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  • how low of a BP is a crisis?

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    Old 07-11-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
    Maremma
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    how low of a BP is a crisis?

    I was reading a lot of strings here and saw that someone was put in the hospital with a BP of 80/50 and that six doctors had to monitor them overnight. I am now thinking I may be sicker than I either realized or more likely refused to believe.

    I have been struggling with hypoglycemia and low blood pressures along with a host of other crap. Recently my blood pressure had been dropping even lower and has begun to concern me. It is causing pain in my heart area when I push my luck and it is real low.
    This past morning I could barely get up and was very confused. I couldn't remember where I was or what was going on.(I forgot to set the alarm to get myself up after 4 hours of sleep to drink more gatoraid and eat some peanuts) My blood pressure was 63/47 once I became coherent enough to check it.
    I have been delibrately eating a lot of salt and drinking a lot of gatoraid trying to get my blood pressure up. It seemed to help somewhat there for a while but it doesn't seem to be as effective the past few days. Work is a nightmare right now and I am in tears by the time my shift ends from shear exhaustion and pain.

    I never call off work but I actually may have to tomorrow.I just feel that weak and expect tomorrow to be worse than today. The more days I work in a row the worse I get. By the time I get a day off I am so exhausted I do the bare minimum at home and either sleep or have to at least lay around most of the day.

    After reading so much here I have come to the conclusion I better get tested for addisons. I need to know exactly what tests I should ask my doctor to do as I can't afford to waste money on any unecessary tests. My husband has lost his job and things have become even nastier financially for us. My family doctor will understand this and only do what I specifically ask for.

    Also, if this truely is my problem and I get started on steroids, how long will it take to make me stronger again? I am starting school in September and will also have to work. I am very concerned about being physically able to pull it off but really have no other options.

     
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    Old 07-11-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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    Re: how low of a BP is a crisis?

    Everyone operates best at a wide range of BP's. It has taken me years adjustments in medications and diet, to slowly reduce my BP to a safe level, where I could still operate. My highest BP's were in the 200/140 range, whereas 5 years later, I am living happily at 120/75.

    Where one person could operate at 80/60, I would be out...limp as a rag, weak as wilted lettuce. I would not be able to make a simple decision, put two words together, or even stand up. If your BP is so low that you cannot function, you need medical help to stabilize it. You cannot rely on salty soups to revive you on a regular basis.

    The "crisis" you mention in your title, only occurs if you miss the warning signs your body is giving you...and find yourself in a position where you cannot afford to lose your BP, and suffer a very dangerous outcome.

    Your BP controls your life, you cannot loose it. Best wishes

     
    Old 07-13-2009, 12:16 AM   #3
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    Re: how low of a BP is a crisis?

    Maremma,
    I urge you not to let your BP get below 90 systolic (the top number). A systolic of 63 is not compatible with life for 99% of the population! When you go below 90 your vital organs are not getting properly perfused, the brain, the heart, and the kidneys. It's no wonder you are exhausted after a week of work! I know you said your financial situation is not the best, but you must consider that if you wait too long you would begin to have other issues, heart failure, kidney failure, not to mention accidents that could happen when you are hypoglycemic. Please be careful! The next time your BP gets that low and you are dazed and confused like you were, you seriously need to get yourself to the emergency room! Now that I have scared you to bits...

