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Old 10-19-2004, 03:50 AM   #1
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Unhappy Feels like my life is falling apart.

Hello all,

I've just gotten back from my GP's (yea, him ) and have been reffered to see a specialist for an ultrasound on my stomach to check for Gallstones and/or a hernia. this in itself is not spectacular, I asked my doc to check my BP also it was a staggering 170/118 yes, I was nervous (white coat for sure), stressed and am in constant pain but, is that enough to make the numbers so high?

The doc wanted to put me on Atenolol again, I told him 'no' and so he has just given me a prescription for Amlodipine Besilate I have no idea what that is or what class of drugs it belongs to and I really don't want to take any medication but, with numbers so high do I have a choice?

I have no home BP monitoring kit so I am reliant on a doc who makes me uncomfortable - I must get myself one this weekend - and his advice? 'there is no point in getting a home BP kit. Come here every 4weeks for me to check it' this remember, is the same guy who told me that losing weight is not proven to reduce BP so, as you can imagine I am not prone to believe or trust his words on this issue. I feel helpless though, I cannot change doctors until next year and this is a big problem as these past 2months my health seems to have just broken down for some reason and I am finding myself a the doc's almost every week...

I am 60lbs overweight and 27 y.o and in August and early September had massive Anxiety problems which I've overcome now but, since that very first massive anxiety attack that I had in August the health problems seem to keep on coming. What would people suggest my next move should be in the predicament I am in? I am almost phobic of medication but I do realise that if i have to take it after all other options are exhausted I will/must. But I still feel it is too premature for a lifetime of drugs as I know that is what the doc wants. I don't even know my true resting BP as I've never had it taken when I wasn't anxious and under interogation at a hospital/doctors. I don't want to sound like I am in denial it is just very hard to know where reality begins these days as the last 2months have seen me become a hermit in bed for one pain or another (this all feels like one bad dream) ARG!!! Just don't know what to do anymore!!

Thanks for reading my rant (if you got to the end ) please advise if you can.

Scout

 
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:35 AM   #2
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Scout,

Your under alot of stress for one. Second, I sure hope you have your paperwork in order at the beginning of the year to immediately change doctors. Your medicine-it is along the lines of Norvasac-change the i to y in searches to read Amlodipine Besylate, and you will find plenty of information on this drug.

You will be making a good investment in a BP machine, your current doctor is extremely nonchalant with an attitude that monitoring your own BP is worthless and losing weight not affecting it too. They just want you to be a life long patient, with more health problems to keep coming back.

 
Old 10-19-2004, 05:50 AM   #3
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

It sounds like a script for Norvasc. This is a Calcium Channel Blocker. It will probably do the exact opposite of atenolol. It works by dialating your blood vessels. Unlike atenolol, it will actually increase cardiac output. This should improve exercise tolerance making it possible to shed the extra weight. However, it might make your anxiety worse.

Also, it has a half-life of over 30 hours. So, it should give good 24 hour coverage. On the flip side, it will take a while to clear from your system. But, unlike atenolol, you should be able to just stop taking it if you run into problems. It doesn't have that rebound effect.

Pal

 
Old 10-19-2004, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Scout, I have a lot of advice & thoughts for you.

have no home BP monitoring kit so I am reliant on a doc who makes me uncomfortable - I must get myself one this weekend - and his advice? 'there is no point in getting a home BP kit. Come here every 4weeks for me to check it' this remember, is the same guy who told me that losing weight is not proven to reduce BP so, as you can imagine I am not prone to believe or trust his words on this issue. I feel helpless though, I cannot change doctors until next year and this is a big problem as these past 2months my health seems to have just broken down for some reason and I am finding myself a the doc's almost every week...

I am 5' 11 151 Pounds & I take Lotrel 5/20 & 100 MGS of Atenolol, so losing weight is a start, but I wasn't even trying to. Last year at this time my b/p was maybe 5 points higher. I was 156-158 when I started taking B/P meds. I have quit drinking, eat better & have done everything right. I feel like going to the doc's every week as well (because of the med side effects).... the meds. are extremely powerful & can make you feel worse than when you started. Trust me, I know. I have every test run & there is nothing wrong. Then why can't I wean off of Atenolol or get off of the drug entirely if all it does is cause me misery..... because the doc. needs repeat appointments. Feeling like you have health problems, all I can recommend is getting a blood test, thyroid check, EKG & chest xray. I did all of this & I still feel like junk..... it's the meds.



