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Old 06-08-2005, 12:18 AM   #1
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Question How dangerous are SPIKES?

Spikes are triggered by many things. Meds that dont work~a heavy/salty meal~exercising~stress and sometimes for no reason. I have had spikes on all 3 meds I have taken-Tenormin-Accupril-and Diovan. When I have one anxiety sets in and automatically my BP soars(beyond the spike level). My doc told me not to worry about 150's and 160'over 90's. Yesterday I had a spike 175/101 with pulse staying over 100. It scared me so bad that I could not settle down! After a hot bath it was 204/103~I flipped my wig! Part of it is that my Diovan is not working anymore and the other part is that the anxiety takes over and keeps my BP really high! Can a person have a stroke or heart attack from BP spikes?~ namely those "fueled" by anxiety? I called the doc at the minor med clinic first thing this a.m. to report what happened~he is the one who refilled my Diovan just last week. I wanted to request a new med~I called 3 times and no one ever called me back All this scared me(and my husband to death). I dont know if I was in "danger" but it felt like it. Thoughts-comments are welcome!
RR

 
Old 06-08-2005, 06:19 AM   #2
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

red-rider,
First order of business is to replace the Diovan. I don't get any control from an ARB either so I understand. In fact, I wouldn't even waste the money by taking something IN ADDITON to Diovan.(Of course that's what your doctor will try to push...make sure the HCTZ Rx is separate !)
I am in the large minority, maybe 25%, who are "salt-sensitive" or "low-renin" hypertensive and if I treat my low renin with something that blocks the effect of renin I get SQUAT in BP control! I must either limit my salt (diet) or force it out (diuretic).
I choose the diuretic which is cheap and easy.
For people like us (if indeed you are low-renin) thiazides work like GANG BUSTERS... give HCTZ it a try, maybe 50 mg. once a day, and see what numbers you get.

No, the OCCASIONAL foray slightly over 200 won't blow an artery, they are pretty flexible, or we would all be dropping dead when first someone goes BOOO or the stock you bought yesterday goes into the toilet today...of course, with an aneurism all bets are off.
It's EXTREMELY damaging over the long haul though and if you are seeing these spikes with regularity (like more often than once a month) it behooves you to take action to get your BP lower. Get some thiazide and sell the Diovan on e-bay!

Last edited by Lenin; 06-08-2005 at 09:52 AM.

 
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Old 06-08-2005, 06:52 AM   #3
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Quote:
Originally Posted by red-rider
Spikes are triggered by many things. Meds that dont work~a heavy/salty meal~exercising~stress and sometimes for no reason. I have had spikes on all 3 meds I have taken-Tenormin-Accupril-and Diovan. When I have one anxiety sets in and automatically my BP soars(beyond the spike level). My doc told me not to worry about 150's and 160'over 90's. Yesterday I had a spike 175/101 with pulse staying over 100. It scared me so bad that I could not settle down! After a hot bath it was 204/103~I flipped my wig! Part of it is that my Diovan is not working anymore and the other part is that the anxiety takes over and keeps my BP really high! Can a person have a stroke or heart attack from BP spikes?~ namely those "fueled" by anxiety? I called the doc at the minor med clinic first thing this a.m. to report what happened~he is the one who refilled my Diovan just last week. I wanted to request a new med~I called 3 times and no one ever called me back All this scared me(and my husband to death). I dont know if I was in "danger" but it felt like it. Thoughts-comments are welcome!
RR
I agree with Lenin here. Get thee to the doctor and switch your meds!

 
Old 06-08-2005, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Hi, I'm so new to this forum, but I feel for you. I've been having b/p spikes as well, albeit not as high as yours. But I do know THIS.....anxiety isn't helping them any. If I see one number higher than I think I should, I panic, and my b/p just keeps rising. My husband is my comforter, and he helps me relax and once I'm relaxed it slowly starts dropping. Would you consider taking an anti-anxiety medication? Maybe anxiety is what's causing the spikes in the first place. I doubt if this helps any, but I hope it does.

