What do i do about high blood pressure

Jeannie - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am 25 weeks along now and my doctor says i have a high but normal high blood pressure. What can i do to keep it on the normal side?

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Carolee - posted on 01/14/2010

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Watch your sodium intake and rest as often as possible. I got put on bed rest with my son because of this, and ended up being induced a week early. With me, though, it got to the point where I was allowed only 2g of sodium per day (I was borderline toxemic)... even milk has sodium in it (around 400mg)!!! If you cut out almost all non-essential sodium now, your chances of high blood pressure should decrease. And resting can do wonders as well.

Natalie - posted on 01/20/2010

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Em, why would you eat a lot of salt? It's shown EVERYWHERE that too much salt intake is bad. And that's even if you're not pregnant. We intake too much salt anyways, sodium is everywhere, often very hidden.
Anyways, sorry, but i couldn't let you tell her to eat lots of salt. No doctor would ever recommend that.





How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

In order to lower your blood pressure naturally, without the use of pharmaceuticals, you first need to identify those lifestyle factors that need to change. In other words, you need to answer the question: "Why is my blood pressure too high?"
bullet Are you overweight? Legend has it that for every additional pound of weight the body requires 10 additional miles of blood vessels. That means the heart has to beat harder, and pressure has to go up to enable blood to travel that additional distance.
bullet Are you stressed? Several stress hormones cause a rise in blood pressure. Adrenaline [aka epinephrine] clamps down on blood vessels going to hands feet and skin. Aldosterone causes sodium and water retention. Vasopressin (aka antidiuretic hormone,) inhibits water loss. Oxytocin causes smooth muscle tissue to contract, including the smooth muscle tissue that lines blood vessels. Note: The changes that occur during a stress reaction are normal for short periods of time. Under chronic stress there is a lot of pressure on the walls of the blood vessels which can result in damage, and lead to atherosclerosis.
bullet Do you skip meals or go for long periods of time without eating? People who skip meals are more apt to have hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and even diabetes.
bullet Do you eat fewer than 3 meals (3 times) per day? People who eat fewer than 3 meals per day are more apt to have weight problems, and in turn blood pressure problems.
bullet What is your average alcohol consumption over the course of a week? Alcohol will increase blood pressure by several mechanisms: a) It triggers production of antidiuretic hormone, and b) it depletes the body of potassium and magnesium.
bullet Are you diabetic? (Is your blood sugar too high?) Glucose is osmotic. It will pull additional water into your blood stream. More fluid means higher blood pressure.
bullet Do you consume natural licorice? Licorice contains a chemical identical to the hormone aldosterone. It can cause sodium and water retention, and blood pressure can go way up.
bullet Do you exercise regularly? Regular exercise will help to normalize your blood pressure, in addition to helping you cope with stress.
bullet Do you take a diuretic? (Such as Lasix or Hydrodiuril?) Diuretics such as these cause a loss of minerals from the body, including potassium, magnesium, chloride, zinc, and sodium. The loss of sodium and water will trigger the productions of aldosterone, which in turn causes the body to hold on to salt and water. Deficiencies of potassium and magnesium can aggravate hypertension. A lack of potassium will cause the body to retain water, and a lack of magnesium can cause the muscles in your blood vessels to tighten or spasm.
bullet Do you consume 5-9 servings of fruits & vegetables daily? We need the potassium and magnesium content of fruits and vegetables to keep blood pressure normal. Potassium helps to flush out excesses of salt and water. Magnesium helps the blood vessels relax, and we tend to become deficient in magnesium because of stress.
bullet Are you a Type A Behavior Personality? Type A Personalities are impatient, aggressive, competitive, driven, and angry. They are prone to hypertension and heart disease.

The following foods are high in sodium chloride. About 25 % of people with hypertension are sensitive to salt and need to cut back on their intake in order to bring their pressure down.

For now, until you know your sensitivity to sodium for certain, cut back on your intake of high sodium foods, including the following: bouillon, cheese, crackers, cured or processed meats: (bacon, bologna, corned beef, ham, hot dogs, salami,) Ethnic foods: (Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Mexican,) frozen TV dinners, goldfish, pickles, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, salad dressings, salted nuts, & soy sauce.
Note: FYI, it is likely the chloride portion of sodium chloride that causes blood pressure to rise and not the sodium.

