Blood Pressure and weight

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:13 am

justD wrote:Well, I did well at the beginning of the year and lost about 8kgs pretty quickly until about 2-3 weeks ago. Mostly stopped cycling and kinda fallen back into bad habits with my eating. No, I don't particularly want any "it's easy" and "grow a pair" comments because of my lack of self discipline!

It's not easy and it's not because you lack self discipline. I am interested in your bingeing though. What causes you to binge? When do you do it? and what do you eat? Is the bingeing because you are hungry, bored, tired? Do you feel that you crave something?

From my lightest to my heaviest I probably put on close to 40kg. All I did was eat a little bit more every day and after years and years I was fat. I am back to 91kg by making small changes and sticking to them. I did struggle at times though. When I was eating a lot of sugary foods, I would get really hungry and then get sugar cravings several times a day. When I got those sugar cravings I didn't really care what I ate, I just kept eating until the cravings went away. I have found since I stopped eating sugary foods (cereal, biscuits, cakes, muffins, desserts, milkshakes etc) that my hunger levels have stabilised and I don't crave sugar anymore... ever! That makes it a lot easier to stick to eating what I am supposed to. A tip from someone who has done it... don't buy it if you don't want to eat it. I have pretty strong willpower but get to the point where I always eat what I buy. If bread is one of your temptation foods, don't buy it.

justD wrote:Went to bed with one of the worst headaches I've ever had on Saturday night and thought I'd just check my blood pressure for safety's sake. While riding quite a lot and losing weight earlier in the year my BP has been really good so this was just a safety check and I didn't really expect that the headache was caused by high BP.

I wonder if the headache was caused by dehydration? I know that I get headaches when I am dehydrated. I haven't checked my blood pressure when I am dehydrated but the headaches can be really bad. Actually, I drink very little during the day, mostly nothing at all. I have high blood pressure to so I wonder if I drink water if it will go down. Might test that out next week.

There are lots of reasons why you might be gaining weight easily that are not related to or only kind of related to what you eat. Have you had much investigated to see if there is a cause?
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by BNA » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:21 am

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:21 am

Oh and with regard to salt, it's not great for people with high blood pressure. I used to eat a lot of salt but went cold turkey... I stopped adding salt to food when cooking or at the table. At first the food tasted horrible, so bland and tasteless! :evil: After I got used to it though a whole new world of flavours opened up and the food started to taste amazing! I have never gone back to adding salt to food when cooking or eating it.

With regard to overeating, I used to eat when hungry, bored, tired, when I opened the fridge, when I got home from work, while watching tv... eating, eating all the time. It just got to be a habit for me... feel tired: eat, feel bored: eat, feel thirsty: eat. Now when I feel tired I got for a walk or grab a glass or water, when I open the fridge I grab a glass of water instead of chocolate, softdrink or fruit juice. If you make it a habit you don't need willpower, you will do it automatically.

Some more ideas here:

http://www.thehealthierlife.co.uk/natural-health-articles/high-blood-pressure/how-to-lower-blood-pressure-00745.html

As per usual, before following any advice, seek appropriate medical attention.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:57 am

So... Last night the hot flushes started early evening and my BP, which had been pretty normal during the day) went up to 176/115 again. I couldn't see myself going through another night of stressing about it alone at home, so I drove off to the hospital. Didn't check in or anything, I just sat in the waiting room all night, at least knowing that if something goes wrong I'd be close to help - AND NOT ALONE.
Hot flushes came and went through the night, but I eventually fell asleep on a bench in the waiting room sometime after midnight and woke up at 1:30 and again at 2:30 feeling pretty relaxed and BP at 129/84, so I came home and slept till 6:30 here. I'll probably do the same tonight if this crap starts up again.
With buying a car, roof racks and bike carrier this month and then these unexpected medical expenses (I'm not on medicare, so have to pay for visits and medicine myself and can claim it back later), I've run out of money and have $20 left till payday on Tuesday. So I can't go to the GP till then.

casual_cyclist wrote:Oh and with regard to salt, it's not great for people with high blood pressure. I used to eat a lot of salt but went cold turkey...


Yep, so did I:) After reading martin_12's post on Tuesday, I walked into the kitchen and threw the whole container of salt in the bin - out of sight, out of mind.

casual_cyclist wrote:It's not easy and it's not because you lack self discipline. I am interested in your bingeing though. What causes you to binge? When do you do it? and what do you eat? Is the bingeing because you are hungry, bored, tired? Do you feel that you crave something?


