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    Old 09-27-2006, 04:21 PM   #1
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    Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Hi all new and old,

    I've been on and off this board for the past 2yrs or so, my BP has fluctuated wildly inbetween this time period from a normal range to high, but this past week it has been sky high to the point where I think I need meds!

    I'm 29, male and overweight and having an incredible stressful time of it at the moment. I've been helping my mom move absolutely every heavy item out of her house and from room to room whilst work-men installed central heating for her (Which requires access to empty rooms, which means I've been lifting tons of stuff day after day) on a job that was supposed to take 4days, but has over-run by a week! already. I am stressed out to the eyeballs, not getting much sleep and rushing from place to place lifting very heavy items (old TV's, Wardrobes etc) on my own. I've tried my best to keep my problems away from my mom because she leads a stressful life herself and obviously, this would only add to that, which I think is pointless. Anyway, I've been internalising a lot of stresses, the lifting for example really takes it out of me in my current state, to the point I can feel my pulse racing for an hour after I try to rest.

    I should have been checking my BP last week when all this stress started, but prior to it all my BP was 13x/9x, which is high, but I have lowered it to normal levels many times with exercise and diet plus leading a calmer life.. I knew my BP was getting worse by the day, but I really was exhausted by the time I got to my home at the end of the day, basically hitting the sack as soon as I get in. This continued all of last week until Friday night, when I woke up with a severe stabbing pain on the left side of my head and a racing pulse amongst other things. I checked my BP and had readings of 174/122 through to about 155/115 and I haven't been right since. I went to the doctors on Tuesday (the work at my mom's house is and was still not complete) and was told the pain was caused by a tension headache, brought on by extremely stressed BP and when I told him what was going on re. the work and heavy lifting all day, every day, he said that had definitely played its part, but of a bigger concern is that my BP stays high.

    I've been monitoring my BP keenly since last week and it has generally been around 14x/9x-104 or so, but my pulse has been really high at around 88-105 at any given time. At the docs, which I rushed to and am always, always extremely stressed and anxious, my BP was 183/129!! he said. It was taken again about 10mins later by the nurse after I was apparently relaxed (I sat there panicking for 10mins about such a high reading even accounting for white coat) and it was 177/116.

    The doctor said I need to come back the next day (today) and he'd see if this is a constant thing or a one off. Today in his office it was 160/108 and then 155/106, but my pulse was 110!! And has remained high whenever I take my BP. I usually average around the low 70's for the pulse, so this uptake is alarming. The pulses I am getting this past 3 days have been so strong that it feels like it will jump out of my skin (my pulse points are racing all over the place i.e visibly seeing my chest or bicep or even fingertip pulsing!) and I don't know what has caused this pulse spiking? I haven't changed my eating habits to the negative. In fact, I've put myself on an immediate 1500Kcal (consisting of 5fruit a day) diet! but my pulse seems to be racing at all times, when I lay down it feels like I will explode, I've checked my BP and it's averaging 14x/104ish but the pulse is 90ish! What is going on with my body?

    The doc said I should do no stressful activity between today and Friday and at this point he will decide what and how much medication I need to take as well as getting some bloodwork done if the pulsing persists. Well, I'm not lifting, but I'm stressing like crazy (I'm not panicked mentally, but my body takes on all my stress and always has, so I don't know how to calm that or myself down) and know for certain my BP will be really bad on Friday.

    Everytime I've posted on here I've asked for alternative methods outside of meds because I've always felt that with lifestyle adjustments, diet and exercise I can get the BP to where it should be (I've done it a number of times) but real life and stresses brought to me and not vice versa, are or have completely altered things. The pulse racing has scared the hell out of me and that's something I can't cope with for much longer and need meds to calm back down.

