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I am a retired 74 year old female in good physical health. I am 5'4 135 pounds. I walk 5.5 miles most days and except for occasional issues from GERD, have not had to take any medicines. My BP has been consistently low/normal my entire life. I have always impressed the doctors with my consistent low/normal BP. It is usually between 110/70; 117/70; 110/60 and some days 123/80.
Two weeks ago at a visit to my doctors office my BP was 159/79. I couldn't believe it. They took it again and it was 147/79 They took it the third time and it was 157/82. I left the office depressed. I had to go back to the doctor this past Monday (3-12-18) and I was trying to be calm and not worry but my BP was 165/91. I just got very depressed. My doctor is baffled because while he's a new doctor, on all of my visits over the last year my BP has been normal, as it has been all my life.
He suggested I get a monitor and monitor my BP for a week and bring it in so they can compare and see how it goes. If not, he says I have to take BP medicine. I have cut way way back on my salt intake. I admit I never worried about sodium because I had such low BP and I liked the taste. The week after my first reading I cut way back on salt, and reading labels more carefully for sodium. I cut back to one diet pepsi every three days and while I do have two cups of coffee in the morning, thats it for me and I have always had 2 cops of coffee. I eat mostly chicken or fish. I cook fresh vegetables for dinner every night and brown rice or lentils. I thought I was doing well.
I was just wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom for me. Thank you.
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I would like to suggest the lifestyle change that I made, namely embark on " whole food plant based diet with NO OIL".
?This means that it is vegan diet, you eat mostly unrefined food that has lots fibre and of course, cook everything without using a single drop of oil
there is a lot on this topic if you google.
let me know if you need further info.
Generally High Systolic Pressure is a result of some type Stress in one's life rather than any Heart Problems.
We all react differently to various Stressors, i.e., Financial, Loss of a Loved One, A Pet, etc.
Also MANY Meds have different Side Effects - including some GPs aren't even aware .
Any of the above Ring a Bell?
Post a Follow Up soon.
I have a sneaking suspicion your elevated Systolic may be caused by something above.
If you buy a BP Monitor buy a Good Arm Cuff.Don't rely on one of the Wrist Cuffs. They're notoriously unreliable!
And DON'T take your pressure more than 2 - 4 times per day. If you do, you'll start Stressing Out and I promise it will be elevated each time you take it.
Let us know how you're doing.
Last year I did buy a condo and buying a first home can be stressful and there were lots of repairs but all is done and has been very calm over the past 8 months. I also have a love in my life for the past for 33 years who is supportive, caring and loving.
I just can’t imagine what could have brought this on.
I did order a monitor and purchased one with a cuff after doing research and reading many reviews before I bought it. It plugs in and runs on batteries.
Thank you for responding. I needed some moral support
I took it again at 2:24 and the reading was 132/65.
Just wanted to give you an update and the numbers to see if you had any nommnenbts. The systolic is still a bit high but the diastolic was very good.
Thanks for listening
CONGRATULATIONS! You're doing fine!
?Remember, BP changes constantly during the day! Just walking out the Door for something and back will result in your BP reading higher if you sit down and take it immediately!
?To get an accurate Reading, I sit for approximately 5 minutes, make sure I'm not breathing "shallowly" - as one oftentimes does if sitting on the sofa - and take it.
Believe it or not, if you get a slightly higher Reading than you're comfortable with, Try this.
?Breathe in through your Nostrils - Hold it for approximately 7 Seconds - and then, with your tongue pressed against the front of your mouth just above your Teeth, exhale through your Mouth! You'll hear somewhat of a "Whooshing sound" if you're doing it right.
?I know this may sound "Crazy" but it not only works for Anxiety Relief BUT if you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep, it helps with that!
?You're going to be Great! I sincerely doubt you're going to need BP Meds.
?One last thing from this Old Boy. I had problems with GERD several years ago. GP put me on a number of Meds for it without any success except some uncomfortable side effects. I fixed 75% of my Problem by losing 20 Pounds as the weight was in my Mid-Section, pressing up against my lungs, upper digestive Tract, etc.
You don't need to lose any weight but the next part totally Fixed my Problem with No side Effects!
?Wife suggested I take a Single Antacid Tablet in the Morning before anything to drink or eat. (Coffee was bothering Me. She had me take a second one BEFORE Dinner around 5PM. Wahlah (sp?). Problem Solved! I no longer experience GERD. Doc fine with it too!
