Today I went to see my doctor. Today was also the 30-day anniversary of my time on a new medication to lower blood pressure, Lisinopril.
The assistant who first took my bp (and my temperature and weight) found a reading of 116/65. I was sure it was a mistake. Then the doctor took it again half an hour later: 116 over 68. Unbelievable. It was the lowest blood pressure reading I’ve had in my adult life.
Finally, after over 15 years of high blood pressure, we seem to have found a combination of things that work for me: Three medications plus behaviors on my part which include weight loss, eating a healthier diet, and exercise.
Normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. High blood pressure increases our risk for developing heart disease or having a stroke. And once you contract high bp, you’ll most likely have it for a lifetime. Of course, I wish I had known about that some 20 years ago.
“You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle. These steps include maintaining a healthy weight; being physically active; following a healthy eating plan, that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and lowfat dairy foods; choosing and preparing foods with less salt and sodium; and, if you drink alcoholic beverages, drinking in moderation.”
The NHBLI also suggests adding more potassium to your diet with these foods to control blood pressure:
Food, followed by Serving size and Potassium amount (in milligrams) Apricots, dried 10 halves 407 Avocados, raw 1 ounce 180 Bananas, raw 1 cup 594 Beets, cooked 1 cup 519 Brussel sprouts, cooked 1 cup 504 Cantaloupe 1 cup 494 Dates, dry 5 dates 271 Figs, dry 2 figs 271 Kiwi fruit, raw 1 medium 252 Lima beans 1 cup 955 Melons, honeydew 1 cup 461 Milk, fat free or skim 1 cup 407 Nectarines 1 nectarine 288 Orange juice 1 cup 496 Oranges 1 orange 237 Pears (fresh) 1 pear 208 Peanuts dry roasted, without salt 1 ounce 187 Potatoes, baked, flesh and skin 1 potato 1081 Prune juice 1 cup 707 Prunes, dried 1 cup 828 Raisins 1 cup 1089 Spinach, cooked 1 cup 839 Tomato products, canned, sauce 1 cup 909 Winter squash 1 cup 896
Take a look at the NHBLI website to see other issues concerning blood pressure.