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Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

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Old 09-02-2004, 05:49 AM   #1
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Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

I've had readings of 180/80 - 190/90 my whole life, and I'm only 27. Just yesterday, I went to the chiropractor, and my BP was 190/90. You should have seen her reaction!

Now, the only studies I've seen about Isolated Systolic Hypertension say that it's due to age and the fact that the arteries are hardening. I'm only 27. And I remember having these same readings when I was 14. It can't be the arteries hardening, or can it?

At home, my readings are lower, but still usually in the 150/90 range. It takes several readings in a row to get below 140/90. So, even at home, I'm still pretty high.

Can anxiety cause the systolic to shoot up to 190 while the diastolic stays normal? I'm really starting to freak out. I have my first REAL doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I'm just really frightened as to what his reaction will be when he takes my BP. What if I do have diseased arteries? What if I have an enlarged heart? These what ifs are really getting to me!

I'm just really scared and need some reassurance. Thank you.

Last edited by junior26; 09-02-2004 at 07:24 AM.

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Old 09-02-2004, 06:07 AM   #2
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

Yes. Anxiety causes Isolated Hypertension in me on occasion as well. Go to a doctor. Get him to run all the necessary tests & tell him about your anxiety. Also don't go on one of these SSRI's like Paxil that take 30 days to work. I take xanax & it helps tremendously. Relax. Get the tests done. Stop reading so much on the net. It will only freak you out worse.

Pray that Francis doesn't hit South Florida.

Old 09-02-2004, 06:08 AM   #3
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

Hi Junior,

Boy can I relate. Mine goes up even when I see the cuff coming. I just took mine at home and it was really high. I'm on Effexor for anxiety and that's supposed to raise your BP also. So I'm weaning off of that and just called the doc to maybe get on a blood pressure med. Have you ever been on any meds? It's probably just anxiety if you're anything like me.


Old 09-02-2004, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

Thanks guys. But my BP seems really exaggerated, doesn't it? At home, it's slightly elevated, and at the doc's, it's extreme! And my heart wasn't even beating fast when the chiro took my BP. It seems it's lower when my heart beats faster! At the clinic a few weeks ago, my heart was beating really fast and I was really nervous, much more nervous than yesterday, but my BP was 155/85. Yesterday, it was 190/90 and my heart was beating much slower. My system is really upside down!

It seems to me that most anxious people who take their BP at home get normal results. Mine are still semi-high at home. Sometimes, the 2nd & 3rd readings will be borderline, but that's as low as it'll go. Someone my age should have a WAY lower BP at home, no? What are your readings at home compared to the doc's office?

Guys, I'm so scared to have done damage to my heart, arteries or organs after all these years! Although, I've had 2 EKGs, 1 Chest X-Ray and blood tests, all normal. But I don't believe those tests are really conclusive. If I'd go have an echo done, I'm almost persuaded that that they'd find full of problems! Or am I just freaking out? I know my arteries are very elastic because I can see my neck throbbing 24/7. So I don't think I have atherosclerosis or anything like that. But then, what else can cause ISH in a 27 year old? Or a 14 year old for that matter.

I just want to be a normal 27 year old. And it scares the heck out of me when I read things like this:

"Mild (140-159 mm Hg systolic & 90-99 mm Hg diastolic) and moderate (160-179 mm Hg systolic & 100-109 mm Hg diastolic) are the first two stages of hypertension. Mild hypertension is just as significant as severe hypertension, but many people don't know it or don't take it seriously. Several studies have showed that it can significantly damage the heart and the kidneys. Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) is likely to be present in men with mild hypertension. People with LVH have a greater incidence of arrhythmias than either the hypertensive ones without LVH or the normotensive (normal blood pressure) ones. Kidney functions are also affected in both mild and moderate hypertension."

I've had mild hypertension since I can count! There must be no doubt that I have LVH! Plus, I have a slow heartbeat for an inactive person.

