Some Observations Re: My Blood Pressure

About two weeks ago, I decided to adjust my diet, again. This time to help me get off of blood pressure medicine. The simple truth is, I’m kind of anti pharmaceutical. I think there are drugs that are good for you, don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of moderate use of antibiotics, aspirin, and certain pain killers after surgery. You get the point. But I am pretty much a conspiracy theorist when it comes to pharmaceutical companies. I think many meds are addictive, and many are for short term use, yet we are prescribed them for long periods, or for life.

I could rant about this for days, but won’t. For now! I started thinking about my blood pressure medications. I take 3. They are called; Atorvastatin, Felodopine, and a blood thinner, Rivaroxaban. The Felodopine, makes me retain fluid, so I’m also on a diuretic, Furosimide.

I’ve been on this stuff for four years this month. I was put on it after my heart attack and some small strokes. I had a triple bypass three years ago. I’m still on all the medications. I haven’t seen a doctor in nearly two years, due to Covid. They just put my prescriptions on auto renew. I phone the doctor’s office and they phone the pharmacy.

Well, I got to thinking, ‘wait a minute. I’ve lost over 50 lbs. Why am I still on such a high dose of a Statin (twice what it was in the beginning), and such a strong blood thinner?’ Originally, I was on an aspirin tablet once a day. So I started to read. And the more I read, the more suspicious I became.

First, I learned how much I could do with diet. I was a good way there with the dietary changes I’d already made. I just needed to tweak a couple things.

I’ve been on the Keto diet for a couple of years. It’s been great. But I read that some of the fats I’ve been eating, like butter and cream, for the sake of my blood pressure, I should modify. Sadly, I’ve cut back. I use more olive oil in my cooking, and milk in my coffee. I haven’t cut them out, just cut way back.

I also learned I should probably cut back on my caffeine. That one was hard to think about. I start every day with two cups of coffee, then switch to tea, both hot and iced. I think decaf tastes weak. I’ve tried it before. But I have switched to one cup of regular, and one of decaf in the mornings, then I drink mostly decaf cups of tea the rest of the day. So far, my iced tea, is still caffeinated, but I’m down to about 1.5 litres a day. Plus I drink that much plain water. The decaf is weak tasting. But after two weeks, I’m getting used to it.

I have also added fruit to my diet. I eat berries, an apple, a banana, or an orange daily. Always organic. It was hard to adjust to, because Keto doesn’t allow fruit, other than a few berries. My system was squemish about it. Additionally, I eat a couple of small sweet potatoes a week.

So far, those are the only changes I’ve made in my eating plan. So I’m still low carb, but not fully keto. I have added a couple of different medicinal mushrooms (lion’s mane, and shiitake) to my daily routine. The lion’s mane I take in capsules, and the shiitake right now I’m using to cook with. I may eventually go to capsules for those as well. But since I like mushrooms in omelettes and most things with hamburger, I’m just using those rather than the much cheaper button shrooms from the supermarket. I

I added Quercetin supplements, and Zinc to my daily routine. The zinc I have to watch, because Alzheimers runs in my family. I will only take it for a short time. The Quercetin has a double purpose. First, it helps with blood pressure. I get a lot from all the veggies I eat, but the supplement should help. Secondly, it works as a prophylactic against Covid. Seriously, and it’s regularly used by doctors in treatment for light and moderate cases. It’s natural, so why not? I take some other prophylactic stuff, but won’t discuss it here. It’s not illegal, it’s just not politically correct. I don’t want to start a big agument.

I first reduced my meds to every other day. Now I’m on my fourth day in a row. On my off days, I do take an aspirin tablet. I take my blood pressure two to three times a day. The most consistent time, is when I first get up in the morning between 6:30 and 7:00. Ironically, my blood pressure has slightly dropped since I’ve been doing this. It is in the upper range of normal. There is no difference between days I take the medicine and when I don’t. Now, since I’ve started doing this, my heart rate has gone up slightly. Still well within the normal range. I haven’t studied that at all, other than what the range should be.

The only other thing I’ve noticed, is my sleep pattern has been interrupted. I still get up at the same time, but I’m not sleepy when I go to bed. This is despite the serious reduction in caffeine. And I drink none after 5 pm. I don’t know how to attribute this change, except I have taken a half hour nap about 1pm the last three days. But I’m staying awake an extra 1.5 hrs at night.

