High Diastolic - seems uncontrollable

Posted , 7 users are following.


I have had well controlled high BP for the best part of 20 years, doctors just say it's essential hypertension.

Recently went through a very stressful period and it's all gone wonky again and nothing seems to control it.

It was fairly stable at avg 138/75 but past few weeks has rocketed to 160/95, have had tablets increased to 16mg of candestartan (from 8) just over two weeks ago, and while it went down to normal for a few days, it went back up again!

I do know that I need to lose weight, and that will have a significant impact on my diastolic, so for the next few weeks if I increase my exercise regime to 7 days a week at least an hour a day, because my BP is so high anyway - will I be at any greater risk by doing so much exercise?

What I don't want to do is increase exercise and put more strain on my system - or do I need to get it down before embarking on an increased exercise plan?

Weird thing is, lying down its 135/75 - as soon as I stand up and start moving - that's when it rockets!

Will increasing my activity so much put me at any more risk? I need to lose the weight - and for that I need to increase activity!

0 likes, 14 replies

14 Replies

  • Posted

    The worst thing anyone in the world can do, is start aggressively exercising when they are a bit overweight, it puts a straain on everything, esspecially iff they have been a bit sedentary.

    When I see people jogging on hard surfaces, terrible technique and sweating like a pig, whilst going so red, they look like they are going to collapse at any moment, I shake my head.

    Take up walking, walk a distance, or go cycling or for all round muscle toning, go swimming, that doesn't mean standing around in the shallow end, it means lengths.

    That will be far better for your body. Low impact (you don't want to start jarring your joints) medium physical effort is the best way.

    If I could answer the mystical question about hypertension, i wouldn't be taking pills and I'd be on TV promoting my best selling book, sorry can't help you on that one.


  • Posted


    You didn't give your age or if your over weight or smoke.

    I very skeptical about doctors that just want to shovel ever more drugs down your throat.

    Do doing exercise is important but it does not have to strenuous, it should be just gentle walking on a treadmill and increase slowly according to your ability. Aim for 30 minutes per day.

    You also need to look at your diet. As well as the usual like salt and fatty processed food, I’ve found that simple carbs play a big part. Cut out white bread, rice etc. Cut out sugar.

    If you have anything going in your life either work or private that is stressful, this will also cause your BP to rise. You will need to deal with those issues.

    Try taking-up a hobby that is de-stressful, like country walks, meditation etc.

    Also a lot of people have found a high BP is related to mineral deficiency, such as potassium and magnesium. I increased my dosage of both and found my BP leveling off.  

    Each person is different and you need to carefully look at every aspect of your life and the food and drink you consume. Strip it all back to the very basic (no sugar, no carbs, no alcohol etc) and then slowing introduce foods and drinks, and monitor their effects.

    Use a spreadsheet to log everything and include date and time

  • Posted

    i know what you mean. My BP is regularly 20010/ 95 especially when stressed and I had a thyroidectomy last week when they nearly didn't do it as it was so high despite my candesartan being increased to 24 mg s daily. I had to stop clopidogrel , but have now restarted. I know I will be investigated further, but my life is full of stress as I look after my 94 year old husband with Alzheimer's and he thinks whilst I can stand I can carry on doing eveything. A stroke before Christmas lead to the mass in my neck being found and that has just been removed, but now have to recover from that.

    I cannot exercise at the moment because every appointment happens on the day of my class. I have exercised regularly for over 70 years, but now cannot swim because of neck and back problems. For 82 I think I have done very well so far, but agree that BP seems to fluctuate by the minute. Guess we have to grin and bear it.Incidentall since losing five pounds on hospital food I am determined to keep it off. Good luck

    • Posted

      Hi Jenny,

      Sorry to hear things are so hard for you at the moment. I hope you're getting some help with caring for your husband. It sounds as if you might be, as you mention having spent a few days in hospital.

      As an only child, I coped for nine years with my mother's dementia - the vascular kind rather than Alzheimer's but the symptoms and outcome are the same, of course. I couldn't get any help whatever from the State because she retained the ability to do mental arithmetic to the end. This meant that every time they did the "mental state" test on her, she got a high score, in spite of not being able to remember any of the words she was asked to, and having no idea of the date, year or even the season. In the end, she couldn't find the toilet in her own house, and still we couldn't get any help!

      I can only say, if you are able to get any respite care for your husband, try and use it either to get a rest or to do something you enjoy. That's always beneficial for your blood pressure. It may well be that the thyroidectomy will help things too, even though that will mean taking yet another tablet every day for the rest of your life.

      Your husband is obviously a lucky man to have you around!

  • Posted

    Hi Ian,

    I heartily concur with most of what's been written here. On no account start doing vigorous exercise if you're overweight and not used to it!

    45 minutes of brisk walking 5-6 days a week is fine. So is swimming. But stay away from the traditional "cardio" stuff, it'll kill you. Try taking your BP immediately after a period of exercise. I have a different kind of BP problem from yours, but find there's always a noticeable improvement in the few minutes following a period of moderate exercise.

    All the usual things too - cut down significantly on salt and sugar, and try to stop smoking if you do.

