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Old 11-30-2005, 03:10 PM   #16
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie75
Agreed.. same thing happened to me. I was diagnosed a few years back and am on diovan as well. I have a family history of it and have worked out for years and ate healthy. I eat even more healthy now than ever before and so the genetic trait rules again. As much as I fight tooth and nail to offset it it wins every time. I will not give up trying though, I have my bouts of given in only to try something new..Lisa
I am also in the group that is predisposed by genetics to high BP. My weight is 113, I'm 5' 5".. active, athletic. I eat healthy and without meds my BP is consistently anywhere from 130-150 (yes large range) over 80-90.

I recently started taking metoprolol 50 mgs, now with little side effects other than feeling a bit sluggish (I take at night). My question is... high blood pressure is the detriment... not the medication...RIGHT? Are
the complaints about BP medication merely from the standpoint of side effects?

 
Old 11-30-2005, 03:31 PM   #17
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenlee
Are the complaints about BP medication merely from the standpoint of side effects?
I'd say yes!!

 
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Old 11-30-2005, 04:28 PM   #18
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Someone out there please help me!!!!! My blood prsuure has been 145-170/85-100 for about 6 months now. All tests echo, stress, ekg normal. Tried Atenonol(miserable BP did go 100/70 but I felt like I had zero energy deprseed and slept all day. 38yrs old 5'11" 210 in great shape go to gym 5 nights a week play hockey the other nights.

Dr took me off Atenonol and onto Altace 6 weeks same BP 150/96. 2.5mg then 5mg then 7.5 all the same. Now he wants to try Procardia 60mg. He thinks it will help me for sure. I feel miserable and it is a vicous cycle. I want low blood pressure. How do I get there? erik

 
Old 11-30-2005, 04:39 PM   #19
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Sorry you're going through all of this hutch. The bad news is you may have to try several meds in the right dose to find what works with the least side-effects. The good news is you will most likely find the "right one" that lowers your BP without even remembering you're on one.. You'll be back hitting the gym 5 nights a week and enjoying life! I hope it happens for you sooner than later.

Best of luck, Bren.

 
Old 11-30-2005, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Can someone tell me what the side effects are of Atenalol. I have been on this medication for almost 5 years now and maybe I am just use to the side effects. I am over 100 lbs overweight, so I definitely have low energy, but I attributed that to my weight. What are some of the things to look for. Maybe I'll talk to my doc about switching.

 
Old 12-01-2005, 03:34 AM   #21
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmom03
My neighbor went on medication while she made the life changes. Then when her changes were made, and the bp dropped, she weaned off the medication. That worked. That is always an option.

I am a componant of "be safe". To me, it is unsafe for you to risk the health of your organs while you work through the other life changes that are necessary. Adjustments can always be made with medication. Once you start medication it is not etched in stone that you have to stay on them.

Do you think that once you are medicated, the medication will become an "easy button" that you can press in order to keep from doing the hard work that is necessary to change your lifestyle? I know that has happened with my brother. He takes medication while allowing himself to eat too much and stay too heavy. His medication has become an "easy button". Some people need that state of urgency in order to make productive healthy changes. Maybe you are just like that. This is a thought that is worth thinking through.

Why are you so afraid of starting medications?

Personally I am always afraid of the damage that can occur. Make me "safe" and then I will change. I have a natural drive that works for me this way. It isn't anything I can take credit for. It is just inborn. But somepeople aren't like me.

The word picture that I can best think is being in a burning building with a major skin tear. First, I would get out of the burning building and then adress the skin tear. To me, you are trying to address the skin tear while being in the burning building.

Because my uncle died of kidney failure due to blood pressure, I see the blood pressure issues as an issue that can lead to death. It is the burning building. Life style, to me, is the skin tear. Nobody should walk around with a gapping hole in their body, and the issue should be addressed. But what should be done first? That I guess is the question we are trying to answer here.

I would get out of the burning building first. Then I would deal with the laceration. This doesn't mean that I would be homeless in the future because of my neglect. I could always make a change in the future and move into a new house.

Think about it. That is what my neighbor did. She developed a pattern of safetly, then made life changes, then made adjustments and pulled off the medication when the life changes proved to be beneficial.

