High pressure: I had a viral infection at the... - Bridge to 10K

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High pressure

I had a viral infection at the beginning of November and went for blood tests. I had a 2-week wait before my doctors' surgery texted to invite me in to receive them with the ominous 'nothing to worry about' non-reassurance.

My potassium is a tad above the upper limit (I was eating bananas while ill so no surprise there), my total cholesterol is fine but my HDL was low – probably accounted for by following a no-dairy, no processed food, vegan diet.

So having ambushed me with this data, my doctor took my blood pressure and it was scarily high and he prescribed a calcium channel blocker and statins.

Having researched statins, I decided they are not for me (my cholesterol is not high). I bought a home blood pressure monitor and immediately stopped drinking all alcohol (ten days and counting) and stopped adding salt when cooking (we don't buy ready meals or takeaways). I've also been rigorous about getting my three runs a week in (3 x 5k) and I'm intending to up my weekly mileage.

My BP has come down and it absolutely dropped since I started following a 10 minute guided meditation using the Headspace app a couple of days ago.

I went back and re-read Dexy5's fantastic success story about her BP for inspiration and I'm 100% determined to get off my medication too. I'm baffled why my BP was so high when my resting heart rate and VO2max are in the 'excellent'/'athlete' range for my age. I think there's a hefty chunk of white coat syndrome at work – I see my HR shoot up when I decide to put the BP monitor cuff on my arm.

The good news is that since I started C25K in June and cut the crap out of my diet (although I never ate fast food or lots of processed food), I have lost over two inches off my waist (I bought a new pair of 30" waist Levi's in the Black Friday sales – so back to my waist size when I was 20) and my weight is down from 83kg in August to just below 70kg now and I feel physically better than I have for years. Goodness only knows what my BP measured in June!

Happy running!

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They usually take into account a slightly higher BP reading at the surgery due to nerves,etc. But it does vary. My husband has high blood pressure although he's very fit and not overweight and he sometimes has to take a reading every day for a while and it's surprising how it fluctuates from day to day. It's weird isn't it?

But it sounds as if you're in control and have seen some great results already. Keep going, it's all good.

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Thank you for your support and encouragement. You're right, the readings fluctuate from day to day and even by the hour. The meditation seems to be a game changer. I have to note my readings and show my doctor in two weeks' time so I'm hoping the downward trend continues.

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Good luck with your blood pressure Flyingred. It sounds like you are on the right track. I’m sure cutting down on glasses of wine probably helped mine as well as the running. It was on juju’s plan that I started to feel a bit woozy after the long run.

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Thank you for your good wishes. I read somewhere today that it's best to cut down on alcohol slowly because sudden withdrawal can lead to an increase in blood pressure. That could have happened, fighting against the effect of the medication. The next few weeks will tell. I'm not sure I'll be able to stay teetotal over Christmas though!

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No I just reduced it. Not the night before a run, but even that might happen over Christmas 🤶🏃‍♀️🥂

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