Lower Pressure Blog

Tips, tricks and news about hypertension, stress and sleep

woman sleeping peacefully at night

The Art of Falling Back to Sleep: Strategies for Restful Nights

Sleep, that elusive state of rest and rejuvenation, can sometimes feel like a fleeting companion. We’ve all experienced those frustrating moments of waking up in the middle of the night, only to find ourselves staring at the ceiling, longing for the sweet embrace of slumber to return. But fear not, for the art of falling …

Navigating the Skies: Commercial Pilots and Hypertension

Fantastic Scottish Rumbledethumps Recipe

Vitamin K2 & Heart Health

Vitamin K-2 For A Healthy Heart

The Rotterdam study found that consuming 40 mcg of Vitamin K2 daily, reduced one’s chance of heart disease and stroke by 50%. Another study, performed on over 16,000 people, found that for every 10 mcg of Vitamin K2 consumed, one’s chance of acquiring cardiovascular disease dropped by 9%. In today’s video, Dr. Josh Axe discusses the benefits of vitamin K-2.

Food Sources of Vitamin K2

Organic Butter

Butter is certainly not the enemy we’ve been brought up to believe it is, in fact, it’s a rich source of brain-loving satiating and natural fats, Vitamins A and D, and of course vitamin K2 – containing 14.5mcg of K2 per 100g serve. As we should be using butter in small quantities, it admittedly isn’t a huge amount but can contribute to a regular intake of K2 in combination with other dietary sources.

Cheese

A terrific source of Vitamin K2! The lactic acid present in cultured cheeses increases the amounts of bacteria-derived K2. So it’s important to choose ‘proper’ cheeses – not pre-packaged sliced for your cheese on toast. Although all cheeses contain a significant amount of the vitamin. Gouda clocks in an average of 50mcg of menaquinone-7 per 100g – the most active bone-building form of K2!

Grass-Fed Beef

Animal’s grazing on lush green grass are able to convert the K1 present into K. Something our gut bacteria are relatively inefficient at doing. So eating grass-fed meat on a regular basis is a great way to get 4.5mcg per 100g of K2 – plus it tastes so much better and has higher amounts of Omega-3 than grain-fed meat.

Watch how Julie Lowered her Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 170/110, this morning it was 120/80

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Egg Yolks

It is ironic that eggs were once demonized as one of the main foods to avoid in a ‘heart healthy’ diet. Pasture-raised eggs are a rich source of Vitamin K2 with around 32.1mcg per yolk. This, of course, contributes to heart health via calcium modulation mechanisms.

Fermented Foods

Although Natto is by far the richest food source of Vitamin K2, other fermented foods may also contain small amounts. However, the measurement of K2 in fermented products such as sauerkraut, kefir, and range of dairy tend to vary widely. This is due to the specificity of the bacteria used in the fermentation process. Although it’s a bit of a grey area, you are still reaping the rewards of healthy probiotic intake whether it contains large amounts of K2 or not.

High in protein, healthy fats, and good bacteria, these high Vitamin K2 foods can indeed be part of a healthy diet. This along with the nutrient dense greens containing its sister nutrient K1. Supplementing with additional Vitamin K2 may be required to meet adequate needs when dietary intake is low or digestive function impaired. But remember to consider any medications you may be taken before embarking on any dietary change or new supplement regime in relation to Vitamin K. Also consult your health practitioner if unsure.

senior man working out in gym

Do Isometric Exercises Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Want to know about an exercise that can lower blood pressure significantly? We’re talking as much as 10-20 mmHg. No, it’s not an endurance exercise. No, it’s not strength exercise. It’s actually an exercise you can do anytime and anywhere. It’s called isometric Exercise.

What are Isometric Exercises?

Isometric exercises, the kind where you contract large muscles without actually moving the body part, may help reduce blood pressure in healthy people, a study shows. And something as simple as squeezing your inner thigh muscles together while you sit would qualify.

