Discussions that mention potassium

High & Low Blood Pressure board


[QUOTE=dmer;3469662]It's not being smug to suggest you have a genetic predisposition to good health and longevity.

I feel guilty about this but know in the long run it will catch up to me and bite me you know where!

[QUOTE]...When you previously embarked on a course of medication, were you given the option of modifying your diet in lieu of the drugs?

Actually, when I was diagnosed I had gone in for my physical with the intention of getting a referral to see a sleep specialist...I had been complaining of fatigue for some time and a house guest/family member said I stopped breathing when I slept and it was suggested that I might have sleep apnea (which another family member had been diagnosed with years before).

When I had my labs done at the time of my physical, the only thing out of whack was my potassium level and I was encouraged to eat more fruits and veggies and to "lose weight". I thought this "feedback" was unusual because I had been overweight much of my adult life and this was the first time my doctor had ever "pressured" me to lose weight. At that time I didn't put 2 and 2 together...in other words, I didn't realize that my doctor wanted me eat fruits and veggies, and to lose weight to reduce my blood pressure! I thought he just wanted me to do it to lose weight... I would also like to say here that I believe the reason my potassium levels were low was because my sleep was interrupted multiple times every night due to the apnea and as a result I lacked the energy/motivation to properly nourish myself and to exercise.

[QUOTE]...I ask that question because you have established normal BP levels through diet alone.

No, I have not established normal bp levels through diet alone....I have reason to believe my cpap treatment (my little air machine) has dropped my pressures considerably (that is why I noted "used cpap" or "didn't use cpap" on my DASH records)!!! So it is the combination of my cpap treatment and my DASH diet that has brought about the balance. I'm afraid to go without my cpap for a long period of time because, for me, it may be like going without meds. I posted on my lifestyle changes thread how many points on the average cpap treatment can drop pressures...I'm not sure but it might have been an average of 10-15 points.

[QUOTE]These days, Dr.'s have turned to the convenient term "metabollic syndrome", to encompass, HBP, elevated lipids and elevated glucose. I qualified for all 3 and with BP meds and a statin + diet and exercise, BP levels are down, lipids are down and glucose is normal.

Excellent, Dmer, simply excellent! I have read your posts with interest and know how dedicated (and motivating) you are....and the results prove it!!!

[QUOTE]... I think one lesson I would learn from your experience is that you have an excellent constitution which responds well to change. This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me...I don't know how well I "respond" to change but I do enjoy change...and contrary to what most people think, I think most people do welcome change (look at how many people have embraced the personal computer despite the daily challenges of "operating" one, :D).

[QUOTE]...The peril would be if you "allow" a diabetic condition to develop.

I value your input and caution very much. It is a very real possibility and specially for me with my dependency on sweets. But again, I really think the DASH plan has helped with balance...it still is an ongoing concern.

[QUOTE]...He described me as "soon to be diabetic" and my glucose was lower than yours. The reason for this concern was that while meds could address the BP and lipids, "lifestyle" changes were necessary for the best results.

Thank you so much for the eye opening! I would agree with your doctor about lifestyle changes being necessary for the best results. Meds are only tools, helpmates, to buy time while one changes ones lifestyle....keeping in mind that this may or may not apply to people with secondary hypertension.

[QUOTE]You've made an enormous stride in knocking down one element of bad health, I wish you continued success in all the elements of your wellbeing.

I feel the same way about you, dmer...as well as others on this board. But I think we all know that these elements need to be kept down for the rest of our lives and because of this we may need to address them "one day at a time" and perhaps, even, one hour at a time.

Best of health to you, dmer...I know you will do well.

Bethsheba
[QUOTE=pemmy;3473223]...How much sodium in a day? Thanks so much, Pam

Pemmy, I didn't keep a record of how much sodium I consumed in a day...if I had to do that, I wouldn't have "stayed with the plan". I knew that the simpler I made DASH for myself the more likely it would be for me to suceed. But just for your info, there are 2 versions of the DASH meal program...one is the regular version and the other is the low sodium version. I followed the low sodium version which should have given me about 1500-2000 mg/day (this is considerably less than the government's recommendation of limiting it to 2400mg daily.)