That is definately how I would do it.
Before I reply I would just like to say this is a great post with plenty of food for thought.

I should tell you more about me in a bid to answer this satisfactorily. I don't know what kind of personality type you would call someone like me. My life has always been about extremes. At times in my life I have been supremely fit and trained 4-6hrs a day for pretty much 2yrs straight I was heavily into sports and martal arts and when you do things that are fun to you you don't really notice the health benefits you are getting from it. I had 7% body fat and was very well built..for some reason I just stopped, well, actually at first I needed a break as I was getting lots of niggling little injuries due to training 6days a week. I took a month off and never really got myself back into things as hardcore as they had been before the break. Overtime my activity levels got less and less..and somewhere along that course of action I became a slob.

I'd never really eaten fast food or junk food before and hadn't thought much of any of it but for the first time in my life I actually ate 'heartily' and got comfortable. I guess ater years of disciplined regime I took my foot off the peddle a little too much At first it was extremely hard for me to gain weight as my body was still a furnace from years of exercise, but eventually months of mistreatment had me starting to pile on the pounds. Totally irresponible, I know. I had a health scare almost 2yrs ago and had to go to hospital for it where they ran all kinds of tests on my blood and they also took my BP. I hadn't had it checked much before that, but when I had it was always something in the region of 100/65-70 when they took it at the hospital it was 175/12x can't recall I was told if it doesn't go down within the next few weeks and my GP calls it, I'd have to go on meds.

So then began my battles with my incompetent GP who really is an ignoramous he offered me nothing but negativity and in despair I used the internet to educate myself on blood pressure and also began posting in this section of the board. I learnt more here then I ever did from my GP and subsuently bought myself a BP machine. I was suffering from severe anxiety at the time and that was definitely making my numbers worse. My doctor put me on Atenolol, which did not agree with me at all, in fact I felt sick on it and as I have always been medi-phobic it didn't help me one iota with that fear - I then began my 1st lifestyle change after weaning myself off that drug and I got my numbers back to normal and averaging about 115/77.

I kept up with these lifestyle changes religiously until real life, family problems and complacency that I was now free to do whatever the hell I liked again (eating junk, being a slob) was prevelant. I took my BP intermittently over the next 12months and it was gradually rising, but I always reassured myself that it was just my spike for the day rather foolhardedly and continued to be 'bad' with my living whilst having the added stresses of those around me piling up until about 3weeks ago it all came to a head and I felt really sick and had a once familiar feeling of a pressure headache pounding in my skull. Out of curiosity I took my BP and to my horror it was 174/124, which was the rock bottom realuty check I needed. I panicked and vowed to sort myself out (again) and began to take it daily where it was averaging 16x/11x-12x I knew if I couldn't get that down almost immediately, as in the first week of changing my ways I'd have to immediately go on medication. 'Fortunately' for me it went down to 15x/10x/11x the first week and then the next week 14x/9x-10x and now it is 13x-14x/8x-10x which is giving me a step by step hope that I can get this down to safe and healthy levels again over time. That's why I made this thread inquiring as to how long I should give it considering my weight and the fact I've just statred to severely change my ways. I'm basically just begging my body for a second chance, maybe I don't deserve that consdiering alot of people here live tee-total lives and have never been 'bad' too themselves with their eating or negating exercise and for them it is hereditary, unfortunately.

This leads me onto why I will, if given the chance, change my ways for life now. I'm getting older and nearer to 30. In my early 20's I felt 'invincible' naive is the correct word I suppose. My mom is on too many tablets to even mention for years of neglect and abuse of her body: over-working, over stressing, no exercise, overweight, lack of sleep, bad diet and I see now that she is probably dependent on those drugs to keep her alive. I saw I was going down that exact same path and it really has jolted me into action. If I lose weight and have tried my best and the BP is not back to normal I will know I've done all I could in my power to not go on meds, but I will then accept the inevitable if that's my fate. Being honest going on meds scares me a lot. I don't have the confidence to take tons of different ones until I find the one that gives me the least side effects. The expereince on Atenolol really has scared me off. I don't want to repeat any of that unless it is an absolute last resort.

