About That Blood Pressure


Blood Pressure

I’m not going to get into the physiology of blood pressure because you would all fall asleep.

However, the image on this page was very similar to my expression when I went to a medical appointment, for a benign reason.

The MA took my blood pressure (routine) and it was 170/96 or something similar.

I’m sure it was higher after I saw that.

I use to be on blood pressure medicine.

I lost weight and I see a nutritional response chiropractor.  My BP (blood pressure) has been normal for over a year without medication.

Holy Tamole!  What was going on to cause this BP?

Possible reasons for this astronomical jump.

  1. Anxiety:  probably not because the second reading was the same and I didn’t feel the slightest bit anxious.  The manual cuff verified the digital.
  2. My own cuff was giving me inaccurate readings.  This may well be the case because I had my husband help me take a manual BP on myself (no easy feat) and it was significantly higher than my digital cuff.    OK, Threw that out and bought a new one.  BP is still high.  (Yes, I’m taking low dose BP med at this time while I figure out the issue).
  3. Nutritional supplements:  Maybe.  I had started taking Rhodiola/Schisandra. This is taken to improve mood, and increase energy. It is supposedly cardioprotective and so on.  Well, anything that increases energy may increase BP.  Also, if it affects mood, it might be hitting Dopamine receptors.  As I can’t find the half-life of either supplement, I have to assume that it doesn’t go away overnight as an appropriate response (the reason you’re taking it) takes a couple of weeks to evolve.  Am I saying don’t take Rhodiola? No! Studies show it to be perfectly safe in MOST people.  I can’t take Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) either.  It does the same thing but makes me feel crappy as well.
  4. Prescribed medications:  For me, that would not be the case as I don’t take any.  However, there are medications that do increase BP.  Effexor, for example, hits Dopamine receptors and may increase BP in susceptible people. There are others as well.
  5. Genetics:  Without a doubt, I have a family history. Having the gene doesn’t mean you have to turn it on.  I thought I had turned it off.

Take-home message

  1. Try some lavender essential oil before having your blood pressure taken in the doctors’ office if you get white coat hypertension.  It works for my husband.
  2. If you have a BP cuff at home, take it to your doctors’ office and have them check it against their equipment. If you can recalibrate it, great.  If not, buy a new one. They are not that expensive. Considering what untreated high blood pressure can do to your heart, the cuff it very cheap.
  3. Just because it’s a nutritional supplement or and over the counter (OTC) doesn’t mean there aren’t potential side effects.
  4. Know the medications you are taking, why you are taking them and the side effects to look for.  That information is all over the internet.
  5. Know your family history. Know that most chronic illness is preventable and sometimes reversible.  If your provider doesn’t have time to sit and discuss all of this with you, find a health coach (not exercise coach). Someone who not only knows nutrition but knows disease process and prevention. Exercise coaches are fine but they are “trainers”, not really coaches (most of them anyway).  A genetic tendency is a switch that you, usually, can elect to turn on or keep it turned off.

You Have The Power

Your health is very much in your hands.  Don’t wait until you are sick.  Stay well.  Much of this choice is yours.  Yes, sometimes crap happens but you don’t need to let it get out of hand.

Take control!

About my BP.  Still working on it.  All the junk food from the holidays is gone.  I stopped taking the most likely suspect a few days ago.  My BP was normal this morning. I did take a small dose of Benicar last night, but this was the most normal it’s been.  I check it 3 times a day.

By the way, make sure you get enough Magnesium in your diet or take a supplement.  Decreased magnesium has been associated with hypertension.  Not the only cause but for mildly elevated blood pressure, it may be helpful.  As always, consult your healthcare provider.

Healthy New Year.


1/8/17:   I have been taking 150 mg of Magnesium Citrate for several days and my blood pressure is normal without BP meds.

Don’t try this at home without your providers knowledge.


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