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Old 12-21-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
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Anxiety and high blood pressure

Welcome to the wonderful world of anxiety , which in turn causes the high blood pressure spikes. First of all DON't read this sub board lol, you will think a stroke is imminent and while being helpful, the posts will make you feel even worse and scared.

I'm at the point now where even just thinking of my BP causes it to go up, thanks to the doctors scaring me to death. I knew all along it was cause of anxiety< which would make my face turn beat red, sweat, stress out. I went to the hospital with trouble breathing ( well i thought i had trouble breathing) and going there made my BP sky rocket , they kept me for hours while giving me IV's of beta blockers ( which didn't lower my BP at all) The highest it was was like 145/109) i left the hospital with a prescription for lopressor 50 mg TWICE daily! ( i only take one dose a day) if i relax and take my bp at home it is around 125/65.

Test after TEST! went to a cardiologist ( which took a month to get an appointment, so that made me worry all the time about my BP) after getting an echo, renal sonogram done my cardio agreed that my high BP spikes cause of my anxiety, and he said even though it was high at the hospital it didn't worry him. he still wants me to take the beta blocker though! ( i think cause it keeps my HR low, although my BP still spikes alot) It takes YEARS of CONSTANT high BP for any damage to occur. You're not going to have a high BP one day then drop dead of a stroke a day later. Teddy Roosevelt dropped dead of a stroke, go look up what his BP was if you want to feel better about your numbers. I have to go back to the cardiologist next year, so i/m staying on the beta blockers until then. I'm also on anti anxiety medication now FINALLY, lexapro 10 mg. Thats not helping either but it's only been a few weeks. Seems like no medicatiosn help me though!

Last edited by mod-anon; 12-22-2008 at 09:59 PM. Reason: starting a new thread with this post.

 
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:30 PM   #2
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

145/109 was your highest? I had 191/110 and was never on IV in the hosp. Although I should have maybe. I did get a 170/105 reading in the ER and they did nothing.

 
Old 12-21-2008, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Yea! But i meant they gave me the beta blocker through the IV (lopressor) not actually getting Iv of fluids. They did that twice, then after it still didn't go down they gave me a 50 mg pill of it, and they said thta was the most they can give at one time or something.

They actually wanted me to take 50 mg twice daily. But my cardiologist said once a day is fine. Only thing that concerns me is it not being in my system all the time, sinc ei only take it once. I thought it would be better taking half that dose once in the morning and once at night. split the 50 /25 mg. But i'll just listen to my cardiologist, since doctors don't even seem to listen to me lol.
You reminded me about another thing. Most people only look at the bottom number as being you have high BP, but the first number (systolic) at a really high level is also really bad.


What is bad though for me is since my BP only spikes up, sometimes when im fine my BP goes as low as like 109/45!! Maybe people who only have spikes shouldn't be on beta blockers at all?

 
Old 12-21-2008, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Thing is though i'm also at the point where even if i get HOT and should sweat it makes me think about how high my BP is getting. Like if i'm working out, i have to open my windows even though it's freezing cold, or else if i feel my face get all hot and i start to sweat i get all nervous. Like i alway fel the need to keep a fan on me to keep me cool lol. Thats silly though right? i mean BP SHOULD get high when exercising no?

 
Old 12-22-2008, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

LOL, and it never ends! i had a nephrologist apointment today cause of high metapherine levels.After once again explaining how i have social anxiety disorder , the symptoms also match something known as pheochromocytoma! so now i have to get blood work done and do a 24 hour urine catch and see if it's tumors on my adrenal glands are causing the BP sikes. WELL GEE they only happen in social situations so i doubt that.

They also gave me a script for a differnet beta blocker called labetaolol, and told me to stop taking the lopressor. Hoepfully this one works better. Any opinion on it? ould it better for somebody like me who gets what feels like hot flashes/adrenalin? which causes BP sikes? it says it's also adrenergic receptor blocker so that might be good.

I'm just worried about stopping the meds for the urine catch. I remember him saying to stop my anxiety medication but i don't remember if im not supposed to take the beta blocker either.

Then if those levels are high again i need a CT scan. It never ends!

PS sorry about using this topic to post this, but i figured to post this in here since we are all in the same boat.

