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Old 02-18-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
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Menopause & high blood pressure

This is my first post so forgive me if I ramble on. A couple of years ago I started going through menopause and my dr. put me on HRT. This caused my blood pressure to shoot up - 248/125! When I went for my appointment, he did an EKG and said he had seen something suspicious and sent me directly to the ER via an ambulance. After tests in the ER, it was determined it was all hormonal and I was advised to get off of the hormones. Ever since that appointment though, I have developed a severe case of White Coat hypertension...fearing he's going to find something else wrong with me. He put me on meds but a change in lifestyle seemed to have do more good than anything (quit smoking, working out, eating healthy, etc) My blood pressure at home is usually around 118/70 to 138/82. But I get into the doctors office and it shoots up to 220/110! He now said he thought he heard a heart murmur and is sending me for an echocardiogram. Of course, in my mind, I'll end up having open heart surgery!! Has anyone else experienced this and if so, how did it turn out. I have no symptoms of any heart problems and it doesn't run in the family. Sorry this is so long!

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: !

Mamma Mia, you sound like me!!! You need to be concerned enough to follow up with a Dr. That's why we have our built in alarm system called the flight or fight system. Only problem is that some of us don't have the braking power to slow down the b/p.

So happy that your home b/p is still okay. Keep it that way!!! Your murmur is probably nothing-I have one too. But you still need to have it checked out.

Anyhow, I've been dealing with this b/p thing for 6 yrs. I've taken biofeedback etc. & tried various approaches to keep my b/p from flying up at the DR's office. The only thing that really worked was to get a Macdonald's ice cream cone & take it to the DR's office. His nurse got such a laugh about it that my b/p has stayed at 120-130/70 ever since . Go Figure.

Also, it helps me to make a mental list of chores or stuff I need to do & then mentally go over them while she is taking my b/p.

I take extra med before the appointment too.

Fam

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: !

Thanks for your quick reply. I get myself so stressed out over these things which makes it even worse. Did you have an echogram done too and if so - how did that turn out? I'm so unfamiliar with this stuff and always think the worse. . He said he wanted it done before changing my meds but does that really help in determining blood pressure medication?

 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:10 AM   #4
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Re: !

I don't know what famd is talking about, but those numbers you are geting even if it is "white coat" is terrible. I NEVER hit that high, on systolic or diastolic, and i hit them pretty high! Get that taken care of soon!

 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:47 AM   #5
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Re: !

hi mama04...ive had h.b.p for a good few year now and started going through the menopause coming up for 4 years now ..my story is ....because of menopause i started having terrible panic attacks they were getting worse as each week was going on thought i was going mad at the docs one day for the meno they took my b.p its always a bit high because im an anxious person and have always hated going to hospitals /doctors my reading was 210/102 went back a few days later it was upto 220/112 so was giving more meds for this then they said oh we think you have white coat b.p which ive had for years if only they had looked at my records ..

anyway before this turns into a big epic lol..lol.. ill cut it short ..my o.h said you cant go on like this i was dizzy all the time always felt like i was ready to faint could not eat and ended up house bound was terrified to go out and i was obessed with mt B.P so one day he bought me a b.p monitor but even in my own home the readings were high so my family all got there b.p done with the monitor and after a few days i eventually calmed down enough to get a reading of 155/90 and a few days later was having readings of 99/57 with a heart rate of 43 phoned the doctor with my readings and he said i was over medicated and reduced my meds back to what they were before ..my doctor and myself have agreed that i cannot have my b.p checked at the office so i now have to do home readings and take them down to be added to my records have done this now for 3 year ..my readings average 124/138...73/84 and my pulse 57/72 these are depending on how im feeling ..

hope this helps you and hope you understand what im twittering on about LOL....LOL..LOL...

Last edited by sally47; 02-19-2009 at 01:51 AM.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #6
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Re: !