---

Phew long post. I hope that helps you to understand me and my position though. I am not ignorant to the damage I am potentially causing with my choice of not going on the BP meds, but I am 1. Fearful and 2. would feel a little like I've given up without trying if that was my first course of action. Your school of though is a logical one and one many others would share (the smart people ) but for me it would make me anxious and probably a little bitter and paranoid. I hope that explains it to you. I've tried my best

 
Old 12-01-2005, 12:12 PM   #22
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Gee Scout,

Great post. Thanks for helping me to know your situation.

I am about to go to work. But there are a couple of things that I want to say here.

First, I am 46 years old. I have been around the bend and back again. The decade of my "20's" was not my finest decade either. For some reason things were so intense back then and I had my own abusive behaviors. Most of us do. You certainly don't have a market on that.

Secondly, take it from an older person, you need to think of yourself as being more than "a slob". No matter what your daily behaviors, your worth is of greater value. Behavior is simply that - behavior. Don't allow your worth to be wrapped up in behavior that may not be up to your standards. (I learned this lesson sometime in my 30's. You would be best to learn it at this point.)

Thirdly, realize that certain behaviors can only be addressed gently and all you can do is the best you can do. My biggest issue is also with food. Yet I swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. I tend to not eat, and to exercise more than my food consumption allows. I don't mean to do this. But now, my husband works three hours away from home, and therefore lives away during the week. Therefore I do not cook for myself. I work in the evenings, and therefore it is too early to eat before I go to work and too late to eat when I get home. I have gastroparesis, which is an interesting stomach ailment that doesn't allow me to ingest large portions of food at a time. Therefore, I must eat many times, in small portions. I don't have the energy or the desire to spend so much of my energy on this topic.

My adult children lose such patience with me. They hate it when I end up in the emergency room due to lack of nutrition. I certainly don't mean to end up there. Yet, I can be fine one minute and then crash the next. I don't get enough of a warning to correct the situation before the consequence is upon me.

My general practitioner has always tried gentle prodding. And her approach is more productive than the negative scoldings of my children. I have learned that gentleness with yourself is just a better answer.

I don't mind eating. And I will eat. Today my daughter in law put some potatoes and chicken in front of me, and I did eat. It isn't that I am stubborn. It is just that the circumstances of my life, at this moment in time, do not allow for a great level of success in this area.

My point in telling you this is that you see that issue of imperfection are going to appear at times throughout our lives. And sometimes we cannot get our arms successfully around those issues.

We need to prioritize issues of importance first. And we need to learn to deal with ourselves lovingly and patiently.

I do not hate myself because I have this problem. I just deal with the problem daily as best as I can while appreciating my doctor and forgiving my children. Sometimes that is just the best we can do.

One day soon my husband and I will live back together again, and I will be feeding him, so therefore my food issues should iron out somewhat. Besides, he retires in 18 months. Than things may be totally different. In my 50's, my issues may be something entirely different. And I suspect they will be.

I am on my way out the door, as the girls at the gym wait for their teacher to show up. With some chicken and potatoes in my system, I should be ok for today...

Sorry, I don't have time to reread this. Do the best you can with it.

 
Old 12-01-2005, 08:07 PM   #23
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Hi all, I haven't posted in awhile. I'm curious about/interested in people's reasons for wanting to avoid bp meds at all costs. I think I understand that side effects can bear significantly on this decision, but when it's your heart -- your essence -- at stake, for me it's worth anything to: #1 get the bp down, and only then: #2 figure out the lifestyle stressors and/or genetic predispositions that may be causing the bp problem. In short: Get the bp down by whatever means are necessary -- and only then start looking for causes and alternative treatments.

In my case, I have a significant genetic predisposition. My mom died of a heart attack at 43 in 1974 -- back in the dark ages when high bp in women was dismissed by doctors, who assured women that high bp was a "man's problem." Knowledge has come a long way since then.