    I have a few questions I hope you guys can help me with. I'm most certainly going to be put on meds on Friday. I've given up hope of a drop in BP or pulse. My question is, what drug or class of drugs is best for me to get the pulse down, my BP under control and most importantly, NOT inhibit weight loss or make me feel like I'm moving through the day in bullet time? The last time he put me on meds for my BP I was on Atenolol and that really messed me up bad. In fact, I couldn't handle it for more than a week and came off it myself and decided to sort myself out with a complete commitment to lifestyle changes (I got my BP under control that time quite easily, within 4weeks of weight loss and walking)

    My mom's house is only halfway done and I'm going to have to do more heavy lifting to put all the stuff back in the correct places, I know I need to be on meds before I do this, so what would be the smart choice of drug for me?

    Is it only beta blockers that lower pulse rate, or do ARBS and Calcium Channel Blockers do this as well? What do people recommend that will help my BP and pulse, but will not, or does not tend to alter your life with side effects - Atenolol has really put me off BP meds - I'm hoping you guys can help, because I have to at least suggest something before the doc dumps me on drugs that will mess me up and stop me from losing weight!

    A lengthy post, but I felt I needed to explain the background to the story if it helps anyone in aiding me?

    P.S: I think I have an infection in my left ear. It's swollen and I had a high temprature earlier on. Does that make any diff to BP and pulse rate? (I am under no illusions)

    Thanks for your time,



    Scout

     
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    Old 09-27-2006, 04:46 PM   #2
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Hello Scout,

    I'm Michael from Egypt and I'm 24 years old who having high blood pressure since I was 16 or even before than that. I worry all the time like you and this is what makes my heart rate high all the time. I have tried Zebeta, which is a beta-blocker, for 3.5 years to control my heart rate and it was good for this but I got many bad side effects and I had to search for other method to control my heart rate. Anyway, I have found that Magnesium and Flaxseed supplements do a better job than Beta-Blockers and without any side effects . They also reduce blood pressure and you can't believe how much I'm happy that I found something to make me breath like normal people.

    I have tried most of the drug classes, BB- ACE-ARB- Diuretic and CCBs and I got bad side effects except for Diuretic and CCBs. Now I'm on Diltiazim 120 SR twice daily and I'm happy with it.

    Try the supplements and see what would happen.
    Good luck Scout,
    Michael

     
    Old 09-27-2006, 09:24 PM   #3
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    I am no expert on BP meds. I've only been on one myself, Lisinopril, an ACE inhibitor. It has worked fine for me with no side effects, but I never had a problem with fast pulse, so that was not a consideration. I don't think it does much if anything to slow the pulse.

    I do have a couple of other suggestions for you, though. This sounds to me like a very poor time for you to worry about a diet for losing weight. All that heavy lifting requires that muscles be repaired. That takes protein. All the physical activity means that more calories are being burned than usual. Carbohydrates are the easiest way to burn calories for energy. A high intake of vegetables is usually associated with a lower blood pressure. I'm not saying to overdo it with eating and gain weight. But it shouldn't hurt to postpone the trying to lose weight bit for a couple of weeks or whenever this present ordeal you are going through is over.

    Does your ear infection affect your BP? Hard to say. Some infections raise BP. Some lower it. You'd probably have to ask your doctor that one.

    My need for BP meds is definitely related to stress. I was on meds for five years previously while caregiving 24/7. Then I was off them for a year and a half. I've recently had to go back on them while dealing with all the problems of contractors doing repairs/remodeling on my house. I hope to be able to get back off them when this chaos is over. So I can certainly appreciate how your stress has influenced your health. Here are a few suggestions. I do not pretend that they will eliminate your need for medication, but if they can shave 10 or 15 points off your highs, it would be a good thing.

    Breathe. Breathe deeply. Breathe slowly. Aim for 6-10 breaths a minute. Do it when you lie down to go to bed, when you wake up, when you sit down to eat or rest, while you are driving your car. It might be ideal to be able to do it for 15 minutes at a stretch, but if you don't have 15 minutes, just doing it a minute at a time several times a day can help.

    If you listen to music at all, make it soft relaxing music. Forget the hard rock. Forget country western. Try classical, maybe even harp music. Something that might tend to put you to sleep if you had that opportunity. If that isn't your normal choice in music, remember you can go back to what you might enjoy later after you have your health under better control. You need to choose what is best for your health right now.

