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Uff-Da! 07-08-2005 04:41 AM

Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
As the regulars around here have heard many times, I took myself off my BP meds (Lisinopril 10 mg) in January after the pharmacy forgot three times consecutively to mail my meds and I found my pressure to be no longer in hypertensive range without the meds. My doctor doesn't know it yet that I haven't taken my meds for six months. My BP readings during that time averaged around 126/76, with readings from 103/53 to 156/93. Since I quit the meds, and up until about 24 hours ago, I had taken 190 readings, only 24 of which would be considered in the hypertensive range. And most of those were in the low 140s, and my pressure came back down promptly after a short-term stressful event.

Well, I'm scheduled to see my doctor for my annual physical next Wednesday, so guess what happens? About 24 hours ago, I woke up in the night overheated and just feeling a bit strange. I got up, rested at the kitchen table several minutes, and took my BP four times within half an hour: 144/65, 139/69, 150/69, 152/75. Since then I've taken several more readings, all but one of which fall in the hypertensive range. I feel my heartbeat in my ears and have ringing in my ears, so I suspect it may be allergy-related. But if my BP is up like this when I go for my physical, my doctor is going to want me back on meds. Then she'll want me to come back for a re-check, which would cost me another $100. So I'm thinking of just going back on meds in the next couple of days to get my pressure down before I go in and save the hundred bucks and extra trip.

Machaon 07-08-2005 06:07 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=Uff-Da!] ... Since I quit the meds, and up until about 24 hours ago, I had taken 190 readings, only 24 of which would be considered in the hypertensive range. And most of those were in the low 140s, and my pressure came back down promptly after a short-term stressful event.[/QUOTE]

Good to see that you are being proactive in dealing with your blood pressure. Have you found your readings higher during particular hours of the day. In other words, do your readings tend to be higher in the daytime and lower at night?

[QUOTE]Well, I'm scheduled to see my doctor for my annual physical next Wednesday, so guess what happens? About 24 hours ago, I woke up in the night overheated and just feeling a bit strange. I got up, rested at the kitchen table several minutes, and took my BP four times within half an hour: 144/65, 139/69, 150/69, 152/75. Since then I've taken several more readings, all but one of which fall in the hypertensive range. I feel my heartbeat in my ears and have ringing in my ears, so I suspect it may be allergy-related.[/QUOTE]

Sounds like you had a "one time" reaction to something that has raised your Systolic a bit. Your diastolic readings are GREAT! If you ate something, or came into contact with something for which you are allergic or sensitive, it could have a temporary raising effect on your blood pressure.

Even so, your BP readings are not all that bad, IMHO.

[QUOTE]But if my BP is up like this when I go for my physical, my doctor is going to want me back on meds. Then she'll want me to come back for a re-check, which would cost me another $100. So I'm thinking of just going back on meds in the next couple of days to get my pressure down before I go in and save the hundred bucks and extra trip.[/QUOTE]

It usually takes a couple of days for the blood pressure to get back to normal, after coming into contact with something that raises the blood pressure. By Wednesday, your blood pressure will probably be back to normal, unless you come into contact, or eat, whatever caused your blood pressure to go higher.

Do you have any idea what might have caused you to have the unusual reaction?

Uff-Da! 07-08-2005 06:56 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=beerzoids]Have you found your readings higher during particular hours of the day. In other words, do your readings tend to be higher in the daytime and lower at night? [/quote]As a whole, I don't see much difference. My daily readings do vary quite a bit, even from minute to minute. The few readings I've taken after waking up in the middle of the night were high, but I don't know if that happens regularly or if it was a fluke. I've wondered about the possibility of occasional problems with sleep apnea, but I never can remember to bring my BP monitor in the bedroom to check my pressure still lying down when I awaken in the night.
[quote]Sounds like you had a "one time" reaction to something that has raised your Systolic a bit. Your diastolic readings are GREAT! If you ate something, or came into contact with something for which you are allergic or sensitive, it could have a temporary raising effect on your blood pressure.[/quote]Yes, those unmedicated diastolic readings aren't bad for an "old lady." (63) What is interesting is that they are actually lower than my usual readings 10-15 years ago, before I ever had to go on BP meds originally. My pressure then was almost always 120/80 when I went to the doctor. (And I've never had "white coat.")[quote]It usually takes a couple of days for the blood pressure to get back to normal, after coming into contact with something that raises the blood pressure. By Wednesday, your blood pressure will probably be back to normal, unless you come into contact, or eat, whatever caused your blood pressure to go higher.[/quote]I'm used to having my BP go right back down within a few hours after some stressful event that takes it up. But does exposure to an allergen keep BP up longer usually? Of course, if I am sensitive to potatoes, I've had large servings four times over the past three days, so I keep repeating the insult (if that is really the problem).

