When I am training and eating a really healthy diet - almost all plant based, no chocolate, no ice cream, low salt etc. My Blood pressure is fine, 120/70 is typical. When my diet slips and I drink , such as over Christmas period, my BP goes up over 140/80
I have been off BP medication for a couple of years, but notice that it is really related to diet. It seems strange to me that the advice from Dr is that once you are on medication for BP, you are on it for the rest if your life. Surely a better approach is to manage diet to keep BP down rather than medication
My BP doesn’t seem to change much with fitness. I had the same BP when I was very unfit as I had when I was very fit. The difference for me seems to be diet, probably alcohol, but could be something else
Somehow I don’t like the idea of medicating for the rest of my life
I agree - and I should have expanded by saying that a lifestyle change “might” have stopped me having the AF and stroke. AF is a funny old condition and the causes are somewhat undefined but is common amongst alcohol drinkers (I’ve been a regular drinker since I was a teen) but also endurance athletes (which I have been). So if I’d cut down on the booze or never done marathons or IM, who knows what may have happened.
conversely I don’t have any blood pressure problems and even now I’m a classic 120/80 person with very little variation.
I think that the health effects of extreme training, are not fully understood, I think that 15+ hours per week would be considered as extreme. There is certainly some evidence of some adverse health consequences, but also some positive. The concept that it is a U shaped curve, is not considered to be correct, the question is whether it is a J curve, where you reach a level of benefit from exercise at a moderate level, then no further benefit
I also feel that the media is quite happy to push the concept that over exercise is bad for you, because it makes fat couch potatoes feel better about their shit diet and lack of exercise. One guy I know is at least 20kg overweight, drinks too much and eats a crap diet, he had a go at me because I am apparently destroying my health
I had an operation a few years back and found my blood pressure was high as part of the tests before that. I hadn’t trained for quite a few months before the op and had piled the weight on so it wasn’t really that much of a surprise.
After the op they wanted to put me on medication for the blood pressure but I persuaded the doctor to give me 6 months to get back into training and lose some weight and see how it went. I got it back down within acceptable levels and that was the end of that but they would quite happily have stuck me on drugs for ever if I hadn’t argued.
My dad (nearly 80) is in a similar position, the doctors keep trying to up his dosage despite him having no issues, saying it’s a preventative measure and he’s resisting it (rightly or wrongly)
I thin doctors prefer a pill because people are more likely to take it than change their habits. But they should be encouraged to change. Last time I spoke to a doctor about it they said bugger off and sort yourself out and it that doesn’t work I’ll give you pills.
Two things that impact my BP are alcohol and being overweight. Caffeine doesn’t seem to affect it, salt in my diet either.
Even losing a couple of kilos and stopping drinking mine has come down a chunk.
The relationship between weight loss and BP is fascinating & I don’t pretend to understand it fully. But when people are actually losing weight, their BP does sometimes seem to drop quickly. The most extreme examples I can think of are people who have had bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass. Often their weight will drop very rapidly, and they will go from being hypertensive on several meds to having to stop all meds or risk falling over when then stand up. All within a couple of weeks.
I was advised this a few years ago and put on a minimal dose of statins for I think 6 months, I made some dietary changes and got back down to a high but manageable level and they took me off again. Fast forward to now and I might need to go back on again.
I know it would be nice to think everyone’s problems can be solved by dietary changes but I think that is just a part of the picture. If you can manage it through diet great, if you can’t don’t beat yourself up about it.
There are no medals handed out for the least medicated corpse.