Good luck.

Melanie

 
Old 06-08-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Quote:
Originally Posted by red-rider
My doc told me not to worry about 150's and 160'over 90's.
Your doctor is an idiot.

Does your doctor know how many hours per day that your bp is about 150's and 160's over 90's? I doubt it. Do you? Is your blood pressure higher during day time hours, or during the night time?

The more hours per day, that your blood pressure is high like that, then the more harmful it is to your health.

Quote:
Yesterday I had a spike 175/101 with pulse staying over 100. It scared me so bad that I could not settle down! After a hot bath it was 204/103~I flipped my wig!
How often is your blood pressure spiking? For how many hours? Does it get that high every day?

Quote:
Part of it is that my Diovan is not working anymore and the other part is that the anxiety takes over and keeps my BP really high!
Anxiety, or stress, could be among the reasons for your blood pressure problems. Blood pressure medications attempt to block or inhibit the effects of anxiety and stress (among other things) on blood pressure.

If your doctor won't take your blood pressure problems seriously, can you switch to a better doctor?

 
Old 06-08-2005, 10:40 AM   #6
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

I know exactly how this works. I have experenced the same thing. You get to the point of being obsessed with your BP and the spikes get worse. In my case it would scare my hubby and he would scare me.

First of all do as the others before me have said. See doctor and INSIST on a replacement for the ARB. I went thorugh what you are gong throuh for a year. I tried 3 different ARBs and they all initinally lowered my BP in the AM but by 2pm it would start to climb and on days I focused on it it would be up to 200/100 more or less. There were days however, when it would be high normal or a little above, all day. Does that sound like you?

My 4 different doctors (3 of which were cardiologist) all kept adding meds to the ARB. I finally went back to my GP (because he will listen to me) He replaced the ARB with an ACEI and my BP has stabilized to normal. It does still seem to get higher at night, but still normal. I have clonidine to take if I do get a spike. It will settle the anxiety and lower the BP to normal.

It may take several tries to get the meds right but it's obvious the ARB isn't working.

In the meantime I don't think you have to fear a stroke or heartattack but I would not waste any time strightening this out.

Take Care,
Cass

 
Old 06-09-2005, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Thank you Lenin and all you folks for your thoughtful answers. I need a competent doctor in the worst way. I have to commute to see anyone that is above average. There is new endocrine doc here that could treat my BP and thyroid but she is booked until mid July cant wait that long. I had spikes before on Tenormin~but these latest ones with Diovan have been the worst. I become so frightened when they occurr~that my BP and pulse goes off the charts. Anxiety is definitely a part of this but I have no idea if the anxiety starts the spike~or if once the spike begins,then the anxiety takes over. One of the worst things I do is hook on the new monitor I bought and take my BP in the midst of one of these bad spells~and when I see the high reading I go crazy. Its like I have been injected with speed~I cant sit or lay or relax at all~I must be in constant motion until the "episode" subsides. I have Ativan which calms me~but in the hour it takes to work~I am in constant turmoil and in constant motion. And Cass you are right!-I have become obsessed with my BP. The constant worry over it has to be causing some of these spikes/panics. There aare so few docs that seem to understand the anxiety connection. It's a chicken or the egg type thing~But I know this~it is REAL and very scary. I have only had to use Ativan 2 or 3 times a month~but with this going on I wonder if I should give in and take it daily until I get a new doc appt. and can straiten this mess out. What I mean is~take the Ativan as a preventor rather than waiting for the spike/anxiety to occurr and take over? I never wanted to use it regularly for fear of developing a tolerance to it. Its the ONLY thing I have that has gotten me over these scary episodes. My hope is that if my BP becomes lower/normal~the spikes will stop and the anxiety will too? I sure hope so! I just had to ask yall about the high readings putting me in danger~I needed to hear that I would be okay. But i need a new med ASAP.
wish me luck RR

 
Old 06-09-2005, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

I'm off blood pressure meds now, but was on them for five years, primarily due to stress while caring for my husband 24/7 and living with chronic sleep deprivation. So I well understand the connection between emotions and blood pressure. I didn't know it then, but wish I had known about the potential for improving one's blood pressure through deep breathing exercises and meditation. Those should be particularly effective for anyone whose BP is influenced greatly by emotions. I'd look into them if I were you.