So I knew that I was predisposed, but nevertheless I wasn't prepared to face it in my 40s. But when my bp started creeping up in my late 40s (I'm 49 now) around menopause, I jumped on it. I take 50 mg atenolol (beta blocker) and 4 mg mavik (ACE inhibitor) every day and it controls me pretty well -- my readings are around 145/85 -- not optimal, but within the "livable" category. I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle -- eat a good, low fat diet, exercise moderately. I'm 5' 6" and about 15 lbs overweight. My vice is that I enjoy wine and have it every day.

I know from these postings that a lot of people don't like atenolol. For me, however, it's the backbone of my treatment, because my main bp trigger was anxiety, and atenolol neutralizes that.

I'd love to hear other people's opinions.

 
Old 12-02-2005, 08:24 AM   #24
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmom03
Gee Scout,

Great post. Thanks for helping me to know your situation.

I am about to go to work. But there are a couple of things that I want to say here.

First, I am 46 years old. I have been around the bend and back again. The decade of my "20's" was not my finest decade either. For some reason things were so intense back then and I had my own abusive behaviors. Most of us do. You certainly don't have a market on that.

Secondly, take it from an older person, you need to think of yourself as being more than "a slob". No matter what your daily behaviors, your worth is of greater value. Behavior is simply that - behavior. Don't allow your worth to be wrapped up in behavior that may not be up to your standards. (I learned this lesson sometime in my 30's. You would be best to learn it at this point.)

Thirdly, realize that certain behaviors can only be addressed gently and all you can do is the best you can do. My biggest issue is also with food. Yet I swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. I tend to not eat, and to exercise more than my food consumption allows. I don't mean to do this. But now, my husband works three hours away from home, and therefore lives away during the week. Therefore I do not cook for myself. I work in the evenings, and therefore it is too early to eat before I go to work and too late to eat when I get home. I have gastroparesis, which is an interesting stomach ailment that doesn't allow me to ingest large portions of food at a time. Therefore, I must eat many times, in small portions. I don't have the energy or the desire to spend so much of my energy on this topic.

My adult children lose such patience with me. They hate it when I end up in the emergency room due to lack of nutrition. I certainly don't mean to end up there. Yet, I can be fine one minute and then crash the next. I don't get enough of a warning to correct the situation before the consequence is upon me.

My general practitioner has always tried gentle prodding. And her approach is more productive than the negative scoldings of my children. I have learned that gentleness with yourself is just a better answer.

I don't mind eating. And I will eat. Today my daughter in law put some potatoes and chicken in front of me, and I did eat. It isn't that I am stubborn. It is just that the circumstances of my life, at this moment in time, do not allow for a great level of success in this area.

My point in telling you this is that you see that issue of imperfection are going to appear at times throughout our lives. And sometimes we cannot get our arms successfully around those issues.

We need to prioritize issues of importance first. And we need to learn to deal with ourselves lovingly and patiently.

I do not hate myself because I have this problem. I just deal with the problem daily as best as I can while appreciating my doctor and forgiving my children. Sometimes that is just the best we can do.

One day soon my husband and I will live back together again, and I will be feeding him, so therefore my food issues should iron out somewhat. Besides, he retires in 18 months. Than things may be totally different. In my 50's, my issues may be something entirely different. And I suspect they will be.

I am on my way out the door, as the girls at the gym wait for their teacher to show up. With some chicken and potatoes in my system, I should be ok for today...

Sorry, I don't have time to reread this. Do the best you can with it.
Hi again, sorry for the late reply. I find your story inspiring and have taken a few of your pointers on board. The use of the word 'slob' is probably self-depreciating, but it's what I feel like in my periods of inactivity. I've learnt and have learned a few valuables lessons between my first experiences of high BP and where i am at now mentally. I no longer feel invincible and if I do manage to get my BP down without meds I will be incredibly grateful for that second chance, but the main thing that has changed is that I now know it is a way of life that needs maintenence - if I get there it doesn't mean I can immediately stop all the things I've been doing to get the BP down in the first place. I kind of realise now that I have a predisposition to high BP when overweight and inactive. This has never been confirmed to me before because high bP is something new to me prior to my last time with having high BP I'd never once had BP problems. Now I'm aware of it all I am also wary of it,

I'm going to do my best and let you guys now how it turned out probably with monthly updates. My BP currently stands at 13x/9x for the majority of the time now so it is definitely coming down, but it does spike up to 15x/10x at times which clearly means I'm nowhere near stable and out of the woods. I hope as I drop weight the same thing will happen as it did last time. Here's hoping I'll speak to you again probably nearer to Christmas. take care of yourself and don't forget to eat thanks for your encouraging words, they mean a lot.

