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Old 12-08-2004, 11:56 PM   #1
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ChuckDiesel405 HB User
Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Hi, I am new to these boards and find it very helpful to read what you have to say since we all have something in common.

I am a 23 year old male with high blood pressure. It's been high since I was 18, and my doctor still wants to wait to put me on medication and I agree. He said it's somewhat rare for someone my age to have high blood pressure, but I'm worried about taking medicine, and the long-term effects of the medication, and the high blood pressure itself.

If my blood pressure is high already, does it mean I'll have a heart attack when i'm 35 or 40? I think about questions like that all the time. I already have a panic disorder so that doesn't help in that I focus on my pulse and everything and worry about it.

I'll try to make my story as short as possible:

I was very athletic my whole life. Five years ago when I was 18, I had a major panic attack with heart palpitations. My blood pressure was 213/something. 213!! I was only 18 at the time so I didnt even see what the bottom number was because I was so shocked to see 213 on the top number. They told me caffeine caused it and to stop taking it. I never had a problem with caffeine before. So I permanently took caffeine out of my diet. I still get palpitations and panic attacks, but that was diagnosed as an anxiety disorder/panic disorder. Everytime I get my heart checked it turns out fine. Also, ever since that night I had my first panic attack, that's when my doctor noticed my blood pressure being high. And all the sudden I couldn't walk up 5 steps without gasping for air. It was like I LITERALLY got out of shape overnight! However, they say nothing is wrong.

My doctor doesnt want to put me on medication for High BP, and I agree with him because we both want to wait for 2 reasons:
1. to see if it eventually gets lower
2. it flirts around the high-normal mark, so it isn't that bad

The last time I went in for a visit, it was 146/96. I'm always a little nervous though in the doctors office. I'm also concerned because sometimes after i get up from sitting my heart slows down and beats extremely forceful beats. That can't be good.

I'm just worried about the long-term effects of High BP, and the medication. I eat a low-fat, virtually cholesterol free diet, and I exercise and lift weights. My dad's side of the family does have High BP though, but no heart problems in either side of my family.

I'm sorry this is so long, I just need some opinions on if I should take the BP medication at my age. Thank you for your time in reading this. I am just so worried sometimes.

 
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:55 AM   #2
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Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Genetics play a big role in HBP. You are lucky to have a GP who realized that the caffeine might have sent your B/P sky high that day. When I had 190/100 on one isolated incident, I was put on meds. 2 years ago at 32. I haven't been the same happy go lucky person since. My B/P has been around 116/66 & I have quit drinking during the week & take vocal lessons that involve yoga & deep breathing to help. Meds. have changed my personality, or the fact that I have to be on meds. I believe that it is a combination of both. Keep excercising & doing the right things for yourself. Keep going to the doc. on a regular basis. If meds. are the only alternative, then I can let you know what worked well for me & what made me miserable. Meds. should be a last alternative.

 
Old 12-09-2004, 08:37 AM   #3
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Uff-Da! HB UserUff-Da! HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Chuck, it sounds like you are doing a lot of things right. If you aren't doing so, you might add the deep breathing exercises Axe mentioned. They can reduce blood pressure. I would think they would probably help with the anxiety, too.

 
Old 12-10-2004, 12:14 PM   #4
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monacks HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

I started on blood pressure meds when I was 25, that was 9 years ago. The doctor had me take my blood pressure 3-4 times throughout the day for 1 month and record it. It was always high, no matter what I did. I was in good shape, until I had kids (haha) and I have always eaten a low fat diet. Over the years they have run numerous tests to determine WHY I have it and they just don't know. So they have said its just genetics. I was taking a diuretic for years and never had any problems except that I had to pee all the time. I stopped taking it for that reason when I had kids, because it was a pain when I went somewhere to drag two toddlers into the bathroom with me. So my dr put me on atacand, and it supposedly has no side effects and my blood pressure is fine. I can't take beta blockers because of my heart murmur. So there are more mild drugs out there. Have you been monitoring your BP? I have ended up with high cholesterol now too. So for me, I just take the meds because I don't want to have a heart attack and nothing I did, seemed to have an effect. I get panic attacks too, by the way. I would discuss all of your concerns with your dr and then come up with a game plan. See if you can lower it first without meds, but don't go too long with it untreated. Good luck.