Edit addition: I'm not suggesting that the deep breathing exercises or meditation would likely be able to substitute for your meds (though for some people whose BP are not too high they can), but as an addition to help keep the spikes under control.

Last edited by Uff-Da!; 06-09-2005 at 08:31 AM.

 
Old 06-09-2005, 08:42 AM   #9
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

If I were you, I'd consider taking the Ativan everyday till you can get to another Dr. I take Xanax everyday, I have to. I've been on Ativan too, and if you do develop a tolerance to it, it's pretty easy to get off of it providing you do it very slowly. I did that and didn't have any trouble. I'd rather be addicted to a benzo than walk around worrying about my blood pressure all the time, which I do. And they (the benzos) really help with that. Your Dr. can also help you wean off of them. Right now I'm weaning off Tylenol 3 with codeine for horrific knee pain, (I have to have surgery on it), and I was taking up to 12 of them a day. But I'm not having trouble weaning off of them because I'm doing it so slowly.
Hope this helps and good luck. I'll be thinking about you.

Melanie

 
Old 06-09-2005, 08:22 PM   #10
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Redrder,


How well I know the BP spikes due to anxiety. My 17 year old son who has OCD and has had anxiety/stress attacks on many occassions will see his optimal BP skyrocket into the 140's over 90's very quickly. First let me say that our bodies can handle HBP. What it cannot handle is HBP sustained over long periods of time like months and years. Over time it can be damaging. But from the sounds of it you are perfectly fine, you are just trying to get control. Don't worry

I know that with my son here anyway, the Ativan will lower his BP fairly quickly. Relieve the stress and BP will drop. Have you tried checking your BP after you have taken Ativan? What was it?
Whatever you do, do not be afraid of Ativan if it helps lower your BP. I know that alot of folks with stress/anxiety are worried about ativan because ALOT of people scare them by telling them they are addictive. I will tell you that from our personal experience and my sons doctors counsel that they are not addictive. IF they are used SOLEY to correct an imbalance proiblem like stress/anxiety and nothing more then they are not addictive. They only become addictive if they are used ABOVE and BEYOND that, in other words for a "high" or a "sedative" affect. I had my son on these for 3 months straight at one point and he went off of them just like that. No withdrawls, nothing.


As to BP meds I have tried pobably 12 or more meds because I was always getting headaches. Lenin is correct when he says a diuretic can be very affective. I tried mixing Cozzar and Verapamil once and had very good and lasting affects. Some have said here that mixing an ARB and a CCB like I did is a very good combo. But it almost lowered my BP to low but was very affective.


Also Red,
I have this course for Attacking Stress/Anxiety and depression by Lucinda Basset which we have used and it helps alot. It is cognitive therapy. It helps one get control of the Stress/anxiety in a cognitive way. Very very affective. When we reorder our thinking Stress/anxiety is not the big monster we think it is. We just have to change our thinking!
In the process this should lower you BP as well.

Last edited by Stumper; 06-09-2005 at 08:34 PM.

