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Do I have High Blood Pressure or Not?

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Old 08-14-2004, 01:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 60
georgiehopper HB User
Do I have High Blood Pressure or Not?

The doctor says no...but

all my life my blood pressure was normal around 120/80 and often less. Then about 2 years ago my father died and I fell apart. My blood pressure went up at the doctor's office to 150/95 and they scared me by telling me that it was it went up even higher.

Then the doctor himself took my pressure and talked to me and it came down to 127/74... but each time I'd go to the doctor it would go up again. I know they call this white coat syndrome but I had never had it before.

Then I developed a phobia about the blood pressure machine and was afraid to have my pressure taken.

The doctor told me to monitor my blood pressure for three weeks and take it often during that I did.

During those 3 weeks , I took it about ten times ...and each time it came down lower...with the lowest reading being 117/63. I was also exercising alot at the time.

I went back to the doctor with my results and he concluded that I did not have high blood pressure and should only check it every month or so. At the same time, he told me I need to lower my cholesterol or go on that scared me and I put myself on a strict diet.

I was all gung ho about the diet but it was stressful and I was often hungry... then about a week ago I decided to check my blood pressure and it was elevated....130/66... that worried me but I thought maybe it was just from stress.

Then over the next few days I was feeling very nervous and agitated and hungry on this diet..... I checked my blood pressure again and it was up to 148/77 I called the dietician and she promptly told me to stop the diet...and go back to my old eating habits to see if the pressure comes back down.

This is freaking me out. I was taking supplements such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Soy and Benecol margarine. Plus I was eating absolutely NO meat.

I thought I was on a very healthy diet...but not anymore.

So here I am...afraid to check my blood pressure again, because I still feel that nervous tension in my stomach so I know it will be elevated.

Should I go back to the doctor or should I wait this out and see what happens?

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Old 08-14-2004, 02:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: California, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,088
zuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB User
Re: Do I have High Blood Pressure or Not?

It sounds to me as if you really are FINE.
You definitely had "white coat" at the doc's office.
While monitoring your BP at home your #s were great, and the doctor concurred.

Would love to know what your cholesterol/lipid profile was..and am wondering how drastic your dietary changes should be. Perhaps not as critical as you think.
I'm not sure exactly what your "strict diet" is but the fact that you feel hungry means it's a lousy diet.

Your body probably feels like it's in FASTING mode which will surely raise one's blood pressure.

And by the way, don't worry about 148/77 on the day you felt nervous, agitated and hungry. Your diastolic # was lovely and the systolic of 148 is not sky-high and seems understandable given your state of mind that day!

Regarding "going back to your old eating habits"...perhaps just cut back a little for now on animal fats, but don't go overboard so as not to feel deprived.

I was a HUGE butter, cream cheese, red meat fan all my life. Yes indeedy even hot dogs sometimes.....the worst(!) and recently my cholesterol started creeping up a bit (good HDL but LDL was too high) and I thought I would never be able to eat ANYTHING that had the word "low fat" or "lite" on the label.

Guess what? Turkey dogs taste exactly like ol' beef franks, although I avoid them anyway because of the sodium content, and I've fallen in love with salmon and catfish (still have a lean burger once in a while though..but once in a while is okay, just not "most days of the week"!)
Chicken. Chicken. Chicken. Get creative, there are lots of great things you can do with that bird.

Olive oil for cooking.

I used to be hooked on bottled Kraft Italian salad dressing. Full of fat and sodium. Now I make my own with a good balsamic vinegar and olive oil, garlic, pepper, lemon juice, and whatever other spices I want to throw in. Missed the Kraft stuff for about a week and now I love my own concoction better.

Lite mayo tastes the same as regular, 1% milk tastes the same as whole (just looks thinner), organic low fat peanut butter tastes the SAME (in fact, better than) the old Jif, etc etc.

Try not to be anxious. Modify your saturated fat intake just a little if you can but don't go crazy.

I wouldn't rush back to the doctor yet.

zuzu xxx

Last edited by zuzu8; 08-14-2004 at 02:49 PM.

Old 08-14-2004, 03:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 60
georgiehopper HB User
Re: Do I have High Blood Pressure or Not?

My cholesterol was 235...
HDL: 61 (great)
LDL: 158 (not so great)
Triblycerides: 79 (great)

I'm 46, female and weigh 117 pounds. The doctor wanted me on meds for this right away and I refused instead wanting to restrict my diet further. I was already on a low salt, low fat, low sugar, and low calorie diet to drop a few pounds.

I eat NO red meat, and no chicken. I eat salmon and tuna.
Tons of veggies and fruits, soy products, and I get 30 grams of soluble fiber daily.
Also under 2000 mg of salt a day, 11 mg of fat, and 1200 calories a day.

I was running 4 miles a day and working out with weights. The blood pressure prior to starting this much stricter diet was coming down down fact one day I got scared because it was 112/60 with a heart rate of 60.

Now I'm worried that my blood pressure is on its way back up. I have added a little more fat and calories back into my diet in the hopes that my BP will go back down to where it was.

I never thought a diet could be so stressful.

The doctor has given me 3 months to drop the cholesterol below 200..otherwise he wants me on meds and I don't want meds.

Last edited by georgiehopper; 08-14-2004 at 03:14 PM.

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