I am 60lbs overweight and 27 y.o and in August and early September had massive Anxiety problems which I've overcome now but, since that very first massive anxiety attack that I had in August the health problems seem to keep on coming. What would people suggest my next move should be in the predicament I am in? I am almost phobic of medication but I do realise that if i have to take it after all other options are exhausted I will/must. But I still feel it is too premature for a lifetime of drugs as I know that is what the doc wants. I don't even know my true resting BP as I've never had it taken when I wasn't anxious and under interogation at a hospital/doctors. I don't want to sound like I am in denial it is just very hard to know where reality begins these days as the last 2months have seen me become a hermit in bed for one pain or another (this all feels like one bad dream) ARG!!! Just don't know what to do anymore!!


I understand... this all started for me with my 1st panic attack at 19 months ago. I'm 34 now. I was drinking too much at the time & that was the culprit, so I quit. Do I feel great now? No. I never had anxiety issues before the meds., but that has all changed. I have checked my b/p religously for 19 months & have kept a log. I usually check it about 12 times a month. It has gotten old. I would even go to the drug store once a week or so & check it at least. I would try to avoid meds. if I could.

 
Old 10-19-2004, 01:07 PM   #5
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Hi Scout,
It's me , Cass. Let me first say I honestly feel for you. I have been exactly where you are but with out an internet to intract with others. I felt so alone and like I was the only one in the world with this problem. It's true what AX says. Meds do make people feel differently. They all have some form of side effects but some of us do need them to keep our health. I think you probably do need some form of medication to get your BP down and then you can work on losing weight and possibly getting off the medication. Norvasc is (in my opinion) not a good choice for someone with anxiety. I tried it, and me being extremely anxious about my heart and BP, it made things worse for me. It made my heart rate go up considerly and that in turn made my anxiety worse and my BP just went higher. I wish your dr would consider an Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB). Most people get good results on these with very few if any side effects.
I too am med phobic. It takes me days to start a new med. I have had so many bad experences with medication I can't begin to tell you all of them but with my ARB - NADA not ONE side effect!
Do get a monitor though, at least do that and check your BP a couple of times a day.
Take care of yourself,
Cass

 
Old 10-20-2004, 02:26 AM   #6
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Thank you all for replying. I'm quite confused right now but I have some questions I hope you guys can answer:

1. Could having digestive problems raise BP? I may have gallstones, I have a pretty constant pain in the right side under my ribcage my doc thinks is/are gallstones.

2. This drug, Norvasc does it definitely not interfere with weight loss? This is an important issue for me as I am the exercising type and if possible I will be going down that road to lose all my excess weight and hopefully regulate my own BP.

3. Does anyone know of any exercises that improve circulation, especially in the arms? After my BP test at the GP my arm took about 30minutes to fully recover...I know that is definitely not normal and am almost positive that I have very poor circulation..in turn can poor circulation effect BP readings?

4. Since all this has happened I have found myself getting obssessive about this whole issue and in turn I guess I am worrying most of the time, how much am I affecting my own BP with this? I know specifics can't be given as in how many points I may have raised it by but, in general how bad is this in terms of messing with BP readings?

5. If I do go on this drug but it doesn;t agree with me what potential does it have to mess me up even more concerning my BP.. bearing in my mind I cold turkey went off Atenolol 25mg after only 17days less than a month ago? I am very worried I could do my harm then good going on, and then possibly going off this new drug, it is a big concern and one of the main reasons I haven't started this new drug yet.

Thanks again for yor time. It is assuring to have a board like this to come to when you are in need of help

Scout

 
Old 10-20-2004, 06:11 AM   #7
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

. Could having digestive problems raise BP? I may have gallstones, I have a pretty constant pain in the right side under my ribcage my doc thinks is/are gallstones.

If you are in pain of any sort if can raise your b/p. The B/P meds. mess with my digestive system (Lotrel & Atenolol).

2. This drug, Norvasc does it definitely not interfere with weight loss? This is an important issue for me as I am the exercising type and if possible I will be going down that road to lose all my excess weight and hopefully regulate my own BP.

A lot of B/P meds. mess with your ability to excercise (i.e. run) as much or as long as before. B/P meds. have actually made me lose weight, because they make me feel like junk, so I guess it really matters.