I am Very Happy you're starting to feel Better! And Keep having Fun with the Hub! LOL!
As far as the GERD goes I do take a famotidine in the morning and in the evening before dinner and it does help. I don’t believe I have a serious case because it only rears itself on occasion. I will continue with the famotidine and stop the pantoprazole as soon as I feel I have it under control. I have been so healthy all my life and coming to terms with now having issues at almost 74 has thrown me a bit off balance, but I realize things change and one doesn’t get through life without some issues. Thank you so much for your suggestions and moral support. You sound like a great guy and have a great partner in the Mrs. I think we are very fortunate in that regard.
Thanks for the note, empi.
Glad you're feeling much better! I sincerely feel this was just a Very Short Response to - "Taking Stock of My Life"!
You're doing Great!
Best to You and Yours!
Hi Ernie. I just wanted to check back in with you to say hello and to let you know my BP has been within very normal ranges now since that first bizarre episode. My BP ranges from 130/72 in the morning and 110/62 in the afternoons and 125/75. I take it three times a day and its pretty consistent. I also go on long 5 mile walks and I notice about l/2 hour after I am back and take my BP it is quite low like 110/64 in that range but I feel fine. I am so glad that I am back to my "normal" and even though I feel like I am back to normal, I did make some lifestyle changes like cutting way back on sodium and paying attention to the sodium levels in food. I never used to check the labels for sodium very much, just fat, sugar carbs and cholesterol and calories.
I hope you and the Mrs. are well and that she's speaking to you again. All is well here in sunny California and I hope it is the same for you there although I know you all were having some crazy weather.
Be well and stay in touch. Have a blessed Easter
in the end had a 24 BP monitor attached to me and to my utter surprise turned out it was still normal! I think anxiety and white coat syndrome got me into a bit of a panic. Very easy to get in that situation so don’t worry too much. I am sure you are absolutely fine.
I truly appreciate the responses here.
I agree with Jenny64166 that your higher numbers could be stress related. Your body reacts to everything that happens to it, whether good or bad. Once you saw the higher blood pressure numbers, it sounds like you started being stressed about it.
That's what happened to me the first time I had higher blood pressure numbers & actual symptoms. I had always had normal or low blood pressure, but things going on in my life caused my blood pressure to spike, unbeknownst to me until I started getting dizzy, nauseated & saw stars when I closed my eyes. My daughter came over and took my blood pressure (she's a nurse). She didn't tell me what the blood pressure was, but I found out afterwards it was REALLY high. She kept taking my blood pressure to recheck, and I could feel me tense up each time, so it kept going higher. She took me to the hospital, and it was 210/110.
I went to the doctor the next work day, and she gave me blood pressure medicine....just in case. She didn't actually think I needed it, and that it could be handled with a few life changes.
The main one.....don't sweat the small stuff and relax more.
Watch sodium intake....another HUGE one. When you're having issues, try to keep sodium consumption to apx. 1500 mg. It's easier than it sounds. Mainly don't eat much processed foods.
Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause higher blood pressure? l didn't, until I was doing a lot of research for an ebook on the subject.
When you are taking your blood pressure, one way to relax is to simply take 3 long deep breaths, breathing in to a count of 3 and out to a count of 3. This is such an easy way to relax a bit any time, but especially before taking your blood pressure.
Good luck! I'm sure you've got this!
I have cut way back in salt and I don’t eat much processed food normally but my man and I doLike to go out to lunch and dinner at least once a week and I even partake in a Vodka on some occasions The thing that did strike a bell is that I have crazy sleep ya it’s. I fall asleep before 9 sometimes I wake ; hours later to go to the bathroom(I drink a lot of water) and then I wake usually around 3 am almost every day. So my sleep habits are not the best even though In total I get 6 hours of sleep. I decided to look up the contraindications of the Premarin vaginal cream and sure enough it can cause hypertension. I only started taking it about three weeks prior to my first high BP reading. I am now wondering if it isn’t the culprit. I am so happy I joined the Patient forum. You and the others who have responded have really given me some good advice and great suggestions all of which have helped my worrying. Thank you.
The probiotics might actually help your blood pressure. I found an article about probiotics by the American Heart Association's Journal, "Hypertension" that said probiotics could help to regulate the hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance, as well as improve total cholesterol and LDL. They said it helps when you eat the probiotics consistently, and it would take about 8 weeks to see a difference. To be honest, the numbers were only better by 3.56 millimeters systolic and diastolic 2.38 millimeters, but hey...every little bit helps, right?
