Yesterday was not a good day for me. It started normally enough but by mid-morning I was convinced there was something wrong with me. You see, since last Saturday I have been doing the LighterLife which is a very low calorie meal replacement diet. As a result I had been feeling very tired, light headed and achy, but had thought nothing of it. This is unfortunate as it masked the symptoms of my blood pressure inching higher and higher.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I began to have symptoms of pre-eclampsia (read about my difficult pregnancy) and as a result, high blood pressure. It took a long time after Baby was born to get it back to normal but I had thought that once I had, it was gone for good. Having it crop up again 11 months later was not expected.
Luckily I still had my blood pressure monitor and a quick check showed that I was right, my blood pressure was 145/91 which is at the low end of the high blood pressure bracket. Half an hour later I was rushing around getting Baby and myself ready to go to the Dr and hoping that he was going to tell me that I had made a mistake.
Three blood pressure tests, a physical, and a long talk later there was no doubting that my high blood pressure had returned. High blood pressure isn’t exactly rare, but it can increase your chances of developing all sorts of other conditions so needless to say I’m a little concerned with a small dollop of frightened by it.
I now have a week of blood pressure monitoring and blood tests to look forward to before my Dr decides whether I’ll be prescribed medication in addition to lifestyle changes. Needless to say the LighterLife diet and my hopes of being 3 stone lighter in three months has gone out of the window and I’m now going to have to be a lot more sensible about my lifestyle. But in some ways I think this might be just the kick I need to stop making excuses for my bad eating habits and lack of exercise and start sorting my health out!
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the measure of the force blood is pumped around your body and the resistance it meets. An ideal blood pressure is between 90/60 and 120/80, while high blood pressure is considered anything over 140/90.
If you have persistent high blood pressure it can increase your risk of a number of conditions including heart attacks and strokes. But it can be controlled by both lifestyle changes and medication.
What can you do to reduce your blood pressure?
There are many things that you can change about your lifestyle in order to reduce your blood pressure:
- Lose weight (if you are overweight)
- Cut back on salt
- Cut back on alcohol
- Cut back on caffeine
- Stop smoking
- Get 6 hours sleep per night