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GEORGEP 12-17-2004 05:50 AM

I was told last January that I had hypertension. The only tests that were done were some blood tests and the doctor listened to my heart with a stethoscope. I was put on Diovan. I keep reading that hypertension can cause an enlarged heart. How would I know if I have any damage? My readings were 140/92 to as high as 160/100 at the doctor's office and I think it was White coat syndrome. I get very nervous at the doctors... My home readings were normal or high normal range and now with the diovan they are even lower. I have to see the Doctor in March. Should I ask him about doing a stress test or Ekg??

Random2 12-17-2004 07:12 AM

Re: Hypertension--Damage
An EKG call tell a lot of things. I wouldn't stress. I get 156/86 at the doc. My readings are much lower outside of his office. I am used to it. In the 22 months that I have been on meds. I have never been offered a stress test. I think that you can find out a lot more from an EKG, EEG & a chest xray.

Jack51 12-17-2004 10:04 AM

Re: Hypertension--Damage
[QUOTE=GEORGEP]I keep reading that hypertension can cause an enlarged heart. How would I know if I have any damage?[/QUOTE]

George, if you had an enlarged heart, you would have symptoms of heart disease, most likely. Different areas of the heart can enlarge, like the left ventricle. This can cause the output and efficiency of the heart to decrease, because the LV is the "big pump" of our heart. You would have shortness of breath, and become tired very easily.

There is a non-invasive test that looks inside of the heart and can really see the 4 valves of the heart, and how they function. This test also measures the size of each of the 4 chambers. They are then compared to normal dimentions of the heart. A diagnosis of an enlarged heart can be made (or not). This test is called and echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), and is painless.

It is usually only done after an abnormal ekg, and symptoms of heart disease. You may cannot get one if your ekg is normal, I think. If you exaggerate your symptoms, then you may could get around this. I don't know. I wouldn't worry about having an enlarged heart, if I had no symptoms of heart disease. Take care.


waheshny 12-17-2004 11:16 AM

Re: Hypertension--Damage
The most effective way of determinig whether you have good heart functionality or not and to know if you have enlargement or not is to take an ultrasound of the heart (Echocardiograph).Good Luck

GEORGEP 12-17-2004 01:18 PM

Re: Hypertension--Damage
To: waheshny
Thanks! The only reason I thought of it was because the other day I climbed a very steep hill behind my workplace and I was slightly short of breath at the top of the hill. I walk a manual treadmill every day for 45 minutes and have no shortness of breath. I have done aerobic exercise for years so I believe I am in pretty good shape.

alptraum 12-20-2004 10:55 AM

Re: Hypertension--Damage
Why were you surprised you were slightly out of breath at the top of a steep hill? I think most people would be regardless of health. Steep hills are different from a flat treadmill, unless you can put yours at some sort of steep incline.

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