RT Cunningham

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Treating My Hypertension

Tagged with health, hypertension, iodine, rice, salt on December 12, 2023

treating hypertension I was treated several years ago for hypertension in the Philippines, but only for a couple of months. When I saw the doctor again, my blood pressure readings were normal. The hypertension returned in 2021, and I think I know what happened.

Hypertension Causes

There are many causes, and doctors don’t even understand them all. In my case, I think it had to do with consuming too much sodium without being able to excrete the excess. After all, I’m in my 60s, and I’m not as energetic as I used to be. I can’t just sweat it out. I’m sure being overweight has a lot to do with it as well.

My Veterans Affairs doctor prescribed me 50 milligrams of Losartan Potassium per day in October 2021 and when that didn’t work, he raised it to 100 milligrams per day. That’s how much I’ve been taking everyday since then.

I know I need to consume more potassium from what I eat. Although it isn’t always possible, I purposely eat things like bananas, potatoes and avocados. Before you think eating potatoes often isn’t a good idea, I’ll tell you about resistant starches.

Dietary Changes

Resistant starch is dietary starch that “resists” digestion in the small intestine. It’s important for supporting a healthy gut. Some of the regular starches in rice and potatoes (among others) will convert to resistant starches when cooled after cooking. Resistant starches do not release glucose (another name for sugar).

The last time we were in the United States, both my wife and I were diagnosed with prediabetes due to the amount of glucose we had in our blood. That glucose was most likely caused by the starches in the rice we were eating more than anything else. Our nurse practitioner, who also happened to be a Filipino (like my wife), told us about resistant starches. I now cool all of my cooked rice in the refrigerator overnight, and I eat less rice than ever before.

According to studies, oatmeal can reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood and can significantly reduce blood pressure (hypertension is just another name for high blood pressure). I now include oatmeal (without sugar) as one of my meals every day. Hopefully it will also help me lose weight because it makes me feel full longer than other food.

Salt and Iodine

The human body requires salt to live, just not too much of it. Since processed meats usually contain salt, I never add salt to any of my other food. We should never add more than a teaspoon of table salt to anything in any given day anyway, according to the World Health Organization.

Table salt contains iodine. Since I don’t add salt to my food, I need to eat food that contains iodine. One of my relatives had a goiter recently removed because she didn’t get enough iodine from her food. She has always eaten the kind of food that’s supposed to contain iodine, like seafood and eggs.

I’m not taking chances with my health. I take a multivitamin every day, whether I need to or not. Looking at the ingredients, each one contains 150 micrograms of iodine, which is what is suggested by health professionals.

Even if I no longer need it, I will continue taking Losartan Potassium until a doctor tells me otherwise.

Image by Tom Wieden from Pixabay

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