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So my BP is 180/100. Convince me I'll be ok!

(21 Posts)
5BlueHydrangea Thu 17-Mar-16 20:48:24

Had a gynaecological procedure yesterday under GA. BP before it was 195/100. Even post anaesthetic the lowest it came down to was 165/95. Advised to see GP urgently today.
BP now 180/100. Have been started on Ramipril straightaway. Referred for bloods, chest x-ray and 24 hour blood pressure monitoring.
Am only 43. I am a few stone overweight, have a bad back which restricts me a bit exercise wise, but no other major health issues. What is going on?! Am quite scared now. Expecting heart attack or stroke any minute and normally I'm really not like that. Any advice please?

lougle Thu 17-Mar-16 20:51:22

It is high, but you know that. Stress can make it worse, so hard as it is, you need to try and relax. Losing weight will help reduce your blood pressure. Look at your diet to see if you eat a lot of processed foods - they often contain lots of salt which can raise blood pressure

MakingJudySmile Thu 17-Mar-16 20:54:16

I had a reading of 190/110 when I was 21

I'm 40 now and not dead. No heart attack or stroke either.

You know this is what it is for you now and knowledge is power!!!

Is a lot if your weight around your middle?

5BlueHydrangea Thu 17-Mar-16 21:06:06

I think we do eat too many processed foods but not daily. Do have a sweet tooth. Feel like I should just live on celery now! I know it's daft but I do feel scared.
So good to hear you're ok Judy It does feel like a death sentence right now!
Feeling a bit pathetic really.

5BlueHydrangea Thu 17-Mar-16 21:08:06

My weight is a bit all over really but yes a fair bit in the middle. I have put on a bit the
St few months too without changing everything so am having my thyroid tested again. He's previously been borderline. I am at high risk of needing help there, have a family history.

mercifulTehlu Thu 17-Mar-16 21:18:23

I had very very high bp after ds was born (7 years ago). I was so convinced that I was about to drop dead of a stroke or a heart attack that I developed quite bad health anxiety and a real phobia about having my bp taken.

Anyway, I took up running, changed my diet, lost nearly 3 stone and my bp slowly went down. I'm still on meds for it 7 years later (very low dose), but just as a precaution really. My bp is pretty normal now. I have a 6 monthly check, and it's always fine.

I totally get that you feel like it's a death sentence. Do everything you can to bring it down yourself (exercise, diet, cut down on salt, alcohol and caffeine) but try not to freak out about it. It's extremely common, and the people who are really at risk are the many, many undiagnosed ones, not you. You know what to do and you are on meds. You'll be just fine flowers .

5BlueHydrangea Thu 17-Mar-16 21:24:54

Thanks merciful good to hear. I think (hope) I'll feel better tomorrow. Just feels a bit overwhelming right now. Early night I think.

MakingJudySmile Thu 17-Mar-16 21:52:27

Of course it's overwhelming, though (I felt) it was more frightening that I had been totally unaware or it. Right now you are aware and you've started ramipril which will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke making you less at risk than you were last week!!

Mind you they don't know what is the cause do they? Obviously diet and weight impacts blood pressure and cardiac health (though when mine was crazy high I was skinny as a rake - it turns out I've a heart problem)

BigQueenBee Thu 17-Mar-16 22:07:22

I used to have slightly low blood pressure, I was asked if I'd like a health check by a woman at an NHS stand at the market. MY BP was off the scale.
I was shocked, saw doctor asap as advised and was put on ramapril ,monitored by 24 hour machine thingy and put on a high dose of amlodipine,
I now eat super healthy.
I used to gorge on cheese and eat a lot of eggs. Never liked ake or biscuits, crisps ,that sort of thing.Detest junk food, so bland.
It was obvious that my diet was high in fat and I was predisposed to having high blood pressure,
My bp is still on the high end, even with meds, but I think I am going to reach a healthy bp if I continue to eat well.
BTW, I think " super foods " and supplements are a con.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 17-Mar-16 22:14:22

Found out last year (during a referral for a lump) that my BP was about that. Far higher than when I was pg etc. I'm carrying extra weight and was probably drinking more than I should. I didn't get on with ramapril, gave me a tickly cough, so I've been on something else and my BP was down to under 140/80 last time I checked which the GP says is acceptable. I've cut down the wine and am hoping to lose the weight.

Cornishclio Thu 17-Mar-16 22:30:43

I have had high bp as long as I can remember. It is genetic as both my parents had it and now me, my brother and sister are all receiving treatment. My normal reading is around 145/95 even with treatment. I can't take ramipril as it gives me the tickley cough so take bendroflumethiazide and amlodipine.

Stack all other odds in your favour and no reason why it should be a problem. I have to watch my diet and steer clear of high sugar, high salt and fatty foods. Minimal alcohol and regular exercise and keep stress levels down.

Sidge Thu 17-Mar-16 22:39:05

Lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on reducing your BP.

Stop smoking if you do.
Watch your alcohol intake.
Lose weight. (Losing 5% of your body weight can reduce your systolic reading - the top number - by up to 10mmHg.)
Do some regular exercise.
Watch your salt intake, including hidden salts in food.

Good luck!

5BlueHydrangea Thu 17-Mar-16 23:13:21

Thanks all. I guess tomorrow is a good day to start lots of change. Hopefully it will all work out well... Will get bloods and X-ray tomorrow too so hopefully get some answers!

Jules125 Fri 18-Mar-16 12:27:00

Lots of good advice here.

You are too young to be at high risk of a heart attack or stroke at the moment - most women are at relatively low risk of cardiovascular diseases up until after menopause, but you are right to consider doing something about it for the future as you age, especially if you have other risk factors (family history especially at earlier ages, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes).