That’s right. Isometric exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and they don’t require you to bend or lift. In a handful of studies, folks with normal blood pressure who did three 15 to 20 minutes sessions of isometric exercises every week for 10 weeks experienced more than a 10-point plunge in their systolic blood pressure.

And their diastolic pressure fell almost 7 points. Not bad for not lifting a finger! Simple things like doing a static hand grip, flexing the bottoms muscles, or doing leg squeeze all count. In the research, the three weekly sessions included doing multiple 2-minute rounds of isometric exercises like those, with 1 to 3 minute rests in between.

Are Isometric Exercises to lower blood pressure effective?

In one study a hand grip spring dynamo-meter was used for IHG (Isometric Handgrip) exercise training. A total of 30 normal healthy volunteers in the age group of 20-40 y were enrolled for the study. The exercise training protocol consisted of five 3-min bouts of IHG exercise at 30% of maximum voluntary contraction separated by 5 min rest periods. The exercise was performed 3 times/wk for 10 wks. Subject’s blood pressure was measured before and after exercise.

There was a significant reduction in resting blood pressure following 10 wk of exercise training. Both Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure reduced significantly.

In the mid-1970s, the U.S. Air Force asked Dr. Ronald Wiley, an expert in heart and lung physiology, to find a way to keep fighter pilots from losing consciousness when flying the F-16 fighter. This jet could accelerate so fast that the G-forces it generated made it difficult for the pilot’s heart to pump blood to the brain, causing vision problems, trouble thinking, and blackouts.

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It was 150/100, this morning it was 110/79

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One of Wiley’s strategies was a hand grip that pilots could squeeze to boost their blood pressure enough to maintain circulation to the brain. As he worked with pilots, he was struck by a contradiction ” Those who practiced with the hand grip for a few weeks lowered their resting blood pressure.

Types of Isometric Exercise

Plank Bridge

Lie down in the push-up position and place your elbows under your chest. Rest your body on the floor. Now, the entire weight of your body will be concentrated on your forearms. Push up your body and count to 10. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times. This is one of the simplest forms of isometric exercises, and it can be performed daily.

Isometric Push Up

Get into the pushup position as before and lie down with your arms extended. Lower your body to the halfway position and hold for about 10 seconds or count slowly until 10. This exercise can be repeated for 2 or 3 times, depending on your fitness level. Most isometric exercises are not very tiring, but you must take it slowly if you’re a beginner.

Isometric Bicep Exercise

This is the simplest type of isometric exercise, and it can be easily done at the office. Put your hands under the desk and place them against the tabletop, with your palms up. Now, press against the tabletop, keeping your elbows tight against your ribs. Hold your hands in this position for 10 seconds or count slowly until 10, and then repeat 2 to 3 times.

Isometric Shoulder Raises

For this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise both arms upwards from the side until they’re parallel to the ground. Hold them in this position for about 10 to 25 seconds, and repeat 2 to 3 times. If you find it difficult to raise both hands at the same time, you can start by raising one hand at a time.

Watch how Julie Lowered her Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 170/110, this morning it was 120/80

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More Exercises To Try

Ball Squeeze

The ball squeeze exercise requires only a tennis ball or any other small ball. Hold the ball in one hand and squeeze it for 60 to 90 seconds. Place the ball in your other hand and repeat the squeeze for the same amount of time. Repeat the exercise three times with each hand.

Athletic Gripper Hold

Athletic grippers can be found at nearly any sporting good store. Grippers generally come in different resistances so you’ll have to choose one appropriate for you. Ideally, you should use one that you are able to squeeze for two minutes before your muscles fatigue. Hold the athletic gripper in one hand and squeeze it for two minutes then switch hands and repeat the exercise. Complete the exercise twice with each hand.

