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    Old 06-28-2005, 11:14 AM   #1
    49 and Holding
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    Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Hi, this is my first time posting so I hope I get this right. I wanted to find out what others had to say on menopause and high blood pressure. I was diagnosed with HBP at age 38 (am 49 now). At that time I was not overweight (even the dr commented on that), don't drink, no family history, etc, no reason for it that he could find. Also that time I had no problems with eating what I wanted to. In fact, I was never a heavy eater. The HBP has always been difficult to control. At present I am on HCT, Benicar, Toprol XL, and Verapril (highest dosage possible once a day). In the last 5 years, the weight has added up to 60 more pounds. I cannot get it off. I tried Weight Watchers for 4 months counting points, not a pound. I also tried Adkins for 4 months, not a pound. I tried drinking all that water which combined with theometimes HCT only sent me to the bathroom every 15 minutes. (My husband did Adkins for 3 months and lost 45-50 pounds a year ago and has kept it off--lucky stiff). I still don't eat like I used to. Gave up the baked potatoes, hamburgers, pasta, whole milk, bread, mexican food, etc). Also I was walking two miles a day. No history of HBP in my family at the time I was diagnosed. Since then my younger brother was diagnosed at his age of 42. His dr put him on BP meds and he gained 10 pounds in one month. My younger sister is not on BP meds at her age of 46 and no weight problem. Due to the HBP, I also don't eat salty foods if I can avoid it. Now to the menopause questions. I started through the change about 43. I haven't had a period for about 3 years (which I don't miss in the least). I never had hot flashes until after my periods completely stopped. Now in the last year the hot flashes have changed. It has turned to more just constant facial sweating, especially in the summer. I found somewhere once (which I can't find now) that one of by BP meds could do this. I can sweat in the shower. This is someone who could never sweat before the HBP meds and menopause. Also this last year, I have the gas and bloating so bad. I sometimes have the cramps so bad that I run to the bathroom and sometimes I have a bm that is so soft that I don't even know that I have gone. This happens two or three times a day. That has backed off somewhat now. Is it possible that Menopause is behind this? I have also heard that the BP meds could keep me from getting the weight off. Is it possible that that is a side effect of the BP meds? I have no estrogen and have tried the progesterone cream but I couldn't tell that it had any effect on anything. I am thinking of trying this again. I refused to take any hormones because of my deceased mother's history. She took Premarian but died not of breast cancer but of lung cancer even though she was not a smoker at the age of 63. Her diagnosis and decline also happened during my starting bp meds and menopause and I admit my mind was not on myself and my problems as I took care of her via distance and traveling back and forth for 3 1/2 years. I have my thyroid checked every year and the results are aways in the "norm" range so my dr will not put me on thyroid meds even though I have other thyroid symptoms. I would appreciate any comments and hearing from others if you had similar problems.

    Last edited by 49 and Holding; 06-28-2005 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Type size

     
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    Old 06-28-2005, 11:52 AM   #2
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Sorry to you all for the large font. I am not shouting (althought sometimes I feel like it). I just hit the wrong size font key. I tried to edit it down to size, but that doesn't seem to be working. I will try to do better next time.

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 12:06 PM   #3
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Hello 49andholding,

    I am 49 and holding too! Question for you. At the time of your diagnosis of high bp, were you on any medications at all?? I have a coworker who developed high blood pressure while taking birth control pills? Also you mentioned a gain of 60 pounds.

    do you have any children? If so did you have any problems with high bp during pregnancy?

    Do you have any other health problems other than the bp??

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 12:12 PM   #4
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Weight gain with blood pressure medication is a common complaint, espcially with beta blockers like Toprol. Have you discussed your weight concerns with your doctor? Maybe s/he can suggest a more successful weight loss strategy or a slight modification of your blood pressure meds.

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 01:13 PM   #5
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    When I was diagnosed with HBP, no I wasn't on any other meds. or had any other symptoms. It came as quite a shock. Yes, when I was pregnant (my one son and only child is 21) at the 4th month my bp went up and the dr put me on meds. As soon as the 9lb 4 oz'er (who is 6 ft and 185 today) came along on his due date, the HBP left as did the meds. I only gained 22 pounds during pregnancy and without doing anything I lost that within a week and more later and maintained 130-135 until age 38. Never had another problem until age 38. Never had any other health problems at all until hbp. The dr doesn't seem as concerned with the weight as he does with the hbp. I plan on calling him and asking for a 30 minute chat session and explain that while the bp meds are doing their job as far as keeping the bp done, I am miserable otherwise. Also, I forgot to mention that my cholestrol has just now creeped over the 200 mark, but I have been eating lots of cheese lately. I believe that if I can get the weight off or at least stop the gain, then the hbp and cholestrol might take care of it self some. The weight gain is sporadic and I can maintain the weight for three or four months and then gain 10 pounds in a month. It is very frustrating.