3. Does anyone know of any exercises that improve circulation, especially in the arms? After my BP test at the GP my arm took about 30minutes to fully recover...I know that is definitely not normal and am almost positive that I have very poor circulation..in turn can poor circulation effect BP readings?

Yoga would be good for you. The excercises really help with circulation.

4. Since all this has happened I have found myself getting obssessive about this whole issue and in turn I guess I am worrying most of the time, how much am I affecting my own BP with this? I know specifics can't be given as in how many points I may have raised it by but, in general how bad is this in terms of messing with BP readings?

That is what happens when you go to a doc. & get diagnosed with HBP & they put you on meds. 19 months of readings later, 3 doctors, 1 specialist & 2 psychiatrists & none of it has really helped. My B/P is 116/66, but don't let it rule your life. I usually take mine about 12 times a month at different times. I am going to cut that down. I drive my g/f crazy with all of this b/p talk. Relax.

5. If I do go on this drug but it doesn;t agree with me what potential does it have to mess me up even more concerning my BP.. bearing in my mind I cold turkey went off Atenolol 25mg after only 17days less than a month ago? I am very worried I could do my harm then good going on, and then possibly going off this new drug, it is a big concern and one of the main reasons I haven't started this new drug yet.

It is all part of the process. I was on Altace, Toprol, Verapamil+ before my new regimen of Lotrel & Atenolol. I would love to wean off of the Atenolol. My blood tests were perfect in May, so I wouldn't really worry about it too much. The trial & error part does s**k.

 
Old 10-21-2004, 08:23 AM   #8
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Thanks for the reply Axe.

Can anyone else contribute what they know also? These are important issues for me need as much info as possible!!

 
Old 10-21-2004, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Hi Scout, I can only relate to questions 1, 4 and 5.

1. I had gall stones several years ago and had to have my gall bladder removed. I went through the pain for a few months before the dr found out the cause and it did not affect my BP.

4. As far as worry goes no one coud be as obsessive over HBP as me. I would fantasize about havig a heart attack almost constantly. It affected my work and my personal life but thankfully not my body. I have been fighting out of control BP for 25 yrs and Thankfully, as of last March it had NOT damagd my body.

5. Norvasc is not like a beta blocker. You can stop after taking it with no ill affects.

Hope this helps a little but as you know all of us are so different
Cass

Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 10-21-2004 at 01:39 PM.

 
Old 10-21-2004, 04:57 PM   #10
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Hi Scout....All I can tell U is, not all BP meds. agree with everyone, and trying to find the right one, or combo for some folks is a hassle..I was one of them.

At first they had me on Altace, an Ace drug, it did nothing for my BP, gave me lousy side effects, but dr. thought it was a GREAT drug and wouldn't take me off for almost 2 yrs. I finally got ticked off and told her to either switch me, or I ain't taking anything. She finally put me on 25 mgs. of Atenolol with the Altace, as I was getting terrible heart palps. Once I was on the Atenolol, I took myself off of the Altace and started to feel fine. New dr. shoved me on 50 mgs. of Atenolol and I felt like junk, so I cut it back to 25, so he put me on 150 mgs. of Avapro with it. It took a few months, but except for some back pains, and alot of urinateing, which the dr. swears isn't the drug, I feel ok.

Norvasck is a CCB, and I'm not familiar with them, but if I were U, ask your dr. about an ARB like Diovan, Avapro etc., as they seem to be well tolerated by most. If U could go off of Atenolol with no problems, U will have no problem going off most anything else, so that is a plus for you.

Try not to get overly obssesed with your BP, I know it is hard, as I too was like that at one point, thought I was totally going to lose my mind. Trust me, it doesn't help one bit, only makes things worse.

As far as pain raising your BP, yes I do believe it can. I know when I was having some GI problems and alot of diarrhea, my BP was up 90% of the time, and my pharmacist told me diarrhea will make your BP go up. I know when my hubby and my oldest son have a headache, their BP goes up, and my son is now going to school to be a nurse, so I ask him alot of questions. Hope he finishes school soon so he can take care of his ageing mom and dad...

If U want to exercise, that is great, as it will also help with the BP, so even if U have to start off slow and work your way up, do so, it will help. U could go to a local YMCA or something like that just to get started, as I think they have folks there to try and help with what might be best for U.

I truly wish I had more answers for ya, but this is the best I can offer. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I truly hope U are feeling better soon. Please don't feel alone, we are all in this yucky thing together....