How Isometric Exercises Help

We have a great video on Athletic Hand Grip:

Practicing isometric exercises offers various benefits to our body and they are:

  • Isometric exercises help in strengthening and conditioning muscles.
  • They aid in strengthening dormant muscle tissues on isolated muscles.
  • They improve one’s control over the body.
  • Improve body posture and spine alignment.
  • Help in preventing injury.
  • These exercises are used in injury rehabilitation.
  • Help in the development of lean muscles.
  • Improve bone density and make them strong.
  • Increase resistance power and endurance ability.
  • These exercises activate all the major units in the body.
  • These exercises can be done anywhere and anytime.
  • Most isometric exercises do not require any equipment, or at most a set of dumbbells is enough.
  • Help in graceful aging, keeping body posture straight and erect even in the old age.
  • These exercises can also be done by elderly people and are considered good for them.

As with any new exercise routine please speak with your family practitioner to see if you are able to start this practice. For those diagnosed with high blood pressure, I would start with the isometric handgrip exercises. Isometric exercises using the plank or weights can cause spikes in blood pressure. Again please consult your physician.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken and wild rice casserole might sound boring, but this casserole is anything but. Fruit, veggies, protein, and grains come together in a convenient one-stop-shop dish for your busiest nights.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend (3 cups cooked)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups cubes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I prefer the ones with reduced sugar)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided (about 2 ounces)

Watch How Mark Lowered His Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 150/100, this morning it was 110/79

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Instructions:

1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain off any excess cooking liquid and set aside.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

3. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside, about 6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

4. With a paper towel, carefully wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium. Add the diced squash, onions, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the squash is tender but still retains some chew, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the thyme, cranberries, reserved chicken, rice, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.

5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 additional minutes, until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh thyme and serve warm.

6. To freeze: Bake the casserole completely, then let cool to room temperature. Cover it tightly, then freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat, covered, in a 350-degree oven until warmed through.

7. You could also try freezing this chicken and wild rice casserole unbaked. Again, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

We collected dozens of great heart healthy recipes for you Here they are

cardamom for hypertension

Cardamom For High Blood Pressure?

What Is Cardamom?

Cardamom, sometimes cardamon or cardamom, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia.

Cardamom, or elaichi, is used in a lot of festive preparations. Which is why the health benefits of this extremely flavorful and aromatic spice are not very well known.

Watch How Mark Lowered His Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 150/100, this morning it was 110/79

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While cardamom may not be appreciated when one accidentally encounters it in a spoonful of delicious biryani. It is enjoyed in a whole range of desi dishes, including sensational desserts and savories.

Cardamom is used in both whole and powdered form and is also included in a number of spice mixes. It has a minty, spicy herb-like flavor and smell. And a warm taste, which is why it is also consumed as a mouth-freshener.

It also serves as a good addition to your masala chai concoction. By adding a calming aroma to the drink that is the quintessential Indian refresher. But cardamom has a number of health benefits as well, among which regulation of blood pressure is perhaps the most important one.

Cardamom for high blood pressure

Cardamom, or elaichi, is one such spice, which is probably under-appreciated for its role in keeping blood pressure levels under control. There has been some research into the effects of cardamom consumption on the blood pressure levels of hypertension patients.

One particular study, published in the Indian Journal Of Biochemistry and Biophysics, found that daily consumption of elaichi in a dose of 1.5 gms twice in a day, lead to a decrease in the systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure in Stage-1 hypertensive patients, who were observed for a period of three months.

Blood pressure cuff

How Can You Reverse The Causes of Hypertension?

High Blood Pressure & Causes

Blood pressure is the force of blood pressure pushing against blood vessel walls. High blood pressure or Hypertension, means the pressure in the arteries is high than it should be.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers, such as 120/80. The top number, or systolic pressure, is the pressure as the heart beats. The bottom number or, diastolic pressure, is the number when the number when the heart is at rest.

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or below. If it is higher 120-139 or the diastolic number is 80-89 your considered pre-hypertensive.

So, What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is considered when your systolic number is 140 and higher and your diastolic number is greater than 90.

