Hypertension - Desperately looking for private specialist as NHS ignores me.

Posted , 6 users are following.

Sorry if I post here but I am looking everywhere with no luck so would really appreciate some urgent advice as I believe I am being mistreated for a health condition. If you have some advice on where to ask, I would also appreciate.

I am a male in my mid 20s and about a week ago got symptoms of high blood pressure (hypertension) including palpitations, head throbbing and readings of up to 180/100. I ran to the A&E at Royal London Hospital who checked my urine, blood and heart (ECG), and read my pressure twice again (it had reduced to avg 135-140/90), ultimately saying that it was "nothing" but to follow up with my GP.

I never smoke, never drink (teetotaller), but exercise only once a week on the weekend and am a bit overweight due to that and not ideal eating habits. However, starting from some time before the symptoms started, I had started a very healthy diet. Based on various things I read on the internet, my gut feeling is that the symptoms were triggered by this sudden change in my diet, something I did wrong. Maybe I got some ingredient wrong.

While waiting for the GP appointment (5 days later) my head throbbing got worse. All this despite eating only healthy food typically recommended to reduce blood pressure (bananas, garlic, vegetarial meals, only salmon or tuna as fish, no added salts, no sugar, no chocolate, no saturated fats, lots of vegetables). So either my diet is wrong or something is extremely wrong in my system.

My GP at the Spitalfields Practice checked me - I explained to her everything and she just kept joking in a somewhat patronizing tone that I am too young for any serious illness, that I don't need to see a nutritionist/dietitian, that I only need to monitor my pressure for about a week and then she will decide. She ignored the fact that my head throbbing had worsened and was completely vague about my diet and exercise. Honestly, I felt my GP ignored me and was only following a script.

Unfortunately, the last time a GP told me "oh it's nothing, you are too young for this kind of issue, you are only overly anxious" I got a chronic movement disorder that lasted for 8 years with pain. Had the GP listened to me, I would have prevented my situation from becoming chronic!

I don't want that to happen ever again. I know how dangerous high blood pressure can be, and also the consequences of medical treatment. Many have told me that with my age I should do my best to avoid getting to a stage where I will need medication, but that's what will happen if the NHS and my GP keep ignoring what I tell them.

This is why I am ready to pay to get proper advice, to be listened and to not be ignored. I want to do my best to prevent this from getting chronic or worse and get treated naturally.

If anyone knows someone, a doctor, a medical centre, a private practice, here in London, who deal with hypertension or related and are more competent and take things more seriously than the NHS, I would appreciate if you could recommend them to me.

Thank you very much in advance!

0 likes, 28 replies

28 Replies

  • Posted

    I would think you are worrying too much. Relax a little, eat healthily but don't be too precious about it and take plenty of exercise. One thing I have learned is that blood pressure doesn't have any symptoms, that is why it is called 'The Silent Killer'. Could you not ask your GP for a 24 hr blood pressure monitor - that would solve your query. It takes the pressure every half hour during waking times and every hour during the night. You probably won't get much sleep but hey - it's only 24 hrs and you'll know the truth afterwards. You sound very stressed about it all so that might make it worse. Also my dr says blood pressure "Is not an exact science".
  • Posted

    Thanks for your answer. My point is that my doctor is just a bureaucrat, not caring about me individually. I dont want to depend on NHS but unfortunately I am new to all of this so I dont know how to bypass the NHS, where to look for private doctors, etc.

    My other point is that I am sure this was triggered by something (change in diet, specific behavior, etc) and I am sure if that was the case, then if I reverse what I did I can be healed - if it's done on time. But how can I reverse if I don't have anyone to truly help me?

    You are right... it's not an exact science. Pretty much all conditions seem to be. I cannot stand being handled by a bureaucrat rather than someone who looks at me individually, and observes me rather than follows their script.

    As you can imagine I am very, very, very angry at the NHS as this is the second time they are leading me to illness.

  • Posted

    Don't be angry at the doctor,that will make your pressure rise !! Isn't there anotherdr at the practice that you could go to? Have you asked at the surgery for one of the NHS health checks they are rolling out?

