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Old 12-05-2004, 07:40 AM   #1
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Question Despondent

I have subscribed to the axiom, "For every gain there is a sacrifice," but with the myriad of blood pressure meds and their side effects, I am becoming more cynical. The ace inhibitors seem to be the most effective in controlling my bp, yet as a person who's always been physically active, they exacerbate the joint and muscle pain, limiting any regimented exercise, which ironically is beneficial for hypertension. The latest, Accupril, also caused severe upper abdominal pain.

Beta blockers make me so lethargic, I feel like a zombie. They also have the tendency to give me Raynaud's disease. (Seems like any of the meds that fall into the "blocker" category have that effect.)

Diuretics? The reverse effect: retaining fluids, distended abdomen, difficulty in urination.

At 52 years old, I don't think one should have to sacrifice the quality of life to benefit from a brief reprieve of temporarily controlled bp. I am so frustrated, I'm seriously considering risking the consequences sans the meds to resume the life now restricted by side effects.

Suggestions?

Thanks for any feedback,

~Anna~

 
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:11 AM   #2
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Re: Despondent

Are you new to the hypertension diagnosis? Has your doctor tried ARB or calcium channel blockers? I ask because I too went through a gauntlet of several meds (diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors), and while each had its own unique way of making me feel like crap, none actually resolved my HTN problem. I finally went to see a hypertension specialist who said ACE with BB was a "toxic combination", and prescribed Diovan and Norvasc. Have had no side-effects and the HTN is finally under control. I hope you consider asking your physician to change your meds, rather than taking the drastic action of stopping them altogether.

 
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Old 12-05-2004, 04:46 PM   #3
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Re: Despondent

Anna

Are we really vintage, lol? I will be 52 on Dec., 26th. I thought that you might be in your seventies, when I saw your screen name!

Your post put me on a 3 hour google of hypertension, and all the causes. The science is so complex. My head is dizzy from thoughts of aldosterone, renin, angiotension converting enzymes, primary and secondary hypertension. Whew, no wonder doctors just try to find a drug that controls our BP, instead of doing many expensive test, that in the end, may be inconclusive.

My BP is under control, but at a cost. I can't figure out the total cost either, because I have other health problems that are contributing to my feeling like hell, most days. (heart disease, CAD, and pre-diabetes).

My wife had a sudden onset of high BP about 6 weeks ago, and is having trouble getting it down. I guess that is why I read this board at this time. There are many here that have struggled like yourself.

I read that approximately 5% of hypertension is classified as secondary hypertension. Which is usually caused by the renal arteries (blockages) of the kidneys and tumors on the adrenal glands. The rest of us with high BP have primary=essential=ideopathic (unknown cause) hypertension.

You probably already knew this...and you probably know that untreated high BP will kill you, in time, due to causing strokes, heart disease, vascular disease, kidney failure and other things that I know nothing about. So far I have had a light stroke and a heart attack, so I guess that I don't worry about the side affects of the medicines. I work in my home as I can, tinkering with computers, while my wife slaves on. I don't have an honest days work in me most times, so I am at a distinct advantage over people that have to work full time and live with these meds. I guess my message is try the best you can to live a health lifestyle before it is too late. Try your best to find the right medicine or combination of meds, eat right, and get exercise. Stop all the unhealthy habits.

I can really relate with BB's producing symptoms of Raynaud's disease, and the reverse effect of diuretics. You are the first to mention this that I have read about. I have a prescription for Lasix, but darn it hurts my bad kidney and makes me feel bad. Sometimes I don't urinate anymore than usual either. So I really quit taking it. It wasn't prescribed for BP control for me. It was for a bout with fluid on the lungs, and fluid retention in general.

Have you tried to reduce your intake of sodium? When we are young, our body can overcome or compensate for many bad habits, but when you get to our age (vintage lol), you have to start giving serious thought to what you eat. It's pure heck, this aging deal. but the other alternative is not so great either, lol.

