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Old 06-27-11, 12:34 AM   #1
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High blood pressure, low pulse- wtf? Stressed out!!!

Please bare with me if this post isn't entirely linear in it's organization, I'm a little bit stressed out, and I just need to vent.

I've never had any problems with my blood pressure, always been less than 120 / 80, except on very rare occasions (migraine headaches, etc), but my resting pulse has always been a bit high (mid 70s to 80s), mostly cause until about two years ago (when I started cycling), I've never been hugely active. Anyway, I'd been following my resting heart rate pretty carefully a few months ago, and I noticed it has improved significantly. My resting heart rate (RHR) has dropped into the upper 40s and lower 50s in the morning when I first wake up, and is in the mid to upper 50s in the mid day (sitting at my desk).
Anyway, a few weeks ago I was at the grocery store with my wife, and I decided to get my bp checked. I figured if my HR was down, my BP probably was improved too, so I was shocked when the machine read 165 / 93. I always hated those machines, they make me feel panicked (cause I worry that I won't be able to get out of it), so I didn't give the reading a lot of credit, but booked a doctors appointment just to be safe.

I had that doctors appointment on Thursday. After talking with the doctor, he takes my blood pressure and pulse, and it comes out to 190/120, with a pulse of 54 BPM. He has me lie down and wait a few minutes (about 10), and he takes it a second time- this time it's 170ish over 100ish (he won't tell me exactly..?). So he puts me on Mavik (high blood pressure medication), sends me to the lab to get a full blood panel, an ECG, a 24 hour urine sample collection, and signed up for a kidney ultrasound. He told me to start taking the medication immediately, and monitor my bp this week, and see him again in a week (this upcoming Thursday). He said I can keep biking, but suggested I maybe keep it easy, and don't go for long, high intensity rides.

My readings over the past few days:

Saturday 1PM: 157/97, pulse: 56
Saturday 3:30PM: 143/83, pulse: 60
Saturday 5:00PM: 141/87, pulse: 58
Sunday 8:00 PM: 181/101, pulse: 52

Over the past 3-4 months, I've moved over 1800 miles, from the United States, back to Canada. We had the birth of our first child, have gone from a two income household to a one income household, am on very bad terms with my previous employer (short version of the story- he was having difficulty securing funding, he was taking his stress and anxiety out on me and some of the grad students in our lab, and I was doing my best to shield them as much as I could, but I had to leave the position because the situation was becoming impossible, and now he won't respond to my emails, so I think my two projects with him are dead in the water). My current position is a contract job, which may be renewed in June 2012, and may not be, depending on my new bosses funding situation. And I'm freaking out that I'm going to drop dead, leaving my wife to look after our 3 month old daughter alone.

So, yeah. I don' t know what I"m looking for. Just venting.
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Old 06-27-11, 04:52 AM   #2
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first off - congrats on the birth of your daughter - and pls try to stop freaking out.

I know how scary this can be; my BP just started going up for the first time as I reached my mid-40s. I cannot say medically why exactly yours is up, but I will say many of the situations you mentioned can surely cause some anxiety, even if it's good stuff happening. Things like diet and so forth obviously play a part.

You are doing the right thing getting it checked out and monitored - now you just need to chill so you're not adding the stress of being stressed on top of everything else!

I will say this much - it sounds like you were scared when you went to the Dr. and that certainly must have caused that first sky-high reading...known as 'lab coat' syndrome.

Sorry I don't have better info, maybe someone else here will - good luck, and try to take it easy.
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Old 06-27-11, 05:44 AM   #3
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Take the meds. Several of us in my family have the same situation. We all seem to have resting heart rates in the mid 50s and high BP. One thing to watch out for is some BP meds also also slow the pulse. The doc said that I would notice if I had been lying down, if I got up quickly I would be light headed or dizzy for a couple of seconds.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:50 AM   #4
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My b/p is highest at home and the doc's office, much lower anywhere else (supermarket machine, dentist, blood donation...). I don't understand it.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:59 AM   #5
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I have met several people at my Job that have High Blood pressure and they are in their early to mid 30's. Most of them say it has been in their family's for generations. They are mostly slim and trim. I would not worry about it too much. The main thing is that you caught it early and have avoided a stroke. Maybe as thing settle down in your life the bp will settle down as well and you can get off the medicine. Don't let it get you down, be happy and enjoy that baby.
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Old 06-29-11, 10:28 PM   #6
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If it makes you feel better my heart sometimes hurts and cramps up, im 23, doing going good financially, not married, no real stress, 135 pounds, 5' 7". Used to be a hard cyclist, now trying to jog more. I will probably die first. Oh and no medical insurance.
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Old 06-29-11, 11:03 PM   #7
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Salt sometimes affects peoples BP negatively, has your intake increased recently? Your Doc likely talked to you about salt I'd imagine.
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Old 07-08-11, 04:11 PM   #8
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Update since my last post.

I got the results back from the ECG, and my doctor said it indicated an enlarged left ventricle. He told me that this indicates I've had high blood pressure for a while, except that I know for a fact that I didn't. Every time I went to my doctor in the United States, the clinic would take my blood pressure, and it was never elevated, and it was checked as recently as this past March. It is unclear to me at this point if this diagnosis of an enlarged heart (which is done purely from an ECG) came from a cardiologist, or if it was from my family doctor interpreting the ECG himself. A few of my friends are MDs or in med school, and they've said that ECGs are very hard to interpret, and that if I wasn't diagnosed by a cardiologist, then I should be a bit skeptical.

Either way, I've taken my high blood pressure very seriously. I've reduced my salt intake to below 1500 mg / day, and my saturated fat intake is less than 15 g / day. I'm starting to keep a food, exercise, blood pressure, and heart rate diary so that I can keep track of my daily salt and fat intakes. I know it's easy to change your diet in the short term, and it's harder to maintain major diet changes in the long term, but I'm very much committed to this. I've been on Mavik (2mg / day) for about two weeks now, my blood pressure has improved dramatically. This morning blood pressure was 109/69 and my pulse was 49.

So things are improving. I have another appointment on Tuesday to discuss the latest test results to see if I have Cushing's disease (I've already seen the test results, and they're totally normal).
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