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Controlling high blood pressure with diet or is it hereditary?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One of my goals this year was to get physicals for everyone in my family, especially DH and I. Sometimes when everyone is "healthy" it's hard to squeeze it in, especially with dentist, orthodontist, and dermatologist appointments - who has time! (ah 3 teenagers!)

DD#1 had hers about a month ago (she needed some vaccination boosters), DH had his a couple of weeks ago, DD#2 gets annual physicals for sports. That leaves DD#3 and me. DD#3 just turned 13, so she will also need some boosters, but is good for now, so I'm not sure I'll get hers in this year - definitely this school year. My appointment is in late October (it was hard to get an appointment with this doctor for a "full" physical & "female" exam).

Both DH and I had health screenings for his company insurance plan and the results were great for me and ok for him (blood pressure a little high).

We've really changed our lifestyle the last couple of years and DH was also doing the lifestyle challenge at work. Everything was pretty good at the physical, but his blood pressure was really high - high enough where the doctor wanted to put him on BP medication right away.

The doctor said it could be diet or hereditary - both DH's parents had high blood pressure & strokes. But neither one of them really took care of themselves and his mom was obese. His mom passed away about 10 years ago from cancer (gall bladder that could have been treated) and his dad passed away a c0uple of months ago from cancer (again, could have been treated).

Anyway, DH wanted to give the "diet" thing a chance before going on the medication. He just turned 47 and didn't want to be on medication already. The doctor gave him the sodium recommendations and DH pretty much cut out all sodium the past couple of weeks. He really "killed it"!

I really didn't think we used much "sodium" and have never been concerned because I have freakishly good/low blood pressure (definitely mostly hereditary for me).

We've been "label" readers the past 10+ years (mostly looking at carbs & sugar), but it was still an eye opener with the sodium too! These "processed" foods we eat are going to kill us all (dramatic!).

So, after 2 weeks of low to no sodium, he went back to the doctor last Friday and not only is his blood pressure good (no medication!), but he lost 11 lbs.! Doctor said - see you in a year!

He's really relieved that he doesn't have to go on medication and it's not hereditary - his parents just had a "crappy" lifestyle. Despite that, his mom lived to 71 and his dad to 82 (good German genes).

DH has decided to stick to the low sodium, so we've made some additional changes. With me cutting out "crap" and carbs and him watching his sodium, we'll really be eating healthy! Now if he can lay of the "buy one get one free" ads at the grocery store - no one needs the processed stuff.

We do buy some small individual stuff for the girls' lunches (all 3 pack a lunch), but they also have fruits & veggies and a healthy sandwich. Also, if they eat it before the week is up, they have to wait until the next week for their lunch (more fruit or veggies - we are trying!).

So, this is a very good example that you can control things with a good diet and not automatically take the "medicine" route. I know that sometimes it's necessary, but I'm very proud of DH for taking this extra step!

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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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