Blood Pressure Update

Saw my family doc today about my little blood pressure (bp )incident on Christmas Day.  At the time, I was reading 195/110.  When the Urgent Care doc let me go, she handed me a prescription for 25 mg of hydorchlorothiazide and advised me to see my doctor in the next week or so, and to monitor my bp in the interim.

My daily bp log shows me reading on average 145/90 which is borderline high. When the doc measured my bp in the office today, I came in right around that.  He advised me to try some lifestyle modifications, to continue to take the meds and to see him in 4-6 weeks.  He strongly advised cutting back on salt (although I am not a big salt eater, and most of our foods are homemade and don’t contain much salt.)  Also, to try cutting out alcohol for a couple of weeks to see if that had impact on my readings, and to cut back to one cup of coffee a day (from two).  I don’t get much other caffeine in a given day as I drink mostly herbal tea later in the day, or just water.  He also suggested a modest 5-10 pound weight loss, and to focus on cutting carbs.

My salt intake will definitely go down in the next few weeks as my mother-in-law has been doing most of the cooking over the past month and she uses a quite a bit in her wonderful middle eastern repertoire.  No issues for me in getting off the bottle…while I enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day, it’s not a must-have.  The second cup of coffee in the morning will be more difficult I think!  I’m hoping my increased exercise and some moderation around food will help me drop at least a few pounds before I see him next.  I’ll add a daily weight reading to my bp log and the cold hard facts written in my journal should be motivation!

The bottom line is that I may need to be on bp meds permanently.  I have a rather significant family history of hypertension, and I’m at the age for the familial component to be expressed (or whatever the terminology is).  But we’re hoping that the lifestyle mods can get my pressure down and that I can stay on this low dose of a very standard medication.

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