?To the best of my knowledge, Probiotics DO NOT raise BP. I'm about the same age as You and I take the 30Billion Supplement - One daily.
?One thing I will mention - Try to Never change TWO or more Meds - Prescription or OTC - At the Same Time! (Add or Delete). The reason is simple: If you improve or deteriorate, one doesn't know which or if the combo caused the results.
?You said New Physician. Was the high Reading your Very First Visit? If so, You can probably quit worrying and "Move On"! Especially if you had your previous GP a Long time. Changing Physicians raises EVERYONES' BP! Seriously!
thanks again for your advice and support
So Glad to hear you got a Great Doc! Hard to find these days with their limited time allocation to Patients in the U.S. Don't know if you're in U.S. or not.
?Regrettably my Wife cannot take ANY Hormones due to High Stroke Risk. GP, Ob Gyn, No One will agree to prescribe. But after 50 years of Marriage, one would be amazed how "Creative" Two People in Love can be! LOL!
I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother.
Personally, I think you are very smart to get a second opinion, Caroline. You've got two things going on at once that could be causing higher blood pressure...your mother's passing and your leg. Either one of them or both could be causing the higher numbers, since your body reacts to both emotions and physical pain.
I don't know if your leg is still causing pain, but if it is, just pain alone will make a difference. A few months ago, I had a tooth that needed work and was causing a riot in my mouth! When I checked my blood pressure, it once again was sky high. As soon as the pain went away, so did the high numbers. You also said you're worried about your leg, so that could also be playing with your numbers.
I only took one prescription, Lisonopril, and the side effects were so bad I went back and got another type of medicine. When I read the leaflet for it, it said do not stop taking once started. So I didn't start.
Obviously, I'm not a doctor, and this is just my opinion, but if I was you, I'd get the second opinion before taking any medicine, considering the first doctor didn't really know what was going on in your life. If you don't have a blood pressure monitor, it would be good to get one so you can be aware of what's going on and track your blood pressure. That way you can also show your doctor actual numbers during your every day life. I now consider blood pressure monitors as being as important to have as having a thermometer in the home now. They can also be great peace of mind.
Take care! Would love to hear what you find out!
Thank you for your advice.. I am definitely going for a second opinion.........the Doctor I saw originally never looked me once in the eye, just said " you need to go on medication.....". He never assessed me properly....possibly just saw me as an " elder citizen".... so dismissive..I still go to work. Is Luby your surname?I live in Australia......have many Luby relatives here. Sorry if I am getting personal. Best, Caroline.
?Sincere condolences on the Loss of Your Mom. I promise you TWO Months doesn't get you over that Loss. And Pain alone will increase BP - primarily systolic - and sometimes Significantly! Not only would I suggest a Second Opinion, I would seriously consider a different Dr.! If this went exactly as you described, that was insane! We should be thankful we have Meds to help us when they're needed - and ESPECIALLY, when they can be Temporary! He just told you they're "Forever" with a 5 minute visit and one or two BP Readings? Unbelievable!
For what it's worth I have a Personal Philosophy:
The Average Person can handle ONE Significant Stressful Event.
?The Average Person can COPE with TWO Significant Stressful Events!
The Average Person starts to Unravel at THREE Significant Stressful Events!!
?YOU have THREE going on! Congratulate Yourself on handling all this and BP that is NOT likely to cause a Stroke if not for a Prolonged Time.
But please understand. I am NOT a Physician. I'm not Giving You Medical Advice. I AM suggesting you get that second Opinion!
Something TEMPORARY to help you deal with the Stress may be in order - Just remember to make it Temporary.
?BTW, are You Sleeping Well? Probably not with all you have going on - and lack of quality sleep exacerbates all the Stress and BP.
Keep us informed! We Care!
?God Bless, Ernie
I think that some doctors get a little too high opinion of themselves. Way back in around 2003 or so, my parents and I were talking on the phone, and they were telling me they were unhappy with their doctor. I told them to look for a different doctor that they liked, and I couldn't believe what they said! It was that the doctor that they were seeing wouldn't ALLOW them to switch doctors! You can bet I had a few words about that to say about that!!!
Luby is actually a nickname given to me by a past relationship that kind of stuck. My first name is LuAnne. Here in Phoenix, AZ, there used to be a Luby's restaurant that had on their menu a sandwich called the LuAnne sandwich. So Jeff started calling me Luby. No worries at all about getting a little personal. It's good getting to know a bit more about you! : ) I never realized Luby is a surname.
