Discussions that mention vasotec

High & Low Blood Pressure board

Just wanted to give an update, now that I'm 6 weeks in.

Changed meds... the HCTZ was causing me some male problems. Not a show-stopper by any means, but I'm now on enalapril (the generic of Vasotec). I think it's not quite as effective as the HCTZ, but without the side effects. Besides, my goal is to get off the meds entirely (with my doctor's blessing, of course).

My current BP readings are around 120/80, or a little above (but for the last 3 weeks or so I've never had a reading where either measurement was more than 10 mmHg above that).

As far as weight loss goes, I've lost 22 lbs so far, from about 200 lbs down to a bit under 180. Actually, most of that loss occurred in the first 2-3 weeks - my guess is that dramatically reducing my salt intake caused me to stop retaining water (and I can detect the water retention when I do eat too much salt, and I can taste the salt from a mile away). Now I'm losing weight about 1 lb per week, which is okay by me.

I'd like to lose about 10 lbs more, and I hope to accomplish this during the summer.

My general fitness is improving as well. My resting pulse rate is now around 58 (was over 70 when I started) and I can go for longer and at a much higher level on the bike now. I can even run or dash up a couple flights of stairs without getting out of breath (although I don't run in general because I get shin splints, and a history of knee problems).

I'm still walking in to work about 3 days a week (I'm working offsite 2 days a week where walking to work isn't an option, although I try to walk during the day when I can). I've cut back the hardcore cardio to 3-4 times per week, simply because of time restrictions (and let's face it, pedaling away on a bike for 30 minutes a day every damn day, gets pretty dull).

I've returned to lifting weights ~3x per week, simply because I enjoy it (and it certainly helps with the fat loss). I've increased my protein intake to close to where it was before I started, about 100 grams per day (as opposed to the standard 60-70 recommended for someone of my size and build). But I'm being very cautious about my protein sources - skinless chicken breast, fish, skim milk, soybeans, whey protein supplements (and I compare labels to see which is the best - right now I'm using Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey, which is generally considered the gold standard in the bodybuilding community). I'm relying a lot on ("very low sodium") canned tuna, especially when I'm traveling and can't cook for myself, although I'm going to add protein bars into the mix (again comparing labels to find ones with lower saturated fat and sodium content).

Most of my friends and coworkers are shocked - I've still got excess baggage around the middle, but I'm not being confused for the pillsbury doughboy anymore. They say it's a dramatic improvement, which I'm happy with.

I did have a routine ECG (electrocardiogram) which indicated some unusual results (ST elevation). This can be a sign of bad things (acute MI, pericarditis, among others), although if the results were due to any of those things I'd be displaying other symptoms like chest pain, cyanosis and numbness in the extremities (which I am most certainly not!) Most likely, this is related to something called "early repolarization," which is seen frequently in young males, particularly those who are athletically active (but rarely have ECGs done so this pattern isn't often seen), but I have an appointment with a cardiologist and an echocardiogram on Monday to have it checked out.

Going to restaurants is a bit of a drag because there are entire pages of the menu which don't have a single thing I can eat. But I'm getting better at finding things that are good, and getting less shy about asking for special preparations (e.g. don't add salt, sauce on the side), salad instead of soup (always, and plain oil and vinegar on the salad), and skip the dessert.

I've cut back on the drinking - maybe I have a couple drinks a week now - might go out once every week or two and have 2-3 drinks, and once or twice a week I'll have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner, but that's about it.

I try to give myself one day a week (usually Sunday) where I can ease up a bit and eat things that I wouldn't eat on other days, but not go overboard.

As far as going overboard, I'm sure I'm going to allow myself to do that, but only on special occasions, maybe a couple times a year. So far no special occasions have come up (although I have a few that will be approaching over the next 6 months or so).