RT Cunningham


I Have Prehypertension and I’m Not Being Treated for It

blood pressure prehypertension My wife, Josie, isn’t happy with me. I took Losartan as a prescription for prehypertension for two months before refusing to take it anymore. It’s a 50 milligram pill a day I can do without. She thinks I need it but I don’t.

Losartan is mostly potassium, which is likely to be what lowered my blood pressure. After the first month, my systolic pressure dropped from 140 to 128. I can’t even be sure that’s what did the trick. I started adding more food and drinks with potassium to my daily diet at about the same time.

Prehypertension Doesn’t Cause Symptoms

The first thing I did when I was diagnosed with prehypertension was to research it. I found everything I needed to know at the Mayo Clinic website.

The only way to detect hypertension (or prehypertension) is by getting your blood pressure checked regularly. They recommend every two years. Apparently, I’ve had prehypertension for more years than I can remember. I had readings of 135-140 over 85 even when I was active in the military.

Full-blown hypertension doesn’t cause symptoms either, until it’s too late. I’m not worried about it. I’m making enough lifestyle changes to keep my condition from progressing.

Food and Drinks with Potassium

Until recently, the juice I was drinking the most was pineapple juice. It’s low in potassium. I switched to orange juice, which is high in potassium.

Potatoes are high in potassium. I was avoiding potatoes (even sweet potatoes) because of how fattening they are. I’m trying to lose my belly, not make it larger. I now eat one hash brown patty with breakfast, when I have eggs and toast. I rarely have bacon or SPAM.

The doctor was treating me for bad cholesterol at the same time. I took Atorvastatin (the generic version of Lipitor) for three months before calling it quits. After all, I’m fully aware of the big cholesterol myth. Again, Josie isn’t happy with me.

Compared to years ago, I eat very little meat or meat products. I have lugaw (rice soup), with ginger root and black pepper, for breakfast almost every other day. I eat more fish, including tuna, than I ever did. Sometimes my dinner consists of nothing but vegetables and rice. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked.

Losing Weight and Getting Exercise

The most important thing I can do to keep my prehypertension at bay is to lose weight. I’m doing that, but it’s a slow process because I can’t exercise as much as I want to exercise. My aging body parts can’t handle much more than what I already do.

Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

I didn’t tell Josie this, but the truth is that I stopped taking the pills due to the side effects and potential reactions. Losartan caused me to have a stuffy nose all the time. Atorvastatin can cause all kinds of reactions, including diabetes.

I would rather have prehypertension and clogged arteries for the rest of my life than to suffer from the effects of the drugs prescribed to prevent those conditions. I don’t have clogged arteries, of course. At least, not yet.

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By RT Cunningham
July 12, 2016