Recently I have been checking my blood pressure in local pharmacy and have been getting results averaging over 140/90... I called doc office and they had me come in one morning just to test it. I went in at 8:15 next morning and it was 156/92.. know they want me to come back in. High Blood pressure runs in my family as well as diabetes and high colestorol. Ever since I was young I always had "funny feelings" in my chest and now get frequent headaches and dizzyness and am wondering if BP is the cause.... But my question is this, what am I to expect when i go see him tomorrow... what kind of tests if any will I have to endure? what normally happens when one is suspected of having high blood pressure? I'm a little nervous and was hoping someone could provide me some insight as what to expect.
Well, it depends on lots of things. Your blood pressure in the office was higher than the readings you have gotten on your own, so they may want to see if your blood pressure is still elevated on a different day/time. Lots of people get nervous when they get their blood pressure checked, which can inflate normal relaxed readings. You should definately purchase your own blood pressure monitor so you can see what you average in a relaxed home setting. With your family history of diabetes and high cholesterol, they may want to do a blood test. Both those conditions can affect blood pressure and vice versa. I'm not real clear if there are any high blood pressure byproducts they can detect in the blood. They will probably listen to your heart to try to determine if there are any irregularities in the beating, likewise probably listen to your lungs.
Depending on your age and general health, whether you are overweight, etc, they may schedule a stress test. Your doctor may recommend lifestye changes (get exercise, lose weight, cut down on salt, etc) either first before meds, or in addition to starting meds.
In my case, they told me your blood pressure is too high, we need to start you on medication, and they gave me some samples to try.
The drugs are basically a crap shoot. They make a guess about what might work (they may ask what meds your family members take and if it is working), and try you on that. If it doesn't work after a bit, or you have unacceptable side effects, they will try you on something different. I was tried on 6 or 7 different drugs before I found a 2 drug combo that worked for me.
Everything that Mgraylorn said just about covers it...but I wanted to add ONE thing.
If you are otherwise healthy, your #s should be watched for a while before considering meds. It's definitely worth the investment to get a good home monitor. Get an auto-inflate digital read-out arm-cuff one. Very simple to use...Home monitoring is really important because it removes what they call "white-coat" hypertension from the equation (elevated BP due to temporary anxiety in the doc's office)
As Mgraylorn said, lifestyle changes might be in order first while home monitoring your BP for a few months.
Do NOT rush into meds yet. Most doctors will advise same. But SOME will push the drugs based on only a few elevated readings and that's a huge dis-service to the patient, $$ into the pockets of the drug companies, and frankly, lousy medical care.
Great points!!! Don't go on meds., unless it is completely necessary. I saw a guy yesterday with a B/P of 188/118. He needs to be on meds!!!!!
Graylorn.... you posted
Well, it depends on lots of things. Your blood pressure in the office was higher than the readings you have gotten on your own, so they may want to see if your blood pressure is still elevated on a different day/time
It is white-coat at the doctor. At the doctor a lot of people get readings that are very inaccurate due to white-coat. Anxiety plays a major role. Time & day matter, but white-coat would be my thoughts on that.
Flysacessna - from your name i assume you are also a pilot
A little advice - dont let the doc put you on meds or give a final diagnosis of hypertension before you have tried diet, excercise, & all other options - if you are (or ever have been) on HBP meds, or have ever had a diagnosis of uncontrolled hypertension (by FAA definition over 155/95) it can be a real pain to pass your next medical
if you are an AOPA member check the medical section on the member part of their website before you let the doc do anything, it may even help to print out some of the stuff there so he will know what you will have to deal with
and dont use your AME for your regular doctor, if you do there is no dr/patient confidentiality, he legally has to report everything to the FAA
Not everyone has white coat syndrome. Maybe flysacessna was having a bad day that day. Rather than make an automatic assumption, I suggested the second visit would serve to see if the numbers were still up. I also suggested this person get their own blood pressure monitor and monitor at home. If the doctor's office numbers match the home relaxed readings, it isn't white coat.
Flysacessna also mentioned a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. This increases the likelihood that the poster does in fact have hypertension. Lifestyle changes are a good start, and are good anyway, but given the poster's family history, I suspect lifestyle changes won't be sufficient to avoid medication.
Well I'm back from the doctor appointment today. Some news... don't know what to make of it yet.... fortunately my BP when there was 136/78.. better... but not as good as it should be i guess.... my pulse was 105. He did an EKG on me also and said it looked good... BUT....., there's always a but, there are these number which don't look quite right... I have to go get a slew of blood tests, go next week for an sonogram of my heart valves, then next month have to be fitted for a 24 hour holter monitor... Holy Crapola!
BTW... thanks for the info on the medical side of being a pilot... but I fly a model cessna at local radio control club
As you can tell from my post, I'm a little concerned... any of you had any experiences like this?
Your blood pressure puts you in the "pre-hypertensive" category. Just based on that, I'd say get a monitor and check out your home readings. At this point, I'd maybe resist drugs until I tried some lifestyle changes - if you think you could commit to them.
On the other hand, your pulse was sort of high. Were you really nervous? Again, a home monitor would more accurately guage your relaxed pulse rate.
Don't know what triggered your doctor's desire for futher testing, but it isn't a bad idea. That can rule out any abnormalities that might lead to trouble. Sonograms aren't painful, and while I've never had the 24 hour holter, I haven't heard anyone complain about them either.
If you take all these tests and the results come back negative, maybe see if you can get your doctor to give you some time to make lifestyle changes (if you think you'd do them) before going the medication route. Of course, all bets are off if something significant shows up on the tests.
Please let us know what you find out - hoping for the best for you!