Has your doc done any serious investigation into why your BP is high? Has he ruled out secondary hypertension? Most times this is curable, I have read. I think that Kine seeing a hypertension specialist, is a great idea for people such as yourself. I think that there is good research out there on different reasons or causes of primary hypertension, even though it is ideopathic. I think also that insurance companies had rather a GP or PCP deal with high BP by throwing meds at you until one works, instead of seeing a specialist that could do some testing with your blood and maybe determine what drug might be best for you. I developed this opinion while reading just a while ago at a site that mentioned it was "uneconomical" to test for secondary hypertension, because < 5% were classified as such.

Hang in there and do what's best for you

Jack

 
Old 12-06-2004, 06:34 AM   #4
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Despondent

Anyone who get bad results with edema control should stagger the diuretics...maybe twice a week at double dosae. It really makes a difference.
I find that when I'm "squishy" the diuretic works much better at diuresis than when I'm "normal," almost self regulating (and I like that aspect.)

Vintage Lady,
I think you should give ARB's a shot. They are the easiest on our systems and usually produce no untoward side effects. They are usually not strong enough for monotherapy and $$cost$$ a lot, but any port in the storm, eh?

Last edited by Lenin; 12-06-2004 at 06:49 AM.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Despondent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
I think you should give ARB's a shot. They are the easiest on our systems and usually produce no untoward side effects. They are usually not strong enough for monotherapy and $$cost$$ a lot, but any port in the storm, eh?
I second the ARB. I would expect similar BP control to your ACEI. So, if the ACEI is working, the ARB should work equally well with fewer side effects.

And, yes, they are expensive. If you are paying out of pocket, Benicar is a good choice because it is splittable and the 40's are the same price as the 20's. If the 20mg dose works for you, you can get the 40's and split them. This will cut your costs in half. And, it will put the costs inline with most generic ACEIs (except captopril; this one is dirt cheap).

Pal

Last edited by Palamedes; 12-06-2004 at 07:12 AM.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 07:59 AM   #6
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Re: Despondent

I would do anything not to be on Beta Blockers. There are a lot more side-effects for me other than feeling lethargic, dizzy, GI Problems+. It really has effected my lifestyle.

(heart disease, CAD, and pre-diabetes

What is pre-diabetes? My glucose levels were 103. Diabetes is 125 & over if I am not mistaken. I am thin at 150, eat little or no sweets. I have heard that some meds. raise glucose levels. I don't like that at all.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Despondent

Prediabetes is a 12 hour fasting blood glocose level between 110 and 125 (tested more than once). It is also called insulin resistant, or glucose intolerant.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Despondent

I just found it interesting that my 2nd doc. said that I had pre-diabetes at 103 fasting glucose level.... that is not even in those ranges. Maybe it's only my opinion, but you either have something or you don't.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 09:30 AM   #9
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Re: Despondent

Or they will give it too you if you don't.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 09:56 AM   #10
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Re: Despondent

There is a "Metabolic Syndrome X" that is associated with prediabetes, high triglycerides, obesity and high BP. Doctors/scientist are seeing an increase in CAD, heart attacks, and strokes in these people, higher than in diabetics, in general. Prediabetes is a very serious condition to me and the doctors, if you have at least 2 more of the other symptoms/characteristics of the syndrome. (3 out of 4 symptoms gets you in the club, I believe) You are slim and probably don't have screaming high triglyceride levels. So I wouldn't be too worried. I have all of the above, except I am not obese. (they don't mention obesity in describing this syndrome, they state a "waist size >40 " for a male, and I forgot the waist size mentioned for a female).

Did ya see Bobby Dylan last night on 60 minutes?

