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Old 01-18-2005, 11:41 AM   #1
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High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

I normally hang out on the hypertension board, but because I am 48 and have been having some suspicious symptoms, I've started to visit here.

I was on the Pill for 27 years without a problem. Then at 45 I started bleeding heavily and for most of the month while I was on the pill. When I went to the doctor, they told me I had hypertension and took me off the Pill. I've been through various blood pressure meds before settling on a calcium channel blocker and clonidine. I also tried micronor (hated it), before ending up on depo provera. Painful, heavy, prolonged bleeding with lots of clotting continued for about a year and a half on the depo. Now on the depo I seem to have some spotting every 2 or 3 months but that's it.

I occasionally have anxiety adrenlin spikes and rapid heartbeat, for no reason, often accompanied by a spike in blood pressure. I will also once a night wake up really hot, and have to kick off all the covers for a bit to cool down. Normally I am pretty cold, so really pile on the covers and crank up the heat blanket.

The anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hot spells and period irregularity sound like perimenopause. I am wondering if the high blood pressure is as well?

Anyone suddenly develop high blood pressure when starting perimenopause?

 
Old 01-18-2005, 05:04 PM   #2
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

I developed high blood pressure when I started perimenopause. I'm taking Microzide for my bp.

 
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:24 PM   #3
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

I also developed high blood pressure at the start of perimenopause twelve years ago. I think hormones play a big part in high Bp in perimenopausal women.

 
Old 01-19-2005, 11:59 AM   #4
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

almost50, I am also wondering if the hormonal imbalance that occurs at this time of life can also affect blood pressure. Why wouldn't it? It seems to interfere with most of the body's other regulatory mechanisms.

Next question: Did anyone's blood pressure go down after you got through menopause?

 
Old 01-19-2005, 02:44 PM   #5
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraylorn
almost50, I am also wondering if the hormonal imbalance that occurs at this time of life can also affect blood pressure. Why wouldn't it? It seems to interfere with most of the body's other regulatory mechanisms.

Next question: Did anyone's blood pressure go down after you got through menopause?
Good question! I hope so, because I didn't have high blood pressure until I started perimenopause. All my life, up until this point, my pressure was usually quite low, about 109/64.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

Wow Hopefully, those were great numbers! I hope your bp does go down after you get through "the change".

Do you notice that your blood pressure fluctuates a lot now? Trouble is, if you are medicated, those fluctuations may not show up.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraylorn
Wow Hopefully, those were great numbers! I hope your bp does go down after you get through "the change".

Do you notice that your blood pressure fluctuates a lot now? Trouble is, if you are medicated, those fluctuations may not show up.


The fluctuation that I've noticed in my pressure occurs when I go to the doctor's office (white coat syndrome), when I don't take my hormones, and when I eat certain foods (food allergies). I can go awhile without taking the Microzide and my pressure is fine, but if I stop taking my hormones it affects my blood pressure. Microzide is basically a diuretic. My internal med. dr. said that she doesn't believe that I really have high blood pressure. She was the first dr. to tell me that she thought my symptoms were hormonal. Unfortunately, it was over a year before this was actually confirmed.

Last edited by Hopefully; 01-20-2005 at 07:14 PM.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 08:15 PM   #8
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

I just had to wear a 24 hour blood pressure cuff to check my blood pressure!It runs high,then goes to normal levels...
Some women seem to have little or no problems with peri & menopause,while others of us really go thru some hell.It's really been awful for me,some days better than others but I never feel quite as well as I did before this all started.

 
Old 01-21-2005, 08:26 AM   #9
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

I have a family history of high blood pressure, so I might have it legitimately, but still, I wonder if perimenopause is the major player.

Yesterday my medicated blood pressure was lower than normal (which is pretty low now) all day. I decided to try cutting back my clonidine from .1mg 3 times a day to .1mg twice a day for today. So this morning I took the clonidine a couple hours later than normal. About an hour before I took it and then for about an hour and a half after I took it, I was jittery, anxious, shakey, had a fast pounding heart, and was a bit flushed. Blood pressure was sometimes high and sometimes normal, pulse was always fast.