    And please think about trying a magnesium supplement. It's very effective in lowering both systolic and diastolic in many people. When my BP went up from 110/70 to 150/90 in my mid-50s, 375mg of magnesium per day, combined with a modest weight loss, brought it down to 120/80 and kept it there for 15 years without any medication. Provided you stick to the recommended dose, magnesium is very safe. The only side-effect some people notice is diarrhoea, but that doesn't affect everyone.

    I don't know whether you're in the UK but if you are, "the Big B" sells magnesium tablets in a format where two tablets make up a dose of 375mg. This enables you to split the daily dose, which is enough to avoid possible diarrhoea in most cases. It also gives you the chance to start slowly, on a half-dose. Magnesium usually takes at least six weeks to start having an effect on BP, but it can kick in sooner than that in some people, and send BP a bit too low when it's combined with medication.

    I deduce from your post that you've already got your own BP monitor, but if you haven't I'd strongly suggest you get one.


  • Posted

    Hi all, thanks for the tips :-) forgot some key points lol

    I'm 45 in the uk, and am about 3 stone too heavy, always struggled to shift it despite being an avid cyclist - can ride for hours without feeling the strain, other than the "sitting" muscles lol

    Been off the exercise for about 6 months Just worried about getting back into that level of exercise if my BP is so high?

    I can run on my treadmill for 30 mins, or cycle on my bike for a hour, but is that safe with a diastolic pushing 100?

    • Posted

      Since you haven't exercised for six months, maybe it would be safer just to walk on the treadmill initially? Or even - heaven forfend!wink - outside? Cycling sounds good too, as long as you keep it gentle at first. The trick is to get back into exercise slowly after a break like that, particularly if you're overweight and have high BP. Then you can build it up again very gradually.

      However, this won't have much effect on your BP unless you quit smoking (or cut down drastically), reduce your salt intake and cut out refined sugars altogether. So that means keeping junk foods, biscuits etc. for an occasional treat rather than eating them every week. Losing weight is probably the most useful thing you could do.

      Once again, get a BP monitor if you haven't already got one. That way you can check the effect of exercise on your BP.

      Also check your pulse rate while walking. (And while cycling if you can afford a pulsometer.) Your heart rate during or immediately after exercise is a useful indicator of fitness and over-exertion too. The normal recommendation for maximum pulse rate during exercise is 220 minus your age - i.e. 175 in your case. But that's for vigorous exercise by athletes in regular training. Most responsible sites recommend starting at 50-70% of that when (re)starting exercise if you're out of condition. If your pulse rate doesn't come back to normal (for you) five minutes after the end of an exercise period, you need to scale back on the intensity and work up gradually again.

      I'm private-messaging you with a useful link to a reputable medical site discussing exercise intensity. (I'll get modded if I post it here.)

    • Posted

      Yes, why do people ignore walking outside, but will pay and drive to a gym to walk. I have had dogs for the last 20+ years, there is nothing nicer than going out for a walk.

      Forget resistive training of the treadmill, just find an incline to walk up, much better for you.

  • Posted

    Thanks all :-)

    I do go for walks and go outside, walk during lunch - but I add in my treadmill for some extra when I get home from work.

    Gives me a total of an hours worth of walking per day :-)

    Just done 30 mins, 6% incline at 5kmph, so nice and slow to start - pulse was 123-130 and post exercise BP is 153/98, so systolic went down a bit but diastolic stayed static.

    Do feel better after a workout though :-)

    • Posted

      That's way to do it, well dobe....Remember the other things I mentioned and take action around those too.
    • Posted

      That's way to do it, well done Ian....Remember the other things I mentioned and take action around those too.
  • Posted

    Doing loads of extra exercise won't reduce your weight, it will just make you more hungry, you will eat more and put on

    more weight. I lost 8kg by eating a bit less every meal, reducing inter-meal snacks, having black coffee instead of latte, being careful how much cheese I eat and sticking to a low sugar diet. However, you shouldn't torture yourself so I allowed my self a treat of my choosing every week. I have high BP and take 2 meds for it.

    • Posted

      I'm with you on that one, Twiglet. Three years ago, following an accident that made it impossible for me to swallow anything other than fluids for nearly a month, I lost 7kg. And I certainly wasn't exercising during that time - I was too weak and ill. I decided to use this opportunity, and only put back 2kg once I was able to swallow again, which was mainly down to rehydration. And I've kept the other 5kg off ever since, by sensible eating.

      That's not to say exercise isn't important, both in keeping weight down and maintaining health. But exercise alone won't make you lose weight.

  • Posted

    You don't say if you live north where you don't get much son or whether you are an older person, but I do know you can be fit and still be someone overweight like I am.  My blood pressure tends to go down after mowing the yard (no lawn tractor either), doing the trimming and I will be 70 years in 3 months.   I also do indoor exercises using weights and purposely getting my heart rate up to at least 130 to 140  beats per minute.   But, I'm use to these more vigorous exercise and doing yard work too.

    But, in your case you should take it easy on the exercises and work up to a more vigorous routine and if you are older and live in a norther location than 5000IU of Vitamin D3 just may be to solution to bring down your blood pressure where it becomes stable.    I do not take any blood pressure meds at all even though my doctor tried several times to get me on them and decided to do a little experimentation which the doctors do.   So why can't we if it means getting off drugs?  

    If you go the Vitamin D3 (not just any D vitamin) give it a little time to work.   Maybe you can get off those drugs. 

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.