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 01:18 PM   #6
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    When I was diagnosed with HBP, no I wasn't on any other meds or had any other symptoms. It came as quite a shock. Yes, when I was pregnant (my one son and only child is 21) at the 4th month my bp went up and the dr (different dr than now) put me on meds. As soon as the 9lb 4 oz'er (who is 6 ft and 185 today) came along on his due date, the HBP left as did the meds. I only gained 22 pounds during pregnancy and without doing anything I lost that within a week and more later and maintained 130-135 until age 38 without regard to diet, exercise, or anything. Never had another problem until age 38. Never had any other health problems at all until hbp. The dr doesn't seem as concerned with the weight as he does with the hbp. I plan on calling him and asking for a 30 minute chat session and explain that while the bp meds are doing their job as far as keeping the bp down, I am miserable otherwise. Also, I forgot to mention that my cholestrol has just now creeped over the 200 mark, but I have been eating lots of cheese lately and I am backing off of that. I believe that if I can get the weight off or at least stop the gain, then the hbp and cholestrol might take care of itself some. The weight gain is sporadic and I can maintain the weight for three or four months and then gain 10 pounds in a month with no change in diet or exercise. It is very frustrating.

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 01:42 PM   #7
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 49 and Holding
    When I was diagnosed with HBP, no I wasn't on any other meds. or had any other symptoms. It came as quite a shock. Yes, when I was pregnant (my one son and only child is 21) at the 4th month my bp went up and the dr put me on meds. As soon as the 9lb 4 oz'er (who is 6 ft and 185 today) came along on his due date, the HBP left as did the meds. I only gained 22 pounds during pregnancy and without doing anything I lost that within a week and more later and maintained 130-135 until age 38. Never had another problem until age 38. Never had any other health problems at all until hbp. The dr doesn't seem as concerned with the weight as he does with the hbp. I plan on calling him and asking for a 30 minute chat session and explain that while the bp meds are doing their job as far as keeping the bp done, I am miserable otherwise. Also, I forgot to mention that my cholestrol has just now creeped over the 200 mark, but I have been eating lots of cheese lately. I believe that if I can get the weight off or at least stop the gain, then the hbp and cholestrol might take care of it self some. The weight gain is sporadic and I can maintain the weight for three or four months and then gain 10 pounds in a month. It is very frustrating.
    The reason I asked about pregnancy is that I read somewhere that if you develop gestational hypertention, that you stand a 50% chance of developing high blood pressure later in life. It works pretty much like gestational diabetes. It's funny you should mention cholesterol. But as you probably know weight control is very important with hypertention. How tall are you and how much do you weigh now??

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 02:29 PM   #8
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    I am 5'6 and almost 200 pounds. I gained 10 pounds in January and stayed, but now I see it starting to climb again.

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 04:26 PM   #9
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    I know exactly how you feel. I have been treated for hbp since I was 31, am now 50. I took the same drug all those years with very good results. This past year my bp has increased along with my menopausal symptoms. The dr. keeps switching meds on me with no results. I have gained a little weight (about 5 lbs.) since these changes. My chlosteral has jumped up and now he wants to add a drug for that. Last visit he added a water pill to see if that will lower my bp. I told him, NO more drugs please. Still having periods, skip a month here and there. Feeling pretty yucky most days.

    Patti

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 04:29 PM   #10
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 49 and Holding
    I am 5'6 and almost 200 pounds. I gained 10 pounds in January and stayed, but now I see it starting to climb again.

    Have you had your thyroid checked???? Do you have any other symptoms???

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 05:49 PM   #11
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Yes, my thyroid tests all come out within normal limits. Other symptoms are very dry skin, hair loss (actually no hair growth--I haven't shaved my underarms in a year and they are as smooth as if I shaved them this morning, not to mention my legs are the same, my eyelashes are thinner), some days I don't want to even get out of the chair, lots of bloating and gas. We got lucky and have one child. I have only been on birth control one year before he was born. I have the "loss for words" syndrome where I am talking and can't think what to call something. Perhaps the most disappointing for my husband is I have no, absolutely none, sex drive. If I weren't married, I wouldn't care at all. But I do care because of him. A lot of this started with the blood pressure meds and each year seems a little worse.