    Eat plenty of vegetables. I was able to lower my systolic pressure about 10-15 points by greatly increasing my intake of low-carb veggies, even though my diet wasn't all that bad previously. Not everyone will see that big a difference, but it is worth a try. Celery, for example, has been used in Chinese medicine for hypertension. I've personally found that huge salads have been helpful. Who knows for sure what specific ingredients helped the most, but I suspect that broccoli, cabbage and asparagus were among those that may have.

    Eat enough protein to cover your need for muscle repair and enough carbohydrate to provide energy to do the work. But keep your carbs to healthy carbs such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

    Try going without caffeine and see how that influences your BP. It raises BP substantially for some. Others are little affected by it. You need to know what it does to you.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 05:01 AM   #4
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Scout,

    What I am feeling from your post is a HUGE resentment at being forced to do this dogwork.
    Have your mother HIRE someone to do the moving. PERIOD.

    Best thing you can do to get your BP under control is to lose weight and it sounds very much like you will need a drug for help.

    If I had to recommend a starting drug for both BP control and pulse rate lowering it would be propranolol or atenolol. Diruetic trial can come later.

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 07:23 AM   #5
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Hi Scout,
    I can add support to the comments from both Uff-Da and Lenin. Yes, indeed, stop being a pack-horse for your mother! No offense intended, but this is not something to be doing with your sensitive bp!
    As for the two drugs, Propanolol and Atenolol, the first is much better tolerated in my opinion (though I'm not a doctor). Atenolol is more suitable for old people who are not very active. If you're not old yet it will definitely make you feel that you are. You're only 29.
    Considering the severity of your bp problems you may just have to accept drug treatment and try to find the best one for you. Having said that, however, continue trying every possible lifestyle and natural treatment. You may just find something that works.
    And I completely agree with Uff-Das recommendation about breathing. This is the only thing that keeps my blood pressure under control. There's a system called Breatheasy that includes breathing with classical and ambient music. It's exactly what Uffda was describing. Who knows? It's worth a try.

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 09:11 AM   #6
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    I take Atenolol and certainly don't consider myself "old". I don't feel "old" while on this medication. I also take Micardis Plus and 1/2 of a 5 mg. of Norvasc. I didn't start out taking these 3 pills. They were added after my BP wasn't lowering enough. When I was first diagnosed, I went to my GP every month. Now he gave me a monitor and I keep track at home. He still wants to see me to keep tabs. Everyone is different - some people have side effects from certain meds, others don't. Some people can get away with "natural" supplements, others can't. It's best to discuss it with your doctor and see what's right for you.

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 09:39 AM   #7
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    No offense intended to those who take atenolol. Of course, many people can tolerate it very well. But my comment seems to be the general consensus from family and people I know as well as other forums. Propanolol can do the same but, in my personal experience only, is better tolerated.
    Of course I stand by every comment I made about trying natural methods as well.

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 11:17 AM   #8
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Hi all,

    thanks for the replies, was wondering whether I'd get any responses after being a 'repeat offender'

    I think I should clear something up for those who think I'm resentful towards the work I'm doing for my mother. If I'm resentful about anything it would be the fact my body has failed me at such a crucial time when her house is in total dissaray and all the stuff needs to be put back in the correct rooms. It's disconcerting to know such simple tasks are beyond my scope right now. I'm a big strong guy and externally most people would not detect a thing wrong with me, so it looks like I'm a slacker when I need to take breaks and basically get some semblance of normality back into my body after a few heavy lifts. This is compounded and stressful by the fact that the work-men will ask me to move something in their way at any given time during the day (my mom's house is terribly cluttered) so of course, I have to do it, whether I feel sick at that moment or not - this has been a huge reason for my BP raising so extremely I feel and I'm wondering if I'll go back to normal once all this is done with.

