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Big change in blood pressure at 36 weeks but GP unconcerned - I am worried,

(12 Posts)
peppermintpig Wed 17-Dec-08 16:13:33

I have fairly low blood pressure - normal is around 90/50. Last week it was 87/50. Today it was 130/?? but the doc waited and took it again and it was 118/73. I have never had blood pressure this high before. This is DC2.

I know its not high but its very high for me and seems like a sudden change to me. GP advised I cut out salty foods (my diet has deteriorated a bit recently due to tiredness with DS being ill).

Should I take the docs word for it that there's nothing to worry about ? Next appointment in 2.5 wks due to Christmas.

Any advice very welcome.

CaptainKarvol Wed 17-Dec-08 16:22:50

Did you have a urine test as well? Are there any other signs of pre-eclampsia? If you are otherwise fine, I'd guess that your GP is right and that a BP of 118/73 is nothing to worry about.

My understanding is that a BP is only a worry if it is likely to have knock-on effects on your health, and yours is still too low for that to be the case.

So I'd only worry if the jump came together with other signs of a problem.

Can you phone a midwife for an extra check next week?

peppermintpig Wed 17-Dec-08 16:29:17

No problems with urine. Have got some swelling of hands and feet which again I've never had before but again she said this was mild.

My first pregnancy was absolutely problem free and I had no symptoms except a big bump in front!! This one has been much harder work and I've had practically every symptom at some point so maybe I'm just over-reacting.

CaptainKarvol Wed 17-Dec-08 16:35:24

You sound OK to me <disclaimer, not any kind of a medic!>

I had PE last time - swollen hands and feet for weeks and weeks, BPs far higher than your high reading there, and finally visual disturbance and protein in urine. THere was still time for me to go to hospital and be monitored overnight before anyone even thought of doing anything proactive, so even if it does all mean something, it's not likely to be an emergency.

Just look after yourself - I'm pg with a toddler and I know just how knackering it can be.

JumpingJellyfish Wed 17-Dec-08 16:38:31

peppermint pig- could you explain your concerns to your community midwife and ask if they could repeat your blood pressure in a few days or a week, and maybe give you some test strips so you can test for protein in your urine at home?

You are right that blood pressure is relative- a big change should still be taken seriously even if it's below the usual threshold for officially high blood pressure. As far as I understand it (having had it twice myself) pre-eclampsia comes in many guises and causes sometimes a gradual and sometimes a rapid rise in BP. For me my usual BP is 120/65, so when I started getting 130/85 in the 3rd trimester that was cause for concern as it had been fairly stable up until then- although officially high BP is usually the second number being 90 or more (diastolic BP).

This could be why your GP isn't too concerned as not sure how much your diastolic BP has changed- and that's the one the watch most for.

Still you are right to be keeping a close eye on symptoms- for a good list of PE symptoms see: //www.preeclampsia.org/symptoms.asp

PE can develop in a second pregnancy without having occurred in a first. It is a very difficult disease to understand as it can manifest itself in so many ways- so I really think you are best always erring on the side of caution- if anything seems amiss, you feel unwell etc. just call your midwife or go to your day assessment clinic at the hospital's maternity unit. I missed signs of PE when I was pregnant with DS and was very seriously ill by the time it was diagnosed- wouldn't want anyone to go through that!

Really hope there is nothing to worry about- good luck x

JumpingJellyfish Wed 17-Dec-08 16:39:29

sorry link didn't work blush- see www.preeclampsia.org/symptoms.asp

JumpingJellyfish Wed 17-Dec-08 16:43:33

sorry just to give the other take to CaptainKarvol- with DS I just had bad pain in my right side, at first thought it was some form of heartburn or wind, it came and went then got worse and worse- BP was fine, protein in urine fine. 2 days after last BP check pain got really bed- went to A & E (didn't think it was pregnancy related but a bug or something)- they took bloods and my liver was shutting down = severe PE. Within hrs I was having an emcs while on a magnesium drip to stop seizures- only then did my BP start to shoot up and it continued until 48hrs after DS was born. So PE really can go anyway and not follow the classic signs. Don't want to scare you but having nearly lost DS (and myself!) I'm anxious other ladies pay heed to any possible symptoms!

CaptainKarvol Wed 17-Dec-08 16:46:06

Good grief, JJ - I had no idea it could come on like that. I'm happy to be corrected, and glad that you got the care you needed.

JumpingJellyfish Wed 17-Dec-08 16:54:37

No neither did I CaptainKarvol- I'm sure it didn't say anything like that in Emma's Diary grin. Plus I was a mere 25 at the time, healthy, fit, good weight etc- i.e. none of the "usual" predisposing factors. Will probably never know why I'm prone to PE but as a result of my experiences I am now possibly over-obsessed with "educating" every pregnant woman on all the possible symptoms of PE! I had a form of PE called HELLP syndrome, which isn't as rare as one would think- but my GP had never even heard of it.

Anyhow I'm sure peppermintpig and your LO will be just fine (just read the link...promise?! and go to your midwive/hospital etc. at the slightest niggle!!)

peppermintpig Wed 17-Dec-08 17:05:58

Thank you both. I really appreciate having both points of view - one to reassure and one to kick me into action just in case!

I have already read the link and it does specifically state that if you have low basal rate then the change is more important than the level and the changes between 87/50 and 118/73 falls within their 'cause for concern' parameters. This is what I expected the GP to say. SO I have already rang the surgery and the nurse will check my blood pressure on Friday and I will take it from there with the community or hospital midwives (my midwife is away at the moment)

JumpingJellyfish Wed 17-Dec-08 17:10:33

Sounds like a good plan peppermintpig. Unfortunately a lot of GPs know shockingly little about PE. There are PRECOG guidelines which all health professionals are meant to follow in the UK but as far as I know very few GPs read them...and I think in those guidelines too it emphasises how important relative change is in BP. (If you want more info on the guidelines- which your midwives should certainly be following- see:
www.apec.org.uk/precog.htm

Hope on Friday your BP is back down and it behaves itself for the rest of your pregnancy- good luck x

LoveActually Thu 18-Dec-08 09:12:30

Hi there peppermint, I am 37 weeks and mine jumped from 60/100 (which it was until Tuesday!) to 90/130 the other day. Although not high for most, like you it is high for me, I've insisted on going to see the doctor again tomorrow just in case. I think mine is because am still working, though give up tomorrow!! Hope you are okay. xxx

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