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Old 08-27-2007, 06:08 AM   #1
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Question Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

I just want to know if there is anyone who can have their blood pressure shoot up astronomically from stress? I have had 3-4 really high blood pressure spikes (170/110; when I panic over that number I go to 180/120) with headache that sent me to the ER, only to be told there is nothing wrong but stress, and then I watch my BP settle back down to nearly perfect in a day or two. Each time this is precipitated by feeling in a near panic from the stress of a series of events. In my case it seems also to be related to water retention, because I will become incredbly bloated and the BP returns to normal with a little extra HCTZ. I don't know how I stress myself into retaining water, but I seem to do it. Happens about once every 6 months or so. Anyone else?

 
Old 08-27-2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

When blood pressure medicine is at it's most effective, it will control the spikes you are experiencing and not let your pressure rise that high. So the only thing I can think of is maybe you need another med in addition to your hctz or a higher dose of the diuretic if you are bloating on it.

People with HBP on the correct meds or combination of meds are supposed to keep pressures under 140/90, if on meds and going higher, talk with your doc about med adjustment.

 
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

Hi,

Water retension has many causes. Yours does not happen very often. I feel you can exclude kidney, cardio or liver problems from the usual causes.
Yours is accompanied by a blood pressure spike. Any one of the following could be the responsible.

-Thyroid
-Certain medications -antihypertensives (clonidine, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers or methyldopa), corticosteroids, progesterone, estrogen, antiinflammatories and anti-depressants.
-PMS
-Anemia (you can get a CBC test done to rule it out)
-Stress (you suspect this one )
-Increased aldosterone secretion in pre-menopausal women (cyclic edema)
-Food allergy, genes (it can be hereditary)
-Protein malnutrition (not enough protein intake from diet)
-Any drug that causes sodium retention
-Excess sodium ingestion

And, of course, the blood pressure spike is a direct result/consequence of the edema.

As Ms58 recommends in her post, you should have your meds reviewed and try to achieve controlled blood pressure. Try to avoid getting emotionally stressed out, eating salty meals (even one could bring on an edema & a BP spike), and greasy meals. I just read about a study done on healthy young people with no history of hypertension. Just one greasy meal resulted in an average increase in their blood pressure 1.5 times above normal. Their BP was measured both before and two hours after the meal. Consistent consumption of greasy stuff effects blood pressure.

 
Old 08-27-2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

Quote:
Each time this is precipitated by feeling in a near panic from the stress of a series of events.

Maybe you are prone to anxiety attacks. I have a couple friends that have them... and these attacks are very real to them... and the more they think about it, the worse it gets.

That's about all I know as they don't like to talk about it... And I'm not being smart when I say that them talking about it causes anxiety...


Talk to your Doctor about this.

 
Old 08-27-2007, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

Thanks everyone!

It is very disconcerting, even though it happens infrequently. Usual BP is 120-130/80. My meds have been tweaked quite a bit because too much can have adverse effects for me as well. My cardio is well aware of the spikes, as my GP. I've had every test known to man and my heart is fine. Since it happens infrequently, and since I have had problems with anxiety in the past, the docs just smile a bit and tell me to avoid stress and eat better. Ahh..if only it were that easy.

Just wondered it this happens to anyone else.

Last edited by Tamsin; 08-27-2007 at 04:06 PM.

 
Old 08-27-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

I have has this happen to the level you describe - and still occasionally do! My doctor has checked for every secondary reason you can think of - ultrasounds for kidney issues, urine tests for pheochromocytoma, all kinds of blood tests, etc. We have not found any other reason. Now, two of my sisters are also having hypertension, and, specifically, are also having BP spikes like I am, but none of my brothers. My doctor feels it is anxiety. I am on HCTZ and we are discussing other meds as well. Seems unusual for three girls in one family - I really wonder if hormone changes are part of this since we are all in the low 40s - low 50s age bracket.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

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Originally Posted by mgobluefan View Post
I really wonder if hormone changes are part of this since we are all in the low 40s - low 50s age bracket.
I think it has everything to do with hormones! I have had spiking bp issues since my hysterectomy and subsequent tinkering with estrogen replacement patches. (I am 45.) It seems when my estrogen levels dip I get a spike in bp...I think...that's my latest deduction at least. What I really don't understand, however, is why no doctor I've spoken to yet will make this correlation. It just seems that there are too many of us in this same boat to not see a correlation.

 
Old 08-28-2007, 05:14 AM   #8
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

I'm also 47 and (I think) pre-menopausal. So yeah, hormones combined with stress may have something to do with it. I also get hot flashes, but I've never checked the BP at that time. I think that will be my next experiment!

 
Old 08-28-2007, 12:16 PM   #9
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

I've had the same problem! However, not as bad as you. I am pre-menopausal as well. And as someone mentioned, its amazing that the doctors don't talk about this. There's obviously a connection. I think it's hormones, but I also think there could be a connection with diet. As another experiment, try to recall what you've eaten or 'taken' (vitamins, otc meds) into your body in the last couple of days before your BP spikes. See if you notice any pattern. I don't know if you are having regular monthlys, but also notice if its happening when you don't have a monthly. I know just from experimenting that the following spikes my blood pressure.

most anything with anti-inflammatory properties
some anti-depressants
most multi-vitamins
lamb
aged cheese
beer
chocolate
starbucks (even decaf)

I'm sure there are a few other things I can't remember, but these are the worst offenders! It's a shame about these 'spikes' because if you could figure out the cause, then you might not need BP medicine at all.

 
Old 09-01-2007, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: Stress and (Really High) High Blood Pressure Spikes??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamsin View Post
I'm also 47 and (I think) pre-menopausal. So yeah, hormones combined with stress may have something to do with it. I also get hot flashes, but I've never checked the BP at that time. I think that will be my next experiment!
I'm with you Tasmin! I am 48 now, and I have been geting what I call hot flashes the last couple of years. Day and night, all of the sudden my face is red, along with my neck, upper chest, and top of my shoulders.

I also have struggled to find a doctor that will make this correlation between spikes and hormones.

Keep the faith...
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