Help with HBP

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21 years of age and female.

Recently diagnosed with HBP after weeks of suffering through a strange, tightening headache, dizziness, and mild visual disturbances. My highest systolic reading was 159 and my highest diastolic reading was 110. Although I average about the 130s/90s. My heart rate is also high. Highest was 151. HBP does run in the family, so 9/10 this is hereditary.

My cardiologist got me started on metoprolol succinate er 25mg, but it doesn't seem to be working much. Some of the dizziness is mitigated, but the blood pressure (and heart rate) are still high and I still get dizzy spells and headaches. Last reading was 142/108. What in the hell is going on with that bottom number.

The last couple of months was ER time for me (I also have Pericarditis). I've been to the ER so many times, the doctors don't even hook me up to a monitor anymore or perform en EKG or draw my blood. But I had a CT scan done a couple days ago. All clear. Currently waiting for an MRI appointment.

I'm very worried about my future. I know at this rate, damage to the arteries has taken place. Especially with that bottom number. With this constant headache I'm afraid of a TIA or worse. Moving around the house seems to trigger the symptoms as well. Walking around is ok, but once, I had chest pain that last for hours. I saw my cardiologist the next day and nothing picked up on the EKG (except for Pericarditis), so I think I'm good. I am due for another ECHO in the next three weeks as well. Since then, however, I've been too scared to exercise (I wonder if I even can given the bottom number). I've instantly made some dietary changes though.

Problem is, I also have GAD and depression.

Does anybody have some experiences they'd like to share? And perhaps, what medication is best to manage this? I'm very worried about what may lie ahead for me soon. I try my hardest to relax, but at times, I feel like giving up completely.

I mean... would I even make it to 30?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Would anybody like to share some experiences?
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  • Posted

    I've also been contemplating going to another hospital... The lower number it... scares me a lot. I know what it means and I'm afraid of what's yet to come.

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  • Posted

    Hi Danisha

    I was also diagnosed with Famial (hereditary) HBP in my 20's. I am now in my 50's and my blood pressure is very level. Different medications work differently for each person. I tried 5 before I found what worked for me, but I was adament that I wanted to be on the lowest dosage possible to get the results necessary. Only with the help of Hibiscus tea (organic, loose) daily 2-4 cups was I able to get my blood pressure down. Currently I take 25mg of hydrochlorathiazide and 5mg Candesartin plus the Hibiscus tea. As I said you have to experiment a bit and always do so with a Doctor's okay. I also work out 3-4 times a week for an hour and I try to stay away from a lot of carbs, red meat and saturated oils.

    Once you are in the habit of all these things it's not too difficult and you feel much better. Good luck in finding the combination that works right for you

    Darlene 

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  • Posted

    Hi Danisha, my experience is much like Darlene's, it can take several tries at adjusting the medication before you find what works for you.  There are several different classes of BP drugs - beta blockers, diuretics, ACE-inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and NO-channel drugs.  Typically they give you several drugs so you're blocking several of these classes.  For me, they first gave me a combo pill of ACE and calcium channel, and it didn't do anything much until they also gave me a combo diuretic and then it was good for several years, then we had to fiddle it some more - and it turns out that for me, the most important was the simplest, the diuretic. Your mileage may vary, as we like to say.  Then there are also psychological drugs to help you relax.  And then even more.  Tons of stuff to try.

    ?Sorry you have to go through this so young, typically BP even familial waits a few more years.  And of course if you have other medical issues it can be even more complicated.  But give it a chance, once you find what works it can go pretty smoothly.

    ?Oh, and also like Darlene, I have a list of foods that can help, but I think there's another group for that here?  Hmm, can't find it now.  I'll mention one, and don't laugh - it's eggplant!  You can search and find discussions about it, but how I discovered it is I simply ordered some at my local Chinese restaurant, and that night my BP was twenty points lower than I expected!  Since then I've found I can just buy a Chinese eggplant (there are many kinds of eggplants, this is just one that's easier because you don't have to skin it before or after), cut it up, microwave for a few minutes, cover with your favorite sauce - or add to your favorite dish.  Need to eat maybe six or eight ounces.  Like any natural cure you can't be certain of doses, but this worked pretty darned reliably for me easily a hundred different times.  Relief lasts on the order of twelve to twenty-four hours.  From what I read on the web it probably has some kind of natural ACE-inhibitor or ARB, *and* possibly a calcium channel blocker.  Unlike similar drugs I've never noticed any negative side effects.  Just to repeat, if it's going to work for you it does so within about four to six hours, there's none of this try it for six months business.  And if your local restaurant already has spicy eggplant on the menu, even better!

