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Bringing blood pressure down without yet more drugs

(15 Posts)
Gingernaut Mon 09-Oct-17 17:58:34


You can look me up, I've been a poster on these boards for a fair while.

I don't want to drip feed, so this will be long. I apologise in advance.

Some of you may know that I've recently been diagnosed with ADHD-PI. At 49. Yeah, I know. blush

I'm taking methylphenidate (NHS) and paying privately for psychotherapy sessions for help with 'executive function' issues.

My mood, organisational skills and my ability to concentrate are all 'on the up'.

I'm learning to drive, going to a couple of adult education classes and I've joined a choir in the evenings.

I'm learning new things, spending less time re-capping and going over old ground, there's less stressing out over stuff to do, I'm more organised and, although there's a long way to go, I can honestly say this has changed my life for the better.

Anyway..... I am overweight/borderline obese and before last October, had been gradually losing weight for some time.

I was obese/borderline morbidly obese when I bought a Fitbit, walked around a bit more (currently up to 15,000 steps a day) and reduced my calories, but I have plateau'd over the last year.

I am deeply unfit, have painful, chronic problems with my feet that will only get worse and which are already beginning to limit my mobility, a problem with asthma and a problem with compulsive overeating.

You may have gathered that I have ishooos.

Theoretically, the methylphenidate is also an appetite suppressant, but as I eat when I'm not hungry anyway, there has been no change in weight since I started the new treatment. blush

The treatment for the ADHD is a stimulant called methylphenidate (one trade name is Ritalin) which can cause a rise in blood pressure.

I have a family history of cardiovascular conditions, my BP is normally on the high side to start with, throw in a smidgen of White Coat Syndrome and I now have a perfect storm of 149/97.

Ideally, I need to be in the green zone, but for now, somewhere in the yellow zone would be a massive improvement.

I'm trying to get back on track with weight loss and I know I need to sort out a healthier eating plan. And stick to it more rigidly.

Allergies and intolerances include all fish, shellfish, eggs, I'm not much of a carnivore and I'm already watching sodium levels. I don't like frying food myself and don't enjoy culinary challenges. If I can keep things light and fresh, that would be great. I have no freezer and I'm not going to get one in the near future.

If my blood pressure doesn't reduce with diet and lifestyle changes, the methylphenidate may be withdrawn (my lifestyle not my life depends on it😱) and/or I may need to go on to more medication with more side effects i.e.; statins and/or antihypertensives, all of which have side effects.

Has anyone managed to reduce their blood pressure through diet and lifestyle changes alone?

What's worked? What hasn't worked?

Sorry to dump and run, but I will be keeping up during the evening and will try to catch up tomorrow afternoon. blush

Thank you for reading and would be truly grateful for any pointers. smile

Gingernaut Mon 09-Oct-17 18:50:32

Hey look! My train has free Wi-Fi!!

Sorry to be a bumping pain. blush

FruitCider Mon 09-Oct-17 19:15:20

One of the biggest factors in your high systolic will be your weight. I’m vegetarian and I’m currently following a ketogenic diet to lose weight. I’m an emotional eater and it stops me from binging on carbohydrates such as crisps, donuts, ice cream, pizza blush. Maybe it’s worth a go?

Gingernaut Mon 09-Oct-17 20:43:14

Thanks @FruitCider, any particular website or resourcecyou recommend?

I'm low sodium, no alcohol and no caffeine.

It's got to be diet and weight, hasn't it?

There's nothing else left...

Gingernaut Mon 09-Oct-17 20:43:58

Sorry about spelling, battery failing and the meds are wearing off. sad blush

Honkyzeke Mon 09-Oct-17 20:52:20

Potassium is great for lowering your blood pressure, get it from eating potassium rich foods rather than a supplement though, bananas, avocados, dried apricots, orange juice, spinach tomatoes(sundried in particular) they’re all rich in potassium and eaten regularly will help lower your blood pressure.

Honkyzeke Mon 09-Oct-17 20:59:22

Also exercise is good for getting the blood pressure down too, even if it’s just regular brisk walking even just for 10 mins at a time to start with and then work your way up.

Tiggy78 Mon 09-Oct-17 21:02:07

Accupuncture is good for lowering high blood pressure

Hulder Mon 09-Oct-17 21:13:13

In terms of lowering your blood pressure there is weight, exercise, dropping alcohol, caffeine and salt.

As you already do the last 3, you have weight and exercise.

Given you already have a family history, no doctor is going to be keen at leaving you at that BP for long. But would be sympathetic to the enormous benefit methylphenidate is having on your quality of life.

I would say getting your BP down to healthy levels just on weight and exercise is a big ask - although there will be massive health benefits to you to doing the weight loss and exercise and you would minimize how much medication you would need in the long run.

So I would expect you will need an anti-hypertensive but the more weight you lose and the more exercise you do, the better you will be and you can keep it to a minimum.

BerrySmoothie Mon 09-Oct-17 21:40:00

Hibiscus tea lowers BP. Beetroot too.

BeyondTheMoon Mon 09-Oct-17 21:49:17

If hibiscus tea reduces blood pressure then it contains blood pressure lowering chemicals so you may as well be taking the meds from the GP and be properly monitored, imo.

WhoWants2Know Mon 09-Oct-17 21:59:26

I find that MyFitnessPal works very well for weight loss and generally keeping track of what you eat.

When I'm on the ball and really focused on losing weight, I steam a lot of veg in the microwave because it's quick and easy.

In addition to cardio exercises, relaxation, yoga, meditation and even hot baths are helpful.

(I say that hopefully- at my last check, my bp was 160/105)

Honkyzeke Mon 09-Oct-17 22:08:28

Be careful with hibiscus tea it can interfere with medication and as you’re currently taking medication I would check with your GP first before trying it.

Gingernaut Mon 09-Oct-17 22:22:57

Thanks oh great and mighty Mumsnet!

I'll research these.

Just seen Greg Davies and Barry Castagnola at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Got to get home and try out for an new job tomorrow (0 hours contract).

Will go through this in more detail tomorrow afternoon.

sufferingicecakes Tue 10-Oct-17 10:31:56

I suffered with high blood pressure and whilst some of that was 'white coat syndrome', I never had a reading less than 140/90, even at home.
I went on the Micheal Moseley blood sugar diet, mainly as I needed to lose weight but I was quite shocked that my blood pressure shot down and now is around 122/78 even when checked by a Dr. This change occurred within the space of 8 weeks with only very minimal additional exercise in the form of walking. I do not even manage 10,000 steps a day.
I have kept the weight off (I lost just over a stone in 6 weeks) even though I have gone off piste with the diet. One thing I have kept up though is minimal potatoes, pasta, bread and limited cereals at breakfast. Oh and restricted the wine intake. Hopefully these sorts of changes are easy to keep up for life.

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