    The good news for me though, is that the job itself is now finished, so no more high-stressed days at my mom's. All that is left to do is to put everything back in the correct rooms and I'm done. This is the first day I've had where I could sit down and relax both internally and on the exterior - I've felt calm for the first time in 2weeks (not penting up stresses etc) and so I thought I'd take my BP as a point of reference. The results were as follows:

    157/118 83p
    152/105 82p
    148/97 81p
    141/96 80p
    141/99 81p

    Now, I know those are not great results, but, they are in keeping with what my BP was before all this stress befell me, the last 3 results are accurate with what I've been running for the last few weeks except the pulse is 7pts or so too high, but overall, this is what I am at in my overweight state. Now, from my past experiences, and I've done it at least five seperate occassions, I can get my BP right down to 110/7x with exercise and dieting. My lifestyle is such that it's really hard for me to maintain programs I make for myself and the stupid side of my brain always takes over once I've 'won' my BP battle and I have found I slip back into some bad habits then, hence the BP goes up and then, like a lemming, I repeat all of the above again to get it back down.

    The difference this time though is that I've felt really, really sick, worried and had some ***arre things happen to me this past two weeks that really makes me think my time of playing BP roulette is at an end. I'm getting older and I notice that my body does not have the same resistence to stress as it used too - I used to work an extremely stressful week and my BP would stay very low. I think if I did that now, it'd kill me, but that could be because of my weight at this present time. I will readily admit that if my BP had stayed where it was this past week for a few more days I'd finally go the 'correct route' and get myself on the meds ASAP, but, to my surprise my numbers have gone back to what they were and I think they're just about right for my current weight and fitness (from past experience weight loss lowers my BP a HUGE amount) so I don't know what to do now.

    I'm going to take my BP over the next five days to see if today is anomalous or if my BP has gone back to what it 'should' be on a permanent basis now, but even if it has, what should i do? I've run away from meds for the past two years, by simply upping my game and pulling my finger out. Fortunately, it has always garnered fantastic results, but I have to admit, I'm getting tired of 'running' I have an almost phobia-like level towards BP meds - they really do scare me. After my experience on Atenolol I've become even more phobic towards them. It's irrational, I know, but at the same time, it's probably that very same fear that drives me to get my act together again and become a tee-total-body-is-a-temple-kinda-guy for at least 4months at a time. I almost feel embarrased to post here as I know some of you guys try your utmost to lead healthy lives and aren't overweight, but still can't get your BP down. In my case, I think it's totally down to the periods of junking I do and the unhealthy weight gained during this down-turn, which always coincides with a complete removal of exercise from my schedule. With work, a GF who works longs hours, and the general stresses of everyday life, it is always exercise and so forth that I find gets sacrificed, which is obviously to the detriment of my BP.

    I don't tell my doc any of this, he wouldn't actually care and he'd probably not believe me. I don't go to see him unless I feel seriously unwell, so he only ever gets to see me or my BP at the worst possible state it or I can get to. I am surprised it's called the 'silent killer' whenever my BP is acting up, I feel absolutely awful and at these times I am probably just one more day away from jumping on the meds and being done with it, but so far a spike is always met with a return to 'normal' and then the shock from the spike kicks me into gear to lower the BP, is this time any different?

    I'm not able to talk about this stuff 'in real life' because none of my friends or GF etc have ever had high BP, my mom is the last to know anything about me as I don't like to stress her so whenever I'm in need of thoughts I come to you guys because you can relate

    Scout

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 02:13 PM   #9
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Michael which kind of mag do you use and which form of flaxseed oil in which amounts? I have purchased some magnesium glycinate 100mg because I read that it is best. I am abit concerned about balancing the cal/mag ratio though and wondering if adding too much mag could be harmful to the bones? I have been hesitant to do flax oil because I am concerned about rancidity have you found a form that is safe? I often wonder if perhaps the capsules are more stable than the liquid? Thanks
    anneh QUOTE=michaellabibat]Hello Scout,

    I'm Michael from Egypt and I'm 24 years old who having high blood pressure since I was 16 or even before than that. I worry all the time like you and this is what makes my heart rate high all the time. I have tried Zebeta, which is a beta-blocker, for 3.5 years to control my heart rate and it was good for this but I got many bad side effects and I had to search for other method to control my heart rate. Anyway, I have found that Magnesium and Flaxseed supplements do a better job than Beta-Blockers and without any side effects . They also reduce blood pressure and you can't believe how much I'm happy that I found something to make me breath like normal people.

