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HBP sudden onset

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I am a 34 year old mom. I have regularly scheduled annual physicals and gyno appointments, alternating every six months between the two. My blood pressure has been fine, average of 125/68 over the last 10 years. Starting in January, during a routine Gyno visit, my BM was high 200/110. A follow up with the same doctor had similar findings. I made an appointment with my new general doctor (previous doctor retired). Similar findings. Started on a beta blocker, BP lowered to 170/85 and developed an excessive amount of shortness of breath. O2 sats are still fine. Added a calcium channel blocker. BP lower yet - 150/82. Still SOB, with added fluid retention.

I am concerned that I am chasing a goal that will be attainable only at the risk of losing my time of experiencing life as a mom. Yes, my BP is lower, but I am now winded playing with my child, and swollen as all get out. My doctor is now discussing adding a diuretic to further lower my pressure and compensate for the fluid retention, but my job does not allow for frequent restroom breaks. I am rather frustrated. My dad had his first EP study at 32, first heart attack at 35, and first stroke at 39. This is not what I want, but I cannot tolerate feeling like this on a daily basis.

Any suggestions? I do not consume a lot of sodium, and was on the way to reducing my weight via better food choices. The fluid retention is erasing a lot of my gains there. Thanks in advance for any advice!
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replied May 7th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Sudden onset of hypertension often indicates secondary hypertension (certain cause have triggered the hypertension).
You may ask for kidney examination and endocrine status evaluation.
Beta blockers aren't usually prescribed until other blood pressure medications, such as diuretics, haven't worked effectively.
Shortness of breath is their less common side effect.
A fluid retention is caused by beta and calcium channel blockers.
Complete examination, finding the right combination of meds and lifestyle changes are the most important factors to get regulated blood pressure.

Best wishes!
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replied May 8th, 2009
Thanks so much for the reply. I work in surgery, so I was aware that SOB and fluid retention were possible side effects of the meds. My doctor chose to avoid diuretics is possible based on my job. The nature of it requires certain fluid restrictions - if a patient requires a procedure that takes 5 hours, you don't get a break for that time. I have another appointment in about two weeks, and I will ask about a renal and endocrine exam. I was just figuring that with my family history that this was inevitable, so did not question the dx of primary hypertension. Thanks for the advice!
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replied May 8th, 2009
I should add that I am currently on 5mg Bystolic (was 10mg before adding the calcium channel blocker) and 5 MG of Norvasc daily. If I am not within an optimal range on my next visit, it sounds like I will be adding Lasix to the mix.
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replied May 8th, 2009
Experienced User
i lowered my blood pressure
I used an alkalizing diet,which also allowed me to loose 10 kg of weight,eliminated my life long cronic asthma & saved me from having to have surgery on my nasal passages due to the elimination of huge polyps, in this diet i also used pure natural unprocessed salt with the correct balance of filtered water my bp went from150/80 to 122/64. There are other options in nutritional treatments that can help . I am here if you want help.
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replied May 8th, 2009
Zona Plus or Resperate?
It sounds like medications may not be the best solution for you... and it also sounds like you are already making the necessary lifestyle changes... have you looked into medical devices such as Resperate and the Zona Plus? They both sound a little "too good to be true" but have rather impressive clinical support.
Resperate is a guided breathing device they say lowers blood pressure an average of about 14 points systolic and it works by simply forcing you to relax for a few minutes every day and it may also impair the sympathetic nervous system. There are about 10 journal articles to support t it. The Zona Plus is an isometric handgrip therapy device discovered by the Air Force they say lowers blood pressure over 20 points on average. It apparently works by improving endothelial dysfunction, raising nitric oxide and impairing the sympathetic nervous system and has been positively reviewed by the Harvard Health Letter and is supported by about 10 journal articles. I have heard of people using both systems to reach their goals and both have money back guarantees.
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replied May 12th, 2009
use the furosemide as needed
hi, you can use the furosemide on your days off. Then make sure that you restrict salt thereafter. There are large amounts in almost everything, including cheese and pasta sauce (which don't taste all that salty to me). Maybe a lot is slipping in. If not, then the diuretic won't help that much. Likewise, if the CCB is causing the edema, then the loop won't help that much since it only promotes mineral excretion.

Also, if you work in a hospital why not get anybody to listen for a bruit in the kidneys?
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replied May 14th, 2009
HBP Sudden Onset
I am surprised they started you on a beta blocker instead of something less powerful. I'm not a big fan of powerful drugs. But of course I am not going to advise you not to do what your doctor says, but consider getting on the internet and looking into natural methods that can lower blood pressure in many people. I dropped mine from about 170/110 to 126/86 without taking drugs at all. There are a couple of things you can try, like eating A LOT of fruit. Fruit contains potassium which works in the opposite way salt does. That is potassium lowers blood pressure. But you need to make sure you don't have any kidney disease before doing that.

