Both my parents had high blood pressure and they had to take medication to control it. It seems that I have inherited their hypertension genes.
In 1988 Mary Ann and I went to England to visit my dad. He was on diuretics and beta blockers to control his elevated blood pressure. I bought a battery operated blood pressure machine for him to use.
On the way to the north of England, where my dad lived, we visited my friend from my college days and his wife. I pulled out the machine and everyone had their blood pressure taken. My friend’s was 160/100. I was shocked to find that mine was 160/100 also. I was also surprised because I was exercising and watching my weight whereas my friend was sedentary and somewhat overweight.
When I got home I did some research and learned that some people are salt sensitive. At that time my favorite lunch was Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. This had 2.2 grams of sodium per can. I stopped eating the soup and I reduced salt in other ways, and my blood pressure dropped to the 140/90 range.
When I switched to a low fat diet in 1998 and lost weight, my blood pressure dropped further. It was typically 126/78 at home.
Skip forward to today and my blood pressure is 134/76. Since the systolic reading is over 130, this counts as one point in the metabolic syndrome measure.