The Danger Zone

I have generally considered myself  to be healthy and my retirement lifestyle equally so. I exercise daily; eat a good diet; don't add salt to my food; don't drink much; have never smoked; have no obvious stress triggers; have even lost half a stone in weight since finishing work although, like many people, several more pounds won't be missed. Grief, I sound so boring!

Anyway, I was a little concerned by my hospital visit at the end of July when the nurse checked my blood pressure. I could see the reading on the screen and, as it seemed high to me, I did ask her if it was okay. 

"Absolutely fine," she said but that didn't exactly allay my fears. After all I had been sitting in a waiting room that could easily have passed for Obesity International and what if mine had simply been the lowest she had seen all morning?

The result has been nagging on my mind, so on Monday I called into our surgery and had the Practice Nurse take another reading. It was exactly the same as almost three weeks before and this time there was no reassurance.

High blood pressure; hypertension; the silent killer as it is known. Infuriatingly, I don't even know the cause. 

"It could just be age," (that old chestnut again) she said, "Or genetics."

Ruddy ancestors, who'd have them?


Erith said…
This prompted me to take my own blood pressure. Totally normal. Relief! Even though I havent lost any weight, I am starting to be more careful how much rubbish I eat. Better late then never...

Caree Risover said…
Yes, it is a bit of a wake up call and I can't believe how much more exercise I've done, water I've drunk and food labels I've checked this week as a result. I've even switched to green tea which I never even used to like!
Royce Shook said…
The bigger question is what is normal blood pressure for your age.As we age, there is disagreement about what high blood pressure is according to this article published in the New York times in 2015 "Last year, a panel of experts relaxed recommendations for people 60 and older, saying drug treatment should only start at pressures of 150/90. Those guidelines, published in the journal JAMA, recommended that people 60 and older whose pressure is over 140/90 but less than 150/90 could take other steps like losing weight, exercising and reducing salt intake, said Dr. Paul A. James, the first author. But patients 60 or older who already take medication to get their pressure below 140/90 should not change course, he said.

The American College of Cardiology still recommends getting blood pressure below 140/90 in people up to 80 years old, and the American Heart Association says blood pressure should be under 140/90 until about age 75, at which point, Dr. Elliott Antman, the heart association’s immediate past president, said, “we might allow the blood pressure to creep up to 150."
Caree Risover said…
Sadly mine was high, whichever age group, but whilst it is being monitored and before being offered medication, I have resolved to do everything possible to reduce it without.
Graham R/S said…
TrY Michael Moseley's 5 minutes of intense exercise three times a week along with only eating during an 8-hour window each day as this will allow the body to process cellular waste; check autophagy on google etc. Intermittent fasting can be very helpful, sometimes leading to feelings of lightness and wellbeing.
Caree Risover said…
Interesting idea which I know he demonstrated worked for many people. However, I love my intense exercise classes too much to reduce to just 15 minutes a week (haha-I guess that’s not really the idea) and because I’m so active, not eating after say 4 pm would definitely leave me faint and shaking. Although good eating and exercise habits have helped me, it seems that they are not always sufficient, and have not fully controlled what in my case has now been established is a recognised condition linked to a variety of auto-immune disorders.

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