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Must vent...

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Old 04-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 382
curious11 HB User
Must vent...

So I was told by the nurse doing my last Solumedrol infusion that my blood pressure was alittle higher than normal. Then I saw my MS specialist a few days later and he confirmed and told me to see my GP. I did, it was still high a week later when I saw him. The bottom number was elevated, which is apprently odd. My GP ran some routine blood work and did a urine test. He told me to check back in a few times and get my BP tested and make a mental note. I went to Stop and Shop one day last week and they have a BP machine there (not sure hoe accurate it is) but my BP was normal 120/62 or something like that. I went in to the GPs office today because they wanted me to have it checked there, and after getting in a little tif with the secretary, I had my BP taken and it was 140/70 (lower than the first time, but still high). My GP called today with the results of the blood work... My good cholesterol is the lowest desired level (40) and my bad cholesterol is elevated. My urine came back showing that I might have a small UTI (I didn't notice it) and my liver function is off! SO if nothing else could go wrong... it did! I am 21 years old, I am 5'5, 145 lbs, and eat relatively healthy. So why my cholesterol and blood pressure are high, I don't know. My liver function is off which may be due to the meds I take (Baclofen, Betaseron, Solumedrol). This really just gets me. He wants a repeat urine test to see if it's back to normal, and he notified my neuro about the liver results. So I guess I just have to wait and see, and hope everything goes back to normal!

Sorry... but I had to vent!

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Old 04-12-2006, 06:52 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 38
Life4Fun HB User
Re: Must vent...


I'm sorry this reply is so long, but I have some experience with high blood pressure and thought I would offer what info I have. I will start by saying that I had high BP during both my pregnancies and during the birth of my 2nd child, 20 years ago, I almost had a stroke. It went back to normal, but over the years it was up and down and I played the fool and didn't get it in check. I think I was just plain lucky not to have ended up having a stroke or kidney damage after ignoring it for so long.

Elevated blood pressure can be caused by many things. One thing that happens to many people (myself included) is called "White Coat Syndrome." That is when you walk into the doctor's office and they take your BP and it is higher than normal or than what was expected. That happens because we know we need our BP to be in the normal range, but knowing we are having it taken makes us anxious -- the doctor's office makes us nervous in some cases, even though we can't feel it. Thus the term -- "White coat" -- like the lab coat a doctor wears.

Now, about your BP numbers ... I would say you should do a web search to see what is considered "normal" but I have always been told 120/80 is the average norm high blood pressure is categorized as readings of 140/90 and above. The bottom number which is called diastolic, refers to the time when the heart is in a period of relaxation and dilatation (expansion). The top number which is called systolic, shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart relaxes. My doctors have always told me that an elevated diastolic number is more worriesome than the systolic number, although both need to be kept in check. You are correct, those machines at the supermarket or drug store are not necessarily calibrated. My doc checks my personal BP cuff to calibrate and ensure that the readings I am getting are mathing up to what she and her nurses find when I am there.

I was diagnosed with hypertension a couple of months prior to the MS dx and it was again very high when I had this most recent relapse. I have been on hypertension medication for over 2.5 years and I was not being a good patient -- checking my BP at least weekly, even though I have been on medication. I would check it from time to time, but I had not checked it in a year. Bad bad Fran! Anyway, I was shocked to see it back up at 190/110 when I went in to start the process of seeing if I was in a relapse. My medication was changed and within 4 hours I was doing very well. As a matter of fact, my BP was too low so the GP cut my new meds in 1/2 and things are great.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it became elevated with the exacerbation, but it's really tough to pinpoint. All I know is that it is well within the normal range and I continue to take my medication religiously. What scares me more than a relapse is stroke! News reports in recent years have reported that women are at high risk for heart disease and stroke nowadays.

At your age, hypertension is not common from what I know (I am not a doctor, so take what I say with a grain of salt -- ok, maybe not salt since that is supposed to increase BP), so I whould think if your GP considers your BP high, you should really question what she thinks needs to be done and if you need to be medicated. They always tell me that losing 10 lbs. and just a 30 minute walk a day can dramatically decrease BP in many cases. Some of us are just prone to hypertension and I knew it was coming because I had major problems with both pregnancies and was told I had a 90% chance of developing it as I got a bit older, so here I am -- a woman in her late 40's with hypertension.

