Has anyone found a way of reducing their blood pressure apart from losing weight and low salt diet?

Be grateful for anything you have found reduces blood pressure. I had an excellent first appointment with EP, who said only one medication was suitable for me, but when seen last week by arrythmia nurse, was concerned she was suggesting meds after my having future 24 hour BP monitoring.

Not only do I want to avoid being woken hourly during the night, as my vagal type AF always starts during the night, but alsoI would like to avoid clashing on this by reducing my BP myself! It is borderline- 140 Systolic, or lower usually, after losing some weight- diastolic is fine- and all suggestions will be most welcome and tried out!!

Thank you in advance

26 Replies

  • Hi RosyG how old are you ? Sorry to sound nosy but it's very important with BP.

    I'd be so happy if mine was that low. BP gets higher with age and just last week I read that some heart organisation was thinking of not dosing older people too much for high BP because of bad side effects.

    I'm loosing weight and eating loads so that's one good thing. Hope you get sorted, I walk a lot and garden,my AF is keeping away thank goodness. Terjo

  • Thank you Terjo- I had my 70th birthday in February!

    I read the article you mentioned - I think it's because a lot of elderly people were falling when their BP became too low.

    I will try and walk more- have just re-started swimming ( AF started suddenly last August) but felt very tired- have gradually built up walking again and can manage about an hour.

    If I lose some more weight it will help- am only about half a stone more than should be but I think it would help my BP is I lost a stone. My BP has been high at times over the last few months but has improved- not going to take meds!!

  • I'm 69 (almost) and my GP recently put me on another BP drug as well as losartan (amlodopine) as she wanted my BP down from the 150/90 average it has been at since I started the hormone implants post cancer surgery. It is now around 135/75 and I have daily headaches! BP has become a bit of an obsession with doctors. When I was a lad the norm was 100+your age over 90. Now they want your much lower than that. What happens when I finish the implants after August will be interesting. I expect I will collapse every time I stand up! lol


  • Hi Rosy

    I would suggest getting your own BP monitor. If you take measurements in a more relaxed setting you might find your BP is a lot lower anyway. Also you could try a small quantity of dark (85%+ cocoa) chocolate as it expands the arteries and reduces BP slightly (about 2-3). If you want to try drugs, diltiazem could work - reducing HR in AF and reducing BP. Also exercise helps a lot. If you're taking up swimming again you could go to a class. Around here there are swimming classes at the local health centres. We divide in two with the more advanced swimming about 60 lengths over an hour and the less advanced doing about 40 at a more relaxed pace, but using different strokes and exercises.


  • Thank you Bob and Mark- very good suggestions- I do take my own BP and EP has asked me to keep taking in results- think you're right and it probably would be higher if recorded at the hospital,Bob, if I can reduce systolic by 15, like you, I might be able to avoid the headache! Hope your treatment is going well. Mark, it was good to meet you in London. Can I ask, have you tried magnesium citrate at all?

  • Hi Rosy,

    Yes I have magnesium citrate (Magasorb from Nature's Best). I don't know if it reduced BP, I wasn't taking it for that. Extra Mg seems a good thing to take generally. It was good to meet you as well!


  • Hi Rosy

    I agree with Mark. I have my own BP monitor & find that when I check it at home in a relaxed atmosphere it is nearly always quite a bit lower than at the GP's surgery. This is because when I attend a doctor's appointment I am always stressed and anxious about the visit. If you buy a monitor get a good quality one.

    A sensible exercise plan & a healthy diet is a must for all of us.

    Gary F

  • Hello Rosie ! You have what is known as the `White coat syndrome!`.

    You are doing the right thing by purchasing your own BP machine which allows you to register your BP under your normal daily routine.

    There are nearly as many anti-hypertensive drugs as there are days in the year & there are many different modes of action by these `Antihypertensive agents .` Some have undesirable side effects.with one person & not another.

    A side effect is an ` Extension of the pharmacological action of the drug ,` & it may rule it out for one person & not another.

    Hope your doctor soon finds the one most suitable for you!!


  • Hi Rosy, I've been just slightly over borderline all my life really. But when I got AF I changed my life and de-stressed it. Change of job included. Since then I've had normal blood pressure. Whether it's a coincidence or not I don't know. During this period I've always either Aspirin or Warfarin, maybe that explains it? I'm 64 going on 18.


  • Crumbs Koll, just noticed your new avatar, looks as if you've been doing some serious genetic engineering on the farm lol. Any lambs yet??

  • Hi Marilyn , not yet, due to start on Monday, then 24/7 for while, looking forward to it! All the ewes are looking in good condition, so fingers crossed. K

  • Your query about magnesium is what I'm now thinking about as I hardly dare tell anyone my blood pressure. I'm normal weight,under 9 st, and 82 years old.

    My medicines are Flecanide and Irbesartan small doses as they both effect me adversely. I have bisoperlol as a standby but really think my blood count can't be right. I'm going to ask the dr next time to print it out for me. Please keep posting about your search. Keep well Terjo

  • Thank you all for great replies and help!

