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Thread: High-normal blood pressure

  1. #1
    kriz's Avatar
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    Default High blood pressure and vegan diet

    My mom suffers from high blood pressure, actually very high, and she's on 3 different medications. One of her old meds gave her such side effects that she needed surgery... serious stuff. I've heard that a vegan diet can reduce high blood pressure, but I don't know how effective it really is. Have any of you had this problem, or know someone who did, and experienced significant changes after becoming vegan. Are there a any good evidence out there? Any research done? My mom doesn't smoke anymore and says she eats lots of veggies and fruit, and only a small amount of meat (don't the all say that.) Salt is another thing she cutting down on. I still think more radical changes would be necessary. Maybe a low-fat, low-sodium plant based diet plan is what's needed. And maybe a good exercise program as well.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    Even personally my BP was 120/80 (around average) and after 6 months of being vegan it is around 107/70. If you read 'The Food Revolution' by John Robbins it explains why a vegan diet reduces BP. Also the Physicians Commitee for Resopnsible Medicine is an excellent resource as they research the vegan diet and what health ailments it can help.
    See here for BP info from PCRM, and here for some from John Robbins site EarthSave International.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    Kriz,

    I think you mention most of the right things for reducing blood pressure. Consistently, the biggest factor in reducing blood pressure is sodium restriction. Although sodium restriction can take a period of years to reduce blood pressure for older individuals, it can also come down quickly. It depends, but the body can take a long time to reset back to normal numbers even after the offending agent is gone.

    Here is an interesting study reported by True North, a vegan clinic and water fasting clinic in California. This study shows how water fasting greatly reduces blood pressure, but I am showing this article to you more as a compilation of various studies showing the results of reduction in blood pressure from various activities (e.g. exercise, salt reduction, vegetarian diet etc.)

    http://www.healthpromoting.com/Artic.../acmpaper5.pdf

    Best,
    Josh

  4. #4
    Eating Wildflower's Avatar
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    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    I have heard increasing potassium helps counter act salt in the diet and regulate blood pressure. Potassium is in things like bananas, potatos and other veggies.

    I wasn't aware of this until recently, but high blood pressure is actually the result of damage to your vascular system. Plaque builds up in the arteries and causes damage to the walls, which in turn scars and scabs up, restricting the blood flow and causing problems maintaining blood pressure normally.

    A high fiber, low fat diet is very beneficial to help this. In fact, Dean Ornishes program (very low fat/almost vegan) actually is proven to reverse heart disease. he advocates no fat, no meat, whole wheat grains and lots of fruits and veggies. He allows fat free dairy and egg subs in moderation, but the diet is easily adapted to vegan. his program does not require calorie counting or portion control, only that you eat until you are full not stuffed and watch your refined sugar intake.

    another simillar program to Ornish is the McDougal Diet, also for heart disease treatment.

  5. #5

    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    Quote j&k
    Kriz,

    I think you mention most of the right things for reducing blood pressure. Consistently, the biggest factor in reducing blood pressure is sodium restriction. Although sodium restriction can take a period of years to reduce blood pressure for older individuals, it can also come down quickly. It depends, but the body can take a long time to reset back to normal numbers even after the offending agent is gone.

    Here is an interesting study reported by True North, a vegan clinic and water fasting clinic in California. This study shows how water fasting greatly reduces blood pressure, but I am showing this article to you more as a compilation of various studies showing the results of reduction in blood pressure from various activities (e.g. exercise, salt reduction, vegetarian diet etc.)

    http://www.healthpromoting.com/Artic.../acmpaper5.pdf

    Best,
    Josh

    I recommend use of boiled water ( let it cool down in open air) during fasting days.

    Reduction of mental stress is best.

    Manish Jain

  6. #6
    kriz's Avatar
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    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    Thank you guys. I wish my mom would more proficient in english so that she actually could read your advice herself. But I'll make sure it'll reach her. My father had an anourysm back in -97 where he almost died. Luckily, he had a wise doctor who adviced him to be on a diet very similar to Dr.Ornish's - plant based with only SOME low-fat dairy allowed, but no margarine or eggs. He's still committed to the diet, it's second nature now, I guess. It works for him, and I think my mom should follow the same route.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  7. #7
    IndigoSea
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    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    I haven't found any change in my blood pressure since going vegan. When I was vegetarian it was religiously 109/65-70, and now it's the exact same.

    What really makes a big difference in blood pressure is the amount of salt, sugar, and caffiene you consume. I would tell your mother to cut all those out for a month or so and then see if her blood pressure hasn't improved.

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    Default Blood Pressure

    Hi, I am kinda worried cause I took my blood pressure a few weeks ago and it was 110 over 79. I know it is not in the "dangerous" range but it is still considered high normal. The reason I am worried is because my mother has hypertension and I am sooo scared of having problems when I am older.

    I don't understand why it is so high, what am I doing so wrong? I am not considered overweight, although I am a little chunky, and its not like I eat horrible food! (Although I suppose I could do better )

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make the number go down? Stay from salt? lose weight? WHAT!?

    Thank you
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Blood Pressure

    Err 120/80 is normal, so 110 over 79 is fine.
    A low-fat wholefood vegan diet with regular exercise is the best way to prevent hypertension. It's very rare in vegans anyway but especially healthy ones.
    Don't worry about it.

  10. #10
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: Blood Pressure

    I would think that was normal blood pressure?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Blood Pressure

    hmm I was also told to worry about the bottom number and I was told that 80 is considered moderately high... maybe my researched is flawed, or maybe I am just paranoid...
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Blood Pressure

    Garlic, CoQ10, flax, and lots of dark leafy greens with calcium and magnesium, like brocolli.