Have you heard about the breathing techniques? There are a couple of products ("Resparate" being one) that are clinically proven to lower blood pressure. It takes 15 minutes a day but is worth it because it really works and has no side effects. From my own personal experience I can tell you my blood pressure dropped dramatically using the device.

Good luck,
David
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replied June 19th, 2009
Thanks all. I will look into the other options out there. I was added a diuretic, HCTZ. Also upped my Beta blocker. Do not know if it is relevant that I was induced really early with my daughter for eclampsia - I don't work in OB. I have had a renal U/S and doppler, waiting on the results...but htey had problems with the doppler on my left side, and had to get someone else in to find dopplers on my renal branches. Also, my epinepherine and norepinepherine levels are elevated, so I don't know. Kidney or endocrine, or essential...so frustrating. My dad had his first stroke at 38, so I am concerned of course.

What I can safely say is that my BP is not changed with the new med dosages, but the side effects are. I am overweight, but eat a sensible diet with few high sodium foods. I am a label reader. Just want to get to the bottom of this.
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replied June 24th, 2009
I scheduled an appointment for Monday with my Doc. I am unable to tolerate these side effects anymore, and I need the results of my renal doppler (doc has been on vacation).I can't take a flight of stairs without feeling like I have run the mile in less than 10 minutes, and I have gained about 5 pounds since my last visit....by looks, all in my feet and legs. This is unacceptable to me. So hopefully I will have more answers in a few days! I might also add that prior to starting my meds, my HDL LDL and Triglycerides were awesome. On my last CMP, my Triglycerides jumped to 269 from the low 70's and my LDL elevated as well. I am unsure if that is med related...I have been watching my diet even closer since my original DX, and have been even more aware of label reading...confusing!
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replied July 20th, 2009
My doc DC my beta blocker, added an ARB and upped my HCTZ.For the last 2 weeks things have been good. Still elevated epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, but not within the dangerous levels. SOB is decreased. And other suggestions would be appreciated!
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replied August 10th, 2009
Hi Zerby, I'm going through something similar. I am a 37 year old female who has always had average to low bp. I had a routine screening one day last month and it was in the 170s/100s and got up to the 190s/110s by the end of that day. I am on beta blockers temporarily. My GP told me that sudden hypertension is usually from a hormonal imbalance. I've had a range of blood tests, a kidney ultrasound, and a kidney MRA. The only thing that came back abnormal was elevated levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. I am seeing an endocrinologist on Wednesday. My GP mentioned the possibility of a pheochromocytoma, which is usually benign tumor in the adrenal gland. I'll write back if I find out anything useful.
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replied August 10th, 2009
Hope that everything comes out OK for you. We have effectively ruled out a pheo, and have chalked this up to bad genetics.I work in surgery, and specialize in urology and general surgery - the two groups that remove pheo tumors. So, I was really concerned about this.

But, while I may never know the reason for my spike (with a related spike in my CRP level) I at least have a med mix that has the benefits that I am able to deal with offset by the side effects. Working in medicine I feared the worst, but I am now comfortable with living with the reality of ideosyncratic hypertension. At least the meds are helping. Best of luck to you!
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replied March 6th, 2012
same sort of experience?
i too have recently had bouts of high blood pressure, 155/88 and palpitations, and shortness of breath, and heart palps, can anyone suggest what it could be? the ecgs come back normal, and the halter monitor was normal also. Im not convinced. My potassium levels are 3.6 generally, and i was previously prescribed supplements as it went to 3.5. Not sure if they helped or not, i wasnt on them long enough to be able to tell. ive called an ambulance a few times and twice they've almost put iv's in to treat me for a heart attack as they were unsure if it was one or not, im only 31 and a single mum. Sad this is rly scaring me now. strokes and heart attacks run in the family at early ages also.
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replied October 7th, 2012
I'm a 34 yo single mom, and have the exact SAME s/s as rachels. My bp has always been 117/80. 2 weeks before starting nursing school, I was taken by ambulance in er twice thinking heart attack. My bp is chronically 145/99- 157/99 daily since then. I have had chest pain, arm pain, neck pain, back pain, palps, and shortness of breath. To everyones dismay, this is being written off as anxiety. Yes, when I start getting chest pain, I have an anxiety attack. Duh... This is a brand new s/s also. Idk what to do. I have a stress test next week but fear I will croak.
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replied October 7th, 2012
I'm a 34 yo single mom, and have the exact SAME s/s as rachels. My bp has always been 117/80. 2 weeks before starting nursing school, I was taken by ambulance in er twice thinking heart attack. My bp is chronically 145/99- 157/99 daily since then. I have had chest pain, arm pain, neck pain, back pain, palps, and shortness of breath. To everyones dismay, this is being written off as anxiety. Yes, when I start getting chest pain, I have an anxiety attack. Duh... This is a brand new s/s also. Idk what to do. I have a stress test next week but fear I will croak.
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