Last edited by Lourage; 12-22-2008 at 05:10 PM.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 05:31 PM   #6
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

What anxiety meds are you on, Lorage?
I think it's good to sort of rule all of these things out. I'm sure it's incredibly anxiety ridden while going through it though, but I'm positive once you have all of this testing behind you that you'll have more ammunition to fight your anxiety.

I too suffer from BP spikes due to anxiety. I also have the occasional BP spike for no apparant reason (meaning like 138/88). The key is that I no longer worry about it. I simply move on and the next day I'll find it back to 115/80 or whatever it might be. There have been times where that 138/88 would have thrown me into weeks of 140/90 or 150/100 readings that would only come down by lying down and taking my blood pressure flat on my back. Then, once I got a pretty number I could sit and get a decent reading. I'm taking Zoloft which has helped tremendously with my obsessive worry over my BP. For whatever reason it helps me not get stuck on it. I remember being out with friends and thinking "I wonder what my BP is" and that would make me flush and I would become convinced that it must be crazy high. Ugh - anyhow - just my own OCDish patterns on my BP )

I was on Labetalol for a while after my son was born (another very high anxiety time in my life, with little sleep and crazy hormones). My only reservation at the time was not being convinced I needed it, but I finally got off it once I went back on Zoloft and got my thoughts under control again It is a mild drug and I was able to take it and breastfeed, so it's obviously quite safe. (btw- I also took Diovan for a while as well. I've not been on any BP meds for over 6 months now). I bet your docs are giving you a beta blocker because they have anti-anxiety properties as well. My doc gave me some Propranalol a while back but it made my arms hurt really bad and my heart rate was like 45 and it gave me insomnia. He told me I'm one weird chick 'cause most peopel can't stay awake on it It's just different for all of us, I suppose.

As far as spikes - they happen. And they most certainly happen during exercise. The systolic gets high when working out. I don't think we are supposed to be shooting for a 120/80 BP during the WHOLE day - just when we are relaxing and sitting down. It's going to vary - go lower while we sleep and higher while we are moving around. That's what it's supposed to do.

I've rambled. Sorry. Just giving some of my own input Much luck to you in getting it all figured out... I'm sure you will!

 
Old 12-22-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Thanks for the input and i'm glad you were able to get yours under control. I'm going on a year of just trying to convince doctors it's my anxiety causing the spikes. my bp was fine at the nephro today! 125/75! even though i felt my face get all red and though it would be crazy high. You know i just though after going to see a cardiologist getting a ekg,echo and renal sonogram done and given a clean bill of health i could concentrate fully on getting the anxiety in check! now this! I even told my doctors that i think my metapherine levels in my urine analysis were so high cause i was nervous taking the test! and hopefully the home 24 hour test will prove that.

Now i go back to my real doctor and tell her whats going on. I was supposed to go to u;pdate on how my anxiety meds are working since it's been two weeks. ( it's 10 mg of lexapro BTW, which so far have done nothing, i was also on it like two years ago and it did'nt nothing thing too, but that was with a different doctor, and this one wanted me to try again starting with the normal low dose. I also tried paxil CR that did nothing also. Low dose of klonpin did nothing as did low dose of xanax. LOL damn now thinking back on it maybe i do have that pheochromocytoma and thats why those anxiety meds didn't work lol. For some reason though SSRIs don't seem to do anything for me, that or i didn't give them a long enough chance. I was on paxil for a few months though like two years ago and it didn't help.

yea though like you my BP feels like it's become like OCD to me, my constant thoughts about it, which is why i also hope the anxiety medication will work. I just want to stop thinking about it. Only time i feel fine and worry free is when i'm drunk lol but then again who doesn't?

Oh i forgot to mention i ahven't slept a full night in about 6 months. I wake up like every 2-3 hours, I can't remember the last time i had a deep REM sleep. That also can't be good for the body and BP /anxiety. I think it's the lopressor cause it seems every since taking that i can't sleep.

Last edited by Lourage; 12-22-2008 at 05:46 PM.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 06:26 PM   #8
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Lourage,

what is this metapherine? Is it a hormone or some type of a protein? Or did you mean metanephrine? How did they find out you are excreting high levels of it, via the urine dipstick test? What did your nephrologist say? I guess you're waiting for the results of your 24hr urine test.

