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DH has high blood pressure and I’m very worried. Any reassurance please?(13 Posts)
DH is 55 and had a strange turn a few weeks ago. He woke in the night to use the loo and was severely faint for a few seconds. This happened on two consecutive nights.
He made an appointment at the doctors who took bloods and measured his blood pressure which was around 150/100.
He was asked to come back the following week, blood test were all fine but BP up again around 150/95.
Dr prescribed 1.25mg Ramipril to be taken once daily and advised DH to buy a home BP monitor and take a reading twice a day.
Most readings are around 140 -145 / 90-95. Still way too high.
This has been the shock that we both need to sort out our diet, neither of us smoke but enjoy a bottle of wine between us on a weekend. Our downfall is a Chinese takeaway every weekend plus a chippy tea during the week. Lots of sandwich lunches, teas with a biscuit or cake each time. I cook the usual curries, chilli, lasagne but big portions and always lots of carbs. DH weighs 14st 10 and at 5 feet 8 it’s too much and all on his stomach, he does walk at least 40 minutes a day, sometimes longer.
So, we’ve vowed to overhaul our diet and aim to lose weight but I have some questions if anyone with high BP can answer.
Is exertion safe? DH will and can walk much further than his usual 2-3 miles daily. Is this ok? (Is sex ok?)
Is it possible to see an improvement in BP by just losing weight?
Is it ok to have the occasional drink with high BP?
Anything else I should be very careful of? DH likes a hot bath after his walk some days, is that ok?
Will the meds bring it down? They don’t seem to be having any real effect at the moment?
Sorry fir maybe the stupid questions but this has shaken me up and I keep checking to make sure he’s ok and not about to collapse. He’s not returned to work in his factory job yet, I’ll be so worried when he does.
And Covid, I’m really now very worried about him catching that.
I can only talk from personal experience but I've had high BP on and off since I was 18. There have been times when it's been considerably higher than your husband's. At the moment it's well controlled but it takes a while to find something that suits and then to get the dosage right so you might not see an immediate improvement. I've tried several different medications over the years but have been taking my current one for 17 years with no horrible side effects.
I avoid hot baths, saunas etc but have never cut out sex/exercise but I'd suggest he clears that with his doctor. It's a worry but it sounds like your both doing all the right things.
My sister had high blood pressure for years and had to take medication to keep it under control.
She lost 2.5 stone and now doesn't need any bp medication at all.
So yes, losing weight can reduce bp, but it's probably not the same for everyone.
Also, she used to get migraines - they've stopped too since her bp came down.
Those readings aren't that high. It's good that that you're concerned and want to try everything possible to bring his bp down but you don't need to lose sleep over it.
The bp medication may take a while to have an effect. Losing weight and getting fitter should improve his blood pressure but it doesn't always. I've been on bp medication since my late 20s. I'm now nearing fifty. My weight has fluctuated over the years but unfortunately even at my slimmest and fittest my bp was still high. Salt is the big thing to watch with high blood pressure so try and reduce that.
Following with interest as I might be starting medication soon, but I'd like to avoid it if I can (mostly because I'm forgetful). BP averaging 140/98, quite often systolic close to normal. I get headaches and terrible reynauds in winter which I don't think is helping.
Have you looked at the British Heart Foundation website OP? There's a good guide on that, and if you want more technical there is the NICE guidelines as well.
Actually his readings aren’t that high, but you should monitor over a period of time to ensure the medication is effective. I’m surprised your gp didn’t ask you to do that. I’ve recently started medication for high bp, and I had to take two readings, 3 mins apart morning and evening for a week. She then worked out the average reading to check the effectiveness of the medication.
Hypertension is very common, and very well controlled with medication. Get your DH to talk to his doctor again, it’s quite common to have to try a few different meds before landing on one that works. How long has he been on Rampril?
Thanks all, he was given the Ramipril last Thursday at a starting dose of 1.25mg to be taken once a day. DH has been suffering from headaches too, looking back it probably was the high BP.