It is estimated that about 80 million over the age of 20 or 1 in 3 people have hypertension. Many people do not even know that they have hypertension. With virtually no symptoms it has been dubbed the silent killer.

High blood pressure can take years to develop, and it affects almost everyone eventually. Fortunately high blood pressure can be easily detected. Once you know you have it, it can be managed by lifestyle modifications and with some medications.

Some people with high blood pressure have headaches, shortness of breath, and nose bleeds. But usually those who have these symptoms are those whose blood pressure has become critical and life threatening.

If you want just the summary on high blood pressure, then watch the video below:

Types of hypertension

There are essentially 2 types of hypertension. Primary and Secondary. There is a type of hypertension called pulmonary hypertension, but this is not discussed in this article.

Primary Hypertension

Primary hypertension is when there is no identifiable cause for it. This type of hypertension takes years to develop, and the majority of people fall into this category of hypertension.

Secondary Hypertension

This is the type of hypertension that has an underlying cause. This type tends to appear suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. Various medical conditions that can cause secondary hypertension are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain defects in the blood vessels your born with (congenital abnormalities)
  • Certain medications such as ibuprofen, birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over the counter pain relievers, and some prescription drugs.
  • Illegal drugs such as cocaine, and amphetamines
  • Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol usage

High Blood Pressure – Risk Factors:

  • Age – Your risk of high blood pressure increases as you become older. Middle age or around 45 high blood pressure can begin to appear. High blood pressure tends to be more common in men. Women generally begin developing high blood pressure after age 65.
  • Ethnicity – High blood pressure seems to be more prevalent in African Americans. It often develops at an earlier age than in caucasians. The serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure are also more common in this patient population. Family History- Those with a familial history tend to be genetically predisposed to developing hypertension. Although it is not quiet certain if it it is genetically link or it is an acquired lifestyle.
  • Being overweight or obese – The greater your body mass index over 25 the greater your chances of developing hypertension. The more you are overweight the harder your heart has to work to deliver oxygen rich blood and nutrients to your body. This means your heart needs to pump more blood to tissues. The increase in the volume of blood that is demanded the more pressure is exerted on your artery walls.
  • Decreased physical activity – Inactivity leads to higher heart rates. The higher that your heart rate is means that your heart has to work that much harder. As your heart works harder it means more force with the contractions is applied on your artery walls. Inactivity also leads to being overweight.
  • Cigarette Smoking – It is widely agreed upon the cigarette smoking elevates your blood pressure. In fact you blood pressure can remained elevated for a much as an hour. But most smokers do not just smoke 1 per hour so you blood pressure never has a chance to come back down. And it is not only the smoke but the many chemicals, as much as 4,000 different chemicals that causes high blood pressure (carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide) to name a few. Smoking also can cause your arteries to narrow further elevating your blood pressure.
  • Too Much Salt In Your Diet – No matter where you fall in the debate there is ample evidence that too much salt can elevate your blood pressure. Salt causes fluid retention and increase the workload of your kidneys which create angiotensin 1 a hormone that is converted to angiotensin 2 in your lungs.
  • Not Enough Potassium – Potassium is a big part of the sodium-potassium pump. This is the pump that ensures the right balance of sodium enters into your cells. Without enough potassium you will end up with too much sodium. This will lead to water retention increasing your blood pressure.
  • Not Enough Sunshine Vitamin – Also known as “Vitamin D” this vitamin deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure. Effecting an enzyme in your kidneys, angiotensin, is used by your body to regulate your blood pressure.
  • Stress – Yes the “S” word no one likes to talk about. High levels of stress, and being in the fight or flight mode continually increases blood pressure and the release of cortisol into the bloodstream, raising blood sugar.

Also chronic medical condition such as kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea increase your risk for developing high blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure Complications:

With uncontrolled high blood pressure you run the risk of severe complication. Medical emergencies such as heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, kidney failure, eye problems, sudden hearing loss, and metabolic syndrome.

