I'm going for an echocardiogram on Oct. 2 to check for LVH--left ventricular hypertrophy. The echocardiogram does not sound too bad. But I do have kidney disease and uncontrolled high blood pressure. I don't know much about LVH, but the little I know does not sound good. Anyone have this, or care to comment?
I've also been diagnosed with LVH (and atrial enlargement) via echo and I've been told it's of no major concern. The meds used to control blood pressure are also supposed to regress LVH thickness (especially ACE inhibitors). Your kidney problems may add something new to the equation, but controlling the blood pressure should prevent progression of LVH.
Yeah. I guess a couple of things about my case (if I can call it that, it's really just me!) concern me. I guess I could say I have uncontroll-able, not just uncontrolled high blood pressure, at least so far.
It's probably got to do with the kidney thing, but by the time they get the meds to a level where they take effect, I'm unable to tolerate the side effects. I don't just mean they make me tired. They make me want to kill myself, and I will be making plans within hours of taking the fat-soluble beta blockers. That's not normally me, by the way. Diuretics have made me lose my hearing, so I had to stop working in the job I did for over twenty years. Calcium channel blockers (apart from causing GERD and Vitamin B12 deficiency from constant use of Prilosec) made my gums swell till I could not eat or sleep, and I lost a tooth to that treatment strategy.
I'm hoping for miracles from Diovan, but with my usual blood pressure now standing at 200/150, I think we'll all be surprised if I manage to hit target.
The other little worry I have is that I run a constant fever (idiopathic, at least so far) and fevers can cause heart disease to worsen rapidly.
And the lovely statistics you find when you look up "hypertensive heart disease"--which the doctor says I have--and "renal disease"; 98% of the sites are tables of mortality. Great.
Hi again Pam:
Is your hypertension a result of kidney problems, or did your hypertension cause your kidney problems? If the former, what recommendations does your doctor have for treating your chronic kidney failure? Seems that would be the first line of treatment.
I'm also on Diovan (360 mg) and it has really helped with the blood pressure (and no side effects!). How long have you been taking Diovan and at what dosage? How long ago did you stop taking calcium channel blockers?
I don't know which came first, really. I had a little blood and protien in the urine about ten years ago, about the time I first started showing high blood pressure. Not too many clues about causation there. I've been nephrotic in the past, when I was recovering from a major infection, but in a couple of years, my numbers improved.
At the moment, my neprhologist says my high blood pressure is not caused by glomerulonephritis (my kidney condition). And it hasn't begun to make my kidneys too much worse, yet, either--cause my numbers are still good. But with a blood pressure this high, that can't go on indefinitely. And that fever of unknown origin bothers the heck out of me.
Diovan is the treatment of choice for my kidney condition, thankfully! As well as the blood pressure, as well as LVH, apparently. Looking to Diovan for miracles, here. I was on Diovan before, along with three other BP meds, when I managed to get my "office" BP down to 150/90. My numbers were even better at home, but I've never been on Diovan alone before. I had been on it for about a year before I was dropped from Medicaid and stopped taking medications due to, ahem, how do you politely say, poverty.
I have been eight months without meds, including calcium channel blockers. Just did a 24-hour urine for adrenal tumors, pheo, and the like. . .turned that in today, and started back on the Diovan.
So, why do you ask? Are you thinking of discontinuing calcium channel blockers? Did you get GERD? Are you on Prevacid?
It sounds like those 8 months without meds didn't help with the hyptertension problem. I'm always amazed how easily the powers that be can find money to fund everything but healthcare. I hope the Diovan helps you get that blood pressure under control. When will you get results back from the tests?
I haven't found Norvasc to be any real problem, although there has been a bit of an increase in palps and the like while on it. Maybe coincidence? No GERD problems, thankfully, but my doctor did prescribe Protonix (which I don't use - much to her chagrin).
Take care and let me know how the tests turn out.
Thank you for being interested in my results, and for being there. I went for the echocardiogram today, and the technician was very nice. He was kind enough to urge me to see a cardiologist in the event my internist did not reccomend one, or refer me. He thinks there may be some way a cardiologist can help get my heart beating more strongly. My heart was beating 120 times a minute; he noted it would do that because it is not beating strongly enough, so it's beating more rapidly to compensate. He said that would probably also help with my shortness of breath.
