Back in 1998 my blood pressure would be lower in the morning, but would go to higher and more unhealthy, and erratic as the day progressed, and then soar during the evening and then into the morning.
Here is a 24 hour chart showing my average blood pressure readings, per hour. Notice that my average blood pressure went up at night instead of down, like it does with normal, healthy blood pressure. Also notice that my blood pressure averages were always very high and unhealthy. My Systolic was usually over 140 and my Diastolic was ALWAYS around 90 or over.
I was very very fortunately not to stroke out and not to have a heart attack and not to have any damage to my thyroid or kidneys, etc. Chart of average blood pressure during 1998 through 2000: BP averages - Hourly.jpg
As my symptoms and enlarged, damaged heart got worse, I took my home BP more often. I was amazed that my BP was up at unhealthy levels most of the day! I had to find out what was causing my very high, unhealthy levels of blood pressure and do something! My cardiologist was not able to help get my blood pressure down to healthy levels. If anything, his "suggestions" were making me worse and more miserable.
I started on a long, many year journey trying to find out more about blood pressure. I started testing my medications by increasing or decreasing the dosages. I found out that I could lower my blood pressure by increasing my calcium channel blocker, Verapamil. Increasing Verapamil worked for a while, but sadly, my blood pressure would get higher and higher and more unhealthy as time went on, and I continued to get worse, having more problems breathing, more chest pains, more palpitations-PVCs-PACs, more frequent racing of my heart, and a frequent harsh thumping which would go on for long periods of time. It actually took me until 2004 before I finally made some real progress--- after over FIVE YEARS of unbelievable frustration!
I learned that my non-ischemic
blood pressure averages tells me if my diet is healthy or not. It tells me when my health has had a negative reaction to something, even a common ordinary household item. This was am amazing finding. It is hard to believe that there are common, ordinary things in our homes that can cause health problems. My blood pressure charts and averages also shows me when I am too stressed out, and shows me which BP meds are most effective.
I would bring my charts and my notes into my cardiologists office, but he didn't want to look at them, or discuss them. He ignored my high blood pressure levels, telling me that high blood pressure was "normal" for victims of Heart Failure.
As I said, I first started a clumsy attempt at dieting back around June 2004. By December 2004, I figured out that I was Insulin Resistant. I went on a diet targeting Insulin Resistance; and I posted about it on HealthBoards, under the title: Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?
(Direct Link: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229
Since 2004, through trial and error, and many frustrating experiences, my diet has evolved to where it is today.
I've now got an elaborate spreadsheet built with ALL of the "safe" foods that I could safely include in my diet, that permit me to keep my blood pressure at very healthy levels, reduce my heart palpitations and heart rhythm problems, keep my blood sugar at healthy levels, and have me feeling pretty damn good!
The foods in my diet are listed with their complete nutritional information, including glycemic index and load, potassium, sugar, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, carbs-fiber, sodium, calcium, calories, etc., with corresponding percentages of daily requirements. This spreadsheet allows me to quickly change my diet, and keep as close as I can to my daily calorie target of 1500 calories per day.
I am amazed and overjoyed about what I have accomplished and learned about improving my health, through closely tracking my blood pressure. I am convinced that a person's blood pressure pattern is the most important and valuable aid in solving most
health problems. Blood Pressure patterns yields extremely valuable data!!
I am still learning. I have found out that I do best when I keep all of my proteins, carbs, fats, potassium, sodium, calcium, etc., at effective and tolerable levels, and IN BALANCE
. My diet is balanced at about 50% low glycemic carbs, 20% proteins and 30% mostly healthy fats. When I get careless, and I don't keep the right proportion of carbs to proteins to fats, my health suffers.
In summary..... it's all good, because I have survived chronic, life-threatening health problems for over 25 years, and I am not only still alive and kicking, but getting better even though I am zeroing in on 70!
I don't know what is worse, the aging process, or having Heart Failure!?
Too many calories can cause higher blood pressure. Too little calories can cause blood pressure to go too low?! Add to the effects that diet has on blood pressure, the many MANY common, ordinary things that can trigger high blood pressure and other health problems; and no wonder why there are so many people suffering from high blood pressure. It only took me 12 years, and 30,000+ blood pressures to slowly figure out a lot of the things that cause my blood pressure to go too high. It's easy now to avoid these things, but during my 12 year, 30,000 reading journey, it was maddening, confusing and so damn hard to believe that so many seemingly innocuous things can cause High Blood Pressure
. It was not an easy process as I slowly, and with much difficulty, figured out each thing that was causing my blood pressure to go into unhealthy levels.
I have no doubt that almost anyone with high blood pressure, or with other health problems, can significantly improve their health and their quality of life by going on a healthier "balanced" diet, doing significant and appropriate daily physical exercise, avoiding the common, ordinary things that are unhealthy, and by taking very effective medications. I've improved my life-threatening, disabling health problems, not through rocket science, but through common sense.
Here is a chart showing my average blood pressure by year from 1998 through 2011. Notice that my blood pressure was very unhealthy in 1998, but then started improving as I learned more and more. Chart showing Average Blood Pressure from 1998: BP averages - Yearly.jpg I Love Coreg! Love it! LOVE IT!!!