Controlling High Blood Pressure:

There are many ways you can control your high blood pressure and bring your numbers down into a normal range. Things you can do to take control are:

  • If you are overweight lose the weight. For every 20 lbs you lose you can drop your systolic blood pressure 5-20 points.
  • Quitting Smoking can naturally lower your blood pressure 5-10 points.
  • Getting more exercise can lower your numbers 5-15 points.
  • Decreasing caffeine intake lowers your diastolic pressure by 4-13 points
  • Decrease alcohol intake lowers your numbers 2-4 points.
  • Avoiding all processed foods lowers your numbers 10 points.
  • Decrease salt intake or stop altogether up to 25 Points.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Use natural remedies
  • If your physician has prescribed medication, take as directed

As you can see you have a lot of power and control over your numbers. You’re not a victim. Taking control of your high blood pressure is your responsibility no one else’s. But many people are depending on you to do so. There is so much good information on the web and some bad. Do your own research and become your own health advocate.

Read. Get informed. Become a “Nutritarian”. That means getting the most nutrient dense food you can get into your diet and yes sometimes you will have to say know to the chips, cakes and cookies.

As a nurse none of my patients with heart issues ever told me, “ I wish I had eaten more junk food.” We are adults, and we know what we are suppose to be doing.

We need to stop seeking the path of least resistance and start being heros for ourselves and those we love, and who love us. Until we can make high blood pressure a thing of the past. I highly recommend that you get the following books into your own personal library.

Related Books for Further Reading:

  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. By Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D
  • How Not To Die. By Michael Greger M.D
  • The End of Heart Disease. By Joel Fuhrman M.D
  • The End of Diabetes. By Joel Fuhrman M.D


does sex help lower your blood pressure

Can Sex Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Does Sex lower Blood Pressure?

Sex is a little 3 letter word that can cause people to giggle or gasp. Maybe both. But science and research prove that having sex is good for your heart, and your blood pressure. Researchers stated that men who made love regularly (at least twice a week) were 45 percent less likely to develop heart disease, than those who did so once a month or less, according to one study. So, how does sex lower blood pressure?

High blood pressure puts pressure on the blood vessels, leading to damaged and narrowed hardened arteries. The same effects that endanger the cardiovascular system can also cause erectile dysfunction in men (think about it for a second…) and reduced arousal and ability to achieve orgasm in women.

Watch how Julie Lowered her Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 170/110, this morning it was 120/80

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Testosterone, a sex hormone power player for both ladies and gents, could be a solution. Studies have shown a link between low testosterone and high blood pressure, while the spikes in testosterone associated with sexual activity might help lower blood pressure.

Sexual activity not only provides many of the same benefits to your heart as exercise but also keeps levels of estrogen and testosterone in balance, which is important for heart health.

Sex also releases serotonin, endorphins, and phenyl-ethylamine, hormones that generate feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and elation—and make people forget all their stress.  Relieving stress relaxes the arteries in the body-again lowering high blood pressure.

beef stew dish on lack background

Slow-Cooked Spring Beef Bourguignon.

You can cook beef bourguignon on the hob – it’s no doubt the original method – but it is much easier to keep the heat constant in a moderate oven. (Plus it’s easier to clean up after yourself with the pot safely bubbling away out of sight.) Try this amazing take on French cuisine this weekend for a heart-healthy dining experience.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pound beef chuck roast, cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • 2 c. sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 springs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and quartered
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Watch How Mark Lowered His Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 150/100, this morning it was 110/79

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Instructions:

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. While it heats, tosses beef with oil. Sear beef in batches, 3 minutes per side. Between each batch, deglaze the pan with some red wine, scraping up any bits with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture into slow-cooker along with seared beef as it’s done.

2. To slow-cooker add beef broth, mushrooms, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and remaining red wine. Cook on high 6 to 7 hours until beef is easily shreddable. Thirty minutes before serving, remove herbs and add asparagus; cook until just tender.

