Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > High Blood Pressure and Hypertension Forum

Cardiovascular problems , hypertension , low oxygen levels

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I am a 31-year old female with hypertension. I am over-weight (5'7, 185 lbs.) but was diagnosed when I was 19 (5'7, 128 lbs.). I had been taking high estrogen birth control for irregular menstrual cycles for 5 years (ages 14-19), so that was believed to be the cause. After going off the medication, the high blood pressure continued (up to 160/120) and after numerous tests (kidney ultrasound, blood tests for thyroid problems) I was put on medication (Norvasc, 10 mg and Hctz, 12.5 mg) with no known cause except heredity (my father and aunt (mother's sister) have hypertension). After about 5 years, my blood pressure readings were low normal, so my doctor recommended that I taper off the medication, and I did successfully, with no signs of hypertension for 5 years. Now, the hypertension has returned, so my doctor put me on the same medication as before. She also ordered more blood work (Cortisol, aldestosterone, etc...) and a kidney MRI, all of which came back negative. I also had a sleep study done to test for sleep apnea, which came back negative, but during the sleep study, my oxygen levels decreased to 82%, so I have an appointment with a pulmonologist today. The other issue is that my diastolic pressure continues to be elevated (85-90). I don't smoke, have never taken illicit drugs, and drink alcohol on occasion (in moderation). I have allergies and have been receiving immunotherapy for about a year. I currently use an inhaler (steroid) for asthma and have a history of nasal polyps (previously treated with corticosteroids and antibiotics and daily use of nasal spray). My ankles also swell (typically after working or while traveling). Should I be concerned about cardiovascular problems associated with hypertension and low oxygen levels? My mother (a nurse) also recommended that I visit a cardiologist (I have never seen a cardiologist). Is this necessary?
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