About 8 months ago I registered with a new GP practice and had a routine blood pressure check. I am 58 years old. As it was above normal (around 145/90 as I recall), the doctor asked me to do some home testing, for a week. The results were on average somewhere between 135 to 145 over 90'ish. The GP said it was borderline as to whether we should medicate, but as there were no other significant risk factors (I'm not overweight, don't smoke and have no other health issues), then a few lifestyle changes and a healthy diet should suffice. He advised me to buy a good quality blood pressure monitor and to monitor my BP at home.
One thing I noticed early on, was that my BP would sometimes spike in the middle of the night and didn't follow the normal diurnal pattern, as in the evenings it would start to increase after my dinner and be at its highest around 10pm, just before I went to bed. It,was usually at its lowest around 6 pm just after arriving home from work.
A coule of months ago I started to develop heartburn and bloating, especially after meals, with the feeling that my food was sitting heavily in my stomach and not being digested properly. After reading about a test for *low*stomach acid I started taking some Betane HCL tablets with my meals and the symptoms have disappeared and I have no more digestive problems or heartburn. I then read low stomach acid was also found in people with either coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity, so as an experiment decided to go gluten free for a few weeks.
The results have been spectacular! I have made no other changes to my lifestyle and take no medication apart from the HCL tablets, but my blood pressure has dropped to an average of 124/80, with no night time spikes and a pre-bedtime reading of around 120/80 or less. Last night it was 117/77. This is based on dozens of readings at different times of the day over a three week period, so not just a blip!
Was it the gluten and or low stomach acid that caused the problem? Has anyone else experienced this?