[quote]Do you have any idea what might have caused you to have the unusual reaction?[/QUOTE]The only thing I can think of that's been different lately is that I've eaten quite a lot of potatoes the last couple of days. And with my usual high consumption of fruit and fruit juices, my carb intake has been higher than usual. Do you think that could cause it? I do have a lot of environmental allergies - fungus, my cats (all three of which sleep with me), pollen. But those all tend to give me a runny nose, which I haven't had, so I don't think those could be the problem this time.

mgraylorn 07-08-2005 08:31 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
Could it be a mild hot flash? If this were the menopause board, I'd say you had a middle of the night mild hot flash. I haven't read any of the posters there talking about raised blood pressure during a hot flash, but it seems reasonable that the blood pressure would increase during one of those events.

Are you taking any HRT, or going on or off HRT?

I think your blood pressure readings stayed high because you were anxious about having high blood pressure. The bottom numbers were good, the systolic fluctuates more and is more apt to indicate anxiety and stress.

Machaon 07-08-2005 09:24 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=Uff-Da!]As a whole, I don't see much difference. My daily readings do vary quite a bit, even from minute to minute. The few readings I've taken after waking up in the middle of the night were high, but I don't know if that happens regularly or if it was a fluke. I've wondered about the possibility of occasional problems with sleep apnea, but I never can remember to bring my BP monitor in the bedroom to check my pressure still lying down when I awaken in the night.[/QUOTE]

Sleep apnea and high blood pressure readings at night are both signs of Insulin Resistance.

[QUOTE]Yes, those unmedicated diastolic readings aren't bad for an "old lady." (63) What is interesting is that they are actually lower than my usual readings 10-15 years ago, before I ever had to go on BP meds originally. My pressure then was almost always 120/80 when I went to the doctor. (And I've never had "white coat.")I'm used to having my BP go right back down within a few hours after some stressful event that takes it up.[/QUOTE]

As we age, our bodies become less able to handle calories, among other things. In addition, women have hormonal changes as they age. Our bodies were also able to handle stress a lot better when we were younger. Not fair, huh?

[QUOTE]But does exposure to an allergen keep BP up longer usually?[/QUOTE]

That is what I experience. I can't say if other's reactions will be the same as mine.

[QUOTE]Of course, if I am sensitive to potatoes, I've had large servings four times over the past three days, so I keep repeating the insult (if that is really the problem).[/QUOTE]

Another big clue! It is far worse to eat a cup of potatoes than three cups of sugar. Potatoes convert very quickly to a lot of blood sugar, and at a much higher rate than regular sugar. Surprising isn't it?

As we age, our bodies have more difficulty handling calories. Over time, if we comsume too many calories, our bodies start rebelling against the overload of blood sugar and insulin produced by the pancreas. When were were younger, our bodies could handle the extra calories. That explains why adult onset diabetes, or Diabetes Type 2, usually happens to people in their older years.

The potatoes and other calories that you consumed over the past three days definitely contributed to your higher blood pressure readings. The body also tends to overheat while it is trying to process and burn off an excess of calories.

[QUOTE]The only thing I can think of that's been different lately is that I've eaten quite a lot of potatoes the last couple of days. And with my usual high consumption of fruit and fruit juices, my carb intake has been higher than usual. Do you think that could cause it?[/QUOTE]

The clues are getting stronger. I would guess that you are somewhat insulin resistant. But, because it takes quite a lot to get your blood pressure high, or to cause other symptoms, I would be willing to bet that, normally, you have a pretty healthy diet. So..... you have treated your body very well. It's only when you overload your system with calories and carbs that you experience increased symptoms.

In other words, if you are insulin resistant, as most of us are in our older years, then your insulin resistance is quite mild.

[QUOTE]I do have a lot of environmental allergies - fungus, my cats (all three of which sleep with me), pollen. But those all tend to give me a runny nose, which I haven't had, so I don't think those could be the problem this time.[/QUOTE]

That is another piece of the puzzle. When you have an allergic attack, your body's hormonal system pumps chemicals (hormones) into your blood stream. These hormones can cause the blood vessals to constrict, causing higher blood pressure. It seems to take several days for those blood vessels to relax.

So....... your body is attacked by too much blood sugar and insulin when you consume too many calories AND attacked by hormones caused by your allergies, PLUS attacked by menopause hormonal changes, PLUS attacked by increased hormones caused during stress. [B]TILT![/B] :eek:

Whatcha think? Have I confused you sufficiently?