    When you take your own pressure are you taking 2 readings with 2 mins approx. between each? When I take mine there is a vast difference between the first and second reading and I do an average. I was shocked to be told I had hypertension a year ago and was angry at having to take tablets for it - and forever - that is what hurt. However it's no big deal and there are no side effects - just one ditsy pill when I clean my teeth each day. If you do have side effects they will change the pill. Ramipril for example can give a nasty cough.

    As to private drs you could ask at a local private hospital I suppose. There are also BUPA health checks which are another possibility but they are serious money I think. It might put you at ease though one way or another.

  • Posted

    Sounds a bit like a panic attack to be honest. If you are a bit overweight then try and lose it. Rather than just exercising at weekends can you try to incorporate this into your day e.g. walk a bit to work. And I wouldn't get too angry with the NHS or anybody as that would raise your blood pressure even more.

  • Posted

    OK then, I'll not be angry just for the sake of keeping my pressure under control :-)

    Still, I am convinced that there must be wrong in the way the NHS handles this and other things, which is part of the reason I am worried.

    As I said - the last time I had a problem and NHS told me I was too anxious or people told that I sounded like a "hypochondriac", it turned out that I was actually correct- all the way from the beginning. I had a movement disorder related to muscles and spine following bad exercise. The doctors thought I was too young, ignoring the fact that I had a slightly different lifestyle than most young people (sedentary) and so they just told me to "go out and enjoy". It turned out that they should have sent me to physiotherapist straight away. I suffered for 8 years from chronic pain because these public doctors thought I was too young to get those kind of problems. I still have side'effects from all that. And it would have taken a physiotherapist just 2-3 weeks to fix me if they had seen me right at the start. You see,... I don't want to risk that anymore. And I amtrying my best to convince my GP and everyone at the NHS that I need more than what they think - but that's pointless so far.

    Sigh... I feel a bit lost.

    Not so much that I might get high blood pressure chronically, but because I know I could prevent it (or could have prevented it) if I found the right specialist to talk to.

    Well... would appreciate if anyone could recommend or know where I could find someone to recommend specifically a specialist with my kind of issues?

    When I say "recommend" I mean doctors with a proven track record, not some unknown people on a medical version of gumtree.

    Right now, I am literally getting severe head throbbing at times, especially after exercise. How can I loose weight without exercising? How can I know for sure the head throbbing is not something else and needs to be controled?

    And I need to wait weeks for an answer? That just sounds insane.

  • Posted

    when someone can't explain whats going on with somebody's health, they all call it " panic attack"......

    Alpha, u r right, u should be concerne about it with a BP reading like yours.

    U also right, it is in your diet. Listen what your body is trying to tell you. Pinpoint when is all started...what did u change in your diet? What u added? U have the answer that no doctor can give u.

  • Posted

    Just one reading of 180/100 or anything else for that matter is not considered high blood pressure. White coat syndrome for a start could give you that reading. Mine regularly reads like that in the surgery but is within limits on my own monitor. Just relax and stop worrying. And headaches are not a sign of hypertension. The bp needs to be consistently high to have any symptoms at all. For most people there are no symptoms.
  • Posted

    Hi Alpha,

    I can understand why you are concerned as you have been let down by the health system before when they didn't listen. There is however guidelines that the GP should follow for hypertension, and as other have said one reading does not mean that you have hypertension, so go back to a different GP, but also look at the NICE guidelines for hypertension:


    I had BP readings of over 220/110 for over 3 weeks before I got put onto my first tablet, but I also in that time did somethings for myself. Firstly I got a BP monitor from Lloyds Pharmacy with the correct size cuff. I then started cutting out all salt and changing to potassium salt instead. This means alot of cooking from scratch but with a little thought it gets easier, I also started the NHS couch to 5K and at 19 stone, working mum, if I can do it most other people can if they really want to.

    However BP does not always reduce quickly and my GP did send me for further tests, first to a Cardiologist and then an endocrinologist. I have had xrays, ct scans and lots of other blood and urine tests before it was discovered that I had a form of Conns Syndrome (producing too much aldosterone). It did take time (from the October to the June) but it was all done on the NHS, and I cannot thank them enough. My BP now hovers around the 130/90 mark and I can live with that. It was not diet exercise or anything I could do that could help me but a drug to stop overproduction of aldosterone!