When he left to let me get dressed, I peeked at the computer screen. There was a number for my right valve, 2.2; my left, 5.6. My sneaky sense of self-diagnosis says that means I do have left ventricular hypertrophy.
I ought to get the results on Monday, I'm thinking.
Here's something that might interest you: I'm an astrologer, and I ran a chart a couple of weeks ago about whether I should look for a job now, or if it would make my health worse. Here's how my illness is described in a textbook used by physicians in 1647(who used astrology to diagnose illness, at that time! frequently kept them from having to visit plague victims):
Moon in Capricorn opposed Saturn:
"The disease proceeds from cold and melancholy, with subtle, thin distillations, heaviness of the Breast and Stomach, difficulty of breathing, dry Coughs, the Lungs oppressed, intended Fevers, more pained in the night than the day-time. Medicines that do heat and moisten moderately do avail in this Disease. I find the party still complaining of the Headache, or pain in the left Ear, or of a Rumbling Noise in his head."
William Lilly, _Christian Astrology_
They worked a lot back then with the symptoms rather than the disease, so this description says nothing about the underlying cause of hypertensive heart disease. But I have to admit, that's a pretty dern good description of my symptoms! I even have the pain in the left ear. The chart I drew up predicted that if I got a full-time job, I'd end up in the hospital. I don't live my life by these predictions, but they often come up true nevertheless. Interesting.
The hypertension symptoms cited in the astrology chart do sound remarkably similar to my own experiences as well. I've not had my astrology chart(?) done, but would be interested to hear what it predicts for the up-coming year.
About your echo results, are the values you posted the chamber sizes? I suppose it's probably a good idea to wait to hear what the radiologist says, rather than speculate. But I'm like you, I'd rather know sooner than later.
Good advice about seeing a cardiologist. Mine has been great and unlike my PCP, was much more selective with the drugs he prescribed to treat my various symptoms. It might also be a good idea to make an appointment with a nephrologist (kidney specialist).
The astrology I do is very practical, and is based on asking and answering questions. So I asked what would happen if I went back to work, and the stars said my health would get worse and I would be hospitalized! The quote I gave you is a description of the Moon in the chart I ran. Surgery is also indicated. I wonder if perhaps I will be getting a pacemaker. It seems possible. It just seems soothing to me to have some idea what I might be in store for, so I can begin to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the possibilities.
If you have more questions about astrology and so forth, I can respond to you offlist if you like: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for encouraging me to see the nephrologist! I already have one, and I have seen him recently. He urged me to have the echocardiogram done, and I'm sure he would cooperate with a cardiologist when I do get to see one.
I'll let you know what I find out on Monday--hoping to get some word from my internist on the results of the test.
Yes, I have had my thyroid checked; it was in the normal range. I have an uncle with CHF. . . and a grandfather (his father) who I suspect had a thyroid problem, along with an enlarged heart. It's harder to tell with the family members who passed on a number of years ago exsactly how their conditions would hae been diagnosed today.
I will look into the site you mentioned, but with my thyroid being normal, is this condition still a possibility?
Got word from my doctor with the echo results. My heart looks pretty bad, I guess. So I have to see the doc so he can get things in order to send the me on to the next stage; off to the cardiologist, where I probably will get more workups.
The doctor said I am "amazingly well-compensated" with an ejection fraction of 20%. He claims a lot of people are in the hospital with an EF like that. He talks about the hospital every time he sees me, I reminded him. Always threatening to hospitalize me for my high blood pressure crises. Never does anything about it.
I hope at least that my routine of resting when I need to and low-sodium diet have been helping.
Oh, well. On to the next stage.
Thanks for your interest, Nancy! Do you have any words of wisdom for me?
You do sound in pretty good shape given your ejection fraction (normal is 60% or above). Did the doctor mention whether you have dilated or hypertrophied heart? Sounds like you have dilated (enlarged)chamber. The only "words of wisdom" I can offer is that regardless of how your heart is right now, there are a number of treatments available to help improve its function. In the short term, I'm sure your doctor (or the cardio) will try everything to get that blood pressure under control. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress, k?