Increase in Blood Pressure

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My husband and I are on day 28 of our first Whole 30. He had a dr appointment this morning and his blood pressure was much higher than usual. 140/80, when it's more typically in the range of 120/70. Doctor was a bit concerned given his family history, but agreed to hold off on further action because my husband has a full physical exam scheduled for next month. (FYI, Weight, pulse, etc were all in healthy range; no new or big stressors in our current lifestyle; sleep is good.)

Is a higher than usual BP something that occurs for some folks at the outset of changing to a Whole 30 style of eating? I realize the forum can not dispense medical advice. I am wondering if anyone is aware of something that could be causing this, or tweaks that could be made. We are eating compliant foods, although we include a serving of fruit with one or two meals/day, and have been eating some starchier veggies (mostly sweet potatoes) because we exercise regularly.

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Higher BP is not usually part of Whole30 or paleo, but it is associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, inflammation and high blood sugar, which can be conditions lurking underneath and slow to manifest into noticeable symptoms.


Not sure what's in his usual exam but you may want to check fasted blood sugar, nutrients like potassium/magnesium/calcium/iron/vitamin d/B12 and general blood health (blood has a lot of biomarkers), as well as any existing medications.


He may need blood work to see what's really going on, blood pressure if often a symptom of other things rather than just on it's own.


Chris Kresser has some info which may be of interest, but a trip to the doc would be a really good idea:

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Whole30 doesn't bring about higher blood pressure, but for those of us with strong family histories, it also probably won't keep it entirely at bay forever. More's the pity. I speak from sad experience. My first Whole30s actually lowered my bp to where I could get off of medications for a while. But the bp came roaring back, and it absolutely does not matter what I do, I need two medications to keep it in a range that doesn't cause my doctor to have to do deep breathing exercises in order to calmly keep talking to me about my bp.


This is one of the things I do not like about being human. Urgh. Anyway, when it comes to the bp your husband is registering, medication is not generally the first course of action. Watching and waiting, taking bp fairly regularly for a while, and monitoring how it goes, while following some of the advice Chris Kresser and others like him give, is often very helpful.


At the end of the day, though, eating healthy whole foods is not the thing that causes us to have high blood pressure. Some day someone will research what actually causes it, and then we can figure it out. The hardest thing for me to accept on my journey to accepting my own high bp is that for 95% of us who have high bp, there is no known cause -so we are always and only treating the symptom. It's kind of freaky. I can't understand why researchers wouldn't be interested in the causes (and I'm talking here about those causes that get passed down in family history) but I've noticed that high bp tends to be treated, by the medical establishment, like a lifestyle choice rather than a condition. I'm tiny, eat healthy, and live as stress-free as possible (haha) and I don't fit any profile for high blood pressure, and still, here I am. It's not a lifestyle choice that brought me here, and I promise it's not for your husband either.


Here's hoping that when he gets his bp checked next time, it's back in the usual range. All good thoughts and happy Whole30ing to you both.

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  • 2 years later...
  • Administrators
19 minutes ago, Meena ram said:


i am a new on whole 30(day 6 of my first whole 30). My bp has been fluctuating too much since I started whole 30. Is there any connection ? 

Hi @Meena ram - unfortunately no one here is qualified to discuss your blood pressure with you. There are many factors that can contribute to hypertension and we cannot provide any relevant information based on one forum post on the internet. If you are concerned, please see a physician. 

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