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Question:

Is my husband's diet affecting his blood pressure? 

My husband is having high blood pressure spikes when he eats carbohydrates and dairy products. He is 59, 6' 170-175 lbs, so not overweight. He does like his salt, chewing tobacco, light beer 4-6 cans at night, eats mainly meat, pasta sometimes, not much of a bread/vegetable/fruit person, however, does drink 8 -10 oz vegetable juice per day. He is on high blood pressure medicines - Lisinopril & Metoprolol, and baby aspirin. It's getting harder to find food he can eat without spiking his blood pressure. He does not think his habits are the problem - a continuing disagreement. Your comments, please. 

submitted by Jeanine from Orange County, California on 8/26/2012

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott R. Sherron, MD  

Scott R. Sherron, MDClearly the diet you describe is not optimal for a patient with high blood pressure (or anyone for that matter!).  

Having said that, not everyone has a direct BP response to dietary indiscretions and high blood pressure can be present regardless of diet. However, you mention that your husband's BP specifically spikes with certain foods, so it seems self-evident that he is sensitive to diet. He would likely still require BP meds, even with a better diet, but it would likely be easier to control, and his overall health would be improved.  Finally, most people make significant and successful life-style changes only when they are personally committed and really want to change.

Hope this is helpful.

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Updated September 2012
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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