    Ask your MD to order the ACTH Stim test and ensure it is done first thing in the morning by a laboratory that knows what it is doing. It can be a tricky test if not done correctly. Your MD can also do a baseline, random Coritsol, but I trust this less, because what the body produces goes through such a pendulum swing that the 'results' have a wide range of normal. The Coritsol result does not take into account the time of day. In the am you should have a Cortisol level closer to 20, but the lab says a level of 6 is OK. If the MD had just checked my Cortisol in the am they would have seen a result of 5 and thought I was kind of low and not worried about it. With the ACTH stim test they were able to see that my body had very little reaction and saw that I had a serious problem. If you aren't aware (ignore this if you know this already!), the ACTH Stim test tests a baseline cortisol first, then they inject you with a precursor hormone which stimulates the adrenal glands to respond. They then draw your blood 30, 60, and 90 minutes after the IV injection to see if your adrenals truly did respond. This test is the best diagnostic tool for Adrenal Insufficiency that I know of. A normal result would be a nice bell curve reaction, usually in 30 minutes you see a double number from the baseline cortisol, or well above 20. Then it should taper down nicely and gradually come down. Mine went from 5 to 9 to 7 to 5. My endocrinologist called this a flat reaction. It showed I had some response, but not enough to survive on a daily basis. I hope you find some answers soon, for it sounds like you need it!

    Please do take care of yourself! I'll be praying for you!

    Last edited by moderator2; 07-15-2009 at 05:08 AM. Reason: please carefully review the posting policy.

     
    Old 07-13-2009, 12:25 AM   #4
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    Re: how low of a BP is a crisis?

    And as for how long you will be feeling better, that depends! Some people feel better right away when they start the steroids, like magic! I felt progressively better; it took me three years to feel as good as I do right now, and right now I feel pretty great! It's been my best spring and summer, the best I have felt in a long time. I have still had some set backs, but that was my fault for not being as watchful as I should have been.

    Take care!

     
    Old 07-13-2009, 06:14 AM   #5
    Maremma
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    Re: how low of a BP is a crisis?

    Thank you for the prayer and concern. As it is I already know as soon as my family doctor gets my lab work back I already had to have done I will be told I have to go to a nephrologist AGAIN.
    I had to get a physical, urine test and bloodwork to be able to get into school. There is more blood in my urine than usual. This in itself is going to lead down a very aggravating and expensive road that leads to nowhere but more debt. I have been to three different kidney doctors over the years. The first one told me he didn't know why my kidneys were bleeding but that blood is an irritant and that is why I always have pain in my left kidney area. At that point I already had ureter stenosis from the chronic inflammation. A few years later I was sent to another one.Piles of tests again. He said everything is fine. My kidneys won't fail. The last one was really strange and I won't go back to him.The pain had since spread to both sides and I now also have bladder pain. First he showed me a very large cyst that developed in my left kidney said it is perfectly normal everything is fine. Looked at my chart for a few seconds then said I had cancer. I was dumbfounded and didn't respond to him at all then he got angry at me and asked "DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I JUST TOLD YOU?" (How can I be "fine" one minute and have cancer in the very next breathe and NOt be dubfounded?) He said I had to get more tests and a cystoscopy done. I did and he then said everything is fine come back if I start to bleed again. Umm it never stopped? He found inflammatory polyps in my bladder and never bothered to tell me to explain the bladder pain. I found it in the report he was suppose to send to my Family doctor. He also got very nasty and was refusing to give me copies of my medal records when I asked for them! He said they were HIS property? I had to assert my legal right to them to get copies and some of them were missing! (Like the day he told me I was fine and had cancer at the same time)
    I have had the same kind of insane behavior out of the rheumatologist I had been sent to. He had lost my previous medical records and so expected me to start all over! AS IF I can afford to do that! He had a full body bone scan done (not cheap) that lit me up like a Christmas tree with inflammation in many joints. My bloodwork always come backs okay though. No RH, no lupus, no ANA titers at all! The bloodwork that I had done the same day as the bone scan also said I had no inflammation? Huh HOW does THAT work? If you take a look at my knees and hands you can clearly see something is narling them all up. My MRI of my arm and hand had "incidental findings of bone cysts consistant with inflammatory disease". (along with the cut in the the tendon they were actually looking for) Because I have "clean bloodwork" though no one is willing to help me do more than empty my checkbook and rack up credit card debt and send me to a differnet doctor that can't or won't help me either. I have very little faith in the specialists in my area.
    I had to go to an endocrinolgist many years ago because of my problems with my blood sugar falling. I had to get 6 hour glucose tolerance tests done and they made me extremely ill. My pancreas put out the right amount of insulin but my blood sugars just kept dropping down into the 50's. He couldn't explain to me why nor help me anymore than the family doctor already had. Eat small and frequent meals, low sugar and carb etc. Come back and let me keep putting you through the expense and illness of these tests every six months! Umm NO! Incidnetly even that is strange now and their have been sporadic swings up really high since I have become even more ill. The rheumatologist told me I had diabetes and to go back to my family doctor to be treated for it but it was another one ofthose bizaar unexplainable things that happens in my body. The test for the previous three months said I did not have diabetes and my blood sugar was back to low on the new test.
    I really am hoping my family doctor is going to be able to help me because if he sends me to a specialist I suspect I will die before they actually figure out what is wrong or do anything to help me.