     
    Old 06-28-2005, 08:33 PM   #12
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 49 and Holding
    Yes, my thyroid tests all come out within normal limits. Other symptoms are very dry skin, hair loss (actually no hair growth--I haven't shaved my underarms in a year and they are as smooth as if I shaved them this morning, not to mention my legs are the same, my eyelashes are thinner), some days I don't want to even get out of the chair, lots of bloating and gas. We got lucky and have one child. I have only been on birth control one year before he was born. I have the "loss for words" syndrome where I am talking and can't think what to call something. Perhaps the most disappointing for my husband is I have no, absolutely none, sex drive. If I weren't married, I wouldn't care at all. But I do care because of him. A lot of this started with the blood pressure meds and each year seems a little worse.
    Then I would guess your problems are a combination of menopause and side effects of blood pressure meds. I agree with the other person who posted. Best is to describe this collection of symptoms with doc to see if an adjustment can be made as I know some drugs for menopause are not suitable for women with high bp. Being overweight does not help bp. If you can get on a sensible weight loss program, perhaps you might be able to reduce the amount of bp meds and improve that way but I am not sure. Only a doc can sort that out. Sorry.

     
    Old 06-29-2005, 08:04 AM   #13
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    I am surprised your doctor is not worried about your weight. Most of the people I know who have hypertension, including myself, get told to lose some weight to help with the blood pressure. If you could lose that extra 60 pounds, that would probably significantly help with the blood pressure, unless you have some other medical reason for the increased blood pressure. Have you had your kidney function checked?

    Some blood pressure medications, like Toprol, a beta blocker, can also make one depressed and fuzzy brained. You definately need to talk to your doctor about your perimenopausal symptoms and possible medication side effects.

     
    Old 06-29-2005, 08:09 AM   #14
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    I am surprised your doctor is not worried about your weight. Most of the people I know who have hypertension, including myself, get told to lose some weight to help with the blood pressure. If you could lose that extra 60 pounds, that would probably significantly help with the blood pressure, unless you have some other medical reason for the increased blood pressure. Have you had your kidney function checked?

    Some blood pressure medications, like Toprol, a beta blocker, can also make one depressed and fuzzy brained. You definately need to talk to your doctor about your perimenopausal symptoms and possible medication side effects.

    I can't remember if you said you exercised. Exercise combined with sensible diet is much more effective at sustained weight loss. Exercise can also help with your feelings of depression.

     
    Old 07-01-2005, 01:54 PM   #15
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    Re: Menopause and High Blood Pressure

    I just had to locate this post and add my most recent experience with blood pressure medication and perimenopause. First let me say that my blood pressure all my life has been low about 109/64. It wasn't until my perimenopause symptoms became severe that I developed blood pressure issues.

    Okay, here is what happened today, and I hope this information will help someone else.

    Last night before going to bed I noticed that my top lip was a little swollen in the right corner. During the night while sleeping I kept feeling like my top lip was swelling, so at 5:30 a.m. I finally got up to see what was going on...and I could hardly recognize myself. My top lip was about 3 times larger and the swelling could also be felt inside my mouth. I quickly got an ice pack thinking it was something minor. After about 30 minutes of using the ice pack my lips had gotten bigger.

    From 5:30 a.m. until 8:00 my lips were swelling even more and now my cheeks had also began to swell. I rushed to the emergency room. Usually I have to wait forever in the emergency room to be seen, but the nurse and doctor got to me almost immediately. They thought I was having an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

    Well the ER doctor asked me about my medications and as soon as I said Lisinopril he stopped me and said "that's it". He has seen many patients who take Lisinopril which is an ACE Inhibitor blood pressure medication that can cause Angioedema (swelling of the face). He contacted my doctor, gave me some Benadryl and told me to go see my internal medicine doctor. According to the ER doctor Angioedema is treated like most allergic reactions.

    When I got to my internal medicine doctor's office she was shocked to see my face and she quickly stated that I can NEVER EVER EVER take any medication in the ACE Inhibitor classification. She gave me a steriod shot to relieve the swelling along with two prescriptions. She gave me samples of another blood pressure medication, but she doesn't want me to try this med. until the swelling is gone.

    I've since taken one dose of the medication and to be honest I see minimum decrease in my top lip. My bottom lip is also now swollen. I look like a chipmunk with an over abundance of nuts in its cheeks .

    Since I have been trying diligently lately to reduce and have even added exercising on my recumbent bike for 40-53 minutes (anywhere from 8-10 miles) I didn't like the idea of taking steriods, but I also didn't like my head looking like a hot air balloon. So now I'm on a steriod for 5 days and a histamine blocker for 30 days.

    I hope that this post will help someone else who is taking an ACE Inhibitor. By the way I had been taking Lisinopril for about 3-4 weeks without any problems before last night. My mother has been taking it for years and hasn't had any problems. Also, I was only taking 2.5mg (breaking the scored pill in half), while my mother takes the full 5mg.

    Any suggestions for a good blood pressure medication for someone who is definitely highly sensitive to medications? Thanks for listening (reading).

    Last edited by Hopefully; 07-01-2005 at 01:58 PM.

     
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