What I can tell you is that I replaced things like magarine, mayonaise, catsup, canned tomato products, canned soup products, cheese, with the substitutions recommended by the DASH people....this was not expensive (one could do it gradually as things ran out)...but I did find it difficult initially because I didn't know where the low/no sodium stuff was in the stores (sometimes it is in the "organic" aisles). And of course, not all the stores had some of the stuff. But really, aside from not preparing meals in advance and putting them in the freezer, shopping may have been the biggest one time obstacle.

The second thing I did, was tried to use the menus provided by the DASH nutritionists...because all of the "formulas" for the nutrients were done for me....EASY...so I didn't have to keep track of anything except eating all of the foods on the menus (more fruits, veggies, grains, and fewer proteins, fats, sweets).

I only have some of the basics down, and I'm learning something new each day...for instance, I just figured out that the sodium listed on the labels of the foods I eat are actually DOUBLE the amount of sodium I should have...so I take that into account if the food is not on my already prepared meal plan.

Also, I no longer assume things are low in sodium...example. some of the posters on this board suggested eating celery as a natural diuretic....Welllllll....celery may have a lot of nutritional value (potassium and fiber), but it is naturally high in SODIUM....not so much that you'd want to eliminate it from your diet...but enough that dieticians say that you should record sodium contained in the celery you eat if you are on a low sodium diet.

So, never assume.

Oh, and bp this am was 123/84 so that old diastolic is still dropping...but I need to lose weight and exercise and then I won't have to montor...at least on a daily basis.

Bethsheba

PS I would like to EMPHASIZE that prior to doing the low sodium version of DASH, I thought I was eating a low sodium diet because I didn't generally add salt to my foods (if I did so it was when I cooked and I would add 1/2 of the amount called for)....so I was VERY surprised at the results....and now that I'm looking at food labels, I'm surprised at what foods contain sodium....milk, was a bummer.
Hi Beth, :)

[QUOTE]Also, I no longer assume things are low in sodium...example. some of the posters on this board suggested eating celery as a natural diuretic....Welllllll....celery may have a lot of nutritional value (potassium and fiber), but it is naturally high in SODIUM....not so much that you'd want to eliminate it from your diet...but enough that dieticians say that you should record sodium contained in the celery you eat if you are on a low sodium diet.

Guess what? I include raw celery sticks in my daily repertoir of veggies. Sometimes I take a full Ziploc bag (sandwich size) of celery sticks and another veggie to work to eat. Every single time I eat the celery sticks, I wonder WHY they taste salty. I even said to myself several times....if I didn't know any better, I'd say they are salty....!!!!! As you know, when you are on a salt-restricted diet (as I am) you become very sensitive to the taste of salt. How come I haven't heard of this until now? Thank you for bringing this to my attention, by the way. It's quite a surprise!

flowergirl
Thanks so much for your support and your understanding!!! I messed up big time and I knew better...got into one of those complacent phases which I can't do, at least until I exercise and take off these extra pounds.

As far as being sodium sensitive, I think it's fair to say I am. Haven't had any problems with water retention (swollen wrists, puffy eyelids, swollen ankles) while DASHing until now, :(. But from what I understand, we all get too much sodium in our diets and from what I've read about 1/3 of people who have hypertension can get off of meds with diet alone...but I haven't checked a number of sources on this, just the government's. Even if one isn't sodium sensitive, too much sodium is not good for the body in other ways.

Famnd, I'm not particularly fond of hot dogs...too many preservatives and fat, and little nutritional value. I can forego them easily...just have to plan ahead. Oh, and for those who do like hot dogs, based on the info I came across there is a wide range of sodium values in the different brands...anywhere from 200 to 700+ mg per serving. Of course if you add catsup and cheese, you can up the mgs considerably again!

Flowergirl,

Your insights are excellent! Hypertension is a combo of things...although I don't believe anxiety and stress were a factor here, I do believe a combo of diet things contributed to the elevation....for instance, when I started DASHing, I made the "mistake" of getting every whole grain bread product listed by the DASH people (bread, bagels, pita bread, you name it) so my freezer was full of whole grain breads....it's the end of the month and I'm out so I'm not eating as much fiber as I should be. Ditto goes for the fruits...
Again, the DASH people are saying it isn't any one nutrient...it's the BALANCE of sodium, calcium, potassium, fiber, etc that helps regulate the pressures. So yes, I can't blame it all on the hot dogs and bacon. I have to take responsibility for a number of poor choices, and yes, they are "choices".

But if I lost 50 pounds and if I exercised (regularly:D) these little "whoopses" wouldn't be so critical.

Bethsheba