    I have tried most of the drug classes, BB- ACE-ARB- Diuretic and CCBs and I got bad side effects except for Diuretic and CCBs. Now I'm on Diltiazim 120 SR twice daily and I'm happy with it.

    Try the supplements and see what would happen.
    Good luck Scout,
    Michael[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 09-28-2006, 03:05 PM   #10
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anneh
    Michael which kind of mag do you use and which form of flaxseed oil in which amounts? I have purchased some magnesium glycinate 100mg because I read that it is best. I am abit concerned about balancing the cal/mag ratio though and wondering if adding too much mag could be harmful to the bones? I have been hesitant to do flax oil because I am concerned about rancidity have you found a form that is safe? I often wonder if perhaps the capsules are more stable than the liquid? Thanks
    anneh QUOTE=michaellabibat]Hello Scout,

    I'm Michael from Egypt and I'm 24 years old who having high blood pressure since I was 16 or even before than that. I worry all the time like you and this is what makes my heart rate high all the time. I have tried Zebeta, which is a beta-blocker, for 3.5 years to control my heart rate and it was good for this but I got many bad side effects and I had to search for other method to control my heart rate. Anyway, I have found that Magnesium and Flaxseed supplements do a better job than Beta-Blockers and without any side effects . They also reduce blood pressure and you can't believe how much I'm happy that I found something to make me breath like normal people.

    I have tried most of the drug classes, BB- ACE-ARB- Diuretic and CCBs and I got bad side effects except for Diuretic and CCBs. Now I'm on Diltiazim 120 SR twice daily and I'm happy with it.

    Try the supplements and see what would happen.
    Good luck Scout,
    Michael
    [/QUOTE]

    Hi anneh,

    I take Magnesium Oxide walgreens brand, I take one tablet 250 mg. I don't take any Calcium supplements but I will give it a try . I take Flaxseed capsules and it's very nice too. the body needs about 350 mg Magnesium so 250 mg from the supplements are not too much.
    Good luck,
    Michael

     
    Old 10-05-2006, 02:04 AM   #11
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    Re: Back Again :( Worse than ever!

    Hi all,

    if you saw my other thread about Almopidine, you can guess that my BP got worse from the last time I posted until now.

    I have taken a total raincheck from work and even going out since last posting and yet, my BP just kept on rising - to the point where I felt like I was waiting to die yesterday - a rock bottom that saw me see sense and get myself on meds pronto.

    My BP has just gone wild, insane spikes for no apparent reason, generally hypertensive results and a pulse rate that I can feel when I'm just laying there!

    Yesterday I saw my highest results in a controlled, relaxed enviroment, ever. At home it was:

    160/119
    180/130
    160/120
    157/120

    Next sitting

    140/102
    144/104
    150/111
    153/117

    and generally a mess. I could not believe my eyes and can admit I got anxious which probably contributed to the top set, particularly the 180/130, anyway.

    Today at the docs it came back 197/130 and that's insane, even for white coat and I knew it was time to say enough is enough and go on meds. My rock bottom yesterday was, as you can imagine, horrible. I suppose it's better go through side effects and have controlled BP then to have unctrolled BP and awful problems anyway; constat headaches, racing pulse, anxiety over results, eye strain/pressure. So, I've finally done it, I'm on meds despite my fear of them. I feel I've no choice in the matter, for now.

    I will hope to lose my weight and get fit and healthy to get off these drugs, if that is still possible. I'll update you guys with my 'adventures' and let you know if I've been a success or not.

    Thanks for reading, if you did. It does feel like a weight of my chest.

    Scout.


     
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