So, obviously I freak out when I read something like this:

"Itís called bradycardia, and usually occurs in older people with a history of heart disease."

Man oh man. I'm gonna have to go see a hypnotist after this! But I'll be sure to let you know how my doc's appointment goes. I surely hope I won't be going to see a cardiologist. Not at my age!

And yes, we should be thinking about Florida's safety. They really have it bad this year. But let's hope this monster dies down.

Last edited by junior26; 09-02-2004 at 11:21 AM.

Old 09-03-2004, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

I agree with you about the high heart rate/low bp thing. I have noticed this too. I also know what you mean about fearing the doctor's reaction when they see your bp. I have found that it helps to take a xanax and to picture getting a good reading and not picturing the doctor calling the ambulance for you! I am the opposite of you in that I tend to have more trouble with a high bottom number. Try to stop worrying so much about all of this-as one laid back doctor said to me--"it isn't going to kill you today and you will probably go from something completely unrelated".

Old 09-04-2004, 05:42 AM   #6
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.


Instead of the chiropractor and the hypnotist, I think you need a visit to the GP for of BP meds. Your BP isn't "isolated" at all. With the 90 diastolic it really is a picture of hypertension in a young person.
How's your weight? If high, it should be your main point of attack along with sodium conrtrol. But in the meantime, give some HCTZ a try. If your BP is that high at 27 it will wreak A LOT of havoc by the time you are 50!

Anxiety will definitely raise it but WHATEVER the cause, a steady 190 is a fast killer and it MUST be lowered.

Make sure you are tested for the several pressure raising tumors (urine tests.)

Last edited by zip2play; 09-04-2004 at 05:43 AM.

Old 09-06-2004, 01:57 AM   #7
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naes HB User
Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

I am the same way. When I take my BP when I feel worried (stomache all crunched and stuffs) my BP is like 130s-140s/60-80. When calm, it's anywhere from 105-125/60-70. So, diastolic doesn't change much.

A question sort of unrelated -- can 17 year olds have plaque build up in their arteries? I'm sure some can, but what are the chances? I don't suspect I do, but until now I haven't worried about heart health at all and I would like to think that I am aware of the risks now and I can keep it from happening rather than "i could be screwed already."


Old 09-07-2004, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

Funny thing, I went to my GP last Friday. Despite the fact that my heart rate was really high and I was EXTREMELY nervous, my BP was 155/85. Yet, at the chiro, where I wasn't nearly as nervous, my BP was 190/90! What's the deal? And when I'm calm at home and take my BP with a digital machine, my BP is 170/104.

Which one's right???

By the way, my weight is fine. 145 lbs. And my BP, as you can see, is hardly at a steady 190. If it was, I'd be dead by now since I've had these readings since the age of 15 or longer. It just seems like my BP is doing the opposite of what it's supposed to. It's lower when I'm extremely nervous and high when I'm calm.

Last edited by junior26; 09-07-2004 at 07:18 AM.

Old 09-07-2004, 10:06 AM   #9
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.


In general, your systolic blood pressure is always high. And even you will admit that only after multiple inflations can you seem to "get it down" to 140 even at home. Even 140 in a 27 year old is not low enough. It should be at or BELOW 120.

Used to be that the medical community thought elevated diastolic #s were what needed attention. Diastolic BP is still important, but now clinicians feel that high systolic #s are a far greater predictor of future cardiovascular problems.

Your GP is being negligent not taking your #s seriously. What did he say about 155? Presumably you've given him a list of your home readings and he knows your history, no?

I know you don't want to hear this but you really should get treated. This is not to scare you but only to let you know that you are in a perfect position now ( i.e. it's not too late) to do yourself a lot of good!

zuzu xxx

Old 09-07-2004, 12:11 PM   #10
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.


