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Old 04-12-2007, 07:17 PM   #1
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Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

I have been under some stress lately, and have suffered from white coat syndrome for a few years. I bought a monitor, and haven't used it in a while. I decided to take it tonight. I was feeling very anxious while taking it. Like I have white coat syndrome at home now. These were my readings, which were taken about 10 minutes apart. 164/93, 150/89, 165/95, 160/90, changed position, it was 157/103, then the last one was 159/95. Can someone please tell me what this means. They fluctuate so much. I'm not sure how I should be sitting or what when I take it. I should mention I have a high intake of caffiene each day, but am not overweight. How high does it have to be to have a stroke? Thank you for any help you can give me.

 
Old 04-13-2007, 05:12 AM   #2
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

stormee,

What those numbers mean is that you probably have hypertension.
Test ONCE each day for the next week and see what the average is.

Have you EVER taken any BP meds? Are you taking any now?

Proper testing is sitting comfortably in a chair for a few minutes and then testing with your arm supported on an arm of the chair and the BP cuff at your heart level. You can take two readings, one in each arm and average them or take 3 readings and choose the middle value...or just ONE.

Don't test first thing in the morning.

(Stroke level might be something with the higher number way over 200?)

Last edited by Lenin; 04-13-2007 at 05:14 AM.

 
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:39 AM   #3
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin View Post

Don't test first thing in the morning.
What is the reason for not testing first thing in the morning?

 
Old 04-13-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Thank you. I have a couple of more questions. When is the best time of the day to take it, and I am very scared to take medications. If I have to go on bp meds., what can I expect? I appreciate your replies.

 
Old 04-13-2007, 09:17 AM   #5
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

No..I have never taken any bp meds., and for some reason, I am terrified to. I took my bp today, and it was 148/90. A lot better than last night, but still up there. I' m not sure if it's due to my being so nervous when take it or not.

 
Old 04-13-2007, 10:01 AM   #6
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

First of all, you shouldn't feel panicked. Concerned, yes. Your bp is running high, if it continues in these ranges, taken once a day as Lenin suggested, you should see a doctor about some meds.

First thing in the morning, the bp can run higher as the body is kind of starting up for the day. So usually it's better when you are sitting around, relaxed during the day. You should be resting for about 20 minutes before taking the pressure.

You should be able to tell your pressure is running high, even without a reading if you feel all jittery, flushed, headachy. And if you are generally feeling that way, you have high bp.

And on a final note. I don't know why you are so scared of bp meds. To tell the truth, when you find the ones which work for you, you'll actually feel much more relaxed, less tense, and generally better.

So take it for week, once a day like Lenin suggested, and proceed accordingly depending on readings.

 
Old 04-13-2007, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms58 View Post
First of all, you shouldn't feel panicked. Concerned, yes. Your bp is running high, if it continues in these ranges, taken once a day as Lenin suggested, you should see a doctor about some meds.

First thing in the morning, the bp can run higher as the body is kind of starting up for the day. So usually it's better when you are sitting around, relaxed during the day. You should be resting for about 20 minutes before taking the pressure.
Yes, I would agree with you, ms. There's no reason to panic but it is something to monitor and to act upon if it continues to run high...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms58 View Post
You should be able to tell your pressure is running high, even without a reading if you feel all jittery, flushed, headachy. And if you are generally feeling that way, you have high bp.
Not everyone feels this way when our pressures are high...usually there are absolutely no symptoms. That's why they call hypertension the silent killer. Everyone is different and you may experience these symptoms--however, don't rely on how you feel to monitor your hypertension!

As far as bp meds go, you have good reason to be concerned...meds can cause side effects that increase cholesterol levels, increase weight, thereby increasing bp among just a few things. That's why it is so important to work with your doctor as soon as possible to see if you can get your pressures down with diet and exercise to eliminate the need for medication or at least reduce the dosage of the meds needed. That's not always possible but don't let your physician deny you the opportunity or deny you a VERY GOOD EXPLANATION why you can't try diet and exercise before going on meds. That should be the first course of treatment. Not everyone feels better on meds...I certainly don't, I've never felt worse! But it's a trade off...what's worse? Stroke? Heart attck? Kidney disease? Blindness?

I suspect there's alot you can do to get those numbers down but the time to start is now...and you've already started! You're educating yourself by reading this board.

