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    Old 07-10-2007, 07:45 PM   #1
    flowergirl2day
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    Hypertension and a heat wave

    In what way does heat affect people with high blood pressure? Does anyone know? There are warnings asking people to stay out of the sun & away from the heat. The groups with the highest risks include the elderly, children, sick people, and those with high blood pressure.

    I found it impossible to complete my after-dinner walk and had to return home.

    Flowergirl

     
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    Old 07-11-2007, 09:15 AM   #2
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    If one is on a beta blocker, there is risk of getting a rash from being in the sun. When I was on Inderal, I got a very thick red rash (not itchy) on the front & sides of my neck which I believe was from the drug. The rash went away within two days after I stopped Inderal. The Dr. said she had seen other cases. Normally, I walk early (5am) especially cause I can't wear sunscreen (get a rash). But I think I was taking an afternoon walk too when I was on Inderal so I was exposed to the hotter rays of the sun.
    I believe heat from a hot tub is supposed to be a hazard for those on b/p meds or while drinking alcohol because the blood vessels dilate from the hot water so there is a danger one might pass out. I avoid getting into a regular tub after taking my b/p meds in the evening cause I get so weak. When I was on Clonidine it was worse. My husband had to pull me out of the tub a few times. Dr. Dean Eldell talked about this subject this week on XM.
    one might pass out in the tub.

    I took a short walk through the woods yesterday afternoon because I had company. It was all I could do to get back to the house. A combination of the heat & humidity was too much. Even during cooler weather I have trouble doing any walking outside unless it is early morning before taking my meds because of my heavy dose of a apha/beta blocker. Fam

     
    Old 07-11-2007, 09:29 AM   #3
    Lenin
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    flowergirl,

    If you're on a diuretic or a beta blocker you are apt to run into severe dehydration in a heat wave. Be cognizant of symptoms and keep yourself cool and hydrated. Beware excess sweating bouts.

    In the Northeast we are at the end of a doozie with temps in the 90's and humidity over 70%...Air conditioning is de rigeur.

    Without these meds our bodies would be more able to cope but if taking them we have to provide the coping mechanisms...we've short circuited the normal bodily response to heat.

    Keep it COOL, baby!

    Last edited by Lenin; 07-11-2007 at 09:29 AM.

     
    Old 07-11-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Thank you for your responses. It all makes sense. Better to play it safe and skip any activities requiring some degree of exertion.

    Quote:
    I believe heat from a hot tub is supposed to be a hazard for those on b/p meds or while drinking alcohol because the blood vessels dilate from the hot water so there is a danger one might pass out.
    My neighbor's friend died that way. After drinking in the hot tub all evening, he was left alone in the tub and found the next morning. I don't know what his BP was but he was quite young. Heat & alcohol & high BP are a lethal combination.

    Flowergirl

     
    Old 07-11-2007, 09:14 PM   #5
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Is there any evidence that high temperatures worsen swelling of legs & feet & ankles?

    Thank you,
    Flowergirl

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 01:54 AM   #6
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Well,

    I've found that my Migraines kick into high gear--I had one of the worst ever Tuesday night and have another one now. GP gave me Bupap, which seems to help if I take it early enough (which is pretty easy to do.

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    What is the relationship between heat, higher intake of fluids and retaining more water?
    I can't figure it out. More liquids should mean more trips to the bathroom while on a diuretic. The heat seems to make my legs, feet and ankles swell even more. I just don't understand why it should. Any ideas?

    thank you,
    Flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-12-2007 at 06:28 PM.

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 05:23 PM   #8
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    My first thought is that the patient isn't taking in enough sodium while taking a diuretic. So there isn't enough incentive for the kidneys to get rid of the extra water. Fam

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 06:38 PM   #9
    flowergirl2day
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Fam,

    The idea of consuming something salty crossed my mind. I have been on a low sodium diet. It's possible I don't get enough salt on some days. I thought of eating something salty just to see what would happen.
    The only thing stopping me from doing just that is the fear that I will retain even MORE water, with my legs swollen like baloons. I am going for those pulmonary tests tomorrow and will have to wear flip flops. I had to drive barefooted today coming home because I could not fit into my shoes.

