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Old 12-12-2004, 08:50 AM   #1
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BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Okay. I have been reading these posts for quite sometime now and have come to the conclusion that maybe now I will be needing something for my nerves. Every other posts seems to bash some other type of BP med. If it is not a side effect it is a long term effect. I even read recently that diuretics and beta blockers are a "toxic" combination. Everyday, I get more and more frightened about taking the meds that I am on, yet I must stay on them or risk another stroke. As I have stated in earlier posts, I have resorted to taking four different types of BP meds since that is the only way my uncontolled BP was brought down. I have learned to live with the side effects. I believe I am in the same boat as Jack. Can anyone out there tell me what I am supposed to do if I have tried everything else and four meds seem to be the only altertnative? Getting more and more frightened.

 
Old 12-12-2004, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Bharkins,

Don't get stressed out over all the studies and readily available information on all of the different medications. I take many meds for reasons that I understand. I am on atenolol 50mg, for a reason. That is because I continue to smoke and atenolol is cardio selective in it's beta blockage. It has less effects on the lungs. I know this, so I do not question it. There are other beta blockers in this category, also. I take altace 5mg (ace inhibitor) that I was prescribed after a heart attack, and light stroke. Statistics show that they seem to prevent second heart attacks from occuring, and they obviously help in BP control, but that was not why I was prescribed them. I think that they are supposed to be "kidney friendly" also. Not sure of that yet. I take plavix, as an anti-platelet, and I will take it till I check out. I cannot tolerate aspirin, because of past abuse, of them. I take imdur (timed released nitroglycerin) to prevent angina and to promote blood circulation. It is a potent vasodilator. I take a few more medicines, but nothing to do with BP.

If you have any doubt about why you are taking the medicines that you do, you can go to the American Heart Association, and read about what the guidelines are for the treatment of your condition (having had one stroke already and high BP). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also have the treatment guidelines. Really I think that they are minimum standards. The American College of Cardiology, also has the same guidelines listed for my condition. In other words, find what is recommended for you, having already had a stroke. You will probably find that 1) Your BP should be controlled. 2) You should be on an anti-platelet med such as plavix, and/or aspirin. 3) No smoking. 4) Maitain a healthy weight. 5) Keep your cholesterol (LDL low, HDL high) and blood glucose within limits. 6) No alcohol (or at least, almost no alcohol). 7) Regular exercise and a good heart healthy diet.

All of the medicines that I take, strictly follow the recommended guidelines for my condition.

Do you know if you have arteriosclerosis, or small vessel disease? I have both and they tend to cause stokes due to blockages in the tiny cerebral arteries. Of course small vessel disease (SVD) causes problems in one's heart and all over the body.

I think I may try to get another Mri of my brain. It has been 18 months since my stroke and I am starting to have headaches, which bother me, or worry me. I don't know if anything could be done to help me, from reading an Mri, but maybe they could put me on a blood thinner such as wafarin, if they suspected new blockages were forming. It would relieve me to be reassured that my brain is still there, lol.

Was your stroke due to a blockage or hemorrhage?

 
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Old 12-12-2004, 12:01 PM   #3
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Jack

Thank you so much for your quick reply. I really don't know much about why I take my particular meds, only that they are the four that control my pressure. I take metoprolol, lisinipril, norvasc, hctz and a regular strength ecotrin daily. I was started on metoprolol and lisinipril after my stroke four years ago. The others were added individually. I have gained weight on these meds never having had a weight problem. In fact, I took a product called "Weight On" when I was in my twenties. It did nothing for me.

I have tried to exercise in order to lose the weight, but I poop out quickly due to, from what I have read here, the beta blocker. I am a little off balance, which I blame on the stroke (was in a wheelchair for a month) but I do try to walk for exercise. Who knows, maybe the balance problem is also due to the meds.

