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    Old 08-17-2004, 05:59 PM   #1
    georgieh
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    Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    I made a drastic change in my diet recently. I wanted to go competely vegetarian and cut out all meat completely.

    I found a nutrionist to help with this plus I was trying to lower cholesterol.

    I was eating things like whole wheat bread, lots of beans, veggies, fruits, soy products, and supplements like extra vitamin E, Vitamin C, and plant stanins from things like Benecol spread.

    I really liked this diet and felt my energy levels increase. Then the energy turned into nervousness and then anxiety. I decided to check my blood pressure one day and it had risen from its usual 117/67 to 130/66 and then a few days later 148/77.

    This scared me and I contacted the nutritionist who said my changes may have been too drastic. Plus my calories were around 1200 day.

    So what I'm wondering is did the blood pressure go up from the new foods I was eating, the supplements, or just the stress of instituting this new way of eating.

    I loved the new diet, but now I'm scared to continue it and the nutritionist said to go back to my old way of eating and just reintroduce the new things gradually.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

     
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    Old 08-18-2004, 09:06 AM   #2
    Gopherhead
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by georgiehopper
    So what I'm wondering is did the blood pressure go up from the new foods I was eating, the supplements, or just the stress of instituting this new way of eating.
    I had something similar happen; although in reverse. For years I ate a typical low fat, heavy on the pasta and bread (all whole wheat mind you), lots of fruits and veggies, little meat (only chicken really) diet. I exercised my tush off. I did lose some weight (at one point over 100 lbs), but my blood pressure was always on the high end, 145/92. Nothing I did changed it; I could be 150 lbs or 250 bls and it stayed the same.

    Four years ago I changed how I ate. I dropped the wheat, pasta, potatoes and sugar of any kind; yes, it was a low carb diet. I ate all the nasty things you associate with LC; butter, cream, hamburger beef (that wasn't lean ) etc, etc, etc. Weirdest thing; within 3 weeks my BP was 120/73. Now I eat very isocalorically (equal amounts of fat / carbs / protein). I avoid all refined carbs and I get most of my fats from nuts / seed, olive oil, lean cuts of meat / poultry and fatty fish. The BP has stayed down.

    It's not uncommon to be sensitive to certain foods - the most common are wheat (gluten), eggs, shellfish, dairy and certain nuts. This alone can cause changes in BP. What your nutritionist suggested makes sense; it's similar to an elimination diet, where you change only one thing for a week or two and see how you react to it. It's easier to spot the culprit that way - changing a whole whack of things muddies the water, so to speak.

    I hope this helps some,
    Nat
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    Old 08-21-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
    redmug100
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Low calorie diets especially low carb ones may cause the blood suger to drop too low (hypoglycemia) One effect of this is that addrenaline is released to restore suger levels from stored glycogen & fat. Adrenaline has a dirrect effect on both anxiety and blood preasure.

     
    Old 08-22-2004, 07:52 AM   #4
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Actually, low carb diets help control hypoglyceamia by regulating blood sugar - diets high in carbs, especially refined carbs, are what send blood sugar soaring and then plummetting, causing hypoglyceamic episodes.

    The primary hormone that is involved is insulin, which is released in too great amounts when refined carbs are eaten to bring blood glucose back down. Too much insulin is released causing the dramatic drop in blood glucose resulting in cravings, moodiness, nausea and anxiety like symptoms. It's typically a viscious circle, where the sudden drop leaves you hungry and craving more refined carbs, causing the process to begin all over again.

    Nat - a former reactive hypoglyceamic
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    Old 08-24-2004, 11:58 AM   #5
    Magpiezoe
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Hello, Yes, diet can affect blood pressure. A diet high in sodium(salt) can raise blood pressure significantly. High blood pressure can cause a feeling of anxiety, tenseness, grouchiness, and/or uneasiness. The DASH diet is often what is recommended for people with high blood pressure. The main part of the DASH diet, which you can get for free online, is that you should not exceed 2400 mg. of sodium per day. A lot of prepared pasta sauces have tons of sodium in them. Learning relaxation techniques also help.
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    Old 08-26-2004, 01:31 AM   #6
    Rizzano
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gopherhead
    The primary hormone that is involved is insulin, which is released in too great amounts when refined carbs are eaten to bring blood glucose back down. Too much insulin is released causing the dramatic drop in blood glucose resulting in cravings, moodiness, nausea and anxiety like symptoms. It's typically a viscious circle, where the sudden drop leaves you hungry and craving more refined carbs, causing the process to begin all over again.
    Just wondering then, recently I changed my diet from fatty foods (eggs, tacos, hanburgers, you name it) to low and non fat foods (rice, bananas, total or bran flakes, baked chicken, and other fat free foods) but this leaes me starving. The change in my diet was warranted though, due to worsening symptoms of GERD, but it sounds like part of what I have been experiencing (cravings, nasuea, anxiety symptoms) is due to this insulin release, so my question is, how can you avoid eating things that worsen GERD symptoms but still avoid the reaction from the insulin thing?

