Archive | January, 2010

Me. On a Mission.

29 Jan

High Blood Pressure. Hypertension. High BP. Pain in the You-Know-What. Whatever you want to call it, I have it.

Let me give you a little background. I used to have normal blood pressure. In May 1998 (age 32), I got pregnant with my first child. In December 1998, she was born by emergency c-section because my BP had spiked to something like 210/120. Stroke range. They told me it was pregnancy-induced hypertension and it would probably return to normal in a matter of months. Two more babies and it was still high. I was told by my regular physician that BP meds were going to be a fact of life for the rest of my life so I started taking Lisinopril (20mg/day). Then in February 2009, my BP was starting to creep up, so my doctor doubled my dosage.

Six months later, I developed a cough that wouldn’t quit. My doctor ran a multitude of tests and found nothing. He gave me a prescription for a cough syrup with Codeine (umm…hello?!). In November, it was still there — 3 months later! I made an appointment with a PA at my doctor’s office. In the first 5 minutes, he informed me that a side effect of Lisinopril (and all other ACE inhibitors) is a nagging cough. (WHY didn’t my regular physician who prescribed the med know that?!). He changed my prescription to Diovan. One week later, I was in the ER having a severe allergic reaction to it. It was time to find another way to go.

I started re-reading a book my mom had bought me 5 years earlier — “Reversing Hypertension” by Dr. Julian Whitaker. I did a truckload of research online. I went to the local health food stores and had consultations with the experts there. I bought some supplements and starting really watching what I was eating.

A week later, it was still way up there (170s/120s). Time to talk to my chiropractor. Not only is he the most brilliant chiropractor I know, he is extremely knowledgeable in most everything health related. I had run various things past him many times, especially relating to the health of my kids. I needed someone I know and trust to tell me that I CAN get it under control without drugs. And he did. He also told me I HAD to get my stress level down. He gave me an herbal stress-reliever made with Valerian root. Give it 6 months to come down, he said.

By mid-December, I was getting regular readings around 155/110. I was getting closer! And then the holidays hit — Stress City. And then the worst. Three days into 2010 and my beloved Mac crashed. As a graphic designer, this was a major blow. No surprise — my BP was out of control.

I decided to return to Dr. Whitaker’s book. He offers a Quick Start Diet. He recommends that you start it immediately if your BP is stage 2. And you stay on this diet until your BP returns to normal, up to 6 weeks. It was time for drastic measures and this diet is drastic: just steamed brown rice, vegetables and fruit. That’s it. Every day. Every meal. No meat, dairy, legumes, sugar, nuts, eggs, oil, etc. You can season with herbs, spices (no salt) and fruit juices. Like I said…drastic.

On January 18, I started the Whitaker Quick Start Diet.

This is the blog of my life while working toward my ultimate goal — 120/80.