High blood pressure: I am in the... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

31,231 members20,301 posts

High blood pressure

KBMosia profile image

I am in the process of trying to lower my blood pressure with diet and exercise, I have discussed this with my GP and I am checking my blood pressure at home with a digital BP machine which my GP will review regularly. Has anyone tried this successfully?

34 Replies
MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

A lot of people are attempting to either reduce BP, reduce cholesterol, send Type II diabetes into remission ("cure" is used by media hacks and snake oil internet doctors) or a combination of these.

Diet (the BHF recommend a Mediterranean diet) and exercise can make a big difference but may not totally eliminate the need for medication so people should not beat themselves up about this.

All the good effects can be totally negated by adding salt to food, drinking more than guidelines and smoking. With BP a high caffeine intake can be detrimental. Good luck!

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to MichaelJH

Thanks for your reply. I will keep at it and see what happens.

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to MichaelJH

Thanks for your response. I have read extensively about the advantages of healthy eating and exercise, and I am prepared to go full on on these and any other information such as which foods to eat and which exercises are beneficial to what I want to achieve. Whatever the outcome I have nothing to loose but more to gain from healthy eating and exercise. Worth a try !

Kristin1812 profile image
Kristin1812Heart Star

Hi KBMosia. I tried the very same, and in the same way, but had to resort to pills in the end. My efforts did have a small effect, but being brutally honest with you, I really wish I had resorted earlier to the pills and I always wonder if I might have avoided the heart events I had.

But who knows?

As Michael has said, it can certainly help to lower blood pressure. In my opinion not so much as what you should eat as what you should not, but most certainly exercise can only help, however it may still need medication. A proper diet and exercise should be part of life generally especially people with raised blood pressure.

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

I did see a post on here for adding cinnamon to food and sprinkling with basil to lower BP. Sure there is no peer reviewed study supporting this!

My BP is pretty well controlled by exercise (average since Jan is 110/61 and over the last month is 113/61).

I do have a minimal (2mg) dose of candesartan but that's because my GP wants it for the "other protective effects" of an ARB rather than for BP.

One caution, though, is that it'll start to rise pretty quickly if I back off the exercise for any reason.

During the first lockdown when I was running 3-4 times a week and walking the other days it was averaging 103/60 but crept up by about 10 points when things got back to a more normal couple of runs and a gym session weekly.

After the half marathon in early Sept I gave mysf a week of gentle recovery and, by the next weekend, it was hovering around 125/65. Then took a couple of weeks of resumed training to bring it back down again.

OK, 125/65 isn't a problem but the quick rise does show how exercise is only controlling it on a day-day basis, not "curing" it!

Thank you. I will certainly carry on and see what happens

If my blood pressure was that low I can honestly say I would pass out. I cannot tolerate much under 135 and the doctor said that was fine

That's the problem with religiously chasing "normal" figues - very few people are "normal" and what actually matters is what works for the individual!

After a hard run mine quite often drops to around 85/50 without symptoms but, if I drop that low at other times I get a little dizzy standing quickly.

Lowest reading to date about 40 minutes after a really intense 90 min gym session was 79/35 which did leave me feeling a little spaced out :D

Hi there, I've been doing this a lot over the last 15 years. My doctor always checks my BP whenever I visit but is always interested in my record. There seems to be a difference news my record and his readings (his are always lower) I think it's to do with where I take the readings: sitting down in my bathroom and lying down at the surgery. After a while I decided to do it less often (once a week) as I don't think that more often is particularly useful.

Good luck

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to David81

Thanks. I am determined to go full on the healthy eating and exercise and how it goes

Thanks for replying. I don't have access to any studies that are peer reviewed, however I do follow information by reliable sources ,, like Drs such as Dr Gregor for instance who have access to reliable studies.

Kibuli profile image
Kibuli in reply to KBMosia

Very best of luck to you KBMosia

Hi KBMosia...yes back in March I went to the doctor for a routine appointment....my B/P was at stroke level....its always been perfect 120/80...I started a strict health diet and exercise for the next 3 months thinking I was doing great!! However each weekly blood pressure test I had it got higher even though I felt great!! So now sadly on tabs🤔...but luckily still alive.

