Confused / high blood pressure

Posted , 6 users are following.

I've had BP issue for about 8 years, whenever I go to the doctors it's high (155/105) and take ramipril and amlodpine. This is quite scary at only 38 years old and I'm convinced I will have a heart attack or stroke, inhaveb3 young children :-( I do get incredibly anxious when having BP taken and I've had every test imaginable and no obvious cause. I have noticed that if I take my BP at home say the evening after I have been on a run during the day the readings are 107/70 consistently, oddly I feel less anxious after I've exercised. I can't work out if I really have high BP or an extreme reaction to the doctors. Can anyone explain the dramatically different readings?! Would really appreciate any insights from others. Mark

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    You say you've had every test imaginable done. I'd be interested to hear the result of the 24-hour test. I mean the one where you wore a device for the whole day and it recorded your BP at regular intervals while you went about your normal routine, including sleeping. This is the only way to differentiate real hypertension from the very common "white coat syndrome". If this one was OK, I'd say you don't need to worry too much.

    • Posted

      Thank you for your comments Lily. Yes I had the 24 hr monitor a few years ago. From memory at night the readings were 120/80 ish during the day more like 140/95 but I do recall tensing up every time I could feel it measuring. After I've exercised I don't seem to get that anxious feeling when I take my BP, perhaps because I've burned all my adrenaline off or something like that, and readings are always good to low. Thanks Mark

    • Posted

      I wouldn't have thought the 24 hr monitor readings would have been considered high. Not optimum perhaps but not too high. I would be surprised if you were put on medication at the level you mention with what I imagine was the average - 130 ?. Readings in the surgery are notoriously prone to be 'off the page' - certainly mine are - they call it 'white coat syndrome' and it's very common.

      Do you have your own monitor? It's a good idea to get your own as you will have  a much better idea rather than relying on the drs surgery.

      They say the BP rises when you exercise but I've always found the opposite as have you by the sounds of it. Fact is we are all different!


    • Posted

      Trust your home readings where you are relaxed. Take three readings over a ten minute period three  times a day and record them for your doctor.
    • Posted

      Mine always goes down after exercise and when on medication it went too low.

      Mark sounds overmedicated for his home readings.

    • Posted

      Mark, I agree with Jane. Your readings don't sound all that high to me, though I note you're on ramipril and amlodipine, which may be bringing them down a bit from higher levels. I honestly think you're worrying too much about yourself, and health anxiety in itself can send your BP up.

      I get different results according to the type of exercise I do. My problem is isolated systolic hypertension, which tends to occur in old age. This is when the systolic rises slightly but the diastolic falls. When I trained as a nurse 50 years ago, it was thought the lower the diastolic, the better. However, these days a wide gap between the two is seen as a harbinger of stroke and heart attack. My personal "record" when resting was 160/50, which was in my doctor's office. Immediately after vigorous aerobic exercise I can get alarming readings like 180/40. However, if I take my BP as soon as I get in from a one-hour brisk walk, I always get a much healthier average reading of around 110/75.

      Since you say you're concerned about your health, I assume you're taking all the usual lifestyle measures to keep your BP down? That's reducing - or preferably giving up - smoking, keeping your weight within the normal range, exercising regularly (which it sounds as if you do), and keeping salt and carbs - especially sugar - to a minimum in your diet.

      Just enjoy life. We've all got to die of something, but persistent health anxiety is a sure way to bring the end forward!wink

    • Posted

      Very true, especially the last paragraph.

      Up to having a health MOT 4 yrs ago I always had a healthy disregard for health issues feeling that I led a reasonably healthy lifestyle even if there was always 'room for improvement' - as my old school reports used to say rolleyes.  I was certainly never 'precious' over health issues.  But having that MOT and the high BP that showed up brought me up short though.

       However I  think that if you let it the Nanny NHS will make patients out of well people.   Every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV you have some new govt edict telling you not to drink more than so many units or you'll drop dead or get cancer, or both and anyone with a QRisk of 10%+ should be on a statin or risk a stroke. So it goes on.

      Actually i shall never forgive the health care assistant who did my MOT who said "Well you are 70 now" [No, I'm 29] as if I was ready to be shunted into an old folks home.

      Live life Mark and don't stress too much. Life really is too short for anything else.

    • Posted


      Thank you so much for your message and the perspective you give, it really helps to hear other wiser people's views :-)

    • Posted


      I don't and have never smoked. I drink only in moderation and am not at all overweight. I exercise regularly and probably walk or run around 20 miles a week so am doing what I can to stay healthy. The BP thing and just worried me a lot, I know that in itself is unhealthy so try to relax about it a little.