     
    Old 08-26-2004, 06:38 AM   #7
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rizzano
    Just wondering then, recently I changed my diet from fatty foods (eggs, tacos, hanburgers, you name it) to low and non fat foods (rice, bananas, total or bran flakes, baked chicken, and other fat free foods) but this leaes me starving. The change in my diet was warranted though, due to worsening symptoms of GERD, but it sounds like part of what I have been experiencing (cravings, nasuea, anxiety symptoms) is due to this insulin release, so my question is, how can you avoid eating things that worsen GERD symptoms but still avoid the reaction from the insulin thing?
    A question for you, Rizzano; when you were eating the fatty foods were you also eating them combined with refined carbohydrates? You mention tacos and burgers, both high in fat and in carbs. I've spent many years restricting my carbs to some extent or another and I've spent just as many on forums like this one specializing in nutrition and health and what I've observed has left me understanding that the true culprit is overconsumption of refined carbohydrates.

    Eliminating refined carbs (think white flour, anything that comes boxed or prepackaged) has helped me get over hypoglyceamia, it has put my husbands Chron's in remission and it keeps my mother's Rheumatoid Arthritis at bay. I've seen sufferes of IBS, diabetes, fybromyalgia and GERDs improve their health cutting out the same foods. It may not have been the high fat that was upsetting you; it may have been the refined carbs in combination with the fat (a deadly combination mind you).

    The keys to avoding that insulin rollercoaster ride are to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and to make sure they are balanced (containing all three macronutrients in appropriate proportions).

    Cheers,
    Nat
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    Old 08-26-2004, 06:46 AM   #8
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Ultimately I think diet is the MOST important LONG TERM factor in most people's blood pressure. By that I mean that I have found that overweight contributes MOST to the BP equation (with heavy drinking a close second). It's quite remarkable what the loss of 20 or 30 pounds will do to cure a case of hypertension, astounding actually when you see it happen to yourself!
    I think the explosion in the American blood pressure is DIRECTLY correlatable to the explosion in the American waist line.
    However a hypertensive can get his weight to normal or even low-normal is the singularly best way to deal with his hypertension.

     
    Old 08-26-2004, 12:54 PM   #9
    Rizzano
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gopherhead
    A question for you, Rizzano; when you were eating the fatty foods were you also eating them combined with refined carbohydrates? You mention tacos and burgers, both high in fat and in carbs. I've spent many years restricting my carbs to some extent or another and I've spent just as many on forums like this one specializing in nutrition and health and what I've observed has left me understanding that the true culprit is overconsumption of refined carbohydrates.

    Eliminating refined carbs (think white flour, anything that comes boxed or prepackaged) has helped me get over hypoglyceamia, it has put my husbands Chron's in remission and it keeps my mother's Rheumatoid Arthritis at bay. I've seen sufferes of IBS, diabetes, fybromyalgia and GERDs improve their health cutting out the same foods. It may not have been the high fat that was upsetting you; it may have been the refined carbs in combination with the fat (a deadly combination mind you).

    The keys to avoding that insulin rollercoaster ride are to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and to make sure they are balanced (containing all three macronutrients in appropriate proportions).

    Cheers,
    Nat
    I am not familiar with some of the technical terms you are using. By refined carbs, I should then, for example, switch from white bread to wheat bread and white rice to brown rice? If so, I think I understand, except for the last paragraph. I understand eating the smaller more frequent meals, but what are these macronutrients you speak of. Could you list an example of point me to somwhere that would have an example of a typicals days meals going on these guidelines?

     
    Old 08-26-2004, 02:40 PM   #10
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    Re: Can Diet Affect Blood Pressure and Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rizzano
    I am not familiar with some of the technical terms you are using. By refined carbs, I should then, for example, switch from white bread to wheat bread and white rice to brown rice? If so, I think I understand, except for the last paragraph. I understand eating the smaller more frequent meals, but what are these macronutrients you speak of. Could you list an example of point me to somwhere that would have an example of a typicals days meals going on these guidelines?
    Yes, exactly, choosing better carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, long grain brown rice, or if unavoidable whole wheat (although you'd be better off with other whole grains like oat or rye if you're suffering from GERDS) instead of having white bread, white rice, french fries, etc. "Refined" equals processed, which removes vitamins, minerals and fibre from foods, making a lot of them empty calories. These types of foods have a heavy impact on insulin when compared to their whole counterparts in equal quantities. You further lessen the impact on insulin by combining your carbs with other macronutrients at every meal. Macronutrients refers to the three types of energy your body uses; carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Of the three, only carbs have a heavy hit on insulin. Fat is neutral. Protein influences insulin's counter part, glucagon - the hormone necessary for fat burning.

    I wrote a pretty extensive post last week on good choices among the 3 macronutrients if you're looking for some ideas, the post was geared toward fat loss but it can be used to make balanced meals :

    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?p=1168028#post1168028

    Nat
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