    Flowergirl

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 08:11 PM   #10
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Are you sure it's not one of the meds doing it? I remember my Cozaar edema. Had to cut all my socks & scrunch down the backs of my shoes. I couldn't wear sandels. Those socks now work great for dusting. Good luck on the pulmonary visit. I'll keep thinking about the edema. Fam

     
    Old 07-13-2007, 07:18 AM   #11
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    It seems almost paradoxical...if we tend to dehydrate in hot weather, we might expect our ankles to SHRINK, right.

    Here's a likely mechanism: When our bodies get hot all the blood vessel dilate to allow more blood flow to the skin. Unfortunately the veins of the leg also swell making the muscular return of blood up the legs less efficient.

    Thus a lot of blood is getting TO our feet and less is being returned...the pressure build-up in the legs cause the capillaries to leak...swollen feet and ankles.

    Maybe beta-blockers increase this effect? Seems logical since they are blood vessel dilators.


    BUT, if anyone is taking calcium channel blockers, there's the answer, the drugs cause it.

    Last edited by Lenin; 07-13-2007 at 07:22 AM.

     
    Old 07-13-2007, 07:50 AM   #12
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Lenin, I am on CCBs.

    thanks for your post. I was thinking the ACE Inhibitors were responsible. Maybe they both are!

    Flowergirl

     
    Old 07-14-2007, 04:22 AM   #13
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Like everything else, there is no one answer to this question.

    Edema, can be caused by one or more conditions but since we are hypertensives the first causes that come to mind are salt intake, and medication. Other causes include weakened and inefficient veins in the legs, lung problems that increase the pressure in the blood vessels that go from the heart to the lungs, congestive heart failure in which the heart no longer pumps effieciently, low protein levels in the blood, and pregnancy.

    But again, given our hypertensive conditions, salt intake and medications may be common causes for those of us reading this column.

    Bsheba

     
    Old 07-14-2007, 11:21 AM   #14
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Thank you for your helpful post!

    My edema scared me so much I went to the walk-in clinic right after my blood & ECG tests in the hospital.

    This is what the doctor said: The most likely culprit is.....Felodipine!
    Lenin was right in saying to look at the calcium channel blockers! I then asked whether to stop taking Felodipine in order to save myself the misery & pain, and he said no, of course. (My BP was pretty high when he took it).
    I was prescribed 50mg Hydrochlorothiazide instead to take with my 25mg of Spironolactone. I was also given bandages for my legs and told to stay off my feet.

    I was assured my skin won't burst, which is what I was afraid of. The doctor said it happens though in some old people. For those of you laughing right now, I have never had bad edema (or a good one) before! I feel so much better now!

    I also mentioned the salt intake, wondering if I should have something salty. Not unless I sweat a lot, was the answer, and not at all if on a low sodium diet (I am on it). The hot weather aggravates a lot of medical conditions.
    I guess things will get better when it cools off.

    Flowergirl

     
    Old 07-14-2007, 01:13 PM   #15
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    Re: Hypertension and a heat wave

    Glad you got some answers. My OB book says to sleep on your left side to help get rid of the edema. Somehow it helps to process the extra fluid through the kidneys. I remember reading about soaking in a bath tub at least one a day to help with edema.

    Make sure you are eating a balanced diet so you don't get into electrolyte problems even though you do have extra potassium because of some of your meds. 50 mg HCTZ is twice the dose usually given. Most of the literature I've read said that 25mg is the usual dose cause more HCTZ doesn't usually do anything. The concern is getting into electrolyte problems over 25mg. A pt usually has to take potassium then but in your case that might not be a problem. You'll probably be seeing your Dr. soon anyhow.
    Fam

     
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