      Plan to take some more readings on Friday...will let you know :-)

    • Posted

      It's not just the NHS, Jane. I worked in the NHS as a nurse for 10 years in the 60s/70s before moving to Belgium, but the scaremongering and confusing edicts are much the same here. (And practically everywhere else I think.)

      All the same things happen on this side of the Channel too. When I started presenting at around age 50 with what turned out to be all the symptoms of the automine condition Sjogren's syndrome, my then GP spent the first five years putting it all down to "old age".

      The (female) GP before that refused to go on seeing me because I made a considered decision not to take HRT after the menopause. This was viewed as nothing short of heresy over here in 1990 and I was warned of all the terrible consequences that would ensue. Yet 10-15 years later, all the same doctors who'd tried to bully their patients into taking it suddenly refused to prescribe it any more on the grounds it was too dangerous. (In reality, the risks are minimal, and the benefits aren't all they're cracked up to be either.)

      And now it's statins, of course. Practically everyone here is on them. However, I really fell on my feet when I moved house three years ago, and now see the best GP I've ever had. He sees through all the BS and goes crazy about over-prescribing of statins. Both my total cholesterol and LDL are way above the level where most doctors would automatically prescribe them, but my doctor is only interested in the HDL/total ratio, which is very favourable in my case, so he wouldn't dream of it.

      I think the health professionals shoot themselves in the foot when they keep pushing unrealistic targets and excessive treatments. I'm totally resistant to the idea of most medications (having seen too many of the side-effects) but having a discerning doctor like mine who doesn't just jump on the bandwagon makes me trust him more. Nine months ago, when he read me the riot act on my refusal to start using a low-dose steroid inhaler for my late-onset asthma (a consequence of the autoimmune condition) I listened for once, and my lung capacity has now returned to normal.

      There are some differences between the two countries though. A few months ago I took a British and a Belgian on-line test about my drinking habits. The British test, which concentrated entirely on how much I drank every day, informed me I was approaching danger level and about to drop dead from heart or liver disease. (I hasten to add that my yearly liver enzyme results are always well within limits.) The much more detailed Belgian quiz also covered general health and lifestyle, and how drinking affected my life. According to the results of this one, I was a "responsible drinker". Guess which one I'm going with...cheesygrin

  • Posted

    It could be because of anxiety. My situation is pretty much like you. 38 years. Fit individual, doing regular exercise, and not so regular yoga and pranayam. Perfect BMI. No smoking, no drinking. At home, I get pretty normal reading in the range of 125/85 most of the time, sometimes lower at 110/70 but occasionaly high readings in the range of 135/95, and it scares me a lot whenever I get these nominally high readings. I frankly feel, it's because of health anxiety. My father suffered a mild heart attack around 6 years back, he's prefectly fine since then. But, somehow, I had develped this bottle neck in my mind, that I too will suffer heart attack soon. It caused 2 panic attacks 5 years back and I am having anxiety related symptoms since then, though anxiety has subsided a lot. Still there are phases when I feel it, specially when I hear bad news about someone's health. I had test 5 years back and everything was normal, but had TSH level slightly elevated for which I am taking thyronorm 25 mcg. I had blood tests in 2015 and everything was normal. I couldn't develop enough courage to go for echo, ecg and chest x-ray over these years, somehow fearing that something bad will come up. My elder brother is a professional doctor, a paedriatric surgeon, he keeps guiding me. Finally, this year I could muster enough courage to schedule a full cardiac check up, its scheduled on 27th Jan. Still just the thought of going for check up gives me goose bumps and raises my BP a bit. 

  • Posted

    Mark I am surprised at your age then with your activity that you have problems this way but I have a gentleman friend who has had high blood pressure since he was in his twenties due to heredity. He is now 60 years old and has survived it even though he has had quite a wild teenage and Young age being involved in drugs and in a rock band and all that . that is over now for quite a while. even though he has had a few stints 5 and just recently bypass surgery he is always had hypertension it doesn't discriminate age whether you work out your lifestyle or anything else. You just have to take care of yourself when you have this is very scary. I have it but I am older now over 65 and it still scares me because of the . I don't know if you have symptoms but it is a mystery just keep monitoring yourself and if you have medicine for it take it you might have this for a lifelong condition but you can control it. if you don't feel well while doing extreme biking then you might have to stop but if it makes no difference either way just live your life hopefully it will be a long and happy life. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this so young but many people do. I hope this gives you some comfort that there are many many many of us out here that have it and it will change your life you just have to be strong. I mean strong in mind I learned that. It might make you very anxious like you said but you can take medicine for the anxiety to well that's all I have to say I hope you get better adjusted to it you will be ok I'm always here if you need to talk . Diana

    • Posted

      A few years ago I was in hospital for a couple of days for an operation. Talking to two quite young nurses who were taking my blood pressure I was surprised to find that they were hypertnsive as well.

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