 
Old 12-06-2004, 10:14 AM   #11
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Random2 HB User
Re: Despondent

Yes I saw him. He was brilliant.

prediabetes, high triglycerides, obesity and high BP

My Glucose was 103. Strange for being thin, but not even pre-diabetes. My new doc. doesn't even want to run any more tests right now. Triglycerides were 70, anything under 150, I believe is really good. My waist size is 30 & I'm 150, so I'm not overweight. My B/P was 116/72, even after drinking too much on Saturday (big mistake). B/P has averaged 115/68 last month & 118/68 this month so far. It has even had readings of 110/62 when I didn't smoke for hours this month. Out of those warning signs, I really don't have any of them, except for slightly elevated HBP at the Doctor. I just hate when my B/P gets down so low & my pulse gets into the low 50's. It's too much. I'm only 34. I have lost about 8 pounds in almost 1 1/2 years through cutting back on alcohol (6 beers a night to 0 during the week & occasionally 2-4 glasses of wine on 2 separate days on the weekends.) I thought that is why I lost the weight. I also feel lethargic, so I don't want to make a long trip to get lunch. I go some place closer.

In conclusion, I wouldn't be shocked if my glucose reading was higher the next time that I have a blood test. I had one 6 months ago. Meds. can elevate those levels.

 
Old 12-07-2004, 01:50 PM   #12
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vintagelady HB User
Re: Despondent

Lenin and Palamedes, thank you for the suggestions; I will certainly consider those options as well as recommend them to a doctor whose competency I question.
Our society with its plethora of fast food chains facilitates obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, because we as a nation of couch potatoes demand instant gratification and convenience at the expense of our health. At the risk of appearing pretentious, I prefer my own cooking and baking as I can monitor the ingredients, especially sodium.
When the factors of life style and weight are ruled out, one has to research other arenas. I have discovered that heart disease is indigenous to my Scandinavian lineage; in addition, type A personalities as myself, have a physiology more conducive to heart disease. Ironically, the French, who are notorious for their drinking, smoking, and rich pastries, have a relatively low rate of heart disease. Guess we have to play the hand we're dealt.
Jack, I sympathize with your situation, but I'm confident with your knowledge and resilience, you will be able to resume a life of normalcy. (Is there such a thing?)
Incidentally, Happy 52nd Birthday on the 26th; three days later, I'll hit the seasoned age of 53. (Just hope it doesn't hit me back.) I'd bake you a salt free, fat free cake, but then that kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating in the first place. ;-)
Thank you all so much for your constructive advice and reassuring responses. It's comforting to know that others are sharing the same frustrations that I am.

~Anna~

 
Old 12-07-2004, 09:45 PM   #13
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Jack51 HB User
Re: Despondent

Anna

I knew that you were a capricorn, after reading the first lines of your most eloquent prose... ...Just shoot me. Thanks so much for the yummy cake and birthday wishes.

I must wish you a healthy, and very happy birthday yourself. I will toast your day with a sparkling glass of red wine (just one....ah two at the most).

Hope your holidays are filled with cheer and good spirit. This year, the holidays mean more to me than ever before. I can't explain why. I'm jussa gonna enjoy it.

Please find the right medicine(s) to fight that old BP buggar, or you will get goofy like me....

Jack B. Silly

 
Old 12-11-2004, 12:58 PM   #14
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Talking Re: Despondent

Anna, I am a 50 year old female who is also looking for answer(s) to controlling high blood pressure. I take a plant based diuretic (I started with a very low dose) and 12.5 mg (1/4 pill/day) of Atenolol. It is working for me, but my goal is to eliminate Atenolol and find a non-toxic plant based beta blocker. I also eat a very healthy diet and exercise 3-4 times week.

Keep looking for YOUR answers, they are already there, just be open to receive them.

You may want to check out John McDougall, MD who has been "into" nutrition for over 25 years. Also, an article in his July 2004 newsletter on doctors over medicating in treating hypertension has a lot of good information.

The best to you.

 
Old 12-11-2004, 06:23 PM   #15
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vintagelady HB User
Re: Despondent

Thanks, Joan.

I have the answers; I'm still looking for the questions.

John McDougall, does he have a link or a sight on MSN? That is the service I am most familiar with. I'm glad you subscribe to the Vintage way of doing things: exercise and nutrition.

Jack B. Nimble, Jack B. Quick, you ought to check this out, too.

Thank you again, Joan. I wish you the best in your search.

~Anna~
a.k.a. VintageFemale

 
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