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    Default Re: Blood Pressure

    Yes its normal.
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/h...dpressure.html
    Did you know that your blood pressure can vary a lot if you have been exercising or are worried. Both make it higher.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Blood Pressure

    thanks guys I feel better now
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  15. #15
    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default High-normal blood pressure

    So I was at Wal-Mart (not my idea and I wasn't buying anything) and they had one of those blood pressure things, so I decided to check myself out. It told me I was "high-normal". I've had my blood checked twice in the past three months by actual doctors and they never said anything to me about my blood pressure, so I'm sure I'm fine, but I'm wondering what are some good foods to eat (or not eat) to help lower my blood pressure. Sorry if this has already been discussed.



    (PS I do have general anxiety disorder so that could be doing it. Also, I never exercise.)
    Thanks!
    Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.

  16. #16
    Mahk
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    Those free machine thingys are pretty inaccurate. I've noticed taking a second or third reading right after the first one may come back with completely different numbers. Also a single reading one day, even from a trained professional using a state of the art sphygmomanometer, is not as good as averaging several readings over several days. Can you go back again and try again, a few times ideally? If it consistently reads high normal after several visits you might want to check with a doctor.

    There's almost universal agreement that hypertension (high blood pressure) is at least partly caused by our western diet's high salt/sodium content. The only people who seem to feel differently is the salt industry. Gee, I wonder why? High sodium intake can easily occur even if you never salt any of your own food. Go grab a can of anything in your kitchen and read the ingredients. Salt! A box of cereal. Salt! soup, crackers, chips, nuts, mock meat, soy milk, peanut butter, tomato sauce, condiments. Yikes! Processed foods have tons of salt, try to cut back on them, they're not good for you in other ways anyway.

    Lack of exercise is probably not helping either. But I'm bad at that too.

    Good luck.

    P.S. I now make my own soups with a salt substitute called "No Salt" [it's potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride]. I can't say it is perfectly identical but in many soups like hot and sour Chinese soup I can't even tell a difference. Another benefit in using it is you increase your potassium intake.

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    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    Thanks very much for all your help!
    Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.

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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    If you think your blood pressure is not good you should get a number of readings, over a period of time preferably done by a doctor or nurse or someone who actually knows what they are talking about, then you can see what the pattern is over a number of readings. maybe over a week or so. The readings should be done in the same conditions, for example if you have been exercising or worrying or lieing down before the readings it will affect the result.
    The disadvantage of these DIY blood pressure machines in supermarkes and pharmacies is there is no one there to tell you this sort of basic information.
    And people can panic when they see a reading they don't expect.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    ^Exactly. I was so sure I would have normal blood pressure and when I didn't it freaked me out...er, but I AM a hypochondriac so that's expected, lol.
    Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.

  20. #20
    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    Yeah, it takes a few times to get my BP readings right because I drink so much caffeine and have a lot of stress. The test really depends on what time of day they do the test on me - usually early morning is best because I've not had as much caffeine and feel less stressed.

    It's really odd (and interesting) to see the readings when you're hooked up to a monitor. You can see the heart's reaction to your different thoughts over time!
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

  21. #21
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    I had my blood pressure checked by my doctor a couple days ago and he said it was very good. I can remember what it was before and it has actually reduced since I turned vegan (even though I still have loads of salt in my diet.)

  22. #22
    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    You know, I've actually noticed an increase in my salt intake since going vegan due to me being a flavor fiend. I need to learn to cook properly so I don't have to drown everything I make in salt and spices.
    Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.

  23. #23
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    I have family history of high blood pressure. My dad's is terrible; even though he is on meds, his blood pressure sometimes reaches 180/90! My mom's is about 145/85... I am 39 now, and so far my blood pressure is great! It is usually 118/74 or so. But, check this out, after doing about 53 minutes of aerobic exercise, my blood pressure drops (!) to about 108/65! Why is that? Any ideas?

    I eat a high-fiber diet. I start off with either muesli or teff for breakfast, with bananas, almonds, raspberries. Then at lunch I might have a couple of vegan burgers - that's another 8 grams of fiber or so. I think that's what's helping also.

    Don't you just love being vegan? I do.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    Yes I love being vegan, but I'm not smug about it because although I eat decently, with mainly fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch sometimes with mushies or some tofu, and in the evening some nuts and dried cranberries etc. Don't do aerobics, just regular walking and tai chi, yet my blood pressure is terribly high. However, I'm not the classic Type A person, in fact nothing that happens ever riles me, I stay calm to the extent that acquaintances wonder if I have any feelings at all! Yet they can eat animal flesh calmly, and not think of the creature they are consuming a part of. Possibly part of the reason for my high BP is that my father and all his brothers had heart problems, angina, and heart attacks, and this may just be my inheritance.
    Eve

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    Default Re: High blood pressure and vegan diet

    Quote absentmindedfan View Post
    Even personally my BP was 120/80 (around average) and after 6 months of being vegan it is around 107/70. If you read 'The Food Revolution' by John Robbins it explains why a vegan diet reduces BP. Also the Physicians Commitee for Resopnsible Medicine is an excellent resource as they research the vegan diet and what health ailments it can help.
    See here for BP info from PCRM, and here for some from John Robbins site EarthSave International.

    Mine was averaging in the 120/70 zone as well. After my 2 years of veganism it now averages in the 90/60 zone.

    Even with the poor diet I have, A poor vegan diet is still much healthier than a poor omni diet.
    Until we stop harming all other living beings, We are still savages.

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    Default Re: High-normal blood pressure

    High blood pressure can be related to many medical problems, kidney and heart ones in particular.
    Unfortunately being vegan does not mean we won't ever experience those.
    Some of the causes of those problems have nothing to do with diet.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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