Actions to take to lower your blood pressure:

Quit smoking (if you smoke.)
Manage stress. Relax. Meditate. Practice Yoga. Slow down.
Increase potassium intake: Aim for 9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
Increase dietary magnesium. Eat more greens and nuts.
Include calcium containing foods or supplements in your diet.
Decrease alcohol.
Decrease saturated fats (cheeses, processed meats, lard.)
Decrease salt (sodium choride.)
Increase monounsaturates (olive oil, Canola oil) & Omega-3 fatty acids.
Eat celery and garlic.

Natalie - posted on 01/19/2010

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I agree with that. Cut down some sodium intake, that helped me, go for walks, eat lots of fruit and vegetables and drink lots of water.
High blood pressure runs in my family, i had it with my 2nd pregnancy during the whole pregnancy. They even wanted to induce me towards 39 weeks but thankfully my daughter came on her own a few days before my scheduled induction....
Now i'm pregnant again and every time i go see my dr i have elevated BP. So i now do all the above and i also measure my BP 2-3 times a day and write it down in a journal, also with what i eat and what i drink and what activities i do during the day.
It really helps, usually it's in the 120s/60s or 70s but sometimes it is in the mid 130s/70s.
Also, try keeping your stress level down. I know it's not easy with kids :-)

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Hope - posted on 03/29/2011

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I was put on a low-sodium; low-fat diet; healthy low-fat proteins; plenty of veggies and fruit diet. This helped lower my bloodpressure numbers for a while. I also got plenty of rest; drank 8 glasses of water too. I monitored my bloodpressure with an electric bloodpressure monitor. Doing this helped buy my pregnancy a few weeks. High bloodpressure and preeclampsia is in my family history. At 37wks I had sudden face and hand-swelling. I had toximia test and was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and induced the same day. Read your ingredient labels, stay away from high-salt/sodium foods and processed foods. Hope this helps you some. God bless.

Patty - posted on 01/21/2010

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Yes, agreed. Balance in all things. It's hard to salt to taste when everything out there is over-salted!

Natalie - posted on 01/21/2010

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No problem. I know i've heard that you shouldn't go on a salt free diet or take in as less as you can when you're pregnant. That can harm too so a normal amount of salt during pregnancy should be just fine and healthy. Just with high blood pressure that's one f the number 1 causes. My family has high blood pressure, especially my Grandmother and she does NOT go easy on the salt.

Patty - posted on 01/20/2010

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I know, I opened up a can of worms by posting that. I wasn't thinking, as I don't really want to start an argument. I DO have a doctor who recommends eating salt. During my second pregnancy, any time I saw my feet begin to swell, I'd add salt and it would go away. I guess that's not hypertension, but I had that with my first and not with my second, and I did not restrict salt. Anyway, just wanted to post another point of view. Thanks for the links, though!

Natalie - posted on 01/20/2010

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http://www.mcvitamins.com/Health%20Oppon... (my source)

Salt

Why do we need salt?

Salt or sodium, is an electrolyte that your body needs. Electrolytes are minerals that dissolve in water and can carry electrical charges. Pure water does not conduct electricity, but water containing salt does.

The three major electrolytes are sodium, potassium and chloride. Other body electrolytes are magnesium, calcium, zinc, and many others in very small amounts (called trace minerals). They are electrically charged so they can carry nutrients into and out of your cells. They also carry messages along your nerves and help control your heartbeat.

Since your body is made mostly of water, these minerals can be found everywhere in your body. They are inside your cells, in the spaces between your cells, in your blood, your lymph, and everywhere else. Since they have an electrical charge they can move through you cell membranes and thus carry other nutrients with them into the cells and waste products and excess water out of the cells.

Potassium & sodium

Potassium and sodium are very closely linked. To keep your body healthy, your cells need to have a lot of potassium inside and a lot of sodium in the fluid outside. To keep the balance, potassium and sodium constantly move back and forth through the cell membrane.

The correct balance

Cells need the correct balance of potassium and salt. The ratio that your body maintains is about three parts potassium and one part sodium. Thus, the problem of too much sodium (salt) cannot be overstated If the body becomes oversupplied with sodium, the body excretes more sodium. If the kidneys cannot secrete it, it causes the vascular system to constrict, then the body dilutes the extra cellular sodium in the body by increasing the fluid volume in the body. Thus, you get fluid retention.

The solution is to increase the potassium intake and decrease the sodium.

Patty - posted on 01/20/2010

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Eat lots of protein and lots of salt and lots of water! Rest when you need it too. Sorry to disagree with the last too posters on the salt deal. I've had different experience.

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