My neuro told me that urinary tract infections are common with MS and they discovered not one, but two bacteria when I was being tested during the relapse. I had no idea -- I had no symptoms. So I would again say you have some questions to ask the docs. I was re-reading an old report from the neuro and noticed that it said to let him know immediately if I had a urinary tract infection. I don't know why, but I think there are problems with the symptoms of MS and the ability to urinate normally, so he wants to be sure that I am not having a problem in that regard. Sheesh, if it's not one thing, it's another.

I hope you get the answers you are looking for. Stress is a contributor to hypertension, so if you can find a way to relax, that will probably help. I know, I know, easier said than done -- for sure!

Let us know how you're doing!


Old 04-12-2006, 07:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 382
curious11 HB User
Re: Must vent...

Thanks for taking the time and responding to my post, Fran. You are right about the "white coat syndrome". When I went in to see my GP 2 weeks ago, the nurse took my BP when I first got in the room and it was higher than when the doctor came in and checked it a few minutes later. None the less, it has still been high for the past few weeks. I have to wonder though... because last year I gained alot of weight... almost 30 lbs, and everything was normal (BP etc). Now that I have come down to my normal weight of 145, I have all these problems. I am absolutely watching what I eat even more so now, and will continue to aim to lose another 10 lbs and hope that helps.

As far as the possible UTI... If I remember correctly, I had the blood work right after my solumedrol treatment, and I always get my period 1 week after that (just so happens). He did mention the results could have been due to my menstrual cycle coming or going. And even if it was a UTI... it wouldn't surprise me because I do have trouble going to the bathroom... and I think they go hand in hand.

I worry about the liver function situation that he mentioned. I don't know what the problem is exactly (I was so shocked and overwhelmed that he was telling me all these things were wrong) but it must have to do with the medications I am on for MS. I will just feel alot better when this resolves... so I will do whatever it takes.

Old 04-14-2006, 07:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sunny San Diego, CA
Posts: 145
lestoby HB User
Re: Must vent...

I have always had normal or below normal BP. One week before my attack I went in and had a well exam. BP was normal and good cholesterol outweighed the bad cholesterol. Same story I had every year. But.... then I had my attack and my BP skyrockted to 183/90 and stayed that way for about 3 weeks and my cholesterol was off the charts even when I fasted the morning I took the test. My doctor prescribed High blood pressure pills of which I threw out a week later and then my BP returned to normal and has remained that way.

Who knows how MS effects your BP and cholesterol. At the ER the night of my attack I was freaking out that I may have been having a stroke (obviously the doc's didn't think so, or they would have ordered an MRI), but the doc's just kept saying "pain will do that to you".

The ER docs were a bunch of idiots and they only suspected Kidney Stones because I was complaining of severe back pain. Never mind the double vision, the extreme vertigo and the severe vomitting. Gee..... do you think these were clues to examine other possibilities. The jackA... actually sent me home 6 hours in the exact same condition that I went in. I never wanted to go to that hospital, but my insurance company was in a contract dispute with the hospital that I did want to go to.

Anyway, excuse the rambling..... but were you in "severe pain" at the time you had your BP taken?

Old 04-15-2006, 01:22 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central New York
Posts: 391
StephanieAnne HB User
Re: Must vent...


The Solumedrol made my BP soar and I am always 120/70 so maybe it is the steroid causing the higher numbers My mom has a BP cuff at home she has High Blood Pressure, maybe you want to get one of those and then you can take your readings at home when you are relaxed.

The elevated liver readings I would be a little concerned about, the cholesterol, I don't know how much trust I put in cholesterol readings, if you stick to healthy foods and stay away from fast foods then I think that you are on the right track. Was the cholesterol test done after you fasted?
I mean what if you ate fried foods the night before, then your cholest level would be higher. Maybe you get a cholest test done after you have not eaten for 6-8 hours.

My heart goes out to you, when I was 21 I was not worrying about all concerns that you have, I was out partying with my friends and trying to make it to work on time each day. I say a prayer every night for my friends on this forum, that we all can live a peaceful healthy life, and that includes you!!
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:50 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Posts: 157
LaDeeDa HB User
Re: Must vent...

It is also important to have a proper fitting BP cuff. Too small or too large will effect the numbers. I'm right at the limit for the small cuff so I've been told to request the larger size for a more accurate read.

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