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No Longer Naive in the Ways of The Beast
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Help: Blood pressure TOO HIGH...

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by dannybex, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I agree Glen. I had no idea it had been that long since I had last had my cholesterol checked. Time flies when you're not having fun!

    I too wonder about Cheney...and certainly don't know the situation, but being a doctor, I just wonder how it could get so bad that he needed a transplant? Perhaps he was too focused on his patients, and not enough on his own health...

    But as others have mentioned, HBP usually has no symptoms. Dry eyes can be caused by many things, but I did find it interesting that fatigue, which can of course be caused by many things, was also a symptom of hypertension.

    d.
  2. Alex

    Alex Guest

    Another cause of high BP

    Although it's not an oft diagnosed condition, another cause of high blood pressure can be hyperaldosteronism, usually caused by an aldosterone producing tumor on one of the adrenal glands. I had always had extremely low PB until about 3.5 years ago when it began to steadily rise. I am also very thin, have very low cholesterol and no family history of high BP. My doctor put me on many types of meds for several years and none of them lowered my BP. Additionally my potassium levels were below normal, sometimes dangerously so. I kept on my doc telling her there was no way I had primary hypertension. She finally ordered an aldosterone test and it was crazy high. Aldosterone controls the mineral balance in your body - too much and you purge potassium and retain sodium. I had a CT scan that showed a tumor on my adrenal gland. I had surgery to remove the whole gland - fairly brutal for someone who already suffers from ME :eek:. Now my BP is 100/65 or less. It's always worth testing your aldosterone. It's not an expensive test and can help to eliminate this possibility.
  3. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    those BP blues

    Hi, Dannybex; my BP used to be just fine; my CFS began with my being hit by high BP, chest pain, raised myoglobin, and fatigue. Since it started (Dec 2006) I have had periodic bouts of high BP, signalled by my feeling wired, weird....sometimes up to 190/98 or so. I found I could usually bring it down over a couple of hours by lying down and doing a kind of informal slow, steady breathing meditation--it would sometimes come down to around 130/82 in 30 mins. Sometimes there would be a trembling in my legs, as if something was relaxing and letting go in a spastic kind of way--no idea what caused that.

    These spikes were usually triggered by taking a bit of exercise in the afternoon--as if I had used up my supply of ATP for the day, and running on empty triggered some compensatory autonomic mechanism that raised BP to try to supply a bit of blood born nutrient to a starved metabolism (this is an application of Cheney again.)

    I was put on an ACE inhibitor (Ramipril) that worked, but caused an unbearable cough; 18 months ago an overly enthusiastic cardio put me on an ARB (Cozaar) at a high dose (2 x 50 mg) which certainly worked but nearly killed me--by Oct 2008 I was feeling half dead, frozen... so watch out for ARBs ! (Cheney has a warning in "The Heart of the Matter"--I think he is right). I moved to a mix of low dose ACE and ARB (there is now a warning out about dangers from that mix) to a cheap diuretc, which worked reasonably. Got myself off those by ...? walking a bit more? taking whey? following Rich's methylation protocol? good luck?

    There are gadgets that may help--the breathing feedback machine (Respirate) and a handgrip thing --forget the name, but it is not clear to me they are worth the price. V8 juice may help a bit; breathing methods may help more; meditation helps; low fat diet... and relaxing (how? Gupta?) I know that spending too much time at the computer does not help...

    My experience is that it may do as much harm as good to take heavy duty meds if the problem is just periodic spikes--but clearly long term high BP does real damage. I do know that I get into trouble--as Freddd predicted--by taking high B12 and CoQ10 together--hard choice! Rich suggested it might be due to adrenaline--aldosterone--whatever... but it is a very distinct pattern.

    Good luck, and if you find the solution, please tell us! Best wishes, Chris
  4. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member

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    I have had ME since 1968. My blood pressure began to rise in my late forties. I think it is genetic age related thing. Work by MEReasearchUK has shown that blood vessels lose elasticity in ME so it could be the result of so many years of that too.

    Beta blockers made me exhausted and confined me to bed. I have heard this is common in ME. I now take calcium channel blockers and they work very well.

    I still have a catastrophic drop in BP if I stand but that is an autonomic nervous system reaction not associated with the causes of the high BP.

    High BP really is a silent killer and it is important to get it down.

    Mithriel
  5. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Blood Pressure Accuracy: The Importance of the Right BP Cuff

    So sorry to all for the late follow-up. I've been meaning to reply for ages, but this crash has lasted a long time, and even when I've headed in this direction (during microscopic bursts of 'energy' haha) I got distracted so easily, I'd end up posting a reply in another thread, brainfog/fatigue would take over...and here we are, 3 1/2 weeks later.

    Anyway, some good, and interesting news to report.

    As last reported, I went to the docs on December 30th, but saw one of the 'temp' docs -- my regular doctor wasn't in that day. And although the BP was up 158/80ish when the nurse took it, and then down to 148/80ish when the doctor took it 15 minutes later...it was still too high.

    So they asked me to come in 2 weeks later (Jan 14th) before prescribing any BP meds...just to double check. And I will never speak ill of my medicaid doc again...

    The nurse brought me into the room and strapped the cuff on my arm. As always, I was trying as hard to stay calm as possible so that it might be lower. Ha! It was HIGHER again...160/78.

    10 minutes later, the doc came in...and was thoroughly puzzled, as my BP had always been low or 'normal' for years and years. So she decided to use a DIFFERENT CUFF...the smaller size, rather than those larger inflatable-balloon type cuffs...and sure enough, my BP was 128/78. She waited a few minutes, then took it again, got the same result. Then just to make absolutely sure, she took my BP using my other arm, again with approximately the same result. All the other readings...were all erroneous, because the wrong type of cuff was used.

    She said that the larger cuffs are made for heavier or overweight folks, those who tend to typically have elevated BP. Apparently that larger cuff helps compensate for the larger arm with more bodyfat, and thus it has to be pumped harder to "find' the blood pressure reading. When a cuff like that is used on pencil-necked geeks like myself...the readings can be completely inaccurate.

    SO...IF YOU'RE THIN, SKINNY, UNDERWEIGHT...have you doctor use a small or regular-sized BP cuff (the kind with a simple, thin arm-band) so you'll get a more accurate reading.

    I went to a different doctor yesterday, and at the end of the appt, they took my BP (using a small cuff), and it was 118/68.

    Hope this is helpful...and thanks again to all for the replies and suggestions.

    Dan
  6. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Good to hear you have got it cracked Danny, having constant high blood pressure can be a problem and such a relief when it goes back to normal. :victory:

    I wonder how many other patients of this doctor have been forced to take BP drugs when there is nothing wrong with their blood pressure? :eek:

    I never have my BP checked except at the doctors office or at home. I bought a BP monitor at the local pharmacy for 10($15 USD) and checked it against the doctors monitor to make sure it was accurate.

    With all the varying BP problems that we PWC's have, I think its essential to have our own BP monitors and to know that they are accurate.

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