Clonidine usually kicks in for me in about 30-45 minutes. This drug is most often used for blood pressure, but it is sometimes used for relief of menopause symptoms. So, I'm unsure whether my physical reaction was in response to not getting my drug fix when I usually get it, or whether it was a perimeno attack, or some combination.

This is fun (NOT)!

How long does a hotflash/anxiety attack/palpatation event last?

 
Old 01-27-2005, 12:32 PM   #10
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

I am 43, in Perimenopause and just developed high blood pressure 5 months ago. It was 140/90 in the doctors office, usually 110/65 before. I bought a cuff and measure at home and measured for 6 weeks before agreeing to a beta blocker. I was getting 135/88 at home at rest on an average. God only knows what it was going up to when I had palps and tachycardia. Now I am on 12.5 mg of Atenolol which is only half of the lowest reccommended dosage. I am terrified of drugs so my GP started me out really low. Good thing. My BP is now sometimes 90/60 and my feet and hands are cold. The odd thing is when I do anything. Laundry, light house work, talk on the phone, anything at all it goes up to 127/85 (an avarage). I have been taking my BP like a maniac. I can't seem to stop. I got on the treadmill (fast walking)for 25 minutes and it was 145/96. It really scared me and I didn't do the rest of my work out. My doc said it was normal just to keep going, but I have been on the blood pressure board and some say it's not normal for the bottom number to go up during exercise so that's my new thing to worry about.
Anyone know anything about this?

 
Old 01-28-2005, 12:00 PM   #11
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

Beach Bum, a lot of us get obsessed with taking our blood pressure, I went through that for a while. What is important is your average resting, relaxed numbers at home. Blood pressure normally goes up and down during the day, depending on what you are doing, stress, etc. Exercise too. A number like 145/96 is nothing while working out, if your bp went up to 180/110, that might be a problem. If your doctor isn't concerned you shouldn't be, and exercising is good for reducing blood pressure, among other good things it does for you.

Your average readings at home before medication of 135/88 put you in the "pre-hypertension" category. Stage 1 hypertension starts at a resting bp of 140/90. Doctors are quick to medicate, but at what you were getting, just monitoring would have been sufficient. And since you are taking 1/2 of the lowest recommended dosage of that beta blocker, and your bp now sometimes goes to 90/60, again makes me question if you really need medicating.

Beta blockers have a useful side effect of being anti-anxiety, which is probably why your doctor chose it. A bad side effect is the cold hands and feet.

Don't worry, it only makes your bp higher. You are getting good numbers. There are some folks on the hypertension board who would kill to have your numbers, even the 145/96 number.

If you ever come to feel the beta blocker isn't helping you, talk to your doctor before dropping it. At your low dosage you may not have any trouble, but beta blockers can have rebound effects if you just stop cold turkey.

 
Old 01-29-2005, 11:36 AM   #12
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Re: High blood pressure due to perimenopause?

Thanks mgraylorn, for the words of encouragement. I will continue to work out and try not to fret too much. One thing that the Atenolol has done, even at such a low dosage, is take away some of the anxiety and the negative self talk. It did drop my resting BP so much though that I have been taking smaller amounts to see how low I can go and still get the benefit. I am extremely sensitive to all meds and most of the time refuse to take anything at all.
But because I am feeling more normal, I am hesitant to get completely off of it yet. It is making me lose some hair, hopefully getting the dose even lower will stop that. We'll see.
I am trying other things to feel normal as well. I have bought some CD's of music from a particualrly carefree time in my life. They take me back and temporrily give that carefree feeling. I rent funny movies. I am resuming my hobbies. I didn't even realize that I had given them up. Now I am doing my photography, making jewelry, reading and going out with friends more. I don't obsess about my health while I am editing digital photos or trying a new recipe out on my hubby. Perimenopause is so powerful and unpredictable, I just hope it can't rob me of these pleasures again.

 
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