Good luck and good health.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-13-2007 at 08:44 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 04-13-2007, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms58 View Post
... taken once a day as Lenin suggested,
Blood Pressure normal starts higher, when first getting up. After that, the lowest blood pressure readings are normally in the morning, and the the blood pressure gradually goes up during the afternoon, for most people. The exception to this is that disease, and health problems, can have a significant effect on the normal variation in blood pressure during the day.

So...... if you suggest taking it once per day, when would you take it, before noon when the blood pressure is normally lower, or during the late afternoon when the blood pressure is near the highest of the day? Or..... if there are health problems, would you take it during some other part of the day or night?

Quote:
You should be resting for about 20 minutes before taking the pressure.
This could give you a lower reading than normal. The normal person is not resting all day long. If you take your blood pressure only after resting for 20 minutes, you might never find out what your blood pressure is doing during a normally active day. I'd rest for no more than five minutes. Personally, I relax for no more than 20 seconds prior to taking mine.

Quote:
You should be able to tell your pressure is running high, even without a reading if you feel all jittery, flushed, headachy. And if you are generally feeling that way, you have high bp.
I've got to agree with Beth regarding high blood pressure symptoms. I've taken my blood pressure over 21,000 times over the past eight years. Most of the time, I've had absolutely no idea what I'm going to get, prior to taking my blood pressure. However, you do have a point. Stress or anxiety or tension can certainly increase the blood pressure. But....... there are many other things that can cause increases in blood pressure.
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Last edited by Machaon; 04-13-2007 at 04:45 PM.

 
Old 04-13-2007, 08:04 PM   #9
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerzoids View Post
Blood Pressure normal starts higher, when first getting up. After that, the lowest blood pressure readings are normally in the morning, and the the blood pressure gradually goes up during the afternoon, for most people. The exception to this is that disease, and health problems, can have a significant effect on the normal variation in blood pressure during the day.

So...... if you suggest taking it once per day, when would you take it, before noon when the blood pressure is normally lower, or during the late afternoon when the blood pressure is near the highest of the day? Or..... if there are health problems, would you take it during some other part of the day or night?

This could give you a lower reading than normal. The normal person is not resting all day long. If you take your blood pressure only after resting for 20 minutes, you might never find out what your blood pressure is doing during a normally active day. I'd rest for no more than five minutes. Personally, I relax for no more than 20 seconds prior to taking mine.
But....... there are many other things that can cause increases in blood pressure.
Beerzoids, you're absolutely correct! And I'm so glad you clarified this as there is a lot of misinformation out there (or at least a lot of different opinions) on these issues.

Bethsheba

 
Old 04-13-2007, 08:24 PM   #10
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

The super b/p specialist who I saw said the am b/p when you get up after going to the bathroom is the most important one. Most strokes occur between 5am-10am or 12 am I believe he said. He had me take my b/p 4 times a day for a month. (am, before lunch,supper, & bedtime). I was to sit for 5 min before. He stressed me out so much that my b/p increased even at home because I was so worried about what he was going to say when he saw my chart. He had a lot of smarts but a lousy bedside manner especially for treating hypertensives. Fam

 
Old 04-13-2007, 08:49 PM   #11
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Famnd,

I've been meaning to ask you, what kind of credentials does your super b/p doc have? Did you need a referral to see him/her? How did you find him/her?

I may be in the market for another doc if I can't find a med that works for and with me--at least until I can get my weight down.

Bethsheba

 
Old 04-14-2007, 04:37 AM   #12
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

The reason that a BP test is done in a relaxed state is to establish a STANDARD to which people could be compared. Logic is that we spend several hours relaxed during the day and 8 hours relaxed while we sleep so that is an important number to readsily use as a standard.
When a doctor says "yeah, but what about your BP when you are NOT relaxed" is indicating that he doesn't understand blood pressure or the point of blood pressure testiing.
If one wants to check BP at the peak of exertion, then that's what a stress test is for.
Comparing numbers under stress with relaxed numbers is comparing apples and oranges.
In fact, if doctors wanted a standard BP while stressed, the literature would say something like: "run up 140 steps in 3 minutes and then test your BP exactly one minute later."

All the literature relates RESTING BP with symptoms, treatments, outcomes...thus taking stressed readings after exertion is a pointless exercise.

It's akin to taking a fasting glucose, getting a normal reading and then having a doctor say "Yeah, but what about AFTER eating a candy bar." The learned answer to that should be "Who CARES?"