    ?You're on a journey here, just relax and keep taking steps.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi danisha70256,

    Just over 4 months ago I was diagnosed with high BP with similar symptoms but with a bp readings around 170/100. I was put on 20mg of Olmesartan and it dropped my BP a little bit to around 150/90, I then decided I must try and lose some weight, I lost 10kg over a few months and BP dropped to around 130/80 average but was still taking 20mg. I then went to the doc for another ailment (tinnitus) and when I was there doc checked my BP which was around 166/90 so he DOUBLED my dose to 40mg Olmesartan! 

    Anyway, I then decided (only just over last few weeks) I need to do more research on how to get my BP down. One of the things I did was to look at my diet, and then worked on eating more healthy. Another was to look at current medication, I was using a lot of anti-inflammatory drugs as I also have Psoriasis, Arthritis and Sciatica, after some research I found the side affects of these drugs were high BP!! I decided to look at natural remedies for inflammation and found the miracle spice turmeric which has now replaced my anti-inflammatory drugs loland of course my BP dropped again! I am already back to taking just 20mg of Olmesartan rather then 40mg as doc suggested. 

    Other things I have done is to research on nutrients, I am now taking Magnesium to help lower BP along with lots of green veggie shakes which are high in Potassium. I also taking vitamin D3, Curcumin, Probiotic and Omega 3 for my Psoriasis which is ALREADY starting to clear. 

    Like you, I also suffered from depression and anxiety, this definitely plays a big part of high BP for me anyways. Some of the supplements I am taken also help with my anxiety and it seems to be much better lately, I was thinking of finding a particular supplement for anxiety and depression but so far have not needed it and I do not want to take more supplements then I require, and my end goal is to need as little as possible in the way of drugs and supplements. 

    So, do not give up wink, my average BP now is probably too low now, it is an average of 110/70, and if it continues as it is then I will stop the BP meds and work on healing my body of crap. And, it seems a lot of my aliments start from the intestines which is why my first thing was to start probiotic. 

    I hope this helps you, I was in a same kind of situation not that long ago, and feel better now than I have done for a good few years and hopefully I continue to improve my health in a healthy way without traditional drugs which seem to be only a band aid to my ailments. I am sure if you make some changes, you will start seeing a different soon. 

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    • Posted

      Phileas, congrats on your successes.  I too take some curcumin, d3 and omega-3 for psoriasis and note that curcumin/turmeric is also a mild MAOI so it may raise your mood some, too.  I also take some olmesartan.  If my BP was that low I'd consider dropping the olmesartan - except that it may also be helping with the psoriasis!  Also if you read the drug info, 40mg of olmesartan probably doesn't do much more than 20mg.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks jx41870, do the supplements help you any? Interesting what you say about Olmesartan, I did not realise that a double dose of Olmesartan made little difference, I want to drop the Olmesartan as soon as possible and was thinking of dropping to 10mg or just taking 20mg every 2 days as I keep reading you need to come off it slowly. The problem is when I go see the doc my BP goes sky high but at home it is pretty level now. It would be strange if Olmesartan was helping with my Psoriasis confused
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  • Posted

    Phileas,

    ?>do the supplements help you any?

    ?OMG yes.  They do not clear it for me, unfortunately, but they reduce the intensity about 80%.  The curcumin is of course the big gun.  Any dermatologist who pretends to treat psoriasis should start with that, the moment a new patient walks in the office.  I've been fighting this for decades, since I was about 33.  If back then they had all the fancy new biologicals I'd have gone for those, but at this point I just haven't.  A few years ago, much to my surprise, someone suggested that olmesartan (nee Benicar) might help with psoriasis, but I think at that point I wasn't even taking it, so only years later did it occur to me what was going on.

    ?Funny thing about "white coat hypertension", my BP might be higher, or lower, or the same at the doctor's office.  I'll tell you one thing, I trust the BP "robots" more than I do anyone using a squeeze bulb and stethoscope.

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    • Posted

      jx41870, that is great to hear the supplements are helping 80%, I would be happy to get that kind of success rate. Interesting about curcumin, I was originally taking it for arthritis which it has done wonders for within a week. I have had Psoriasis for 30 years too, and tried all sorts in the past but not tried much over the last 10 years apart from the sun which helped a lot. Interesting that Benicar may help Psoriasis.

      My doctor used both the squeeze bulb and the robot to test my BP, but showed silly numbers but do not get them at home and I have 2 robots so both can not be wrong. I am not sure if it is worth even trying the 24 hr BP monitor as it may also give abnormal high readings. 

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    • Posted

      The only 24 hour BP monitor I've ever seen was in-hospital and squeezed your arm (or leg) every couple of minutes, I guess there might be a portable version of same, but don't like the whole idea.  Was this some other sort of thing?

