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High blood pressure - can't tolerate medication. Any ideas?

(12 Posts)
tinysleepy Tue 25-Feb-14 11:51:23

Hoping someone might have some wisdom.
Sorry if this is long.

I have had hypertension for years. Sky high during pregnancy; constant admission to hospital with changes to medication but nothing kept in down. No pre-eclampsia but DS came early via emergency CS as placenta failing due to BP.

Post-pregnancy had all investigations to check why BP so high; no reason but strong family history. Seen consultants & GPs and keep coming out with yet another prescription for unsuitable drugs.

So, medication:
Can't take ACE inhibitors due to episode of throat swelling (known side effect).
Can't take angiotensin II receptor antagonists (Losartan) due to risk of side effects being similar to ACE inhibitors
Can't take methyldopa as gave me crashing depression in pregnancy.
Can't take beta blockers due to asthma.

So, I take 10mg of nifedipine - dreadful side effects of headaches, awful full, pulsing sensation in head and palpitations. Blood pressure is usually 150/109 ish. Comes down to 145/104 ish with Nifedipine, which is too high.

BMI around 29 but go to gym to try and lose weight and be active. Also running around after 3 year old. Reducing salt & eating less fat.

So, any ideas of anything else I can do? Dad has had three heart attacks so family history not good. Desperately just want it under control...

mousmous Tue 25-Feb-14 11:54:50

you have the answer already, you need to loose weight and change your diet (drastically).

I have heard the 5/2 fasting can have a good effect on blood pressure, maybe that will work for you?

boydonewrongagain Tue 25-Feb-14 11:56:56

Cutting out foods thst can increase your bp plus a trip to a herbalist to see if there are any natural remedies you can take maybe?

Apart from weight/exercise/accepting family history of high bp means it will never be fantastic (incidentally is there also family history of related problems e.g. stroke/cardiac issues?) I've heard beetroot juice can be very beneficial.

FabULouse Tue 25-Feb-14 12:11:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Matildathecat Tue 25-Feb-14 12:22:35

I sympathise as I have familial hypertension though not as dramatically as you. I tried several meds each with some kind of side effect. I'm now on Amlodipine with no noticeable effects. It probably fally into one of your groups, though. I can't remember.

I did lose weight and reduced my BMI from about 26 to 21. It hasn't actually made much difference to my bp but will, of course reduced my cardio vascular risk.

I have read about beet root juice. I think you need to drink quite a lot so worth proper research.

Have to agree with others that diet and lifestyle are hugely important but genetics are very strong.

Would you consider joining a group or getting a personal trainer for help and motivation? Our local authority actually has some amazing help available for free but I don't think that many people know about it.

Good luck.

anywinewilldo Tue 25-Feb-14 12:37:32

The following supplements have all been shown to have bp reducing qualities -

high strength garlic
co-enzyme Q10

Also a good idea to take vit c and vit d

Also, there is a totally natural machine called Resperate, which you use everyday or every few days to help you to learn to relax and regulate your breathing - studies have shown it's effectiveness with long term, regular use. It's quite expensive though I think.

anywinewilldo Tue 25-Feb-14 12:41:53

Also, cut out caffeine if you haven't already. With alcohol, I have experimented with cutting this out, but have found that my bp is actually lower just having a glass or two each evening rather than having none.

Good luck!

tinysleepy Tue 25-Feb-14 12:50:04

You see! This is why I love MN. No nonsense, just what I need to hear.
The weight thing I have struggled with for years too; I know I need to take it more seriously. Fibromyalgia means I need to exercise carefully but exercise will benefit both.

I don't drink alcohol or smoke so kid myself that food for treats is my only vice. If I don't lose weight, its a vice that could give me a stroke though...

Thanks for the kick up the backside mousmous and fabulouse

anywinewilldo I asked my Dr for Resperate on prescription as you can get it on NHS, but he refused on the basis that the independent research indicates that it is not that effective! Also, thanks for the supplement tips - I have heard about co-enzyme Q10 so will give that and garlic a go.

Thanks again - its just what I needed. Right, I am going to go set fire to a 12 pack of kitkats!

anywinewilldo Tue 25-Feb-14 13:17:20

I've also heard that reflexology has been used by people to reduce bp. Might be worth a try.

Buggedoff Tue 25-Feb-14 20:54:39

18 months my bp was 120/80, but I had a routine check last December and found it was 150/80. I had mirena inserted 18 months ago, and I want to know if this could be the cause. I'm 41 and not overweight.

My GP says that mirena does not raise bp, and that the cause is because I'm getting older. I'm on 50 mg atenolol and 100 mg losartan, just raised from 50 mg, but I don't think that it is working very well. It has lowered it a tiny bit to 140/70 (but that has to be the second reading my GP takes, don't ask about the first one). My target systolic is 120 because I have various heart issues.

I think I want my coil out, because even if it isn't the cause of the high bp, then at least I will know. I really resent the lack of control over my body that comes with Mirena. But I fear for the horrendous periods that will follow, and the fact that my GP may not by sympathetic because I have chosen to stop mirena. I can't take non-hormonal treatments for bleeding such as tranexamic acid.

Sorry Tiny, no advice really. I guess exercise and losing weight can only help. High blood pressure is horrible, because even though it has no symptoms it is just worrying.

Buggedoff Tue 25-Feb-14 20:58:45

I'm also really bad with anxiety. Tiny, are you anxious too, or are you the calm person that I aim to be?

Although apparently anxiety does not cause longterm increases in bp.

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