HBP can it be linked to trauma?

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I am 29 and have 2 children with both I had preeclampsia after birth and was very poorly. For 3 months after both I was on medication which was reduced slowly til I came off it. My last baby was a year ago. I had a check up today for my asthma and they took my bp. As she was taking it she said my pulse was very high and my bp was 140/90 then she checked my pulse after and it was back to a normal rate. Each time she took my bp it was the same and my pulse would race when the air was being expelled from the cuff. Is it likely that I have high bp all the time which I am worried about or is it anxiety from the trauma I went through with my boys?? I am concerned and really didn't like the side effects of the medication.

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    You should purchase a blood pressure monitor to check on your blood pressure at home. Your blood pressure is borderline normal . but if you monitor your pressure you will know if its going to stay up
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    • Posted

      I have ordered one today it's coming next week. But I'm worried that I will still be scared when taking it. I'm always worried about the numbers and can't get over it

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    • Posted

      Make sure you read the directions when you get your cuff. The cuff usually must be above the heart. Your nurse can show you how to use it so your readings are accurate
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    • Posted

      Leanne, the thing about being scared when your BP is taken is almost certainly what's causing the problem. It's often called "white coat syndrome". I don't think trauma can cause long-term high BP, but you may always be vulnerable to a rise in BP having had pre-eclampsia with both births.

      But as G says, your BP isn't all that high right now, so you have very little to worry about in the immediate future. Once the monitor arrives, get into the habit of taking your BP once or twice a day, however scared you feel at first. Once you get used to doing this, I'm sure your BP will start falling. Sometimes it helps to take it three times in succession. Some doctors actually advise this. I usually find when I do this that the recording is slightly lower with each time I take it.

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    • Posted

      Yes I was told I would probably suffer with high blood pressure later in life but I just can't seem to get over the anxiety of it now. I am still worrying about it even a day later. Making me feel shaky a bit dizzy and panicky!! Seems so silly

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    • Posted

      Leanne, is there any way you can get help with your quite understandable anxiety? Preferably some therapy like CBT rather than anti-anxiety meds. The problem is that prolonged, unrelenting anxiety can in itself have a slight negative effect on your BP. A BP of 140/90 is nowhere near high enough to cause your shaky, dizzy symptoms. As you're clearly aware, it's your panic that's doing that.

      I work with a lot of panic attack sufferers, and I know that if the tendency to these attacks goes untreated, the sufferer becomes more and more convinced there's something physically wrong. It turns into a vicious circle which can ruin people's lives. Ask your doctor if you can be referred to someone who can help with your anxiety.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. Yes I have suffered with anxiety for a while. Originally it was because of a childhood trauma. But recently it's more a health and social anxiety. I think my next port of call is the doctors. I don't want medication juse someone who can help me deal with it. I didn't get on too well with my therapist I found her patronising but that was a good 7 years or so ago!

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    • Posted

      It's always important to try and find the right therapist. I know you don't get much choice under the NHS, but things are steadily improving in the therapy world and there's every chance you'll get a better deal this time.

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  • Posted

    So today my bp machine arrived. I sat down and took by bp 120/83 so I was happy with that for a first ready and still felt a bit anxious about what it would say. My question now is. My pulse was 148 b pm and after 10 mins I took it again pulse was 116 why is my pulse so high?
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    • Posted

      Leanne, your pulse was high because you were anxious. Simple as that! Any strong emotion speeds up our heart rate dramatically. It's actually an unhealthy sign if your heart doesn't beat faster when you're frightened - unless you're a top-class athlete, which not many of us are!

      You've already described to us your absolute terror at taking your blood pressure and seeing the numbers. You were incredibly brave in sitting down and taking your BP in spite of all the fear. Well done! But the fear had to come out somewhere. I'm actually surprised your BP was 120/83 - i.e. perfectly normal. Given the state of anxiety you must have been in, I would have expected the systolic to be much higher than that, at least first time round. That initial pulse reading of 148 (I'm assuming you got that from the BP monitor) reflected your state of fear. The drop over the next 10 mins - albeit to a rate that was still a bit out of the normal range - showed that you'd started calming down.

      There's just one other possible explanation for a consistently high pulse rate (as opposed to the spikes we all experience throughout the day). I'm assuming that as you're under medical supervision you get regular blood tests, including thyroid function. If you don't you should try to insist on at least a one-off test for this. An overactive thyroid can cause a rapid pulse. That being said, I very much doubt that it's a thyroid problem. With your history, it's far more likely to be anxiety that's causing a fast pulse.

      Carry on checking your BP every day, or maybe even twice a day. And don't worry if it's sometimes high. Everyone's BP swings quite widely throughout the day, sometimes depending on our activities but often for no apparent reason. What some doctors suggest is taking it three times in succession, with a few minutes' pause in between, then taking an average of the three figures. I do this and I usually find the first reading is a lot higher than the next two (though it can go the other way).

      For example, my readings this morning (which I chart in a spreadsheet) were 145/64, 124/58 and 116/60 - average 128/61. I have a different problem from yours, in that the difference between the systolic and diastolic is too great. This is a problem of old age and can be a sign of hardening of the arteries. The difference between the two is called pulse pressure (not to be confused with pulse rate), and ideally shouldn't be greater than 40 - so yours was very good at only 37! Mine less so at 67, but today was actually a good day - my record pulse pressure is 110! That was the my doctor got a reading of 160/50. I don't let things like this worry me, though I do try to maintain a healthy lifestyle - e.g. plenty of exercise, good diet with very little salt and sugar (and only an occasional junk food treat!)

      You're obviously doing just fine. Hang in there and don't get spooked by an occasional high reading.

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  • Posted

    My pulse was high until I went low salt. I thought I was eating low salt because I never used extra salt but I had to pay more attention to sodium. It took time but my pulse normalized. I also paid more attention to eating good fats like olive oil
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  • Posted

    I have been taking the for a few days now. I get readings of 116-130 / 77-88 do I still need to worry about it?? I have managed to get my pulse down into the 80s mostly with the first reading usually in the 90s.
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    • Posted

      Sounds like you're doing just fine, Leanne. That's a normal BP range and the pulse is OK too. Keep checking from time to time to make sure your meds are still working, otherwise stop worrying about it!cheesygrin

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    • Posted

      Thank you. It's nice to get reassurance. I'm not on any meds currently. I came off them nearly a year ago now after my preeclampsia. I did 3 readings this morning with a 5 of so min gap between. I got 127/88 125/82 and 107/77 so an average of 117/82 I read that a reading of over 80 doubles your chance of stroke heart disease etc

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    • Posted

      Tonight it is 125/91 I'm worried about the diastolic number a little as everything I read online says my risk of stroke and heart disease is increased if it's over 120/80 sad

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    • Posted

      Well, technically yes, but that's based on statistics. It's also based on whether your BP is consistently above that level, all day, every day, and yours isn't, based on what you've said in earlier posts.

      When statisticians talk about an increased risk of stroke or heart attack, you have to take into account what the baseline is and how the statistical increase works. For example, my statistical risk of having a stroke or a heart attack is many times higher than yours, simply because I'm 72!

      However, if you're going to keep worrying about this I really don't see any alternative to accepting medication for your BP, provided your doctor is prepared to prescribe it.

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