Sally, you are so lucky to have a Dr. who would allow you to just do home readings. That would be my wish buy it is not possible where I live. My last primary care visit my b/p flew up to 210/90 which I thought was pretty good considering they had a new machine that made so much noise. At home it had been 120/60.
Fam

 
Old 02-19-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourage View Post
I don't know what famd is talking about, but those numbers you are geting even if it is "white coat" is terrible. I NEVER hit that high, on systolic or diastolic, and i hit them pretty high! Get that taken care of soon!
'


Like comparing apples to oranges

She is a mature woman on hormones, this can happen when women are put on hormones during menopause.

So you really cant compare yourself with her, you are a young male. Some might consider you reading much more alarming because you are young and should be in the prime of your life.



Sally, I my mother went through the same thing after she hit menopause and had horrible numbers. unfortunaly she didnt take it seriously. have you talked to your GYN or an endo? they may have a solution to help get your numbers a bit more stable.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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Re: !

I don't think you should dismiss Lourage just because he's male. BP meds are supposed to keep our highest numbers from rising into the stroke out zones. Not just keep BP low when we are sitting still. We all have ranges, from very low when very calm, to higher when active or excited. But the range should not shoot up so high that it's dangerous. I think OPs doc is doing the right thing in that even at the docs, even when agitated, there should be a reasonable top pressure, maybe 140 to 160 over 90 or so, much higher is not good and needs to be addressed.

OP shouldn't freak out and stress herself. She should be calmed by the fact that she has a doctor who cares about her health and is doing things to help her.

Last edited by ms58; 02-19-2009 at 12:57 PM.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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Re: !

hello fam ...i had no option but to ask my doctor to agree to this decision me giving home bp readings i could not put myself through that agony each time i went to have my bp done ,,firstly i panic cause i had to go out ..panic cause i was in the doctors surgery ..panic when bp was getting done .. so its the best opition for me until i can get my anxiety /panic under control when that will be goodness knows ...

flutterbye 77... at the moment me doing home readings is the best for me the bp readings i had 3 years ago ive never had again "thank god " im on a couple of hbp meds
but none for the panic /anxiety which came about because of menopause ..although i am a lot better now and am getting it together slowly and can now venture out the house nearly every day just to the local shop but at least its a start ...

 
Old 02-19-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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Re: !

MS,

There are a certain number of HBP pts who can not prevent their b/p from rising into the "stroke zone" by medication alone. A Dr. can only give so much medication without potential harm to the patient. I'm on Labetalol which is one of the meds that is given in the ER for hypertensive crisis.

I have two hypertensive medical textbooks which verify the above statement. The patient doesn't have to be in panic mode to experience these b/p elevations. There is such a thing as a stimulus/response b/p elevation which is probably what I have.

Six years ago, I had thyroiditis which made my b/p & pulse soar.
I experienced some frightening episodes in Drs" offices as they tried to figured out what to do. So if anything reminds me of that in a DR's office, my b/p zooms without any conscious effort on my part. It's automatic according to the med text books. I have never had a panic episode or had abnormal anxiety.

I've seen at least 6 Drs. including one hypertensive specialist & one medical school professor & b/p expert at a well known University. I've tried all the classes of b/p drugs.

Thank goodness I usually only see my primary car Doc twice a year. She is pretty cool about my b/p even though she hasn't been out of school that long. But she insists on having my b/p taken by the nurse who is warm & friendly but my b/p still goes up because of all the bad experience in their office in the past when we were trying to get my b/p under control. BTW my b/p is perfect at the Endo's where I haven't had really bad b/p readings. I think that says it all.Fam

 
Old 02-20-2009, 06:48 AM   #11
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Re: !

My experiences have been very similar. I am not a combative person, but I have often felt like I'm gearing up for a fight when I go to the doctor. It all stared with a diagnosis of Graves disease in 2002, and sort of slid down hill from there. Once my BP started going up at the doctors office, the "fight feeling" just got worse. I knew I was simply anxious - then the meds... the many, many meds.

