a selection of different pastas and breads

Q. A number of years ago, my blood pressure was 210/100. I took the prescribed medication but started reading about how to control high blood pressure naturally. I forget to take pills if I have no symptoms.

I read that low carbohydrate diets can lower your blood pressure, so I cut down on bread, pasta and fruit but eat lots of non-starchy vegetables. A few months after I also eliminated sugar as well, my blood pressure dropped to about 120/80 without meds.

I never cut back on salt and my blood pressure is now regularly 110/68 at home. It still pops up to 140/80 at the doctor’s office. I carry my cuff with me there so that she can check my recent readings and test it against her meter.

Be sure to check your blood pressure after sitting quietly for five minutes. I got these instructions while a member of a ten-year Women’s Health Initiative study, but the doctor’s office doesn’t always follow them.

A. We are delighted that you were able to lower your blood pressure so successfully and that you continue to monitor it carefully. The diet you describe is quite similar to one that has been proven effective.

Anyone who would like to learn more about lowering blood pressure naturally with diet and special foods such as beet or grape juice, kefir and pomegranate may be interested in our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment.

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  1. vich

    I experience the same problem with a good BP device in the morning.
    A number of readings need to be taken over time. AND, to get correct results, no coffee or stimulants should be used before BP is taken.

  2. BobK

    I found a phenomena in taking BP readings that is puzzling. I have a very good BP monitor and it takes three readings one minute apart and then gives you an average. Supposedly this is the more accurate way to take the BP readings. However, in taking the readings the first reading is ALWAYS high while the second two are much lower by about 16 points sistolic. I sent the unit back to the manufacturer and they said it was accurate and no calibration was needed. But when I tried it again I get the same results that were like 144/80, 128/71, 130/73. Further readings always are low and I never go back to the first number range. One day I was listening to a radio show by a leading cardiologist from Langone Medical Center and he completely agreed with what I was seeing with my BP unit. He said to throw out the first reading and use the second and third, forth, etc. readings instead.
    I also find that taking readings in the evening are quite a bit lower than the morning readings so one should take readings throughout the day for accurate results.

  3. phyllis p

    My concern is loss of hair-top and sides-by the ears which I think are due to my blood pressure med. I have been on amlodipine besylate 5mg tab for a number of years. Age-75. My primary doctor said she is willing to work with me on a trying a different med. But I would like you advice as I believe in you and Terry. We have met on various occasions and you have signed my book for me. Is there a b/p med that is not known to cause hair loss? I would love to tell my doctor about this. Thank you both. Phyllis p.s. I’m Italian and don’t think I can give up bread and pasta (smile)

  4. DS

    “but the doctor’s office doesn’t always follow them.”
    Not since 1970 has a doctor’s office EVER taken my BP correctly, even when I have asked to be able to sit in a chair where my feet were not dangling. Nurses chatter away and sometimes ask questions. Some nurses squeeze my arm so tight with their cuff that I can tell the reading will be high. I don’t think it is supposed to HURT.

  5. Torrence

    I can understand cutting out the bread and sugar, but I have a problem with cutting out fruit. Fruit is one of natures pure items that we SHOULD eat. I also think that WHITE bread is the ONLY bread that should be cut out. As for NOT cutting back on salt goes against everything we are taught about BP, but I hope you are right. Comments PLEASE.

  6. Vich

    When I was on a low carb intake, years ago, all my blood parameters were great. Of course, the difficulty is to remain on low carbs, it is tough!

  7. jj

    There are a number of yoga poses that also lower blood pressure.

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