He’s been asked to take a reading in the morning and again in the evening.
His BP isn’t extremely high but it’s good it was picked up. The ramipril is at quite a low dose to start with (normal, you don’t want to over treat) and it sounds like there are plenty of changes he can make to his lifestyle which is a good position to be in.
To answer some of your questions, sex is fine, exercise is fine (running, walking, this is something I’d increase if possible) and hot baths are absolutely ok. Alcohol in moderation is fine from a BP point of view.
The meds will bring it down, and they may increase the dose of ramipril, but there are lots of other things you can do.
You’ve recognised that your diets aren’t great, and he is obese.
I’d make a few changes together, it will be easier for him to stick with and good for your health too in the long run. For starters your home cooked meals sound lovely but cut down carbs portion sizes, 5% mince maybe, and get in some smaller treats to go with hot drinks, or just have the treats once a day.
Lots of people are walking around with a BP you’ve described and it can certainly cause problems in the medium / longer term and is important to treat, but please don’t worry about work etc. Keep track of his BP and any further fainting episodes as they may be unrelated.
As long as it's monitored and medicated so it comes down to the right level he will be fine. My DH was diagnosed with high BP in his mid 40s. He's on rampiril. He came off for a while and it went up again so he'll be on meds for life to control it. His parents both died of cardiovascular illness so it's important to keep it under control
I don’t know much about high BP but my DF got his down to normal and came off medication by losing weight - he started off eating the same things but half the amount! He walks every day rain or shine, too. So it’s definitely possible I think.
It sounds like you have good plans. Regarding your diet, like my DF, I think you’d see results just from smaller portions. You could weigh portions of pasta, etc according to the recommended serving on the packet. If you have two biscuits with your tea, just have one. Share a portion of fish and chips once a fortnight or buy the ready meal fish and chips from M&S - it’s only about 300 cal I think, and really nice. (Ready meals are actually quite useful for controlling/learning portion sizes). Have Chinese but have a lot less, and check you’re not having the unhealthiest dishes, etc.
Dh's BP measured way over 200 at home. He had rang the GP about his migraines, they told him to take his BP 3 times at home and they would call him back. We knew it was really bad when the NHS website said it a mistake and wouldn't let me put it in. It wouldn't accept anything over 190. GP phones back and told him with those readings to go to A&E where it was confirmed as being 220/160. They did an ECG and he will be having an MRI at a later date.
He suffered from migraines but when they prescribed him meds for that a year ago they didn't take his BP, I was annoyed at the time and am now really pissed off that he wasted a year of increasing his meds for migraine "prevention" weaning on and then off when all along I believe it was his BP.
Anyway, this is all fairly new to us too, he was also prescribed ramipril but a higher initial dose which has seen it come down to 160/100. He has had bloods taken as they need to monitor kidney function as ramipril can affect that. They have increased the dose up again and will take more bloods when he has been on this for a little while.
We were also told to get a new BP arm cuff one for home use and Dh calibrated it when he went back to the GP to check how far off our readings were.
Dh has gained weight over lockdown as he no longer has his commute to work which involved walking a fair distance. We have both started 16/8 intermittent fasting to cut breakfast out. I thought I would be ridiculously vile without my first thing in the morning cup of tea but actually it is ok. The good news is that his migraines have disappeared and he gets occasional headaches.
It is worrying and I think more so when it isn't you but the person you love and care about. I hope he responds well to the ramipril.
DH has genetic high BP and started taking Amlodipine at about 45, with Ramipril added a year later
He has recently lost 2 stone doing Keto, which we assumed would bring his BP down but didn’t, in fact it went up.
He has reduced dairy and salt now and rarely eats meat, it’s made a drastic difference to his BP after only a couple of weeks and he really needs to get back to the GP now so they can adjust his medication
So yes, losing weight can help but what you eat is important too
My DH was hospitalised with chest pains and severe headaches, and his BP was 200 over 198. He had ultrasounds and tests done which all came back fine. He is on BP medication that he takes once a day now and his BP readings are in the normal range.