      ?Of course the curcumin addresses the same T-cells and TNF whether it's rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Celiac, etc.  The omega-3 probably helps just to balance diet, but I think taking it with the curcumin helps the body absorb the curcumin, which is one of the problems.  Possibly taking more D helps too, especially as we age, even with sun I seem to need the supplements, go figure.

      ?The Benicar idea is that relaxing the vessel walls somehow prevents absorption of bad stuff in the gut.  Who knows, maybe, I don't know of any conventional study that asserts that - or even accepts any gut hypothesis for any part of psoriasis.

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    • Posted

      The BP monitor is fitted to the arm at the doctors clinic but I do not fancy it as I think it will not give reliable readings when I know I have it on. 

      Yes it seems curcumin is doing a good job, my arthritis in my knees is much better and I guess it must be helping my Psoriasis too. I think vitD is worth taking seeming that the sun has always helped clear my Psoriasis over the years so it makes sense to take VitD altho I have read it needs to be in high doses of at least 5,000 IU.

      I not so sure about Benicar, I think far too many side affects even tho I do not seem to have any from it altho I did get tinnitus not long after I started it but that is not on the list of side affects. I think I am going to try and cut from 20mg to 10mg now as my readings are dropping even lower and I have had a few dizzy spells which I am sure is low blood pressure altho my lowest reading has been 96/62 which is supposed to be still ok. 

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    • Posted

      Below about 100/x, I think it's lower than I'd want to see.  I'm happy if it gets below 128!

      ?Benicar has been the class of the ACE/ARB group, or that's my understanding, and I paid a fair amount out of pocket to stay with it.  You can try the 10mg and raise it back to 20mg as needed.

      ?Actually, I was going to ask that, if anybody besides me (!) ever adjusts their BP meds as-needed, since I do not believe any doctor is ever going to recommend doing so.

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  • Posted

    Hey Danisha,

    I'm 27, and was also just diagnosed with HBP fairly recently. It's a weird/scary thing to get hit with when you're young, but I've found it kind of comforting to read about other people's experiences on here, so I hope this helps. 

    My numbers were pretty similar to yours (normally about 130/100), although I didn't really have the same physical symptoms as you. The day I was first alerted to my HBP, I'd gone to clinic for something totally unrelated: a routine, birth-control prescription renewal. The doctor said my BP was to high for her to re-prescribe my birth-control pills, though (apparently they raise BP). That basically kick-started the whole process of diagnosis, investigation into potential causes, and treatment. 

    Next I got my GP involved, who placed me on 5mg of Ramipril to start. That lowered by BP a little bit, but it took about 3 months before my medication was all sorted out. This involved seeing an Internal Medicine specialist who runs a hypertension clinic. So don't worry if your BP doesn't respond to the first medication you try! I think it usually takes some experimentation before you find the right one. I now take 10 mg of Ramipril and 2.5 mg of Ampodipine per day. My BP is usually around 115/78 now. I've been lucky not to experience any side-effects with either of the drugs, too (except a mild headache for a day or two after I started taking them, or the dosage increased). 

    So far, nobody's been able to figure out what might have caused by HBP in the first place. It doesn't run in my family, I'm at a pretty normal weight, and all the tests they've run so far have come back negative. They've done quite a bit of blood-work, urine tests, a kidney ultrasound, etc. I had an MRI of the arteries supplying my kidney on Friday, but the specialist said it probably wouldn't turn anything up. 

    If you're worried about exercising, it would probably be a good idea to talk to your doctor. In the meantime, have you thought about starting with something gentle like yoga? Hatha yoga and yin yoga are both quite relaxing (yin is the gentler of the two). Groupon might have some good deals on yoga passes, depending on where you live. 

    I hope this helps!

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  • Posted

    Hi Guys,

    danisha70256, I have noticed a big difference now when changing my diet over the last few weeks. My BP has started to level more than what it used too with no high numbers, in fact my numbers are now probably too low but I will adjust things to get it right. I think adjusting your diet will help you a lot and more so than exercise altho exercise is very important too. I have added a lot more greens too my diet and cut right back on dairy and meat items. 

    jx41870, I have already cut my Olmesartan to 10mg per day, I will see how my readings are over the next week then adjust accordingly. My doctor told me to go back around Christmas time to take a 24hr BP monitor test and this is after he has put my medication to 40mg per day! I am really starting to question his thought process which is basically like most doctors which is to put a band aid over the problem rather than find the root cause. I will continue to do research and question everything I read or I am told by my doc in the future. But for now, I am going to work on it more healthy lifestyle whatever that might be.

    I have recently watched "Forks over knives" and "Eat you alive" which you guys might be interested in watching, it talks about by correcting your diet, it will fix things like high BP, diabetes, Psoriasis, Arthritis and lots more.   

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