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High & Low Blood Pressure Message Board
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:05 AM   #1
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babydog HB User
Please help! - So frightenend

Because there is a history of high blood pressure in my family I have always measured my bp at home. My readings up until this past April were always below 120/80. However, I have been working with my doctor because I have high cholesterol. In fact I just got retested on Friday. In April - May I started having attacks of anxiety, possibly hormonal as I am going thru menopause.

Last week at the doc, she took it (with my wrist cuff) and it was 125/94.
It matched what she was getting on the mercury machine. I was a basket case during the test.
When I got home it was 123/76.
All weekend the numbers seemed to be fine. I had a long 4 day weekend and was relaxed.

But this morning, I got up and as soon as I put the cuff on my heart started to race! The numbers were bad. May as well have taken my blood pressure while jogging! I took several readings and the upper number was ok (127) but the lower number went up to 98!! A little later (and a little calmer), I tried it again, and the lower number bumped down to 90.

I took my wrist cuff to work with me. I have taken several readings at work today and they are:
130/82
113/78
120/85
130/84
126/84

I seem to be a lot calmer at work than I am at home. Not sure what's up with that.

I know I have posted before under another thread and the consensus was that this is not high bp. I think I get stressed out during the test because I know I have a cholesterol problem too and they seem to be related somehow.

If this isn't high bp, then what do I do? I have been trying to tell myself to relax but sometimes my body just runs amuck! I don't know if the answer is hormones, antidepressants, or bp meds.

Maybe the answer is a rubber room???

I am expecting a call from GP this afternoon with blood test results on cholesterol. I have an appointment with a GYN next week to see if they can suggest something from the menopause perspective.

I don't know if I should see a cardiologist or what??

If anyone has any advice, would be glad to hear it.

If this is how high bp starts, I would like to get on meds right away if only to have closure on this.

Thanks to all of you. Were it not for the support I get from these message boards, I don't know what I would do.

 
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:26 AM   #2
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Re: Please help! - So frightenend

Quote:
If this isn't high bp, then what do I do?
Calm down, relax, forget it. It isn't high blood pressure.

You want on BP medication? Most people want off it! A few higher readings when your basic BP is under 140/90 are nothing to worry about. Your cholesterol may be nothing major to worry about, either. Unless your numbers are sky high, you can probably get it down with diet and exercise. The same diet works for both. Here is the basic WELL diet in a research article I read recently which resulted in lower BP readings than the comparison low-fat diet:

4 or more servings of fruits daily
4 or more servings of vegetables daily
3 or more servings of non-fat dairy daily
1 or more servings of legumes/week (my note: more would be better if you have high cholesterol)
3 or more servings of fish/week
4 servings of nuts & seeds/week
no more than 2 servings of red meat/week

 
Old 07-06-2005, 09:26 AM   #3
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Re: Please help! - So frightenend

Your anxiety raises your blood pressure. You worry about it, as evidenced by your racing heartbeat, so when you take your blood pressure it is higher than your old readings. Even so, your 'high' readings are not bad. Most people with white coat get much more elevated readings than what you get. You don't need a cardiologist for these numbers. You do need something for anxiety - meds, yoga, meditation, exercise, whatever. Panic attacks are very common with perimenopause, just read some of the posts over on the menopause board. You are letting your anxiety control your life and you need to find something to deal with it. Talking with your gyn is a good idea, hopefully they can suggest something for you.

Trust me, and most if not all of the other people who post here, you don't want to start blood pressure meds unless you have to. They have a whole range of side effects possible that you don't want to have to handle if you don't have to. There is also lots of trial and error in finding a drug or combination of drugs to control blood pressure. You don't need THAT anxiety thrown in on what you are already dealing with!

If you want to try to do something to lower your blood pressure, then eat a balanced healthy diet low in salt. Lose weight if you are overweight. Quit smoking if you smoke. Eliminate caffeine - which is probably a good idea with your anxiety anyway. And get regular exercise, at least 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

Don't worry about your blood pressure. Right now it isn't an issue. I'd say right now dealing with your anxiety is even more important than getting your cholesterol under control. Good luck, I hope you can find something to help with it.

 
Old 07-06-2005, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: Please help! - So frightenend

Thank you Uff-da and mgraylorn for your responses.

Just reading your notes calms me down.

I agree that if only I could get my nerves under control the rest would resolve itself.

I think my diet is OK. So far my cholesterol numbers have responded to the change. I got it down to 206 in November (down from 287). Had a VAP cholesterol test (thanks for cholesterol board!) taken for the 1st time and I get the results today.

And my weight is going down. That is about the only positve aspect of having high anxiety. Somebody at work today asked me if I was doing Southbeach. Oh, if they only knew!

But I don't exercise as much as I should. I think this is a big factor.

So hopefully, when I see the GYN I will tell her the whole story and see if she might suggest something. I do go up on the menopause board a lot and I see a lot of women struggling with my issues. Some try HRT; others try antidepressants. Still others tough it out. I think I would like to try an antidepressant as it seems anxiety is the central component of my problems. Ofcourse they have side effects too and a lot of trial and error as well. I have read more than my share of horror stories of antidepressant tryouts on the meno board!

Uff, Mgraylorn, I think tomorrow morning if I put the cuff on and my heart starts to race again, I will know to just take the cuff off and move on with my day.

I am 49 and have never taken any medication on a daily basis. The whole process seems so daunting. Like you spend more time at the doctor's office than anywhere else! But I guess this is part of life and I need to get used to it. Everybody my age seems to be on some sort of medication or another for something. I am holding on for dear life to forstall that for as long as possible. I think that is the root of my anxiety. When I sleep at night I dream I am being chased by a huge medicine bottle.

Thank heaven for these boards.

 
Old 07-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Please help! - So frightenend

See if you can't get a little more exercise in your days. Even going for a nice long walk is good. Exercise is good for your weight, good for your blood pressure, and good for calming anxiety.

My mother suffered from depression and anxiety. I remember my dad telling me that if he could get her to go for a walk every day, he noticed a positive change in her outlook on life.

 
Old 07-06-2005, 11:03 AM   #6
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babydog HB User
Re: Please help! - So frightenend

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraylorn
See if you can't get a little more exercise in your days. Even going for a nice long walk is good. Exercise is good for your weight, good for your blood pressure, and good for calming anxiety.

My mother suffered from depression and anxiety. I remember my dad telling me that if he could get her to go for a walk every day, he noticed a positive change in her outlook on life.
I was planning to do that last night but there was a heavy rain. If it is reasonably dry tonight, I'm going for it. Thanks.!

 
Old 07-06-2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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Uff-Da! HB UserUff-Da! HB User
Re: Please help! - So frightenend

If weather keeps you from going out to exercise, just put a good fast music CD in the player and boogie around the house for half an hour. Pull the drapes if you fear what people might think of you dancing around alone!

 
Old 07-06-2005, 12:42 PM   #8
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babydog HB User
Re: Please help! - So frightenend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uff-Da!
If weather keeps you from going out to exercise, just put a good fast music CD in the player and boogie around the house for half an hour. Pull the drapes if you fear what people might think of you dancing around alone!
Exercise helps. And laughing helps even more!!

 
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