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Thread: Blood Pressure Monitoring

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    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Blood Pressure Monitoring

    For anyone who's been diagnosed with high blood pressure - what times of day do you check it?


    The Heart.org log that I found online says to check in the morning and late afternoon. But I find that my highest reading is at bedtime, so it makes sense to have that be my guideline for improvement. My dr. has not been helpful at all, just put me on meds without any guidance on goals or anything. With a low-carb diet I was able to get off of the meds, but now it's been creeping up since I stopped the meds and I'm trying to reduce it back down with exercise. Just trying to figure out how to gauge when I'm at a healthy number.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I have no advice on timing, but you might want to consider the role of electrolytes--especially if you've been drinking more fluids recently. Magnesium, particularly, is known to relax blood vessels and bring down blood pressure.

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    I've experimented with all different times of day, but in general I check in both the morning and evening. I also check in both arms, since sometimes the readings can be quite different.

    I've been having some difficulties with my BP lately. It's been high for years, but for a long time the standard medication I was taking (Benecar) was working well. Then, a few months ago it spiked up and I was getting headaches and feeling fatigued. Probably mostly my own fault, since I'd gained back some weight I lost and had gotten very cavalier about my diet, especially when it came to salty foods.

    I'm now on two medications--the Benicar and Cardizem--and the pressure's going down. But I've got religion. I've ramped up my exercise regimen and am adopting the DASH diet. The increased meds have produced some unpleasant side effects (swelling of the feet and lower legs), and I'm determined to do all I can to reduce the dosages, or, hopefully, eliminate at least one of the meds.

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    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    I had my magnesium level checked 10 days ago and it was fine - at the high end of the standard range. I guess I could take some supplements, I'll read up and see if too much causes any issues.

    My morning numbers are almost always in the normal range, but in the afternoon they creep up to prehypertension (in the 120's), and at bedtime they have been in the high 130's and low 140's this past week. I've ramped up my exercise and last night I was at 124/80. From what I've read, diabetics begin to develop a high risk of complications at blood pressure over 120/70 and should take medication if it still exceeds 130/90 after 3 months of lifestyle changes. But I really wasn't given any advice on what targets I should be hitting throughout the day. Very odd. My diastolic pressure has always been pretty good, it's just my systolic that has been going up.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    There are those who believe blood pressure naturally rises with age, and that isn't a problem (I think I read it in The Last Well Person). That makes sense to me, but I know that isn't the prevailing belief among the medical crowd.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I was thinking that a blood test wasn't the best test, for the reasons listed on page two of this article. Unless you're taking large amounts of supplemental Mg, or drugs that cause you to retain it, circulating Mg may suggest a deficiency.

    https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/magnesium-test#2

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    It just so happens that I was watching a YouTube video this very morning on this subject. I've seen a few vids from this guy before, and he seems to be serious, or at least not a quack.

    He claims that blood tests aren't a particularly good way of measuring magnesium deficiency. I've decided to give supplemental Mg a try after seeing that my usual multivitamin (Centrum Silver) supplies a mere 10% of the RDA. I already take additional D, after finding via routine blood work that I was deficient in that, and it's helped (at least with the D deficiency).

    My philosophy about supplements generally is that they usually don't cost much, are unlikely to do you harm, and may do some good, so I'm always willing to give them a try.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I take vitamin D too--as I'm a grotto dweller--and 400 mg of magnesium glycinate. Magnesium is one of the few supplements that I can rely on to act as advertised, and relax me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    For anyone who's been diagnosed with high blood pressure - what times of day do you check it?


    The Heart.org log that I found online says to check in the morning and late afternoon. But I find that my highest reading is at bedtime, so it makes sense to have that be my guideline for improvement. My dr. has not been helpful at all, just put me on meds without any guidance on goals or anything. With a low-carb diet I was able to get off of the meds, but now it's been creeping up since I stopped the meds and I'm trying to reduce it back down with exercise. Just trying to figure out how to gauge when I'm at a healthy number.
    The best times to check BP: in the morning before you get out of bed. Then in the evening after sitting down/relaxing for at least 30 minutes. If you're willing, add 2000mg of Omega 3 fish oil and 200 of CoQ10. (I did a ton of research years ago to arrive at this for him). With your exercise and diet, I bet you get it back down where you want it. (it worked for DH).

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    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on the magnesium, I'm going to try it out. I did start taking CoQ10 (300) and I tried fish oil but my stomach couldn't tolerate it even after trying two different brands. I'll try a bit of flaxseed oil in my coffee.

    Turns out I wasn't taking my pressure properly, so after correcting for that and using the machine's 3 reading average function, my afternoon and nighttime readings have been in the 123-125 systolic range with diastolic under 80. If I can stay in that range I'll be very happy. My morning readings have been in the normal range.

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