Doctors Answer The Question:
Can Weight Loss Lower Blood Pressure?
If you're overweight, losing even 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) can lower your blood pressure. As you slim down, it may be possible to reduce your dose of blood pressure medication — or stop taking your blood pressure medication completely. Don't make changes to your blood pressure medication on your own, however. Do so only after getting your doctor's OK. - Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.- Mayo Clinic
Yes, I treat obesity at the smart for life center in Boca Raton. I regularly take patients off blood pressure medication because as they lose weight they have a great reduction in blood pressure. Typically they need to lose at least 10% of body weight to see a difference. Many complain of being light headed thinking its the diet, but when I give them the good news that its probably their BP meds being too strong now that they lost weight and they need to reduce them, they are real happy. Never stop any medication without talking to your doctor. - Dr. Sasson Moulavi
How Losing Weight Changes Your Heart
Heart health gets a major boost from even a small amount of weight loss.
See what slimming down can do for your ticker.
"There is no doubt that just by losing 5 to 10
percent of your body weight, you can reduce the risk of heart attack and
stroke," says E. Dean Nukta, MD, medical director of interventional cardiology at
Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital.
Happens to Your Heart As You Lose Weight?
what losing 10 percent of your body weight would look like.
weight reduces your heart’s workload, says Dr. Nukta. Blood vessels supply the
heart with the blood it needs to keep pumping. As you shed pounds, there’s less
fat lurking around and forming plaque that can build up and clog your coronary
arteries, causing a heart attack. Reduce your
weight, reduce your risk. "There is
a direct relationship between a healthy weight and blood pressure. If you lose
weight, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure medications or even
eliminate them," Nukta says.
fats. The blood fats, or blood lipids, in your bloodstream change when you shed
pounds. “Weight loss can make your triglycerides go down, your LDL cholesterol go down, and your HDL cholesterol go up,"
says Nukta. That means there are more good cholesterol and less bad cholesterol
and fat floating in your bloodstream.
blood slows down and can form clots. Healthy weight and lower blood pressure
generally mean fewer blood clots, so slimming down slightly makes it less likely
that a clot will break away and travel to your heart, lungs, or brain.
around the belly and the heart are especially detrimental to heart health. A
2011 study published in the journal Cardiology found that even normal-weight people with a
“beer belly” or “muffin top” and heart disease have an increased risk of death than
those with differently distributed weight. And research shows that hidden fat
around the heart may be an even bigger indicator of cardiac
disease than the waistline.
Yes, weight loss can lower high blood pressure. The amount that weight loss will lower high blood pressure varies from person to person, however. Some people may find that weight loss of even 5-10 pounds may bring their blood pressure to a normal level and eliminate the need for medication to treat their high blood pressure. Others may still require some medication to control their high blood pressure. Regardless of how much it impacts high blood pressure, healthy weight loss is reasonable step to take as a part of a healthy lifestyle. - Dr. Lisa M. Knust of Riverside Primary Care Physicians
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Article By: Melissa Sperl
The weight-heart connection is simple: Weight loss is an important shield against coronary heart disease. If there is heart disease in your family, or you're on prescriptions for blood pressure, or your doctor warns you about extra heart risks you may feel a bit like disease is your destiny.
But take heart. In its Guidelines for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, The National Institutes of Health report that a 5 to 10 percent weight loss can make a huge difference.
But first, find out what losing weight can do for you. It will:
Put a stop to scary numbers. "Obese people frequently have abnormal blood-cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure, and even sometimes bigger hearts," says Dr. Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. All of these things are risk factors for heart disease, but losing weight can help you reverse them.
Do double duty. Overweight and obesity are independently linked to heart disease, too. "Until a few years ago, it was thought to be an indirect link (for example, weight causes cholesterol, cholesterol causes heart disease), but now we know that even if blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, extra weight can mean extra risk for heart disease," says Karen Miller-Kovach, Weight Watchers chief scientist. So when you lose weight, often what you end up getting are double and triple benefits you'll lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and you'll conquer a primary risk factor for heart disease.
Work over time. You don't have to wait for your weight goal to see a difference in your heart health. "When it comes to heart disease and weight, there's an exponential curve," says Miller-Kovach. "A little bit of extra weight increases your risk for heart disease a little bit, and vice versa." In the same way, a little bit of weight loss decreases your risk a little bit, and vice versa again.
According to a 2006 report published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, "diet and lifestyle therapies remain the foundation of clinical intervention for prevention." In other words, while drug treatments and surgical procedures can treat cardiovascular disease, the best protection you can get comes from eating right and exercising.
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