    Have a look at the Nice guidelines and also www.bloodpressureuk.org and hopefully you will start to find your own way through the hypertension maze.

    Take care

  • Posted

    Thanks for the recent replies. As an update, I did the daily monitoring as requested by my GP while doing the following over the past week and a half:

    - natural foods only diet (vegetarian + low/no meat)

    - moderate exercise morning and evening (jogging to work)

    - delegating more work to my colleagues (this may not be possible in the long run...) and generally trying to be more relaxed

    Over that period, on average, my readings dropped from ca. 140/90 to 130/84, with some morning readings like around 122/82 in the last few days.

    At times, I check the readings every 2 minutes, and the result drop from an initial 160/90 to a low 120/80 within two readings. The GP said that is normal.

    The GP checked these numbers and said I have absolutely nothing and not even hypertension, saying I only experienced an episode and very likely due to stress. She also said I don't need any further examinations.

    I admit that the numbers partly reassured me, but I still feel that I don't have all answers...

    The head throbbing has not disappeared. It is not always there but I notice it occasionally, especially around the eyes and the temple. It forces me to stretch my face muscles. Sometimes in the mornings I get a loud tinnitus (loud sound in ears like after you go to a loud concert, or when you do a head stand and feel the blood rushing to your head).

    I also noticed that I generally feel well when jogging/brisk walking, but as soon as I start slowing down, I get the throbbing in the head, occasionally burning sensations around parts of the face skin.

    On my head symptoms, the GP just smiled and dismissed me :-(

    But they have generally been getting worse, not better.

  • Posted

    But as stated hypertension rarely has symptoms unless it is very high. Maybe the head throbbing is due to something else. You sound to be doing all the right things. Do you have much excess weight - how is the BMI? Don't worry too much; I'm sure your GP is right, if there was something there she would have found it. And your readings look pretty much fine. The occasional 160 is not anything to be alarmed about. <140/80 average is what they aim for. have you cut out salt ? have you had your eyes tested - could that be the reason for the headaches? or stress? all of those things could be the reason, not blood pressure. you really want to try all the natural things first, medication is the last thing. it's for the rest of your life remember. 0="" average="" is="" what="" they="" aim="" for.="" have="" you="" cut="" out="" salt="" have="" you="" had="" your="" eyes="" tested="" -="" could="" that="" be="" the="" reason="" for="" the="" headaches?="" or="" stress?="" all="" of="" those="" things="" could="" be="" the="" reason,="" not="" blood="" pressure.="" you="" really="" want="" to="" try="" all="" the="" natural="" things="" first,="" medication="" is="" the="" last="" thing.="" it's="" for="" the="" rest="" of="" your="" life="" remember.="">
  • Posted

    I'm glad you have been reassured by the GP and your readings that your BP is fine.

    As Jane mentioned it may be worth getting eyesight tested especially if you use a computer alot (or ipod/ipad/smartphone) and you may need to look away from the screen and give yourself breaks. You could also get your hearing tested though this could be from using earphones?

    And when I run or walk briskly I get a burning sensation around my face as the blood vessels are nearer the surface of the skin to cool you down.

    Perhaps it would be good to learn relaxation techniques, as it may help you switch off from work and all the feelings you are getting in your body.

    Hope it goes well smile

  • Posted

    Thanks for your kind answers.

    I don't know.. the head throbbing just gets worse every day.

    (The only day it "disappeared" was during last Saturday, when I also had very low readings around 120/80).

    Isn't it possible that the high pressure "episode" I had caused some damage to my brain vessels (or potential damage)?

    Yes, I definitely want to try the natural things first... but would also be useful to pinpoint the exact problem.

  • Posted

    My optician noticed a change in the blood vessels in my eyes and was the first to point out I had high BP, so go see an optician they are a very important part of your health care...and constant eyestrain causes throbbing headaches!

    When I got High BP and a headache it was worse in the morning and I was also being sick and could not function .. but my BP was hitting 240/120 at that time. I am still here and with the correct help I have not had a headache for a year and a half.

    Hope this helps.

  • Posted

    Phew amsjo - that is really a high BP ! Glad you found it and had it sorted.
  • Posted

    Thanks Jane ... thankfully now steady in the 130 range, all down to an endocrine problem!

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.