Labetalol is a very effective medication for reducing blood pressure. Because it contains a beta blocker, as well as an alpha blocker (the ratio is about 3:1) , it is a also an effective medication for reducing anxiety(off-label).
Like zekat, I took Labetalol for a while but had to replace it with another beta blocker due to breathing problems. Unfortunately, most beta blockers cause insomnia. Your not being able to sleep through the night is most likely because of this medication. If you've been given a clean bill of health, why not switch to another blood pressure medication (if you need it)? If you do, you'll be able to sleep through the night again.

FG

 
Old 12-22-2008, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Yea it's metanephrine, sorry about the spelling! They found out it was high after my urine test from a few months ago. Not sure if it's a hormone. I know it's not a protein as far as i know. My level was at like 495 and the normal range should be 16-327. The Nephro wants to rule out the pheococtomya.. ( i give up trying to spell these words lol)

I just read that it increase with stress! Like i said i was extremely nervous when taking the test cause i knew the blood work was next , plus i'm always anxious.

Last edited by Lourage; 12-22-2008 at 06:43 PM.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 07:06 PM   #10
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

If you really think it's anxiety, and you don't think the Lexapro is working, I would encourage you to try Zoloft. I *hate* to push any SSRI on somebody who doesn't really need it, but I can't stress how much of a lifesaver it has been for me with my obsessions over my BP. My doctor prescribes it for anxiety because I have not been diagnosed with OCD, but I'm convinced I have OCD tendencies. Zoloft is approved for treatment of OCD and I believe that is why it works for me. I, too, tried Lexapro with no real improvement. I have also taken xanax (as needed) from time to time and it has been useful but it's nothing I want to stay on long-term. Truthfull, I do not want to stay on the Zoloft long-term either. I take the lowest prescribed dose (25mg) and after a month and GREAT results (as far as not obsessing over my BP) i cut it in half now and still do well.

Additionally, I didn't realize insomnia was a known side effect of beta-blockers. The beta-blockers really backfired on me because my Dr. gave them to me "as needed". He said if my BP spiked or my anxiety got bad to take one. (I think it was very sound advice, btw) But, I'd take it b/c of a BP spike then I wouldn't be able to go to sleep so I'd lay up all night with high BP. Once I would *finally* relax - hours later, I'd check my BP and it would be 87/55 with a heart rate of 42. Nuts. Really. Not funny, but it kind of was

I have so many thoughts on the subject from my years of going back and forth. I realize there are probably a ton of people walking around taking BP meds that really don't need it b/c they simply have white coat. I also realize there are a ton of people walking around who really need meds but aren't taking them. I realize that I'm a bit different from all of them b/c I know exactly where my BP is on a day-to-day basis. That gives me a bit more ammo (and a bit more to worry over if I want to). Ultimately, I dont' feel I need BP meds - at least not right now. I hope you are able to get to a point where you feel good about taking your BP meds, Lourage, or you feel good about discontinuing. Either way - I really wish you peace in your decision.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 07:35 PM   #11
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Thank you for the kind words. Yea i had a friend who took zoloft for depression and it worked really well for him. I'm willing to try anything, i don't really get too bad of side effects from any medications " although now i'll be worrying about having breathing problems when i start the labetalol tomorrow cause of flowergirls post lol, i'll probably just think i can't breathe cause i'll be worrying about it ha) Only medication i would wnat to stay away from is wellbutrin, i know it's different for everyone, but i had a friend who was on it and he turned into a zombie, i don't think i saw him smile or laugh while on it for months!


Yea i'm going to see what my doc says about the lexapro tomorrow, cause if i know it's not going to work i don't want to keep taking it and build up a tolerance then have to slowly wean off it again ( that was fun by the way) Plus since its only been two weeks i'm sure i could just stop taking it. My doctor is kinda reserve though ( what doc isn't nowadays) about SSRIs and prescribing them i think. Took me months and months of her saying " well lets get these tests firsts and make sure it's not something else" before finally being put on something. Then again my old doc would let me try anything i asked, cause i told him i would read message boards and see what worked for people. But now after she hears about me having to get this other test for that metapherine an dhow it could possible be that pheochromocytoma she might want to back off them again until after those tests. I'm going to get the blood work and urine tests done this weekend. Then the nephro wants me to see him again the end of January , well unless he calls before then about the results. I'm sure my regular doctor though who i'm seeing tomorrow will agree with me that it is from anxiety, but doctors can' take any chances and you can't blame them. Don't want to misdiagnose not find out what wrong with someone. It's just i hate the waiting game. I can't ever "relax" until i know whats going on. Its weird how some people can be like this though! lol i know some people who haven't been to the doctor in years, and they don't worry about anything! LOL i been to like 5 different doctors 15 times in the past 9 months.