Yeah, I binge from boredom and being tired/overworked but mostly from laziness/lack of planning. For whatever reason gets me there, once I end up at a fast food joint, I buy WAY too much food and then I don't stop eating until it's finished. The reason I said laziness is because the easiest way for me to end up at a KFC or indian or kebab shop is if I feel hungry and don't have any self-prepared foods ready. Instead of waiting to cook the food, I run off to the "instant fix", being take aways.
So... I was on a pretty good path up till 3 weeks ago and losing weight a little too fast even. Only change I'm going to make now is to be vigilant at preparing food in advance.
Only thing about craving is that fruit doesn't seem to work for me as a filler when I'm already craving something. I eat at least 2-3 fruits every day, but eating an apple or something when I feel like solid food probably makes me crave an even bigger portion when I do go for the solid food.

Oh, the only other change is that I'll stop the ice cream. Personally I'm not convinced that plain vanilla ice cream is fattening (within reason of course). I might be wrong though and don't want to go into a discussion about that here, but I do hear what a lot of people on here have been saying about sugar making you feel hungry - so I'll cut the ice cream as well.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby ruscook » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:22 am

First off good luck getting this sorted. The stress of it all is probably also adding to your BP problems.
justD wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:Oh and with regard to salt, it's not great for people with high blood pressure. I used to eat a lot of salt but went cold turkey...


Yep, so did I:) After reading martin_12's post on Tuesday, I walked into the kitchen and threw the whole container of salt in the bin - out of sight, out of mind.


W.R.T salt, be aware how much is in modern foods. Bread is high in salt - even a lot of wholemeal and multi grains. Processed/preserved meats are very high and prepared sauces, flavourings and soups. All contain LOTS of salt. I had high BP over Xmas, and I've not added salt to any meal for a few years. It was literally living on the ham and bread and other rich/salty foods over the prolonged Xmas period that did it.

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:38 am

wombatK wrote:If you're having trouble figuring out what is going on, just imagine how much more the doctors could be baffled.


I appreciate that, but to me it feels like they absolutely lack interest. Finding a good GP in Newcastle is a serious struggle and that's not just my opinion, I've heard that over and over from other people. On Wednesday during the consultation I told the doc that I want my thyroid and adrenal glands tested and he said no, I should just give the medicine a chance to work. I said to him that if it's purely a blood pressure thing, then why is my BP only high at night when I have these hot flushes and when a normal person's BP goes down at night. Eventually he said (still asking), so you want blood tests done? and said yes and on Friday I asked for another GP.

wombatK wrote:Are you keeping a diary of when symptoms are occurring (incl any relevant BP measurement, and duration/severity of the
symptoms), and times you take the various medications you've been trying ?


I've been taking my BP monitor along to each visit (except the first one on Monday when I didn't know this was going to be an ongoing issue). It stores the last 30 readings, but I'm not sure they trust a patient taking their own reading coz none of them have done anything but a quick glance at the first reading.

I haven't been recording when the hot flushes occur and I think from now on I'll record that together with my BP readings on a piece of paper.

wombatK wrote:Not sayin' that the meds aren't causing it - just that you need to collect evidence systematically before reaching that
conclusion.

My mum swears that BP medicine raised her BP too (and beta-blockers too). No doctor believes her (GP or cardiologists she's been too). She's had hypertension and Type II diabetes since her early 30's, but just turned 89. So there's hope for you JustD.


Well, I don't think it's the medication anymore. I used the calcium channel blocker for only 3 days (last one Wednesday morning) so that will be out of my system by now (yes, I asked the a/h doc on Thursday evening) and I'm guessing chances that the new meds, Physiontens (some other blocker "... receptor blocker"), will have the same effect is relatively small (I guess) - yet the hot flushes continue and the BP goes up to similar levels every night.
Just for interest sake, what happened in 2009 with the other calsium channel blockers (Adalat XL):
I don't think the BP medication rasied my BP directly, but just like with pollen, dust and bee stings and certain foods, my body overreacted to the medication in the form of hot flushes, dizzy spells and blood red skin and one of the side effects of all this overreacting was that my BP went up.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby martin_12 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:38 pm

If you are measuring your BP several times per day, I suggest you plot your BP as a function of time and mark on the plots things like medicines you take, hot flushes, trips to the doctor, meals, sleep/wake times, etc. A graphical representation is often much easier to interpret than a list of numbers. Your doctor will get more from a plot too. Give him/her a printed copy. You might be able to see patterns that might help work out what is going on.

