Health issues 2.
I hadn't even sat down in the Doctor's waiting room before I got called in. It was a different Doctor this time who was tall, lean, possibly foreign and seemed to have a gentle manner about him. This, I thought, was looking promising.
"How can I help you today?"
"Your colleague has asked for some blood tests as I appear to have high blood pressure"
"Ah yes I see [reading the computer screen] they are indeed high. And I see this might be having an impact on your kidney function. There's no need to worry, we can get this sorted out and it's good you've come to us in plenty of time about this, some men ignore any symptoms until things are serious".
A conversation took place about my lifestyle. Keeping fit, teetotal, vegetarian, smoke free, good weight and so on. My cholesterol was a really good score apparently along with a number of other measurements. He went onto say my cholesterol reading would be the envy of many of his colleagues. He was perplexed: "I don't really understand why your blood pressure is raised as you appear to be doing everything right. Nevertheless we have to deal with it and I'll prescribed some tablets to make your blood vessels a little softer and more flexible to allow the pressure to come down".
"Thank you" I said "that's fine but I wish there was a way of dealing with this issue without taking tablets".
"Sorry, what do you mean?"
"I've made it this far without having to be treated for anything and I'd like to continue this way if I can. If only it was as simple as having an extra apple each day". I mentioned my eyesight problems which he was understanding about.
Then a lengthy conversation took place which I was, in hindsight, amazed at. The Doctor started talking about the benefits of being vegetarian as apparently it is kinder on our kidneys and other things. He went onto say beetroot can help with blood pressure, in particular beetroot juice.
"Actually if you're interested, you can get some pretty good juicers these days and I've bought one myself!"
The Doctor then explained the different between different machines. Some are brilliant and extremely efficient at extracting the juice from vegetables and fruit. Others are less good and extracting the juice but are a lot easier to clean and are cheaper - this is the type he bought recently - a Bosch model.
The conversation was concluded by:
- start taking the tablets. One a day, 5mg. Avoid grapefruit.
- go and look into juicing, especially beetroot.
- carry on running, cycling, doing weights in the gym.
- keep my heart rate to about 150bpm when doing cardio. Any further blasts to be done sparingly and limited in time as he doesn't want me to have a stroke.
- see me again in a month.
I thought that was a pretty amazingly consultation with my Doctor. Must have been a maximum of 5 minutes going through the results and deciding what medication to prescribe (standard stuff I guess). This was followed by at least 10 minutes talking about the benefits of juicing, being a vegetarian and being a runner.
This Doctor was cool and I like him!