You asked what kind of stroke I had. All I know is that my husband was told by the doctors that I had had a "dry" stroke. I never knew that I had high blood pressure and had the stroke while enjoying that great" coffee and cigarettes" in the morning. I, of course, did not smoke another butt after the stroke. That reminds me, I hope JTU is still not smoking and I wish that you and Axe would do the same. Axe, don't fool yourself. The dangers of smoking are there regardless of the length of time. It is not good for you. Case closed.

I have to see my doctor in February and will go in armed with many questions and tell him of my fears about the meds.

 
Old 12-12-2004, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

You are just so welcome Mam I bet a dry stroke means that it wasn't from a hemorrhage....

Hope you find the cause of your balance problem. Mine was effected by me stroke, but not real bad.

We gonna make it!

So true about the smokes.... I do everything else right. I have a good treadmill in a vacant (daughter's) room upstairs, right beneath a ceiling fan.... Beside a good radio blairing that rock music...I just finished 2.75 miles in 56 minutes.....feels great now that I have rested a little, lol.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 04:03 AM   #5
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

bharkins,

Jack's bet is right on the money: "dry stroke" means an ischemic stroke caused by a blockage that restricts blood flow to the brain. Sort of the same mechanism that causes a heart attack. Blood pressure is FAR less implicated in strokes of this type; severe hypertension usually causes a "hemorrhagic stroke" with bleeding into the brain caused by a BURST artery rather than a clogged one.
You should take care that your blood lipids are as good as they can be so as to minimize the danger of further clotting.

NEVER miss your daily aspirin.

Last edited by Lenin; 12-13-2004 at 04:06 AM.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Keep in mind that not everyone reacts the same to every medication. A medication that might cause serious unacceptable side effects in one person, may be the perfect drug for someone else and cause no side effects. Beta blockers get kicked around a lot here, including by me, but some people here have said they are a lifesaver for them.

There is also the risk-benefit analysis. Sure, in large scale tests, a drug might slightly increase a person's risk of something like diabetes by something like 2%, but for people in your condition it might decrease the risk of stroke by 20%. Clearly that drug is worth the slight risk of diabetes to help keep you from having a stroke.

You said the 4 drugs you take keep your blood pressure down. Obviously they are working for you. To put your mind at ease, you might have a talk with your doctor about all the meds you take, and why you are taking each one. I commend Jack for being so informed on all his meds. I mostly trust my doctor, but I want to have an understanding of what she prescribes for me and why. I feel better about what I take in that regard.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:45 AM   #7
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Do as much research on the prescribed drugs as possible. I should have learned that a long time ago.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 04:26 PM   #8
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Hi bharkins! No i gave up on trying not to smoke. I am having such a time. iT is sooooo stressful in my house at this time of yr. Me and my big heart took in my younger brother and his family and i am doing everything for them. Not to mention dealing with a depressed husband and a needy son and his family.

I really feel like checking into the pyscho ward at my local hospital just to get alittle rest. Instead i started back smoking 8 cigs aday.I still exercise, and watch my diet though.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 05:14 PM   #9
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

JTU,

So sorry to hear that. As soon as things settle down, do try again and good luck. That madhouse you described can't be too good for your blood pressure.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 06:55 PM   #10
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

There is no alternative. I've tried just about everything possible to reduce my bp w/o meds and i always come back to the meds. Like you, i've been on four bp meds at one time to reduce bp and it did work very well. However, i had such bad side effects and allergies to some of them i had to stop.

Right now im working with a cardio and she put me on lasix 20mgs, verapamil 360 mgs.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 06:58 AM   #11
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Re: BP meds or not, What is the alternative?

Once you are on the meds., it is really diffucult to not take anything. I am going through my own trials, but I am doing what I can with lifestyle changes, while I do this. I am going to go to a specialist again with my blood test results in January. I have cut out alcohol during the week & I go to my vocal instructor for breathing excercises, as well as yoga. My B/P is always really low after seeing her.

 
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