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby wombatK » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:54 pm

justD wrote:Yeah, I binge from boredom and being tired/overworked but mostly from laziness/lack of planning. For whatever reason gets me there, once I end up at a fast food joint, I buy WAY too much food and then I don't stop eating until it's finished. The reason I said laziness is because the easiest way for me to end up at a KFC or indian or kebab shop is if I feel hungry and don't have any self-prepared foods ready. Instead of waiting to cook the food, I run off to the "instant fix", being take aways.

So how fast is your "fast food" ? Unless you're living right next door to an outlet, you could be up for almost as much time as it would take to prepare a much healthier meal. While cooking for one is time-consuming, with a freezer and microwave you can prepare several nights meals in one go and defray the time over those several days.

Even the take-away is right next door, getting a lean cuisine or the like out of your freezer and into the microwave would likely be quicker as well as healthier.

And one step better is to use Tender Loving Cuisine. TLC deliver to your door (in Newcastle, Sydney and other places, see web site) and their menu includes special dietary requirements (e.g. gluten free meals). TLC are frequently recommended by dietitians.

You might have to wait for your next pay packet before you can order up on this, though.

+1 on Martin's suggestion for the graph. Being able to see a daily or weekly cycle, with BP, meals, medications and symptoms on a time-line might be very illuminating.

Ruscook is dead right about the salt in processed foods - it's not just what you shake on your food, most processed food has too much of it in it because it's one of the cheapest preservatives and we like the taste of it. TLC's tick meals don't suffer this affliction.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:14 pm

justD wrote:Yeah, I binge from boredom and being tired/overworked but mostly from laziness/lack of planning. For whatever reason gets me there, once I end up at a fast food joint, I buy WAY too much food and then I don't stop eating until it's finished. The reason I said laziness is because the easiest way for me to end up at a KFC or indian or kebab shop is if I feel hungry and don't have any self-prepared foods ready. Instead of waiting to cook the food, I run off to the "instant fix", being take aways.
So... I was on a pretty good path up till 3 weeks ago and losing weight a little too fast even. Only change I'm going to make now is to be vigilant at preparing food in advance.
Only thing about craving is that fruit doesn't seem to work for me as a filler when I'm already craving something. I eat at least 2-3 fruits every day, but eating an apple or something when I feel like solid food probably makes me crave an even bigger portion when I do go for the solid food.

Oh, the only other change is that I'll stop the ice cream. Personally I'm not convinced that plain vanilla ice cream is fattening (within reason of course). I might be wrong though and don't want to go into a discussion about that here, but I do hear what a lot of people on here have been saying about sugar making you feel hungry - so I'll cut the ice cream as well.

Eating out of boredom isn't good. I did that for years and put on a lot of weight. Try some different things and see what works for you but you could try going for a walk or grabbing a glass of water. Eating as a response to boredom is a learned behaviour that you can replace with something else if you can find something that will work for you.

I think you are being hard on yourself by calling yourself lazy for not planning ahead. Overcoming your inertia to keep doing things the way you are takes commitment and motivation which you might not have if you are tired from work. I agree with wombatK though that most of my meals are quicker to prepare than going to the shop for a pizza. It might be worthwhile figuring out some quick and easy meals that you can make even if you are feeling tired after work. If you do find yourself at the fast food shop, try ordering less.

It would be great if you could stop buying icecream. My flatmate put on 10kg bingeing on icecream! Try some unsweetened low fat greek yogurt on fruit as an alternative.

I know that eating properly takes planning ahead, dedication and commitment, education and motivation. It's not easy but if you make small changes and sustain them you can get there.

If you can't find a good doctor in Newcastle, would it be worth travelling to Sydney to see one? It would be good to see if you could find out what is causing some of these problems!
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:15 pm

Well, I swallowed my pride and asked one of my colleagues if I could borrow $150 till Tuesday. The stress may have killed me before then if I'd left it.

Went to the doc's rooms this afternoon and, after confirming that my blood and urine tests had come back, saw a doc.
So... there's protein and blood in my urine and... something else... point is, doc says we need to look into both my liver and kidneys, so doing 2 ultrasounds next week. Both of those are likely candidates for causing both hot flushes and high BP.