 
Old 12-10-2004, 12:55 PM   #5
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Jack51 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

The statistics are very high, for young people with high BP, to have a specific cause for the high BP. This is referred to as secondary hypertension. 95% of people with high BP, have primary hypertension, which there is no known cause (ideopathic).

Causes of secondary high BP involve kidney abnormalities, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid abnormalities and more. I think your doctor should be doing lots of blood testing on you. You may need to see an endocrinolgist, or other specialist, such as a cardiologist that specializes in hypertension.

I would hold off on the medicine for a while. Especially until I had further testing completed. Secondary hypertension is curable.

Seems once you start these medications, it's very hard to get off. I had high BP for many years and was untreated. The reason is, they lowered the numbers on what is considered to be high BP. At the time it wasn't considered high BP. Now it is. I can remember the doctor saying "let's wait and see what it does". I appreciate the fact that I did wait, I think. Even though I am a wreck now, lol.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 12-10-2004, 01:01 PM   #6
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Random2 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

The statistics are very high, for young people with high BP, to have a specific cause for the high BP. This is referred to as secondary hypertension. 95% of people with high BP, have primary hypertension, which there is no known cause (ideopathic).

Causes of secondary high BP involve kidney abnormalities, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid abnormalities and more. I think your doctor should be doing lots of blood testing on you. You may need to see an endocrinolgist, or other specialist, such as a cardiologist that specializes in hypertension.

I'm 34 Jack. I had all of the blood tests in May for kidney function, EKGS, Chest xray, thyroid function tests, liver tests, basically everything. Nothing was wrong, except my glucose was a little elevated at 103. Yes I waited about a year before I had the tests run after I was on the meds. I had a full CBC, Metabolic Panel, Thyroid Tests & etc.

Anxiety can be a major cause in younger people, as well as white-coat as well.

 
Old 12-10-2004, 03:41 PM   #7
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Jack51 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Axe,

You aren't young anymore! These statistics on secondary hypertension are in regard to people in their late teens and a little older, like this young man.

Jack

 
Old 12-10-2004, 06:06 PM   #8
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vintagelady HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Jack,

Age is relative . . . and I have some darned old relatives.

Axe is a mere pup!

 
Old 12-10-2004, 09:20 PM   #9
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FrontierDriver2 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

I am 20 and I have just been put on medicine for my High Blood Pressure this year. My cardiologist believes there is a secondary cause for mine. I have recently undergone a bunch of tests but havent gotten any results back yet. I had an MRA of my kidneys, 24 hour urine test, and some blood work.

I started having spells where I would nearly pass out. I think my blood pressure was doing crazy things. Now that it's under control, I dont feel faint anymore.

Caffeine or nicotine drive my blood pressure and heart rate sky high! I really dont understand why and its frustrating. I never had a problem with either one in the past. There must be some reason why this happens.

Also, I was a lil overweight. During my first year of college last year I ate a bunch of junk food and I think this caused alot of my problems. I have lost 30 pounds but it hasnt helped my Blood Pressure any.

Last edited by FrontierDriver2; 12-10-2004 at 09:23 PM.

 
Old 12-11-2004, 08:15 AM   #10
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bharkins HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Frontier,

You probably have a benign tumor on your adrenal gland. The symtoms you described are exactly what my brother experienced before his tumor was diagnosed. It was successfully removed and he has had normal blood presssure since. That was thirty years ago.

 
Old 12-11-2004, 08:34 AM   #11
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Jack51 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Anna,

In my mind.....I am young indeed, Still hung up somewhere in puberty, I think.....

Thanks for the correction. I stands corrected on the age thingy....

Jack B. Wishing
all very Happy Hoildays

 
Old 12-11-2004, 12:34 PM   #12
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zuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

ChuckDiesel,

Your doctor is right, that hypertension in someone your age (especially since elevated readings started at 18 and now you are STILL very young) is very rare.