Have a great day...or evening! Your time zone is opposite mine, I believe.
Thank you for replying. The Doctor I saw had never got his medical degree from an Australian University.......years ago it was very difficult for overseas trained Doctors to get registered here...not any more. I am not saying he is better or worse than an Australian trained doctor....I think there are just cultural issues involved.....I won't say any more about that.
We are allowed to switch Doctors, so I am going to a new clinic.
Yes, Luby is a great Irish surname....that's where my ancestors migrated from in the 1850's. Maybe the Luby restaurant was named after one of the Lubys who went to the U.S.!!!! All the best, keep well. Caroline.
Thank you Ernie, yes the experience was exactly as I described. I am not going back to that Doctor, I have found a new clinic to go to. I live in Australia, years ago it was difficult for overseas trained Doctors to practice in this country.......not any more. The Doctor I saw had medical qualifications from overseas.....I am not saying he is better or worse than someone trained at Melbourne University ( the best medical school in Victoria, Australia), I just don't believe he had an understanding of cultural issues. Or even wanted to ask me about personal stress in my life. Thanks again! Caroline
The first reading was 151/89 at 1:40 in the afternoon but all subsequent readings that day were in the 132.65 w/ resting pulse at 79 one at 139/78 and even one at 129/70. The next day most of my readings at different times of the day were 135/80; 133/65 even two at 128/75 and 122/65 resting pulse has stayed in the low 70s high 60s
I am practicing breathing techniques I was wondering what you can glean if anything from these readings? Can the 135 systolic reading be my new norm.
This morning my first reading was 136/82 and a 64 resting pulse
Would love to hear from you. Thank you again
?Very nice to hear from you. And "Congratulations" - You're doing Great!
?If you'll reflect on your original Post, you didn't have a set "normal" then - nor does anyone else! Your BP from memory was 110, 118?, 123? and thereabouts. Sooo, that was an average swing of about
13 Points - and THAT is what is "Normal"!
?Now, 122, 128, and 135! Isn't that interesting? A 13 Point Swing?
There's a couple of issues here - and actually several more............
?EVERYONE'S BP is slightly elevated when they first wake up. It's part of the Natural "Awakening" Process! Your Circadian Rhythm that controls when you normally feel Sleepy or Wakeful is controlled by many things - Chemicals in the Brain, BP, everyday activities, (remember some days when you're just plain 'Tired out' and ready for Bed TWO HOURS EARLIER THAN USUAL! Your Body knows Best if one will listen to it!
?Next, as We age, Everything about our Body changes. (Remember the "Premarin" discussion? That's just part of life. And there again, EVERYONE takes "Stock" of their Life at some Point - and usually with that comes a little Reflection, Stress, Wonder, Concern, all those emotions We have as Humans. And We each react differently. Some feel "Satisfied and Truly feel they did the Best they could" - But very Few! Most of us have some regrets. And that time of reflection varies from Person to Person. That length of time varies. But during that time, most people tend to experience some anxiety, some depression, and other issues. When one finally comes to grips with the fact they're Human and "The Past is Past" and the Best I can do is move Forward and do the Best They can from now on, the sooner one acquires "Acceptance" and doesn't Obsess! AND THAT becomes the important New "Normal"!
?For what it's worth, the NIH recently changed "Normal BP" to be up to 140/90 vs. the Old 120/80. Of course, some in the Medical community are Grumbling about that - AND - It will probably Change again in the Future!
Lastly as this Post is certainly getting long, there is "Quantity" of Life and there is "Quality" of Life.
?I have a very high genetic predisposition to Elevated Cholesterol! Since my 20's, they have tried Every New Med for lowering my Cholesterol - and actually succeeded at one time. The only problem was I felt AWFUL ALL THE TIME! Would I like to live quite a few more years? Of course! Would I want to add even 10 laying in Bed, Lethargic, Sleeping, etc. Sorry - No. But by waiting, I keep hoping some Med will come out that's effective and doesn't totally destroy my Quality of Life. (And, NO, Diet has absolutely NOTHING to do with my condition - It's Genetic! Of course, I could make it even worse by eating French Fries, Doughnuts, etc. every day but I don't do that anyhow!)
?At our ages, your exercise regimen, your BP, Your Pulse - every thing is wonderful!