Also, if lifestyle changes do not help you to reduce blood pressure or overall risk sufficiently, do not be afraid to take the drugs. They really do save lives.

Snozberry Fri 18-Mar-16 12:32:26

My blood pressure was similar after having DD, I had pre-eclampsia and it didn't come down much lower than 180 afterwards. When I told my mum (who is a nurse) she was meh <shrugs>. It isn't about-to-drop-dead-right-now high.

The thing with blood pressure is it's manageable, with medication and lifestyle changes. You're already on the medication so you're on the right path, you'll be grand.

When you have your 24 hour cuff you might even find your average bp throughout the day is lower than the readings you've had in a medical setting.

574ejones Sat 19-Mar-16 16:30:17

Have a look at the DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) and the BHF has a guide on high blood pressure and how to manage it, in line with your meds. I found these really useful.

Wolpertinger Sat 19-Mar-16 18:07:25

You will be fine. Obviously it would be nicer if you didn't have high blood pressure but actually having found out is the best thing that could have happened to you as now you can do something about it before it gets a chance to do any damage - tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life smile

No, you aren't going to have a stroke because you are doing all the right things - in fact you are less likely to have a stroke now than you were yesterday as now you have started medication!

And you can do so many more things - change your diet by reducing salt, losing weight if you are overweight, stopping smoking if you smoke, starting exercise if you were a couch potato, reducing alcohol intake, monitoring your BP with your GP and taking prescribed meds.

At the end of which you will be less likely to have a stroke than most of us here.

AgainstTheGlock Sun 20-Mar-16 11:22:24

I used to have very low BP - then following two crappy pregnancies with pre-eclampsia and BP all over the place it never really came back down and is still all over the place.

I take the lowest dose of ramipril going and now level out at about 130/80 and my docs are happy with that. I'm very lucky that my BP has been so easily treatable as I lost my maternal grandmother to a stroke when she wasn't much older than me.

Sirona Sun 20-Mar-16 12:57:02

Agree you may find a 24 hour trace a more accurate reading of your bp than under a medical setting. Mine goes through the roof when at the doctor, result of anxiety after having pre-eclampsia, but actually came back good after 24 monitoring.

High bp runs through my family though so I stopped smoking, cut down alcohol and started exercising as preventative measures.

5BlueHydrangea Tue 22-Mar-16 01:28:49

Thanks all. I'm coming to terms with it and starting to feel a bit better on the pills - have been quite dizzy and tired because of them but it is slowly improving . Need to sort diet and exercise. Feeling a bit miffed about all the things I can't have but guess this is the wake up call I needed to sort all that anyway. Onwards and upwards - Except my weight, and BP which hopefully will come down!

Aridane Mon 11-Apr-16 22:27:32

Dear 5Blue - came across this thread while searching for 'DASH diet'.

I'll share my experience if that helps - warning: long post!

I have had excellent blood pressure for the last 20 years, come what may (weight gain, stress, little exercise, poor diet). GP records have an impressive printout on a single page with a bar chart showing this.

Last November, had a stinking headache - a migraine, second in my life. Nothing much turns on that except that it revealed what apparently was (very) high blood pressure. Sufficiently so that the doctor also did an ECG (which also shared some irregularities). She wasn't sure whether the blood pressure was high because I was in pain or whether I had 'white coat syndrome' (where blood pressure soars when taken in a medical setting).

So to cut a long story short, painkillers were prescribed which got rid of the headache - and I was referred to a blood pressure expert (who heads up the unit at one of London's main teaching hospitals) who I saw in December.

Turns out the best reading that got be got in clinic was 180 / 120 and was diagnosed there and then with 'hypertensive crisis'. It was all a bit odd because I felt fine; also had no idea my blood pressure was that high.

I asked whether this was due to weight gain (er, have put on 4 stone), poor diet, lack of exercise, stress etc - and was told that whilst, yes, these factors could include blood pressure, they would not by themselves take blood pressure to that level. And, further, that at levels that high, the imperative was to treat the blood pressure rather than look for a cause (that could be done when blood pressure was under control). So I was put on two / three blood pressure medications, one a combined blood pressure medication, and the other a beta blocker. Blood pressure came down to healthy levels within a few hours, and the beta blocker was discontinued. The thrust of this all was treat then investigate.

Turns out that in c.90% of cases, no identifiable cause for blood pressure can be found.

Various tests and scans were done for two reasons - 1) to see if any damage were done to the major organs because of high blood pressure, and 2) to see if I had 'secondary' hypertension (ie where high blood pressure is caused by an underlying medical condition.

First set of tests = minor heart damage, which will correct over time now blood pressure is normal (sounds alarming - honestly isn't though).

Second type of tests, well, the final test,actually revealed a cause for the high blood pressure - ie a malfunctioning left kidney. And have now had a procedure to remove the affected part of the kidney - and my blood pressure is down to acceptable levels without medication.

I am going to move to a healthier life style to try to maintain a healthy blood pressure without medication - hence looking up 'DASH diet' on Mumsnet. Like you, I also have the genetic cards stacked against me with high blood pressure in the family.

Did also have that 24 hour monitoring you mention. And that will be repeated in a few months' time. Have also been having to do blood pressure monitoring at home (purchased a c.£30 blood pressure monitor - cuff one - from Boots).

I assume the blood pressure has been brought down to acceptable levels with the medication? and, if so, well there should be no real cause for alarm. With healthy living and lifestyle changes, it may be possible to reduce your medication over time - and your GP / consultant should always aim to keep you on the lowest possible dose consistent with keeping your blood pressure to acceptable levels.

This post is long and detailed - but PM me if you have any queries!

flowers

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