Take care. :wave:

babydog 07-08-2005 10:01 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=mgraylorn]Could it be a mild hot flash? If this were the menopause board, I'd say you had a middle of the night mild hot flash. I haven't read any of the posters there talking about raised blood pressure during a hot flash, but it seems reasonable that the blood pressure would increase during one of those events.

Are you taking any HRT, or going on or off HRT?

I think your blood pressure readings stayed high because you were anxious about having high blood pressure. The bottom numbers were good, the systolic fluctuates more and is more apt to indicate anxiety and stress.[/QUOTE]

Having recently been there I would have to agree.

CASSIEBEL 07-08-2005 12:03 PM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
Having delt with all three ( hormones, anxiety, and too many carbs ) I would guess any of those could be the culprit.

If I were you I would cut way back on the carbs (untill after Wednesday). Not much you can do short term about the hormones (or lack of). My best guess is anxiety, especially since you haven't told the doc about stopping the meds. I bet your sub-consious may be actively dwelling on this at night even though you don't normally have white coat. There is just something weird about hypertensive patients and their fear of high readings at the docs office.

Wishing You great LOW numbers on Wednesday :)
Cass

Uff-Da! 07-08-2005 12:18 PM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
Hmmmmm! Well, I went through surgical menopause more than 20 years ago. With a total hysterectomy, I'll need HRT the rest of my life to prevent symptoms. For years I was on .9 mg Premarin, then .6 mg, and a couple of years ago after all the concern about increased risk of breast cancer, my doctor lowered that to .3 mg. I've been suspicious since then that I might be having some hot flashes. But since my three cats sleep with me, a lot of times when I get overheated at night, I just suspect that it is that the live "fur coat" I was wearing was more covers than I needed. Some nights they snuggle in their sleep, some nights they lay several inches away. Maybe I should check out the info on HRT and see if I want to risk asking my doctor to increase my Premarin dose again, because I have considered it. I never thought about the possibility of increase in BP with it, though.

Another thing I hadn't thought about until you raised the issue was the possibility of insulin resistence. My usual habit for the past few years has been to "graze." Instead of large meals, I'd nibble or sip juice all day long, with only small meals. Well, last week I was put on tetracycline, four times daily. The med is supposed to be taken at least one hour before and at least two hours after meals, but at least 2-3 hours before and 2-3 hours after a vitamin/mineral supplement, calcium or magnesium supplements, or dairy products. (I take all those supplements plus have been trying to get three servings low or no-fat dairy daily.) Assuming one sleeps seven hours, how much time does that leave one to eat? So I've had to eat my entire food consumption in three, occasionally four, meals. So if I do have insulin resistence at all, this would be exaggerated while taking this med.

My late husband was diabetic, so I still have all the glucose testing equipment around. I tried to take my blood glucose a couple of days ago, but the batteries were dead. I got new ones, so I'll check again within the next day or so. But here are some figures from a test I took on 1/30/05:

1 hr after high carb meal (large plate of spaghetti) 169
2 hr after 97
3 hr after 90

Does that sound like insulin resistence to you? It didn't to me, but I thought I'd ask the doctor about it this time, as I really don't know how high the BS is expected to go after a meal, nor how long it is expected to take to return to normal.

I guess there is one more possibility. I usually eat four servings of vegetables plus one of legumes daily. On the days I ate about two or three servings of potatoes, I ate less of the vegetables/legumes I normally eat, so I was getting less potassium and less of whatever other substances in veggies like celery and asparagus that are supposed to lower blood pressure. So it is possible that it might be not only what I did eat, but also what I didn't eat those days.

Uff-Da! 07-08-2005 12:31 PM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
Oh, the only thing I doubt of what you've said is that anxiety was involved. I was the one who originally discovered that I had HBP after my late husband's stroke, and went to her suggesting that I probably needed medication. Then when I gradually reduced the dose months after my husband's death, tried going without and seeing that didn't work at that point, and went back on the 10 mg., she didn't get upset in the least, and just wrote my next prescription for the 10 mg. She also went along with what I did on the niacin issue for my cholesterol. She is a very reasonable doc. So I'm really not at all concerned about her reaction to my taking myself off the BP meds, since I have a good record showing my readings have been mostly good. Now that the bad readings have continued for more than 24 hours, though, I AM starting to get a bit anxious!