    Much appreciated and good to know you are there to discuss things with.

  • G'day rosyG,

    I understand what you are saying - I take 5 ml daily ( usually around breakfast) Arctic Cod Liver Oil - now make special note it needs to be EPA in the range 320 - 510mg and DHA in the range 460 - 640 mg. However, to the best of my understanding this is not supermarket grade and is more expensive. A 200 ml bottle costs me around £24 (from memory). I'm over 69 and my BP is regularly around 127/75 where as before AF was diagnosed - indeed even when AF was diagnosed - I was around 136/85. I'm 6 ft tall and weigh (too much) around 95 kgs.

    If i can help more please let me know.


    Aussie John

  • Hi Aussie John, I'm fairly new to this site but am finding it such a wonderful help! Are you saying that taking this Arctic Cod Liver Oil is bringing your BP down? I need to find something to help with my high BP also!

  • G'day billandben_21,

    Basically yes plus the diet that I am on which aims at removing anything from my diet which upsets my digestive system which in turn can trigger an AF event. I went back to Australia last November and apart from my warfarin/ bisoprolol and simvastatin and ramipril I was careless with my cod liver oil intake and hardly took any. In anycase I couldn't take my bottle with me so took the capsule version of the same product, but as I say got careless about take it but I did stick to basically the same diet and my BP increased, now back here in Cornwall and back on the liquid my BP has returned to what it was before I went to Oz. I would add that I take 10mg of Ramipril for high blood pressure daily - so the cod liver oil stuff is a supplement to that.

    Hope this helps you.


    Aussie John

  • Hi RosieG

    As Bob says it used to be considered normal for 100 plus you age over 90' but that is now considered very high, I am on candesarten and tildeum and they like mine to be 130 over 80 or less, I am 65 and over weight.



  • Eating a plant based diet increases the elasticity of the circulatory system, to reduce atherosclerosis, and lower blood pressure. And yes, keep moving for sure!

  • Hi grandma, I eat a plant based diet plus eggs, about two or three a week, and yoghurt,live. My blood pressure, taken by me, was 202/55 with pulse at 55. This was after a half hour rest in the afternoon.

    I feel good today and when the sun comes out will go out and finish pruning the roses. I don't like taking my blood pressure as it depresses me. Like being able to still think clearly and know I am very fortunate not to have lots of other physical problems. Keep well

  • Terjo, I can see why taking your blood pressure depresses you. That is very worrisome blood pressure. Can they adjust your medications? Do you carefully avoid all salt, and foods with hidden salt? Do you exercise 30-60 minutes/ day and stay very active to take about 10,000 steps/day? Please take good care and let us know when your pressure starts to come down.

  • It's been going up over the years. I've tried over that time beta blockers, digoxin , calcium blockers and now angiotensin blocker one 75mg tab at night plus asprin in the morning.

    I never bothered about my blood pressure or knew what it was until a nurse who was checking me at a six week appointment after a pelvic floor repair said it was high and I should see my doctor. That was before the AF started. About eleven years ago. Like Bob D I thought 100 plus how old you were was ok as that was what I'd been told before. One lives and learns all ones life!

    I have nine children and went back to teaching when my youngest son was three as there was a demand for more of us to go back and a nursery nearby. I taught half day until he started school. My eldest son is sixty this year. Thank you for answering Grandma . I do walk and have been gardening this morning, I pruned the roses yesterday, your help is valued. Thank you

  • Sorry I forgot to say that my last blood count said I had low sodium the dr said to eat more salt ! We eat food that we cook ourselves and don't add salt to anything so now I add some at the table, just a touch. Please has any one found any benefit from taking magnesium for high blood pressure ? Terjo

  • Sorry to add to this so late in the day (and apologies if anyone has already mentioned it) but beetroot juice is supposed to help reduce blood pressure.

  • thank you Rellim296 I have started having beetroot as a friend mentioned that. My BP has gon done a bit as am swimming again and trying to have as much fruit and veg as possible

  • Hi, Rosie. When my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease I started researching and found that there is a genetic link. So I decided to go on a gluten-free diet which basically means cutting out most grains and any foods containing gluten. The idea being that maybe my daughter had inherited this disease from me. Much to my incredible surprise, I lost weight without trying and my blood pressure, which had been problematic for two decades, normalized. Since I needed to lose weight I also cut out potatoes and added sugars although this last was something I cheated on. Later on I discovered a Ted talk in which a doctor describes something similar to what I had done. She calls it the GPS diet. G meaning grains, P meaning potatoes, and S meaning sugar. This may sound like a harsh diet but in fact there are many delicious foods still available to you. She treats patients with obesity and diabetes problems. Click on the link and listen to this wonderful doctor : m.youtube.com/watch?list=PL...

  • Thank you Ive managed to get my blood pressure down and let two stone in weight- I do have potatoes now but still no grain or sugar

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