3. Garnish with parsley and serve.

We collected dozens of great heart healthy recipes for you – Here they are…

Metoprolol side effects and heart health

Lopressor (Metoprolol) Side Effects – What You Need to Know

What is Metoprolol?

Metoprolol is the generic form of the brand-name drug Lopressor, prescribed to treat high blood pressure and prevent angina (chest pain). 

High blood pressure is a medical condition that may require you at some point to be taking certain types of anti-hypertensive medication. As part of keeping our readers informed we want to be able to provide the information, you need to know about some of the most widely prescribed medications.

That being said we are not medical doctors or pharmacists. So the information we provide is not medical advice. It is consumer information for you to discuss with your physician if need be and to better educate the general public about medications they may be taking.

Is Metoprolol a beta blocker?

Metoprolol is a type of medication called a beta blocker. Beta-blockers are drugs that block the effects of adrenaline, the hormone that triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response when you’re stressed. This slows your heart rate and eases up on the force your heart squeezes with. Your blood pressure goes down because your heart isn’t working so hard. These medicines can also relax blood vessels so the blood flows better.

Metoprolol can also improve the likelihood of survival after a heart attack. Doctors prescribe the long-acting form of the drug (Toprol XL) to treat heart failure.

Do not stop taking Metoprolol all of a sudden. If you do, you may experience worse chest pain, a jump in blood pressure, or even have a heart attack. Stopping metoprolol is not recommended. If you need to stop taking the drug, first talk to your doctor. Your dose should be gradually decreased under a doctor’s supervision.

Metoprolol side effects:

Along with its needed effects, Metoprolol may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Most common Metoprolol side effects

  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness


Watch How Mark Lowered His Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 150/100, this morning it was 110/79

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Less common Metoprolol side effects

  • Belching
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • Discouragement
  • Dry mouth
  • Excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
  • The feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • The feeling of indigestion
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Irritability
  • The loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • Nightmares
  • Pain in the chest below the breastbone
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping


Symptoms of Metoprolol overdose

  • Bluish color of the fingernails, lips, skin, palms, or nail beds
  • Change in consciousness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • No blood pressure or the pulse
  • Stopping of the heart
  • Unconsciousness
  • Feeling very drowsy or sleepy

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your healthcare professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them.

Who should avoid Metoprolol

Metoprolol has a black box warning. A black box warning is the strictest warning put in the labeling of prescription drugs or drug products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when there is reasonable evidence of an association of a serious hazard with the drug.

Metoprolol is not recommended for some people: People who have had an allergic reaction to beta-blockers, metoprolol and people with certain serious heart problems, such as heart rates less than 45 beats per minute (for heart attack patients) or abnormal heart rhythms. The medication could occasionally lead to serious cardiac complications for these individuals. Note that only metoprolol succinate, the extended-release tablet, is indicated for heart failure. Metoprolol tartrate is not recommended for people with heart failure.

Asthmatics and patients with other respiratory problems are especially vulnerable, as these drugs can make breathing worse. Metoprolol may be a little better than other beta-blockers in this regard but monitor breathing carefully.

Diabetics should inform their physicians if they are taking metoprolol, since the medication may mask the signs of low blood sugar levels.

People with a history of depression should inform their doctors to ensure both their depression and beta-blocker therapy is well managed. Metoprolol is more likely to affect the nervous system than others in its class and may contribute to depression. People with a thyroid disorder should also be carefully monitored as metoprolol may mask signs of an overly active thyroid. Lastly, people with liver impairments may also need to be very carefully monitored.

Be certain to inform your doctor of any other conditions you may have. This information may affect your dose, whether you should even take this medication, or require you to take special tests during treatment.

Watch how Julie Lowered her Blood Pressure Naturally.