Last edited by JJ; 10-21-2004 at 05:07 PM.

 
Old 10-22-2004, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

I know when I was having some GI problems and alot of diarrhea, my BP was up 90% of the time

Did this have anything to do with the Atenolol. If so, I understand.

 
Old 10-22-2004, 11:41 PM   #12
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Thank you Cass, Axe, JJ for sharing your experiences and info on this subject, I'm slowly getting the info that I need. I'm going to buy my Home BP kit today and I cannot believe I am nervous doing so >_< Axe is right when he says once the doc mentions HBP your entire system freaks out. Like you Cass I am constantly concerned about my heart now as well

I cannot believe that 2months ago I had no cares in the world, was exercising and losing weight and had no fears/phobias/anxiety and now I feel like a shakey hermit My state of mind is not helping this any I guess but, I find that these days I am taking every day as one step at a time....a week feels like an eon for me these days and I have found myself writing a daily journal putting in what wierd and wonderful thing happened to me on which day great!

Zuzu or Zip I'd really appreciate your knowledge on some of my questions as others have tried to the best of their ability to answer but are unsure over questions 2 and 3 especially. I would be grateful if you could share some of your extensive knowledge on these subjects with me. I feel a bit lost, don;t know where else to get the answers from.

Thanks

Scout

 
Old 10-23-2004, 09:10 AM   #13
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Hi Scout,

I have been taking Norvasc 10 mg. for almost a year now. It did cause some adema in my ankles, but my diuretic was increased to handle the adema. I did not notice any weight gain whatsoever. It is, however, listed among the very rare side effects. I really don't think you should worry about weight gain.

As far as the arm circulation goes, I asked my son who is into weight training and he suggested bicep curls.

I hope this helps you. Good luck.

 
Old 10-23-2004, 10:30 AM   #14
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Scout,

Go to lif*******.com. You can track your b/p+. I have done so for 19 months now. Last year at this time on the meds. I was 126/77, now I am 116/66. It shows that I can bring it down with lifestyle changes.

I don't understand all of this talk about weight gain. I have actually lost about 5-7 pounds & about 3 inches in my waist. I also quit drinking alcohol (99.9%) of the time. I just don't feel as hungry as before & I hate driving out in the hot sun (yes it is still hot in Florida).

My sleep patterns are also ************ on the drugs. My girlfriend hates it, because either I have a hacking cough, or I sleep like a log & she can't move me.

Gotta love those Beta-Blockers, Altace, Toprol & Lotrel.

Gonna try to play tennis today. At 34 & in great shape 5' 11" 151, I will let everyone know how it goes. I'm afraid.... just like I have been afraid of a lot more ever since I have been on these stupid meds.

 
Old 10-23-2004, 11:42 AM   #15
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Re: Feels like my life is falling apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout-
This drug, Norvasc does it definitely not interfere with weight loss?
Scout,
No one can say definitely about how a particular drug may affect one person and not another. The two most common side effects of Norvasc are headache and edema. Usually if there is weight gain, it would be due to water retention, but that would be pretty obvious early on. (Ankle swelling).

Quote:
Does anyone know of any exercises that improve circulation, especially in the arms? After my BP test at the GP my arm took about 30minutes to fully recover...I know that is definitely not normal and am almost positive that I have very poor circulation..in turn can poor circulation effect BP readings?
I honestly doubt you have poor circulation. It's much more likely that the GP overinflated the cuff and/or in your anxious state you were tensing your arm.
Was your arm completely relaxed, and supported by the doc when he took the reading?
Otherwise you virtually have to perform isometric muscle contractions!!!.. which can not only increase the diastolic pressure, but will contribute to discomfort afterwards.

Definitely find another physician when you can...Being 60 lbs overweight contributes mightily to hypertension and weight loss is one of the (if not THE) single most effective thing one can do to bring down BP.

Let us know the results of the ultrasound etc. Chronic pain is devastating and as everyine has agreed, certainly contributes to elevated BP readings.

Did you buy your own monitor yet? Don't get yourself into a tizzy about it. We'll all help you with this.. Experts that we are!

I understand the anxiety about doing it...especially if you're only 27 (it's like Hey..I'm just a kid, why do I have to even be THINKING of this stuff???)

zuzu xxx

Last edited by zuzu8; 10-23-2004 at 11:46 AM.

 
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