So far it's 8:05pm and I've got a bit of a burning skin feeling in my neck (similar to the hot flushes, but very mild) and my BP is 131/84. It was 178/102 at the doc's around 5:00pm, but that may just be "white color hypertension". I feel a lot more relaxed and at ease than I did this time any of the previous 4 nights. Hopefully I can get a bit of sleep tonight :)

As for the liver... No, I don't drink much!! I'll maybe have 2 beers in 2 weeks + 1 bottle of wine in a month. I do, however, suffer from insomnia and have had leg pains for years and often drink 2 panadol to sleep:(

So some progress, even if it's just identifying some possible causes.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:01 pm

justD wrote:So... there's protein and blood in my urine and... something else... point is, doc says we need to look into both my liver and kidneys, so doing 2 ultrasounds next week. Both of those are likely candidates for causing both hot flushes and high BP.

Even though it probably doesn't look that great right now, it will be good to track down what is wrong. At least you will be able to start treatment then instead of worrying about what might be wrong. All the best!
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:52 am

Blood pressure this morning: 113/75 !!!

It started returning to normal on Saturday and I took it a couple of times since then, highest it's been from Sunday morning till now was 149/87 (Sunday morning when it was probably still dropping) and all the other readings were way below that.

However, I continued feeling worse with everything else - hot flushes, dizzy spells, headaches (almost constant, just varying intensity), chest pains, burning sensation at different locations around my abdomen, shortness of breath and this jittery/restless feeling - bla, bla, bla

So yesterday I went back for my 7th GP visit in 8 days. One of the GPs that someone in the queue outside the medical centre suggested to me and he actually asked some questions and put me on antibiotics. Last night I slept for more than 2 hours for the first time since last Tuesday!! 10pm through to 5:30am!! My ears are still buring a little (hardly) and I have a mild/dull headache, but none of the other symptoms!!! I feel a million times better!! I'm actually a bit sceptical that the antibiotics could work so quickly as I only took the first pill around 14:00 yesterday.

If it is a virus, I don't know why the BP started improving before the antibiotics, but I don't care - I feel great compared to the past 10 days! Still got to find out about the kidney and liver (ultrasounds tomorrow), but I feel a lot more positive anyhow!

Thanks for all your input and support people.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby triangle » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:24 pm

Can't speak for others but antibiotics have had an almost instant effect for me in the past ie. start a course one afternoon and already feel hugely improved by the next day. It is great if that has been your response, too :-) Good to hear ...
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:54 pm

triangle wrote:Can't speak for others but antibiotics have had an almost instant effect for me in the past ie. start a course one afternoon and already feel hugely improved by the next day. It is great if that has been your response, too :-) Good to hear ...

Personally, I think that antibiotics are over-prescribed in Australia and I avoid them whenever possible. However, there are times when they are appropriate and I have found they do work very fast. Last time I took them I started feeling better within hours of taking them.

I hope you are on the mend and feeling better...
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby sogood » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:59 pm

justD wrote:As for the liver... No, I don't drink much!! I'll maybe have 2 beers in 2 weeks + 1 bottle of wine in a month. I do, however, suffer from insomnia and have had leg pains for years and often drink 2 panadol to sleep:(

You don't have to drink to get fatty liver. Being obese is sufficient to lead to fatty liver and any alcohol just adds to it.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby gtfpv cycler » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:11 pm

to the OP . i could talk about this all day . i agree with the DOC , that posted here . reading your post it definatley sounded like you were jumping to the obvious and overlooking the obvious .
you had a headache and grew concerned and your BP WENT UP . that can be very normal .
a headache can increase bp too. and concern just elevates it further .
i'm nho doc but have had high blood pressure since 20 and on meds since then , earlier reading indicate i had it at 13 , and was overlooked . i'm now 42 , my fathers was noted at 18 , he was not treated with meds till 40 , when his bp was noted at 200 / 120 . he is now 72 and relatively fit .
genetics plays a big role in this . it isnt always a death sentence .
i have found my weight gains do not increase my blood pressure , i have also had high bp when thin .
i think whitecoat syndrome can be a given once diagnosed . so it is important to by a good machine . and take your BP NO MORE THAN TWICE , daily , till the nerves settle ( can take months) and then drop the readings to once a week when you get consistant normal results .
trial and error and lots of years , meds and patience , have got me to these conclusions .
i once went on an extreme health kick at 35 , and came off meds all together for 18 months . i acheived normality , but was virtually living on bread and water , in reality , why bother . science can have you take a pill , and thats it . moderation and awareness in everything without restrictions .
definately lose weight , and exercise regularly , something i must keep reminding myself to do forever . energy release lowers stress , and keeps your body and mind healthy . take your meds , work with the docs . and dont be too concerned , sometimes you just cant turn the world into a square . some people can have quite high blood pressure indefinately and live to old age .
the most important thing is to be aware , and do your best . THATS IT .
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