It was 170/110, this morning it was 120/80

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Metoprolol: Foods to avoid

Potassium Rich Foods: Metoprolol is a beta blocker which increases the potassium level in the blood. Potassium-rich foods like meat, milk, bananas and sweet potatoes can result in high blood potassium levels.

Pleurisy Root: Cardiac glycosides present in the pleurisy root may interfere with the effect of metoprolol.

Other Herbs: Kava-Kava, valerian, ginseng, goldenseal, licorice, saw palmetto, hawthorn, ma huang, and Yohimbe may interact with metoprolol. If you take metoprolol, you should avoid taking these herbs.

Metoprolol and alcohol

Drinking alcohol while taking metoprolol is dangerous to your health. This combination can lead to increased drowsiness, dizziness or fainting, lightheadedness, and blurred vision. It may increase the risk of accidental injury.

Caffeine has the ability to decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs like metoprolol. It is, therefore, better to avoid the intake of caffeine-containing foods and beverages while taking metoprolol.

Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte essential for cell function. Adults should receive 4,700 milligrams of potassium in their diets a day. You can find Potassium in a large variety of foods such as bananas and oranges. Beta-blockers like Toprol-XL are known to affect potassium levels and cause what is known as hyperkalemia, or elevated potassium levels. When you are taking Toprol, it is important to limit your potassium intake in order to prevent possible toxicity. Because of this interaction with the medication, you may be advised of certain dietary restrictions when taking Toprol.

Additional foods to avoid when taking Metoprolol

Because of the risk of hyperkalemia, your physician may require you to follow certain dietary restrictions when taking Toprol-XL. You may be advised to avoid foods high in potassium, so it will be important to make yourself aware of these foods. Foods such as bananas, potatoes, prunes and plums, oranges, tomatoes, raisins, artichokes, lima beans, acorn squash, spinach, and almonds are some of the foods that contain large amounts of potassium and will more than likely need to be avoided.

The more we educate ourselves on the medication we are taking we can lower the risks and increase the benefits of the medication we are taking.

For example, how many of us bother to ask about food interactions with the medication that we are taking? Very few indeed. But we learned today about different things that we can do to help us get the benefit of metoprolol if we have to take it. I am big on patient advocacy and even bigger on being your own advocate. Educate yourself today and be a better informed you.

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The Ketogenic Diet For Hypertension

The Ketogenic Diet : Does It Help Lower High Blood Pressure?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets.

It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?

The aim of the keto diet is to put, and keep your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
Our bodies normally burn carbohydrates for energy. When you restrict the amount of carbs, the body will break down stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as fuel. (Paleo diet is similar, but higher in protein and not as strict about certain foods and proportions.)

Ketosis is a normal physiological process. There’s nothing dangerous about it. “It’s just that this particular eating style is keeping your body in that state all the time,” says Mangieri.

What Is Ketosis?

Under normal circumstances, the body’s cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including:

  • sugar – such as fruits and milk or yogurt
  • starchy foods – such as bread and pasta

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The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.

If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, the body will adopt an alternative strategy in order to meet those needs. Specifically, the body begins to break down fat stores to provide glucose from triglycerides.

Ketones are a by-product of this process.

Ketones are acids that build up in the blood and are eliminated in urine. In small amounts, they serve to indicate that the body is breaking down fat, but high levels of ketones can poison the body, leading to a process called ketoacidosis.

According to some metabolic experts, you’re in the state of ketosis when your ketone levels measure 0.5-3.0 millimoles per liter. The keto diet is one way to get your body to make ketones. Other ways to run on ketones include intermittent fasting and using up your glucose reserves by exercising.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe?

According to the Harvard Medical School, “We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.”

“Weight loss is the primary reason my patients use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence of a faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time.”

“A ketogenic diet also has been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There is even more controversy when we consider the effect on cholesterol levels. A few studies show some patients have increase in cholesterol levels in the beginning, only to see cholesterol fall a few months later. However, there is no long-term research analyzing its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol.”

What Can You Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?