This post is not offering any medical advice. No way. I’m a doctor, but not a medical one. LOL. I’m just sharing some of the things I’m doing. Please consult your medical professional before making any decisions about what medications you take or decide to stop taking.

P.S. I have started a You Tube Channel, SamBurtonPresents. From time to time it may have diet related stuff, but not too much. It will mostly be related to the Paranormal, and to Dog breeds. And some vlogging. I’m telling you this because I will announce some episodes here on the blog from time to time, and I don’t want anyone to panic.

The Secret To Beating Pandemics

Take note: I am not a medical doctor. Nor do I play one on T.V. These suggestions are for your general education. Consult your medical professional with any questions you have as they relate to medications or vaccines.

First, we already know that the number one ‘co-morbidity’ with our current pandemic is obesity. As a fat, though not as fat as I used to be, guy, this is my one real concern. Most of my health issues at my age (64), are related to my weight. If we lose weight, we get healthier, or at the very least, stand a better chance against most things trying to sneak under the door.

This is where an eating plan like Keto, or the South Beach Diet, comes into it’s own. Because of the foods I like to eat, this is what works best for me. You may like the Mediterranean Diet, or a Paleo Diet, or you may just want to count calories. They all work. You need to find what eating plan best fits your lifestyle. Study them all. If you’re reading this post, you have access to a computer, so do your homework.

While diet is 80 to 90% of what you need to lose weight, exercise is important in preparing to fight any pandemics that might knock on your window. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises will both work. Some people love to go to the gym and work out. But here’s a secret. A gym membership doesn’t work unless you use it. I’m just sayin’. Don’t join if you’re not going to work out. That’s a waste of money. Some people like to walk, run, or ride a bicycle. I used to run. 25 years ago, that was awesome. Today, not so much. A stationary bike interests me. The former NFL star, Herschel Walker is an inspiration to me. He does not use weights. He was too poor when he was young, so he developed a body weight regimen. I am seriously giving that consideration. Our local gyms are very small and crowded. That doesn’t work well for me. I don’t want to wait in line for the weights or machines. So I’m looking at body weight exercises.

Eat quality fruits and veg. That means fresh or frozen. And it means organic if you can afford it or grow it. The main thing is, canned veg are not that good for you. I don’t want to start a big argument, but I’ve studied this like mad over the years, and if it comes in a box or a can, chances are, it’s bad. There are some exceptions. Tuna and Sardines I buy in cans. Tomato sauce, I buy in cartons. Freeze dried foods that I keep for long term storage are usually in bags.

If possible, choose grass fed, or free range, meats and poultry. I have not been consistent with this, because meat is sometimes expensive. But whenever possible, I will choose grass fed and free range. That’s the way we raised food on our farm. Chances are, you have access to a farmers’ market near you. Check it out.

Eat with the seasons. It is healthy, and much cheaper. The availability of frozen fruit and veg allows us to stretch that principle. I only buy fresh fruit when it’s in season where I live. I will never buy apples except in the fall. The same with pears and peaches. I only buy citrus when I’m in a place where it grows and it’s in season. Fortunately, I have lots of family in Florida. I love many Florida fruits. When I’m there and it’s season, I fill up. This policy isn’t a law, but one I try and follow.

You will need vitamin C and Vitamin D. The latter, you get best from the sun. Go outside. Even in winter. Expose your head and face to the sunshine. There are also Vitamin D tablets you can get to supplement. Here in Scotland, sunshine is unpredictable. I take a Vitamin D3 supplement every day. I also take Vitamin C supplements. They are cheap and readily available. I have Cod Liver Oil around the house. And a Vitamin B12 supplement. Probably I don’t need those, but I take them. The B12, I only take if I’ve had to use Omeprazole extensively. Fortunately, since I’ve lost weight, I don’t have the heartburn problems I used to, so I don’t have to take the acid reducer.

My point is, if you will eat a wide range of fruit, veg. and grass fed meats, you will likely get all your vitamins and minerals. But any you are short on, you can supplement.

I take Vitamin C and D3 every day as a prophylactic against our current pandemic. I don’t take zinc, because of it’s connection with Alzheimer’s. If I lived somewhere I could get Ivermectin, I would take it as well.

I will not made a recommendation one way or the other for the vaccines. Do your homework. Do it thoroughly. Don’t listen to your favorite for or against it celebrities. Do your homework.

So, the keys are: lose weight, eat right, get fit(ter), take vitamins and minerals if you need them. We can all do this. Every single one of us. Let’s go. We’re in this together!