Why you shouldn't take it first thing in the morning?
Because most people have a "wake-up outpouring" of adrenal hormones that creates a short term "fight-or flight response"...for cavemen it was to run from being awaken by a bear and I guess for modern man it is to get him to work on time so he's not mentally mauled by his "bear" of a boss..
These hormones creates an artificial high blood pressure for a short time.

Probably the BEST standardized reading might be during sleep...but then your BP rig would have to be automated, computerized, and cost a fortune.

The point is that in order for "NORMAL" BP readings to have meaning, all those compared must be compared in the same state...the consensus is that state is the RESTED RELAXED state. <Someone who can never relax needs to deal with THAT problem, his BP problem is secondary!>

 
Old 04-14-2007, 09:13 AM   #13
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin View Post
The reason that a BP test is done in a relaxed state is to establish a STANDARD to which people could be compared.
Since 1998, I've taken 22,000 blood pressure readings, or an average of seven times per day. I plunk myself down in a chair, put my arm in the cuff and take the reading, which takes all of about 30 seconds. By doing this, I was able to learn the effectiveness of my medications, and was able to make significant changes to my mediations based on what I learned. I was also able to learn what was causing my blood pressure problems.

If I followed your "STANDARD", I doubt that I now would be enjoying healthy blood pressure and much improved health.

Quote:
Logic is that we spend several hours relaxed during the day and 8 hours relaxed while we sleep so that is an important number to readsily use as a standard.
Logic is that we spend many hours during the day doing normal activities. If our blood pressure runs at an unhealthy level during those normal hours it is not good for our health. Is it?

If your "average" blood pressure runs at about 160/100 during normal activity, is that healthy for you? Do you want to know?

Quote:
When a doctor says "yeah, but what about your BP when you are NOT relaxed" is indicating that he doesn't understand blood pressure or the point of blood pressure testiing.
I don't really understand what you want to know about your blood pressure, In my case, I suffer from heart failure, among other things. If I didn't get my blood pressure down into healthy levels, and didn't get my heart beating in a healthier manner, I would be dead right now, or worse.

I wanted to know what my blood pressure was doing 24 hours per day, at rest and at normal activity levels. The 22,000 readings, computer charts, computer statistics, and hundreds of notes, have allowed me to fully understand my blood pressure. If I get a blood pressure reading, higher than expected, I can then attempt to track down the offending culprit(s), and make changes.

Quote:
If one wants to check BP at the peak of exertion, then that's what a stress test is for.
I agree with you on this point.

Quote:
Comparing numbers under stress with relaxed numbers is comparing apples and oranges.
Absolutely. High levels of stress, or activity, will usually give higher than normal readings.

Quote:
In fact, if doctors wanted a standard BP while stressed, the literature would say something like: "run up 140 steps in 3 minutes and then test your BP exactly one minute later."
I've taken my blood pressure while stressed out because I wanted to know if it was pushing my blood pressure into unhealthy levels, and if it did, take medications to get my blood pressure back down into healthier levels. If you ignore unhealthy, high levels of blood pressure, while under stress, you are playing Russian Roulette with a possible stroke or a heart attack.

Your tip on not running up 140 steps in 3 minutes, with heart failure, and then taking one's BP, is duly noted. However, how about during or after sex?

Quote:
All the literature relates RESTING BP with symptoms, treatments, outcomes...thus taking stressed readings after exertion is a pointless exercise.
I agree with you. But..... I have heart failure, so I usually don't overexert myself.

Quote:
It's akin to taking a fasting glucose, getting a normal reading and then having a doctor say "Yeah, but what about AFTER eating a candy bar." The learned answer to that should be "Who CARES?"
That doctor is correct. It is important to also check one's glucose about two hours after eating.

Quote:
Why you shouldn't take it first thing in the morning?
Because most people have a "wake-up outpouring" of adrenal hormones that creates a short term "fight-or flight response"...for cavemen it was to run from being awaken by a bear and I guess for modern man it is to get him to work on time so he's not mentally mauled by his "bear" of a boss..
These hormones creates an artificial high blood pressure for a short time.
I want to know if my blood pressure readings are dangerously high first thing in the morning. Most heart attacks happen in the morning. If I can prevent a heart attack, or stroke, by reducing dangerously high morning blood pressure, then wouldn't it be in my best interests to do it, rather than ignoring the dangerous blood pressure?

Quote:
Probably the BEST standardized reading might be during sleep...but then your BP rig would have to be automated, computerized, and cost a fortune.