Ultimately I decided that simply living is a risk, and I don't care how good Big Pharma is at marketing to me, there are just not drugs to fix everything that ails me. The best course of action I can take is live the healthiest lifestyle possible, and then go out and enjoy life. I feel certain I must fall into the category famnd is speaking of. In laymans terms, I've always considered myself a "hyper-responder". I've had 3 episodes of extremely high BP at the doctors office and all were very unfair situations the doctors put me in. 177/117, 185/1??, 190/120. I can't remember them all exactly, but in each instance I was extremely frightened. Only the 177/117 was an original number - the other two were follow up numbers that had just gotten higher and higher as I begged them to stop taking my BP. After having a situation like that, it's hard to not get worked up when you have to go back, right? At any rate, I've been medicated - 90's/60's didn't really work out for me either. So, I've put a lot of effort into changing my outlook on things. My BP numbers continue to get lower and lower at home (unmedicated) as I get healthier and healthier. Just this morning, it was 105/72. I just can't imagine I would need BP meds to keep me from spiking into 190 and I can guarantee, in the right circumstance, my doctors could get it there again

Incidentally, I take copies of my at-home readings with me everywhere I go, so only my PCP takes my BP. It's high. He knows it, but accepts my home numbers. I was very, very happy to have gotten a 120/81 reading at my most recent appointment. Hopefully this is indicative of things to come.

Last edited by zekat; 02-20-2009 at 06:49 AM.

 
Old 02-20-2009, 08:15 AM   #12
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Re: !

Fam, I know you are correct in what you say. You are very informed and helpful on these boards. And ofcourse some people's BP can be controlled only to a certain level for many reasons and then they have to live with it as best they can.

But OP is going to a doc who is interested in helping as much as he/she can. And maybe thru testing, etc., they can find her problem and get her BP lower. And for general info, BP should tried to be capped with meds and life style changes, if at all possible. And people should go to their docs if it's running very high, to at least try to get it down.

I think that is what Lourage and I are referring to.

If it's impossible, at least you have tried, to ignore it before making an effort to get it under control is the problem.

Last edited by ms58; 02-20-2009 at 08:35 AM.

 
Old 02-20-2009, 08:43 AM   #13
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Re: !

Reading thru some of the replies, the term "white coat" syndrome come to mind. I too have my bp shoot up while at the office. I see a multiple of drs. and sometimes low but mostly high readings. My nephrologist(sp), who specializes in bp and kidney problems ahd me wear a 24 hour monitor. That verified the fact that my bp rises while in the office, even though I feel at ease and don't feel tense. At my last visit, my bp was 160/93. He didn't even look at it. He looked at my readings, which I take twice a day.
I take 3 different meds for bp, so I need to be my own dr and do the things to keep me in control.
By taking your own readings and with the guidance and help from your dr, you should be Ok.
Hope this helps calm your fears,
Dick

 
Old 02-20-2009, 06:26 PM   #14
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Re: !

I'm sorry if i was being out of line. Hope you guys aren't mad at me. I got a bad case of white coat right now, knowing i'm going out to hang out with friends i haven't seen in years. I already took 60 mg of propranolol, and my BP is still 147/96! I don't get it. I thought the medication is supposed to help with this, yet my anxiety always wins. it lowers it when i'm not anxious or stressed, but i thought it's supposed to help in those times too?

Now the whole night my BP is going to be in the back of my mind.

 
Old 02-20-2009, 07:18 PM   #15
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Re: !

Lourage,

It's always a little nerve racking yet exciting seeing old friends. I doubt if any of us on this board would be upset by anything you said. This is an open forum where we can express our views in a respectful manner.

Inderal is designed to lower the heart rate & b/p. According to the Physician's desk reference, this drug decreases the outward signs of stress/anxious but it does not decrease anxiety itself. At least this is my understanding. I took Inderal for about three months 6 yrs ago when I first developed Thyroiditis. It didn't lower my b/p much but I was hyperthyroid at the time so that may have been the reason.

I find taking a hot bath & listening to my favorite relaxing music helps during stressful times. Have a good time. Fam

PS Have you allowed enough time for the med to work?

Last edited by famnd; 02-20-2009 at 07:19 PM.

 
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