The keto diet is all about increasing calories from fat and going very low carb. That means following a restrictive, food list.

Here are some of the foods you may eat on keto:

  • Oils (like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil)
  • Avocado
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheese
  • Coconut (unsweetened)
  • Nuts (almonds, macadamia) and seeds (chia seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds)
  • Leafy green vegetables (romaine, spinach, kale, collards)
  • Non-Starchy vegetables, zucchini, asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers
  • Meats (chicken, beef, pork, lamb)
  • Eggs
  • Fish (particularly fatty fish like salmon and sardines)

How Long Can You Do The Diet?

How long the keto diet is safe for weight loss is still under study. Early research found that overweight individuals who followed it for 24 weeks had positive results. Another study recommends people follow the diet for no more than 12 months. Even during that time, say the authors, “close monitoring of [kidney] functions while on a ketogenic diet is imperative.” In other words, let your doctor know what you’re up to, and keep an eye on your kidney health. Beyond a year, no one’s really sure how safe the diet is.

“My professional recommended period of following the keto diet is about six months maximum, and that will also depend on how much the person weighed prior to starting the diet and the state of his or her overall health within those six months,” says Nikola Djordjevic, MD, of MedAlertHelp.org.

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Ketogenics For High Blood Pressure

Ketotarian is the answer to how to do keto with high blood pressure. But, what is Ketotarian? According to Dr. Cole’s book, Ketotarian is a mostly plant-based diet that can change your body from sugar-burning to fat-burning and, as a result, boost energy, nix cravings, and combat inflammation. Not to mention: Many of the foods (aka veggies) in the Ketotarian diet are known to help lower high blood pressure among other ailments.

The key to any keto diet is low carb, high fat. And while both the traditional ketogenic and Ketotarian diets achieve this mission, the side effects of eating highly processed foods and artificial sweeteners (allowed in the conventional diet) can have a detrimental impact on your health over time. Ketotarian is a way to put the body into ketosis without exposing it to foods that cause high blood pressure. And, instead, nourishing it with foods that can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and other heart-threatening ailments.

Ketogenic Risks

Cardiac Problems:

Losing heart muscle may not be the only heart-associated dangers of the keto diet, Derocha says. “If you have high blood pressure and are taking medication, the prescription mixed with the diet may cause abnormally low blood pressure test results,” she explains. Before you start the keto diet, she suggests you talk with your doctor to avoid low blood pressure. This condition can be dangerous, even deadly.

Ketosis Affect On Your Kidneys:

Very high levels of ketones make your blood more acidic and overburden your kidneys. “Medical News Today” reports that one of the side effects of a ketogenic diet is the formation of kidney stones.

In processing higher amounts of protein, your kidneys work hard and are forced to excrete more sodium, calcium and potassium, as well as filter more of the byproducts of protein metabolism. This extra fluid and electrolyte loss can cause low blood pressure, another function mediated by your kidneys. Ketosis in the presence of diabetes can lead to ketoacidosis and coma, and can be life threatening.

The Big Keto Controversy

A National Institutes of Health researcher, Richard Veech, argues that what’s being reported about ketosis is all wrong. He told the “New York Times” in 2002 that ketosis is a normal metabolic state, and arguably the “natural state of man.” He and others say that the media and some medical authorities have confused the public about ketosis, partially out of the real threat it poses to diabetics. But for the rest of us, says Veech, ketosis is simply an evolution-driven response to the need to survive on stored fat.

Veech goes a step further saying ketones are a more preferred fuel source than carbohydrates. The Times reported in that article that previous research showed that the heart and brain run 25 percent more efficiently on ketones than blood sugar.

In 2004, a group of Kuwait University researchers reported in the journal “Experimental & Clinical Cardiology” that they found no adverse effects of using a ketogenic diet in a sample of obese people over six months. If you want to start a high-protein or otherwise ketogenic eating regimen, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before doing so, and seek regular care to ensure adequate nutrition.

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