Machaon 07-08-2005 01:48 PM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=Uff-Da!]My late husband was diabetic, so I still have all the glucose testing equipment around. I tried to take my blood glucose a couple of days ago, but the batteries were dead. I got new ones, so I'll check again within the next day or so. But here are some figures from a test I took on 1/30/05:

1 hr after high carb meal (large plate of spaghetti) 169
2 hr after 97
3 hr after 90

Does that sound like insulin resistence to you? It didn't to me, but I thought I'd ask the doctor about it this time, as I really don't know how high the BS is expected to go after a meal, nor how long it is expected to take to return to normal.[/QUOTE]

You can't test for Insulin Resistance. You would need to take a Glucose Tolerance blood test. In some people, like me, my blood glucose level was always excellent, because my pancreas was still functioning, but my body's cells were rejecting the insulin. As the body continues to reject the insulin, the pancreas increases the amount of insulin it produces. Over time, if diet isn't corrected, the pancreas wears out and the person then gets full blown Diabetes Type 2.

Most people who gets Diabetes Type 2, first gets insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is what wears out the pancreas.

Machaon 07-08-2005 01:58 PM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=Uff-Da!]Now that the bad readings have continued for more than 24 hours, though, I AM starting to get a bit anxious![/QUOTE]

For me, it usually took my blood pressure 2-3 days to get over a reaction, but I had to control my diet and avoid coming into contact with particular allergens or irritants that would effect my blood pressure, during those 2-3 days, or my blood pressure would stay up longer.

Now that my insulin resistance is much better, I have noticed that it takes me several hours, or less, for my blood pressure to come back down, instead of days. And..... my blood pressure meds work much better. And...... I have more energy, and I feel better.

I am not a health professional, but if I had to guess, your insulin resistance isn't as bad as mine was, so it might take you less than 2-3 days to get over a high blood pressure reaction.

If you are interested in reading more, I started a thread called: [B]Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?[/B] right in this blood pressure subject. CASSIEBEL has also contributed quite a lot of good info to that thread.

The link is: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229

Uff-Da! 07-09-2005 08:49 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
Well, I took my blood glucose this morning after about 6-7 hours without food, and got a reading of 106. That's the same reading I got last month, also after a 6-7 hour fast. My previous readings in January and February were all 100 or less. So I am suspicious I may be in the range of impaired glucose tolerance now. Since I have a brother who is a diet-controlled diabetic and since I'm on niacin therapy for my cholesterol, which sometimes causes increases in glucose levels, it doesn't really surprise me. So your explanation about the reason for my blood pressure increase, beerzoids, is probably right on. My blood tests at the doctors office next week should confirm that.

Crazy how blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol decisions all get so intertwined. Now I may have to re-think using niacin for my cholesterol, but I don't want to go on statins. Bah, humbug!

I went for two one-mile walks yesterday. I'm usually just a computer-chair potato. (Can't say couch potato, as I never sit there and never watch TV.) I'll try to get more exercise and behave myself on my diet between now and Wednesday, and maybe I can get this BP back down before then. It turned out that starting my BP meds before then is not an option after all. I never had that last prescription filled in January, and when I called the pharmacy, they said it had expired a week ago. So I'd have to contact the doctor first anyway.

Guess I'll go cook up that pound of asparagus in the refrigerator for salads today. That always seems to bring my BP down.

Lenin 07-09-2005 10:31 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
Uff-Da,

I would wait it out and if your doctor sees it high, just say that it's been high for a couple days because you;ve had a salt binge.
If he wants to give you another prescription, take it and smile good naturedly. If he says come back in two weeks, tell him money is tight and that will have to wait!

Your only concern should be the AVERAGE reading over the months without the drug. If that is within range, then that is the entire story from cover to cover! Remember, when THEY start paying the bill THEY can tell you what you MUST do.
"He who pays the piper calls the tune!"

Uff-Da! 07-09-2005 10:49 AM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
[QUOTE=Lenin]Remember, when THEY start paying the bill THEY can tell you what you MUST do. "He who pays the piper calls the tune!"[/QUOTE]Isn't that the truth! I have two friends who went to a new doctor locally. He told them both that he would only accept them as patients if they agreed in advance to do what he said. I'd have said,

[SIZE=5] [COLOR=Red] [B] :eek: "NO WAY!" :eek:[/B] [/COLOR] [/SIZE]

mgraylorn 07-11-2005 12:42 PM

Re: Think I may put myself back on BP meds
 
I'm surprised you got a prescription for HRT when you had high blood pressure. I was under the impression oral estrogen was not allowed if one had hypertension. I got taken off the Pill for that very reason.

I don't think you want to stay on HRT the rest of your life. If you went through natural menopause, a doctor would probably try to get you off of it after a time. My understanding is that because of the increased risk for breast cancer the current strategy is to take as little HRT as you can to alleviate symptoms for as short a period of time as possible.


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