Controlling my high blood pressure without meds!

My High a Blood a Pressure .. Where to start?

blood pressure, how to get it down

Years ago I developed high blood pressure.  It was from stress and drinking caffeine.  I stopped drinking all caffeine and it went down.

It seemed whenever I was REALLY stressed, my blood pressure would rise.  But, I think that happens to most people.  But most people are not me.  My blood pressure just stays high.

My Mom had high blood pressure, so I thought it just ran in the family.

Unsalted Kettle Chips

Years later I started drinking coffee again and always drank half caf … half caffeine half not.  I didn’t take my blood pressure at home very often, so I’m not sure if it was high … but I know it was high every time I went to the doctor.

Everytime I would go for my physical, the nurse would ask me “Did you take your meds this morning?”  because my blood pressure was 145/98 ish …

high sodium in flour tortillas

I had tried meds.  Each one gave me horrible side affects.

I went on Lisinopril and felt like I was going to die.  Chest pain!  I had a few EKG’s because I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  It was weird, because I had been on Lisinopril before and was fine on it, but this newer generic was causing havoc with my body.

I tried Atenolol.  I developed Raynaud’s Syndrome where my finger tips would turn white and go numb.

I tried a few others and always felt horrible.

No thank you.

nut thinsnut-thins-2

I kept telling myself that I could get my blood pressure down on my own.  Eat better, exercise more, cut back on my Bud Light.  But, I didn’t do a good job at it.  I love my salt, chips, cheese … all of the things that have a lot of sodium in them.

My doctor told me “I’m not your parent, but I don’t want you to have a heart attack” and that he couldn’t tell me what to do, but if I didn’t get on a med I could have a stroke or heart attack.

So … what to do?

no salt tortilla chips

I didn’t want to have to take meds.

We went to the Pechanga BBQ championship and there was a DoTerra booth there.  These are essential oils.  I had become familiar with a few essential oils and had heard of their benefits.  I talked to the rep and asked her if they had essential oils for high blood pressure.  Yes, we do .. Lavender, Marjoram and Basil.  Her husband also had high blood pressure and started taking the essential oils and his blood pressure improved.  And .. he gave up all coffee as well as decaf.  So, I was willing to try it and spent $100 on the three oils and capsules.  I started taking the essential oils, by mouth, twice a day.  I’m not sure I felt any different and my blood pressure really didn’t change.  It was probably because I was a bit stressed about taking these oils having read online that you really shouldn’t ingest essential oils.  The three that I bought did say you could ingest them .. but I didn’t feel good about this and stopped taking them.

One night my blood pressure shot up to 160/105.  I was scared.  I said to myself “This is it, change your life”.

So I did.

almond butteralmond-butter

I stopped drinking all caffeine (tho I drink a cup of decaf tea in the morning).  I will occasionally drink a cup of decaf coffee, but this could be once every two weeks or so.  But my daily coffee drinking is over.

I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a DASH diet cookbook.  Dash = Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  I started keeping track of everything I ate or drank in “My Fitness Pal” on my iPad.  I started looking at salt content on every package.  I bought Mrs. Dash products (salt free seasonings).  I cut back on my Bud Light.

And … my blood pressure is now normal.  I just took it at 9:45 am and it was 120/76.  I was pretty amazed at how quickly it went down when I started this new “way”.

Another thing that really helped was walking.  My husband had knee replacement surgery and as soon as he could, we walked everyday.  He just had his second knee replacement and is walking 1 mile a day.  I really need to get myself out to walk as  I tend to get up, get on my computer (I work at home) and I don’t take that hour to walk.  But, I know I need to.

With my body, I have to watch my sugar.  I made a banana peanut butter shake and my blood pressure sky rocketed.  I can feel it in my body when it happens.  I know they say it’s the silent killer, but I can always feel it.

I think the main two things are caffeine and salt.   The Dash Diet is basically eating right and lowering your salt intake.  The cookbook I bought first is – “The Everything Dash Diet Cookbook, by Christy Ellingsworth and Murdoc Khaleghi, MD.”   It has a lot of great recipes in it.

unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Did you know that a flour tortilla can have up to 150 mg of salt and a corn tortilla only has 5-10 mg?   I now eat Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter.  I buy unsalted chips.  You get used to it and when you eat a salty chip, it’s kind of a WOW thing, and not in a good way.  Another food that has a lot of salt is cheese.  I used to have slices of cheese with my lunch everyday!

Also, I had to lower my shoulders and relax.  If you find that your shoulders are always up and you aren’t relaxing your body, relax!  Take a deep breath and get that blood pressure down!

If I can do it, so can you.

I don’t have to take meds and I’m VERY happy about that!

 

A link to the book I bought –

 

 

 

 

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