BTW i'm 28, i exercise and i weigh 148 pounds. Hence another reason i think it's all from my social anxiety and not my lifestyle about the BP. Although my dad is on BP meds and cholesterol medication. But he is in his late 50's.

Also another thing is people who have high blood pressure have it constantly? Like no matter when/where they take it it's always high? and thats why its such an emergency to get it lowered? Like to just have spikes, it's ok if ours goes up but as long as it goes back down we shouldn't worry?

Hope i answered you guys questions, and if i missed any of them feel free to ask. You cna also take a look at my old post history to see when/where it all started, and im sure i got some doses/meds wrong and other stuff mixed up from back then that i was taking.
Happy holidays and merry Christmas to all of you and your families.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #12
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

One last thing. I finished working out and took a hot shower. Came out feeling like my BP was really high, ears were all red, faced flush, mostly from the hot water, but i felt like my BP was up. Took it and it was 133/68. Also making me think a lot of the times i feel flush and think it's high it really isn't, but my brain keeps telling me it is cause it's used to it being high ( if that makes any sense) Could be the beta blocker, but now that im starting labetalol tomorrow who knows what will happen on that. Whats good though is it's 100 mg that im to take twice daily. The lopressor i was only taking once in the morning ( was 50 mg) so by the time night comes you'd think it would wear off and be out of my system.

whats weird though is i took it on my left arm and it was 139/78. Is point drops ( 10 diastolic) something to worry about? or do they normally fluctuate between arms?

Last edited by Lourage; 12-22-2008 at 07:46 PM.

 
Old 12-23-2008, 02:29 AM   #13
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Lourage,

You better check with the kidney Dr. about labetalol. It messed up the urine test for Meta when I did it. BTW the urine test is quite expensive. I couldn't go off the labetalol because my b/p was in the 200's so the test didn't get done again.

I take 900mg twce a day of labetalol which is at least three times as much as flowergirl took, I believe. No breathing problems. Also I take 25mg of HCTZ. Fam

 
Old 12-23-2008, 05:06 AM   #14
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Re: Anxiety and high blood pressure

Thats probably why he doesn't want me to take any medication the day of the test. I don't have to worry about any ill effects from not taking my beta- blocker for a day though right? Now i'm not sure if i should start this labetalol today... or wait till tonight after talking to my GP doctor. Either way im sure he knows about the meta error when taking it and will calculate for it.

The urine test is expensive even with insurance? Is it usually not covered? Normally i don't pay any co-payments for tests and doctor visits.

Last edited by Lourage; 12-23-2008 at 05:07 AM.

 
Old 12-23-2008, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: BP 150's over mid 90's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourage View Post
One last thing. I finished working out and took a hot shower. Came out feeling like my BP was really high, ears were all red, faced flush, mostly from the hot water, but i felt like my BP was up. Took it and it was 133/68. Also making me think a lot of the times i feel flush and think it's high it really isn't, but my brain keeps telling me it is cause it's used to it being high ( if that makes any sense) Could be the beta blocker, but now that im starting labetalol tomorrow who knows what will happen on that. Whats good though is it's 100 mg that im to take twice daily. The lopressor i was only taking once in the morning ( was 50 mg) so by the time night comes you'd think it would wear off and be out of my system.

whats weird though is i took it on my left arm and it was 139/78. Is point drops ( 10 diastolic) something to worry about? or do they normally fluctuate between arms?
vasodilation makes you flush. That can be caused by the adrenaline/noradrenaline that gets released in a panic attack. It can also be caused by the nitric oxide that gets released from exercise. Or it can be directly from heat.

Differences of 10 pts or more between arms can be a sign of something wrong with the large arteries near the heart - but you'd have to repeat the testing many times to be sure it's just not a fluke.

 
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