Scout

 
Old 12-02-2005, 08:31 AM   #25
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WantToManage
Hi all, I haven't posted in awhile. I'm curious about/interested in people's reasons for wanting to avoid bp meds at all costs. I think I understand that side effects can bear significantly on this decision, but when it's your heart -- your essence -- at stake, for me it's worth anything to: #1 get the bp down, and only then: #2 figure out the lifestyle stressors and/or genetic predispositions that may be causing the bp problem. In short: Get the bp down by whatever means are necessary -- and only then start looking for causes and alternative treatments.

In my case, I have a significant genetic predisposition. My mom died of a heart attack at 43 in 1974 -- back in the dark ages when high bp in women was dismissed by doctors, who assured women that high bp was a "man's problem." Knowledge has come a long way since then.

So I knew that I was predisposed, but nevertheless I wasn't prepared to face it in my 40s. But when my bp started creeping up in my late 40s (I'm 49 now) around menopause, I jumped on it. I take 50 mg atenolol (beta blocker) and 4 mg mavik (ACE inhibitor) every day and it controls me pretty well -- my readings are around 145/85 -- not optimal, but within the "livable" category. I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle -- eat a good, low fat diet, exercise moderately. I'm 5' 6" and about 15 lbs overweight. My vice is that I enjoy wine and have it every day.

I know from these postings that a lot of people don't like atenolol. For me, however, it's the backbone of my treatment, because my main bp trigger was anxiety, and atenolol neutralizes that.

I'd love to hear other people's opinions.
everyone has different experiences on Atenolol it seems. Like you I had a lot of anxiety when I went on it, but it made me fel absolutely awful and i had chest pains on it, which are rare apparently, but the last straw was when I started gaining weight on it! I was already overweight with the need to lose weight to hopefully lower my BP. It felt like the drug was working against me in every way possible. I'd never go it again, personally. But like I say, many people on this board have no problems with side effects on it at all, lucky them, it put me off trying drugs again unless that was my final option.

They did a lot of tests on me in the hospital and quite a few on my heart, which all came back in 'great condition' I kind of rely on that being the case to get me through weight loss. I'm probably in a minority of people on this board who would prefer to not take meds first, but there are a few others like me out there as I've read their threads and they say a similar thing to me and are pretty desperate to try everything possible before going on meds.

Hope this helps..

 
Old 12-07-2005, 08:26 AM   #26
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

I understand! I resisted for about five years, even though my readings were a lot like yours and even higher. I think the stress of not being on them, worrying about strokes and heart attacks, finally outweighed the vague fear I had of medication. Medication does NOT have to be for life, last year I was able to drop down from three to two and have hopes of dropping down even more.

Making lifestyle changes is GREAT, but you can make them just as well while you're on medication. You don't want to risk a stroke which could take you out of the game all together. Then you may not have a second chance. The medication can give you immediate protection, lifestyle changes are a more gradual process. I know it's hard to get used to, but the first time you get a reading like 117/70, you're going to feel a weight lifted! Those tiny little pills could save your life, be grateful you have access to them and use them to your benefit, even if they're only a temporary aid.

There are plenty of alternatives to atenolol (I think that was my first medication). Go talk to your doctor and take CARE of yourself while you still can!!

 
Old 12-07-2005, 09:07 AM   #27
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Re: When would it be time accept you have high BP and need medication?

Scout...I'm in that minority. Luckily my BP hasn't been consistently horrible enough to require medication. But I am fighting to do all I can healthwise before I surrender to it. I can't wait until the day comes when they can tell by your DNA which medications would work better for your body. The science (I believe it's called Genomics) is in progress as we speak. It'll save a lot of the guesswork that has to be done now, especially for Lipitor. "Oh yeah, we have to see if this so called medicine that helps you lower your cholesterol doesn't damange your liver. But you have to take the potentially damaging medication to see." Crazy!

 
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