Jack mentioned secondary hypertension. As did Frontier.
And Bharkins mentioned adrenal tumor.

Your panic attacks and anxiety could be what they call a Pheochromocytoma. It's a tumor of the adrenal gland and it causes the release of TOO MUCH epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones which regulate your blood pressure and heart rate.


They can occur at any age but are very suspect when a teen or young adult presents w/ high blood pressure.

Some of the symptoms are often MISTAKEN for "anxiety disorder"!
Severe headache
Palpitations
Rapid heart rate
Anxiety
Panic attacks
Sweating
Flushing
Chest pain
Abdominal pain
Nervousness
Irritability
Increased appetite
Loss of weight
HYPERTENSION

Before your doctor even THINKS of the idea of BP meds you should INSIST that all causes (not just an adrenal tumor) of secondary hypertension be absolutely ruled out. I'm only saying this because you are so young and you say you have panic attacks.

At the very least, you should have a special 24-hr urinalysis that establishes whether there is any excess urine metanephrines or urine catecholamines. (hormones)

The 24-hour idea is important in case there is an intermittently-secreting tumor.

Also you should have a BLOOD test to check for excess levels of catecholamines.

If any of these are abnormal, it might indicate a "pheo". It's possible to have one (or more) of these small tumors for years, since they are normally benign, with the only symptoms being panic/anxiety and sporadic/intermittent hypertension.

Once these urine and blood tests are done, if anything is suspicious your doctor would then consider a scan of kidneys and adrenals
and/or
An MRI of abdomen that would show if there's an adrenal mass
or
An abdominal CT scan.

It all sounds overwhelming I know, but the urine and blood tests are simple.
And they are the first thing your doc should run if your BP continues to be high.

zuzu xx

Last edited by zuzu8; 12-11-2004 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Forgot to add the very important HYPERTENSION in long list of signs and symptoms!

 
Old 12-11-2004, 06:19 PM   #13
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anneh HB Useranneh HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

I have a similar situation, I have suffered from anxiety/panic attacks fro over 30 years (they are not often and I didn't want to be medicated fro them) and I have high systolic pressure when in Dr office due to a phobia (caused by a stupid Dr) and I refuse to be medicated for that either. Just want to mention that I have mitral valve prolapse, a usually benign and commn problem which can cause palpitations and ltos of nervous problems so you might have the same thing. Just to let you know I had this diagnosed over 30 years ago and I am still very much alive in my 60's however I don't use caffeine and I exercise and keep my weight normal and eat right plus take supplements for my heart and nerves. So I think its great that your Dr recognises you problably have no need to be on bp meds, I would work on keeping yourself healthy, at good weight and exercising and also doing some relaxation work I have no doubt that during a panic attack my bp goes up also and I am still here
anneh



I

I was very athletic my whole life. Five years ago when I was 18, I had a major panic attack with heart palpitations. My blood pressure was 213/something. 213!! I was only 18 at the time so I didnt even see what the bottom number was because I was so shocked to see 213 on the top number. They told me caffeine caused it and to stop taking it. I never had a problem with caffeine before. So I permanently took caffeine out of my diet. I still get palpitations and panic attacks, but that was diagnosed as an anxiety disorder/panic disorder. Everytime I get my heart checked it turns out fine. Also, ever since that night I had my first panic attack, that's when my doctor noticed my blood pressure being high. And all the sudden I couldn't walk up 5 steps without gasping for air. It was like I LITERALLY got out of shape overnight! However, they say nothing is wrong.

 
Old 12-12-2004, 02:29 AM   #14
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ChuckDiesel405 HB User
Re: Side effects of High Blood Pressure

Thank you everyone for replying! I really think my doctor needs to become more involved. I was thinking about getting a 2nd opinion from another doctor, and I will definitely mention the tests that all of you recommended. Thank you again for all of your advice, I'll keep you updated. My next appointment isn't until the beginning of January though.

 
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