     
    Old 07-14-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
    soscared20
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    Re: how low of a BP is a crisis?

    just be very careful i am under tremendous amount of stress and what u describe sounds like my life. And the stress makes everything worse.Except i am unable to work right now and so scared wont be able to anytime soon. we are having severe financial problems too bc of this. I feel for u i have pain and ever since this disease started and they put me on steroids i have horrible panic attacks never had those in my life. Will think of u in prayers just want our lives back. I m sure u feel the same. Where do u hurt the worst?

     
    Old 07-19-2009, 06:46 AM   #7
    Maremma
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    Re: how low of a BP is a crisis?

    Hello SoScared. Thank you so much for the concern. I have a great deal of stress in my life as well with little ability to change much of it so I just hand it over to God. I pray a lot and have to trust that God will intervene. I just have to be patient. God works in His own timing which is rarely the same as mine! LOL I am working on alieviating some of the stress in my life but as you know, it is a slow process sometimes even when you are able to do something about it.

    I am very sorry you are unable to work. Just the thought of losing my job terrifies me. Although the insurance premium is high and there is a $500.00 deductible and 20% copay on everything I surely cannot afford to lose my insurance that I get through my job. My husband has high blood poressure and is on a lot of meds too. Jut his meds alone would kill me without insurance. Can you get disability and some kind of medical insurance help that way?

    I have a brachial plexus neuropathy in my left shoulder girdle that causes winging of the scapula and subluxation of the shoulder ball joint. It constantly yanks out my entire upper spine and has caused bulging disks in my neck as well. It is a very painful ordeal to have to live with constantly if you can even imagine what I am describing. I have been told that I am the only known female in the country that has been able to continue to function daily without help, much less work after suffering this specific injury. MOST of the time this hurts more than my other problems.
    When my kindneys get infected and I am to dumb to realize that they are (so they get severe) then that is the absolute most excruciating pain and it takes me all the way out. I am curled up in a ball unable to get out of bed until the antibiotics start working. I don't know if you have ever had a kidney infection or delivered a child completely naturally but I must say I would much rather redeliver my 9lbs 1 oz, 21" long, 14 1/2 inch head and chest baby boy ten times over than have have even one kidney infection for one day! Thank God for antibiotics and pyridium!

    My family doctor is having me go this week to get a halter monitor put on and a renal ultrasound. I also have to go see a new endocrinologist in August. I was worried this is what would happen but I feel he is right that we need to check the status of my heart after these ordeals and since the blood has increased in my urine, I understand his need to have the ultrasound. I am hoping they can see my adrenal glands with it as well.

    I just hope we can get something resolved before September 15th as that is when school starts and I need to feel better to be able to pull that off. School is Tues. Weds Thurs 2:00 pm till 9:30 pm and the other four days I will have to work 2 pm till 10 or 11 pm. Things are still up in the air on how long I will have to stay at the job I am at and how I will transition to a new job without losing insurance for any period of time but it is definately a necessity as the job I am doing right now is literally killing me.

    Last edited by Maremma; 07-19-2009 at 06:47 AM.

     
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