With all your going through trying to "figure this in and figure this out" day in and day out, numbers still elevated. It may be best to have a cardiologist check it out. I know this petrifies you, however the not knowing about the what ifs are consuming you. At least this way, everything will be ruled out, if something is the matter, it can be taken care of, and they are very precise in the field of hypertension, medications, and would be your best bet to truly find out why the BP is high during calm situations, yet lower (but not optimal nor normal) during anxiety situations. This will also give you more peace of mind. When I went they had me stand up, take BP, sit down take BP, squat get back up, take Bp, lying down take BP, get back up take BP. Nothing abnormal there. The echo went fine too, no shooting of dyes into your veins or anything, its kinda like a sonogram of your heart, measures size, you see it beating, etc. I know after I finally went to a cardiologist, I found some sense of peace. I was 28 yrs old at that time.

Old 09-08-2004, 01:40 PM   #11
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.

Thanks guys. What bugs me is the fact that when I'm extremely nervous at the doc, my BP is 155/85 using the stethoscope. When I'm relaxed at home with my Lifesource machine, it's 170/105. So I wonder if it's the digital machines that don't work for me, or what?! The "quality" machines at the sorting station at the ER give the same results as my home machine. So what do I trust? Stethoscope or Machine?

If I could check my BP at home with a stethoscope and mercury column, I'm sure it would be very normal seeing that it's 155/85 during extreme anxiety.

My GP didn't really seem to care about my BP at all. She just chuckled and said "Oooh, you're a nervous one!". So she prescribed me some Celexa (an SSRI) and told me to take another appointment for 2 months from now to see if it made my BP go down. If my BP is still high, she said we'll do something about it since they must have 2 separate BP readings on 2 separate occasions before taking action. She didn't seem concerned at all when I told her I've had these readings since my early teens. All she said was "You're still young". She reassured me, but I don't even think she was listening to me in the first place! Plus, there are other heart issues that I didn't even talk to her about, such as scary PVCs and a pretty slow heart rate (low 50's).

But believe me, I would LOVE to have a definite answer as to why my BP is "upside down" like that after all these years. But at the same time, I wouldn't want him to tell me that I've cut 20 years off my life. That wouldn't exactly give me peace of mind because I know that I would be living the rest of my life in fear and depression. That's the precise reason why I'm so scared to go (assuming SOMEONE would refer at some point). When I look at 70 or 80 year olds, all I can tell myself is "They surely didn't have hypertension at my age, so what are the chances that I'll make it to that age?".

Last edited by junior26; 09-08-2004 at 01:41 PM.

Old 09-08-2004, 02:11 PM   #12
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Re: Isolated Systolic Hypertension in young person? Reassurance needed.


Did you by any chance take your LIFESOURCE monitor with you to the doc?
It's hard to determine if your machine is wacky or not. I don't know if you can or want to return it or not. If so, you can try another OMRON.

But first of all, please try to calm down....the mere fact that you care about your health and aren't blithely carrying on without some concern shows that you are on the right track.

Here's what I suggest until you see your doctor in 2 months. Start exercising. Even if you loathe it, it will do your BP (and your anxiety level!) a world of good. Try to at least WALK for 30 minutes 3-4 days of the week. If you can do it on MOST days of the week, that's even better.

Lower your sodium intake to no more than 2400mgs a day. That includes all sodium in store-bought stuff as well as table salt. 1 teaspoon of table salt=2400mgs so you can see how little salt 2400mgs really is. Read all labels carefully.

Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Reduce you saturated fat intake. Olive oil for cooking instead of butter! Lay off fatty red meat and try more chicken (no skin) and fish.
Get some reasonable regular sleep.Alcohol in moderation.

Basically just take care of yourself in these small ways.

You'd be absolutely amazed what regular aerobic exercise does for body and soul. I HATE it but force myself because I know that I start to feel lousy if I let it go. It honestly doesn't take much (as I said, even walking) to give yourself a nice cardiovascular workout. Consistency is the key.

If you do these small things over the course of a couple of months, continue the anti-anxiety med (if it kicks in and starts to help), you'll feel better overall, your anxiety level will go down and hopefully your BP will take a dive with it!

zuzu xxx

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