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High blood pressure

(11 Posts)
PastaLaFeasta Mon 04-Jul-16 16:39:53

I went to get my pill (combined) prescribed and my BP was high. I've stopped taking the pill and bought a home BP monitor - couldn't get a suitable appointment so this was agreed by a GP who recommended the brand of machine. It's still quite high - 145/99 was the highest today and lowest 135/95. I've booked an appointment to discuss after a week of monitoring.

Has anyone had similar and can advise in how to reduce and likely medical intervention?

I've seen the usual advice online but I'm not overweight, BMI is about 23.5, I'd like to lose a stone to get a BMI of 21.2, but I have been bigger - BMI of 27. My waist is 29 inches so again bigger than I'd like but still in safe limits. I don't smoke, drink rarely, have maybe one cup of coffee and one tea a day but this is less than in the past. My diet isn't great but not full of junk or salty stuff, and I do about two hours of walking for the school run each day. I'm a SAHM who volunteers so not much stress except the usual kid stuff.

So I'm far from ideal but it doesn't feel bad enough to be the cause of worryingly high blood pressure. I will try to improve these lifestyle factors but is it possible it could be something else? Does it run in families? I think my aunty had high BP but has always been fairly slim. I take opiates and paracetamol for back & nerve pain but these are relatively low dose and don't appear as causes.

MountainDweller Mon 04-Jul-16 23:40:44

I have high blood pressure. When I lived in the UK my doctor would just tut about it every time I went for a pill check up and tell me to lose weight and eat less salt. Eventually I was refused the pill which was a disaster for me as I have endometriosis and the pill was controlling it. Moved abroad, gynae prescribed pill without even checking BP and GP later prescribed calcium channel blockers which controlled my BP. Only side effect was constipation (but I am on opiates too). I switched to beta blockers because of another health problem. They make me a bit tired and prone to overheating but no constipation - hooray! So it's easy to medicate, although the NHS may not be keen to do so, presumably due to cost (although they are not expensive drugs... I pay the actual cost of meds and claim back from insurance - my beta blockers are less than 2 pounds for 50!)

LifeIsGoodish Mon 04-Jul-16 23:45:28

When you go back to GP, be sure to get a blood test for cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to high BP. Much better to try lowering your cholesterol via diet first, and see if that reduces yourBP, than to go straight onto BP meds.

PastaLaFeasta Tue 05-Jul-16 10:55:14

Thanks for the replies. I will ask about the blood test, I was considering asking for one for checking vit D deficiency anyway. I have recently started eating full fat foods due to changing advice, like butter and Greek yoghurt. I do need to cut down on the sugar and white carbs, we've already switched to brown rice and pasta. I'll try using my exercise bike more, it's just tough when I'm in pain, which is most of the time.

I will look into the medication side, I don't fancy the extra constipation risk and seem to recall they won't allow beta blockers due to asthma. My sister was on them for anxiety so can ask her about side effects etc.

I spoke to my mum and her sister has had high BP since having kids in her 20s, now in her 60s and she's always seemed a healthy weight. My nana had a heart attack in her 50s and was always a healthy weight too, although had smoked. So it could be genetic, except it skipped my mum who is very overweight but has a healthy BP. My DH is a little more unhealthy and carrying a tad more fat than is healthy for a man but his BP is perfect. Not fair!

Musicaltheatremum Wed 06-Jul-16 22:36:47

With your family history and already an elevated BP you're not a great candidate for the combined pill to be honest which with endometriosis is a shame as it's an awful illness.

Hellochicken Wed 06-Jul-16 22:47:17

Monitor it for longer before taking anything for it.
Is the pain contributing?
It does run in families.

My BIL cut out caffeine and drank beetroot juice every morning and the BP went to normal!

BertPuttocks Wed 06-Jul-16 22:54:57

Has the GP suggested a 24hr BP monitor?

It might give a clearer picture of what could be going on, eg if the reading is still high when you are asleep.

Tanfastic Thu 07-Jul-16 02:04:32

I was going to say the same re the 24 hour monitor.

I had one about ten years ago because my blood pressure was always a bit high at the docs. The results were that it was normal
When I was asleep and pottering round the house in the evening and elevated during the day at work. So they won't Medicate. At the time I was told they only medicate if bp shows consistently high even whilst resting etc.

However that was ten years ago, may have all changed since then.

PastaLaFeasta Thu 07-Jul-16 05:41:19

Thanks, I will ask about the 24 HR monitor. I do have an issue with finding the cuff a tad painful when it inflates, I've seen it suggested pain can push up the levels. I have sensitivity in my upper arms, so a poke on the arm will really hurt and lasts ages.

I've had a couple of odd lower readings but it's too high most of the time, especially the diastolic - over 100 a couple of times and always over 80.

I'm in no rush to be on more medication so will try the lifestyle things first. Giving up caffeine will be fine, I've done it before unintentionally. DH has been told not to bring bad food home as I have no will power once I know it's there. The annoying thing is that it's never been an issue before, I guess it's just getting older and the luck of genetics. I have an app on Tuesday to discuss my home monitoring. And maybe contraception, although abstaining may be the best option.

Tanfastic Thu 07-Jul-16 08:27:37

I'd push for monitoring. Why give up all the things you love in the hope it will lower your bp if there's really no need?

Wildernesstips Thu 07-Jul-16 08:29:49

Have a look at the DASH diet which is all about lowering blood pressure without medication. Also British Heart Foundation have some good advice on their website. The medication isn't always beta blockers. I think they start with ACE inhibitors.

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