The point is that in order for "NORMAL" BP readings to have meaning, all those compared must be compared in the same state...the consensus is that state is the RESTED RELAXED state. <Someone who can never relax needs to deal with THAT problem, his BP problem is secondary!>
My "normal" blood pressure, based on 350 readings, for the entire month of March 2007 was 125/73. The standard deviations were (11)/(7). That means that the normal grouping for systolic was 114-136 and for diastolic was 66-80.

I guess that I must be doing something wrong!
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:42 AM   #14
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
Beerzoids, you're absolutely correct! And I'm so glad you clarified this as there is a lot of misinformation out there (or at least a lot of different opinions) on these issues.

Bethsheba
Thanks for the reply.

A lot of doctors do not have the knowledge or ability to effectively treat high blood pressure. Sometimes a doctor will get lucky by having a relatively healthy, young patient, in prime shape, whose blood pressure is treatable with a medication or two. But, for the most part, doctors have little success in effectively treating high blood pressure.

So, what is a high paid doctor to do with his MANY high blood pressure patients? Well..... the answer is simple. He tells his patients that they have "White Coat Syndrome". If that doesn't work, he tells them that they cannot handle stress or anxiety, and that is what is causing their blood pressure problems. What else would we expect? Do we expect doctors to scratch their heads and admit that they have no clue? Of course not. So..... the doctors blame the patients. At least it brings some patients some peace of mind thinking that their high blood pressure ONLY happens in the doctor's office.

Another nasty doctor tactic is to tell the patient's that the patient's miserable symptoms are unique. The problems that the patient is suffering are rare and not like the other patients. He tells each patient that his other patients do not have the same problems, or bad reactions to the mediations prescribed. I especially dislike this manner of patient treatment.

To me, the only way of getting one's blood pressure under control is to fully understand the problem. How can a complex problem, like high blood pressure, be solved effectively, without sufficient data and knowledge?

Regards, have a great weekend!
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Last edited by Machaon; 04-14-2007 at 11:12 AM.

 
Old 04-14-2007, 03:11 PM   #15
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Re: Feeling a little paniked. Not sure if I should be worried...

Quote:
A lot of doctors do not have the knowledge or ability to effectively treat high blood pressure. Sometimes a doctor will get lucky by having a relatively healthy, young patient, in prime shape, whose blood pressure is treatable with a medication or two. But, for the most part, doctors have little success in effectively treating high blood pressure.
Based on my experience, I would have to agree with you. But I would add that unfortunately, a relatively healthy, young patient, in prime shape can also experience devasting health consequences being treated by a medication or two...

Quote:
So, what is a high paid doctor to do with his MANY high blood pressure patients? Well..... the answer is simple. He tells his patients that they have "White Coat Syndrome". If that doesn't work, he tells them that they cannot handle stress or anxiety, and that is what is causing their blood pressure problems. What else would we expect? Do we expect doctors to scratch their heads and admit that they have no clue? Of course not. So..... the doctors blame the patients. At least it brings some patients some peace of mind thinking that their high blood pressure ONLY happens in the doctor's office.:
Yes, and they also blame the patient for other conditions they don't understand!!! I don't think you're saying that white coat hypertension doesn't exist...I think you're saying that regular at home monitoring needs to be done to rule out white coat, right?

Quote:
Another nasty doctor tactic is to tell the patient's that the patient's miserable symptoms are unique. The problems that the patient is suffering are rare and not like the other patients. He tells each patient that his other patients do not have the same problems, or bad reactions to the mediations prescribed.
Oh, how true!! I was told that I was "sensitive" to meds but I didn't believe I was the only one with arthritis, bone pain, exhaustion, muddled thinking, vision problems, etc. There were just too many problems with each med. It wasn't until I found these boards that I realized that many/most people (including doctors) do not identify the side effects of the medication! But why would we id the side effects when the docs don't take the time to educate us, deny the symptoms we do report, and don't keep up with the literature!!

Quote:
To me, the only way of getting one's blood pressure under control is to fully understand the problem. How can a complex problem, like high blood pressure, be solved effectively, without sufficient data and knowledge?
This is so true, beerzoids. We need to take charge of our own health...we have computers and information at our fingertips, and we have the suport of people who have a wide variety of personal experience and expertise. We've got the most at stake and we have the potential for using our power to take back our health.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-14-2007 at 03:16 PM.

 
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