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to Kibuli

Thanks for replying. I will continue with what I am doing and see what happens. I am sure the healthy eating and exercise will benefit aspects of my health in general

I took away all caffeine from my diet - chocolate, tea and coffee. I took my BP over the first week and saw a big reduction. My BP stayed well for a few years using this method but eventually it was not enough. I teach exercise so I was already doing between 8 and 10 hours a week.

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to Moonlighter

Thank you. I will take that on board as well

What do you call a big reduction? It is my understanding that it is very difficult to achieve a "big" reduction by almost all means, apart from medication. I think the most you are going to get is one or two mmHg from a single cause, it needs to be a combined effort along with regular exercise over a period of time.

I went from a pre-hypertensive range into a normal range.

Wwhat sort of figures are we talking?

It is always a good thing to eat a good diet and to take exercise. In my case my high BP is hereditary and only medication has brought it down. If your BP remains high after changes to your diet and regular exercise I would say follow your GPS advice as the consequences of untreated high BP are life threatening.

I absolutely agree with you. I am just trying this to see what happens, if it doesn't work I will have to carry on taking medication

Hi , the question you need to ask yourself for how long can you do that ? I have tried many times loosing weight stop eating junk food , running and be extremely active , to low my blood pressure , but unfortunately after few months I used get bored and go back to do same thing .You have to be 100% sure you stick with it and never go back to do the same thing . Now I suffer still with my blood pressure which during this years has dialted my left ventricle of my heart suffering with heart desease Cardiomyopathy .I want be honest if I knew blood pressure would damage my heart I would took some tablets earlier and of course been more healthy . I am not saying this what you have to do it but makes you think what would be the best option for yourself .

Hi there, I had raised BP (49 year old female) when I saw the cardiologist last December - 135/87 I started on ramipril but also since then have lost 2.5 stone, cut out all added salt (I was terrible with salt) and reduced sat fat in my diet, more or less given up alcohol (I was drinking far too much previously) and tried to adopt the Mediterranean diet as far as possible and completed the couch to 5k program. I now run 5k 3 times a week and try to get out for a walk on the other days. My BP is now around 107/68 although I still take the ramipril as the cardiologist said it would benefit my heart (I have CAD) but my bp has reduced further since I lost the weight and increased exercise, plus I feel a million times healthier and happier than I did before. Good luck with your bp, I would say the benefits of exercise and eating well go far beyond your bp readings.

Excellent reply if everyone had your attitude they would benefit enormously. As has often been said on here, it's not rocket science, just a bit of effort. Well a lot of effort sometimes.

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to VickyHK72

Thanks so much. This is exactly what I am doing and as you say even if my BP doesn't change much the benefits to my health will be worth it

I cut out salt and it made a huge difference. No salt in anything home cooked, no salt on the table and I cut out salty foods such as crisps, peanuts, Tabasco sauce which I used to sprinkle on everything!

Blimey how much did you put on???

Just a few drops but I became addicted!

Yes my wife has. She has not taken any blood pressure meds for past 10 years (she is now 74). She had lots of problems with side effects of various blood pressure meds so decided to try without. The only time it was raised recently was post hip replacement surgery. We both monitor our bp at home. Mine is controlled by Losartan.

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to Cruise1

I had bad side effects from amlodipine, and that really what started me thinking well, it won't hurt to try and see if I can manage to bring it down naturally. My GP agrees that healthy eating and exercise will be beneficial regardless

Yes I have. When I had my last check up , two years after my bypass a few weeks ago it was over 200 systolicThis was because at that time i was feeling a mixture of stress- my sister had just died and my husband was ill. Also I suffer from extreme white coat phobia regarding my blood pressure which was mostly the reason. I bought a blood pressure monitor and was able to sit down and do a bit of cognitive psychology and relax before I took my blood pressure and as a result the doctor was so pleased with the result that she did not prescribe anything. I take my blood pressure three times and d the doctor said that was correct. However I do watch my weight and exercise regularly. The mind can have an enormous effect on the result of blood pressure readings . It’s always best to ensure you are relaxed and try and think happy thoughts before taking it

KBMosia profile image
KBMosia in reply to Pollypuss

Thank you. I will take that on board

You may also like...