediately made me go off the pill thinking this may have caused the rise in bp. That did nothing to lower it. Consistently, in the drs. office, my bp was about 138/90-94. My family dr. scared me by telling me that if I didn't lower my bp that I could be on dialisys by the time I was in my 50's. I didn't want to go (again) on any medication. I took a good look at my life and tried to figure out what I could do to try to lower my pressure, even if no one knew what caused it. The dr. told me losing weight probably wouldn't make any difference for me.
Anyway, I started exercising and completely cut out all caffeine. I only lost 3 lbs., but I really think the caffeine made all the difference. The next dr. visit, my bp was 120/75, and each visit since (for over 2 years) it has been 120/80 at the highest (still normal).
Have there been any studies that drinking too much caffeine can cause high blood-pressure? I'm just curious, because I never had to go on any medications...cutting out the caffeine made the difference for me.
Robste - one of the worst things you can do when you have high blood pressure is eat chocolate. Caffeine is also very bad for you. I never drink coffee or soda pop, but once in awhile I sneak a little chocolate. No one (that I know of) in my family ever had high blood pressure either, but I do. The doctor told me to lose 10 lbs. and I am a small woman to begin with. I haven't really tried to lose any weight. I have always been a big eater but it never stuck to my bones. Maybe I need to listen to my doctor so I won't wind up being a statistic.<p>[This message has been edited by Irish (edited 05-08-2001).]
Irish, try your best to lose the 10 lbs...you're already doing great not drinking caffeine. You never know, it could make all the difference in your bp, like it did mine. There's no history of high bp in my family either, and I wasn't really overweight, so they never could figure out what actually caused my high bp. Like I mentioned, it has been in the normal range for the past two years. Good luck to you.
I can confirm that my physician's assistant (sub for my doctor, who is not that personable) has told me too that any caffeine can cause a spike in HBP. I am a Dr Pepper & chocolholic, so I am really struggling since I started taking medication to drink just water or non-caffeine drinks.
I know my strong cup of coffee in the morning and diet sodas during the day spike my bp. I can even feel it after a tall glass of ice tea. It is a struggle, because I find caffeine hard to give up, more difficult that sweets and other fatty foods.
I've been off caffeine for about a year and my BP is down about 10 points. I decided to lose the caffeine after a kidney stone attack. Caffeine is one factor in stone formation.
I had been drinking coffee since I was about 5 years old (shame on my parents!). The last 15 years I've been drinking a full thermos every morning. To cut back, I started drinking a 50/50 regular/decaf mix. I drank this for several months, and also slowly cut back to less coffee a day. Some people say you only need to do this for a few weeks but I got into the 50/50 habit. After several months I switched from 50/50 to full decaf and barely felt the difference. I still drink a travel-mug full of decaf every day, about half what I used to drink, but I could probably do without it. I just like the smell of coffee and I like a hot drink in the morning. I grind my own gourmet decaf beans so it tastes just as good as regular coffee. Try it, it's not that hard to abandon the caffeine!
I also stopped all chocolate, soft drinks, and iced tea after the kidney stones (you don't EVER want to experience a stone). I have maybe one soft drink a month, always caffeine-free now, and only an ounce or two of chocolate a onth. I do miss the afternoon Dr. Pepper and now just drink plain water, but overall I feel better.
Gordo, good for you...way to go! I have also cut out caffeine...I sometimes drink caffeine free diet coke, and sometimes decaf. coffee, but mostly nowadays, I drink lots of water and milk instead. I don't miss the caffeine at all anymore.