?Now, Congratulate Yourself, give your own Backside a Good "Kick" and go enjoy Life! You're not only Fine - You're Great!
Happy St. Patty's Day and God Bless You and Yours!
?BTW, that "Wonderful/Lucky" Wife You said I have? She's angry with me and hasn't spoken to me for TWO ENTIRE DAYS! LOL! At soon to be 51 Years of Marriage, I know she'll get over it! Trust me, it's happened before! LOL! (Actually, I have an entire "Stand Up Routine" about Her!)
Hi ErnieSC What a wonderful post with such pearls of wisdom. Thank you. You have a wealth of information and knowledge. I agree that we cannot be stupid in life but we also have to enjoy life. I am feeling very encouraged by the numbers and feel that I am doing fine and am not going on BP meds. I am seeing the doctor on Monday and will bring him the numbers to look at and I am sure he will be pleased and tell me to continue to monitor which I will do anyway. I have made some lifestyle changes like cutting out sodium and being more aware of the sodium intake. I must admit I like the taste of salt and never paid attention but I am now.
I took a nap this morning because I was up at 4 am and when I woke my BP was 124//65 so I took it again and it was 126/70 so even within less than a minute doing nothing but sitting the BP was different.
Thank you again ErnieSC for your advice and support. You have made a huge difference in my life with the information and support. I read your other posts to other people and you are very kind.
Smiling at your comment on your wife being angry and not speaking to you. As you said after 51 years of marriage its' impossible not to have those things happened. It has happened to me and my man too over the years but more in the earlier years. Ain't love grand!!
I can imagine you having a Stand Up Routine.
It's been wonderful chatting with you ErnieSC. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours also and have a wonderful weekend. I hope you don't mind if I check in from time to time if I have a question.
You'll NEVER know how happy I am for You! And for your Kind Words, I am humbled. I would Love to hear from you when you have the time.
?I'm actually an Old Musician - of whom You would NEVER have heard. I occasionally do some Solo acts. And that's primarily where I interject some of my "Material". Most of it is about Her - AND TRUE! But before I share one or two Gems, Please understand She is quite Intelligent - just sometimes "puts her mouth in motion before engaging her Brain"!
You've probably determined by now where I reside based on the two letters following my name.
?And We not only live near Clemson, S.C., one of our Sons is a Clemson Grad.
?1. Wife has NEVER cared for Sports but became interested in Clemson winning the National Championship last Year and Playing Alabama for the Championship in 2017 and the Playoffs for 2018. (Years are confusing as 2017 championship is not Played until 2018 as I'm sure you're aware).
?Anyhow, shortly After the Clemson/Alabama Game about three months ago, we were out grabbing a bite to eat. I ordered and we sat down to wait on our # to be called. She noticed the Guy behind the counter had on a Cap with an "A" on it. She asked - "Reckon He's an Alabama Fan? No, I don't think so. Why not - He has an "A" on his Cap. I just know. Why 'Mr. Smarty Pants' - is it just because the "A" isn't in Bright RED? No. Then how can you be so obnoxiously certain? Because We're Eating at "Arby's"!!!
?2. Don't want you to think we constantly eat "Junk Food" BUT Southerners LOVE Fried Chicken!
And she is truly addicted!
?We were at KFC (Formerly "Kentucky Fried Chicken" last Year. I commented: "From Memory, I Believe Colonel Sanders didn't make it Big until He was Well into His '60's".
?She responded - in all seriousness - "Was that BEFORE OR AFTER he Managed ELVIS"? Uhh, I Think it may have been Before, Hon! LOL!!!!
Good Luck and May God continue to Bless You! I care and more importantly, HE cares!
Not much of a sports fan. The hub is a fan but not the kind to sit all day and watch sports. I love the “A” on the hat story and the Elvis. Really made me laugh outloud.
My honey is a fried chicken fan too so I totally get it. I am a much healthier eater than he but he’s a skinny guy and all his life he’s eaten what he wants exceptbhe has high BP and high cholesterol. It runs in his family. Other other than his midsection droop he’s basically the same weight as he was when I met him. I have to watch everything I put in my mouth because I try to maintain my weight. I am vain - what can I say?
It really has been wonderful chatting with you ErnieSC. I promise to stay in touch. This Patient website is pretty cool I must say. I am so glad I found it and found you. Your advice and information has been invaluable. Btw. I live in Southern California. I was born and raised in Northeastern PA but moved here in 1965.
Have a great rest of the weekend
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