 
Old 06-10-2005, 03:05 AM   #11
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Thanks Uff-Da ! And Mellie~how sweet of you to be thinking of me. Your advice was good~because I do plan to take the Ativan everyday to help prevent these "spikes". Trying to deal with them AFTER they occur is hell on earth Stumper~thank you for your reassurance and also sharing your son's story. I really feel for him~being so young and all. It is comforting for me to know that the Ativan can be used long term if need be. I have never felt "high" on it. As a matter of fact~since I have a hyper type personality~it brings me down to street level. It calms me like nothing else. It does bring my bp down~but not right away. It takes 1-2 hrs to stabilize. I hope the proper bp med will calm my pulse and bp~therefore reducing my anxiety~and in turn minimizing my need for a benzo. Its funny~I never had fear~or panic or anxiety until an Endo doctor told me(upon 1 visit) that my bp was high and handed me a beta blocker. That was in 2003 and it changed me~mainly that now I pay WAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION to every sensation my body feels. When my bp spikes~I overreact and it soars. Lenin mentioned that I may need just a water pill for bp to come down. Last year in Parade magazine they concluded how effective and cheap they are. I have heard of L.Bassetts course~and always wondered if it works~I am open for ideas. Thank you all for your kindness! It really means a lot.
RR

 
Old 06-10-2005, 01:58 PM   #12
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

Quote:
Originally Posted by red-rider
Thanks Uff-Da ! And Mellie~how sweet of you to be thinking of me. Your advice was good~because I do plan to take the Ativan everyday to help prevent these "spikes". Trying to deal with them AFTER they occur is hell on earth Stumper~thank you for your reassurance and also sharing your son's story. I really feel for him~being so young and all. It is comforting for me to know that the Ativan can be used long term if need be. I have never felt "high" on it. As a matter of fact~since I have a hyper type personality~it brings me down to street level. It calms me like nothing else. It does bring my bp down~but not right away. It takes 1-2 hrs to stabilize. I hope the proper bp med will calm my pulse and bp~therefore reducing my anxiety~and in turn minimizing my need for a benzo. Its funny~I never had fear~or panic or anxiety until an Endo doctor told me(upon 1 visit) that my bp was high and handed me a beta blocker. That was in 2003 and it changed me~mainly that now I pay WAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION to every sensation my body feels. When my bp spikes~I overreact and it soars. Lenin mentioned that I may need just a water pill for bp to come down. Last year in Parade magazine they concluded how effective and cheap they are. I have heard of L.Bassetts course~and always wondered if it works~I am open for ideas. Thank you all for your kindness! It really means a lot.
RR

Redrider,


You are welcome. And thank you as well for the kind words.

Yes, we had alot of concerns with the Benzo when we were giving it to him. But it helped ALOT with all capitol letters. The psychiatrist explained to us that if it is used soley to restore one to normal levels, (which is what you look to be doing), then there should be no fear of addiction. In other words on an "as needed" basis, whatever that happens to be. If I was to take one though and I don't need it, and it gives me a "high" or makes me feel good, sedated and I like it, I COULD get addicted. Because I would just want more and more of it. Does that make sense?

Truthfully I actually DID take one one time by mistake! They look just like the Beta blocker Atenolol. I was wondering why I felt so calm all day. I felt real good...SOOO GOOD , in fact that one could have punched me in the face and I would have just said "Hi, how are ya?".


But yes, I wish you the very very best with your BP. Let us know how it all works out for you

 
Old 06-10-2005, 03:15 PM   #13
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Re: How dangerous are SPIKES?

I just read your last post, and you sound a lot like me. I fixate on every body symptom that doesn't feel normal to me, and I turn it into something catastropically wrong with me every time. Right now, I am CONVINCED that high blood pressure is going to kill me!!! I just took it and it was 94/51. Way too low, I know that and I know that's dangerous too, but I have this obssession with hbp. But then.....I have an anxiety disorder, coupled with panic disorder. That's why I take the Xanax. People like me tend to think the worst about every little thing that happens to us. I wonder......have you ever been diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder? It's nothing to be ashamed of, millions of people have it. But if you do have it, it can certainly cause some pretty high b/p spikes. I know that for sure, I've read and read and read about it.
Well, enough rambling. Just try the Ativan, it's good stuff, and let me know how you do. And I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Melanie

 
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