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Saturday, April 23, 2016


First of all, don't listen to me about your blood pressure.  Ask your doctor.  However, let me bring you up to date on my body, the white rat equivalent I have been sharing on my personal experience with blood pressure for years on this blog site.  Here is just one, posted more than four years ago:
  • Provided are the details of hypertension, or high blood pressure, like what is systolic and diastolic.
  • I speculated that salt or sodium was particularly bad for my body.
  • Stress hurts.
  • Sleep helps.
  • There were indications that walking on a golf course, followed by a hot bath significantly lowered my blood pressure, from a norm of 150/90 down to 115/70.
In that article I hinted that there was a Simplicity Catheter System (also known as renal sympathetic denervation) being tested in Europe that dropped the blood pressure from 160 systolic down to 120 or so.  Five years ago Medtronic got FDA approval to test out this system, indicating;
  • Hypertension was the leading attributable cause of death worldwide and affects 1.2 billion people.
  • There is increased risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and death.
  • Is responsible for adding $500 billion annually to health care bills.
  • Pills don't help at least 50% of people who take them.
Well, the first round of clinical trials must have worked to some degree, as Phase 2 studies were initiated a year ago.  But still, no sign of availability.  In 2014 the United Kingdom Societies did not recommend this treatment.  In other words, don't hold your breath for any instrumental solution.  Take your pills.

In my case I have for a decade now been taking the equivalent of Irbesartan-HCTZ, a combination that not only treats high blood pressure, but, apparently also delays the onset of type-2 diabetes, a concern of mine, as my blood sugar has been rising.  More recently, my current doctor added Amlodipine Besylate, which widens blood vessels.  I have not followed through with this second pill, but will consider taking this during trips.

So, anyway, a week ago I returned from a three-week trip to Japan, a period when I overdid sakura, salt, sake and shochu.  I knew I was gaining weight, but purposefully did not take my blood pressure machine, for that would have spooked me out.  My thinking was that, if I survived, on return I would go back to walking on a golf course.

Normally, before the first hole, my blood pressure is in the range of 145/85, with a pulse rate of 70.  By the 6th hole, the pulse rate goes up to 100, and my pressure drops to the low for the round:  80-110/55-65.  Then the pressure slowly rises to around 125/80 by the 18th hole.  When I return home and take a hot bath with a drink, the typical measurement is 110/65.  Of course, when I get really hungry after missing a lunch, the pressures jump to 180/100.  I'm also at 165/95 when I first wake up.  If I spend the morning on a computer, the pressures average 155/90.

The Monday after I returned, walked 18 holes at the Ala Wai Golf Course, and my blood pressures at the beginning was a scary 170/95.   They never dropped below 155/85, and, even after the bath, remained around 150/85.  I weighed 163.4 pounds.  I had gained seven pounds on the trip.  The plus part about this high blood pressure was that I was strong through the round and could have walked another nine.

I walked another 18 holes on Wednesday, and after the first hole read 140/85 at a pulse rate of 96.  At the 6th hole:  121/70 at 103 pulse rate.  18th hole:  115/72 at 123 pulse rate.  After the bath, 139/71 at 66 pulse.  My weight?  159.8 pounds.  I had already lost 3.6 pounds and my blood pressure was normalizing.

Friday, after the first hole I was already down to 103/66 at 98 pulse rate.  At the 7th, up to 119/66 at 100 pulse.  Dropped to 103/63 at 105 after the 10th, but up to 119/80 at 117 pulse after the 18th.  Following the bath with drink, 119/69 at a pulse rate of 71.  But the shocker was that my weight had dropped in a week by 9.6 pounds to 154.2.  I had never seen 154 for at least a quarter century. 

So, in summary, my blood pressure:
  • Jumps when I go on a trip.
    • Part of this is that my body is like a camel.  Knowing the journey will be stressful, it tends to store water.
    • I also tend to eat a real breakfast if it is free, as in Orient, so I gain weight.
    • My blood pressure increases when I store water and gain weight.
  • Drops when I walk 18 holes of golf.
  • Drops when I take a hot bath with a drink.
  • Jumps when I'm hungry.
  • Stays high (155/95) when I sit, as when watching TV or work at the computer.
  • Tends to get lowered (145/85) when I make myself busy just walking around.
Unfortunately, next month I take back to back trips, both sure to increase weight and sodium:
  • One week golfing with my annual group in California, where it will be cart golfing and we then spend all afternoon drinking and eating mostly junk food.
  • One week in Seoul and Tokyo.  
To help preserve my life I have chosen to fly first class on my way to California, for this will be an overnight flight, and to Seoul and back from Tokyo.  I will also begin taking that second blood pressure pill.  Maybe I'll avoid some salt and eat healthier foods:

Tropical Cyclone Amos at 105 MPH went right over Samoa and will at least brush American Samoa:

This was the strongest ocean storm in three years.


1 comment:

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