Everyone on this board seems so knowledgeable, I'm hoping you might be able to answer my questions. I was diagnosed with HBP two years ago, it wasn't undiagnosed because it was found during a trip to the Dr. for an ear infection just two months after my yearly physical. I am a female, 46, and the HBP has been completely controlled with HCTZ/Lisinopril, a very small dose, only 10/12.5. My readings are always 100-115/70-80. I'm lucky that I have no side effects at all from the meds.
So much for my history, my question is that I was at my Dr. for a 6 month BP check yesterday, everything is good (still need to lose 30 more pounds), my EKG was normal, and I'm even starting to get some extremely low BP readings since my activity level is increasing and my weight is starting to drop, I've had some as low as 102/68. My Dr. wants me to go for an echocardiogram to make sure I don't have Left Ventricular Thickening of the heart which is caused by HBP. Does anyone know anything about this? I don't have any symptoms and I guess I'm wondering if this is routine, or something I should be concerned about. She acted like it was no big deal and just to get it done in the next few weeks - month sometime. Any thoughts?
You don't say how high your bp was when it was first diagnosed, or how long it might have gone undiagnosed. Your doctor might just be covering her backside with ordering this test. Do you have a family history of this disease? On the other hand, it might not hurt to have a baseline measurement so that any future changes can be compared to this first reading. I don't know anything about this disease, so hopefully someone more knowledgeable will weigh in.
When I was originally diagnosed it was 155/95, it was during a visit to the Dr. for an ear infection, they thought it might have been from the Sudafed I was taking, but it didn't go away when I stopped taking it so I have been on the meds for two 1/2 years. She did cut my dose in half one year ago and the readings have remained normal with the lower dose. I had been to the Dr. about 4 months before for a complete physical with no sign of HBP and never had any signs of it before, not during pregnancies or at any physicals. I have been good about seeing the Dr. every year to 18 months for all the routine stuff. The HBP came out of nowhere. I hope this gives you the additional info you need. Thanks for any advice!
I don't know if you would have left ventricular thickening, but I DO know why it would cause someone to have high blood pressure. The ventricles are much more powerful and pump much more blood than the atria. The left ventricle is the most powerful chamber as it must pump the blood to the aorta, which in turn, leads to the body. With hypertension, the left ventricle must exert an even greater pressure than it normally does to keep the oxygenated blood supply flowing to the rest of the body. Thus, with a consistently higher blood pressure, the left ventricle is constantly using a higher pressure to propel the blood. I don't know what would cause it to thicken, unless it must become stronger to endure the forces, or maybe, it becomes smaller and more constricted because the septum (area which divides the left and right chambers) is crushing it?
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"