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Blood pressure talk, but just looking for input this time

bin_tenn

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Hey! It's not been too long, huh? :) I'm back with more talk about blood pressure, but this time I'd just like to get some input from others who are also treating high BP. But even without high BP you're welcome to chime in with your perspective or experiences.

Per my last post, I saw my doctor on January 1 because I was experiencing a day full of very high BP - sometimes as high as 160/100, or somewhere around there. That's abnormal for me, because my bad days have usually still not been that terrible. So the doctor wanted me to start taking 40mg of Lisinopril instead of 20mg, along with the 25mg Atenolol (beta blocker). Then she wants me to follow up in a few weeks.

I started the increased dosage of Lisinopril three days ago. My BP has still been quite high at times, and is still very much all over the place. I may get a 155/97, then an hour later I get consistent readings of 130/78, then a few hours later I get a few 160/100, and so on and so on. All without changing my current activity. I could sit on the couch for an hour, and at the start and end of sitting get drastically different readings.

I fully understand and accept that anxiety is a contributing factor, but even the doctor agrees it's not just anxiety. There's also the genetic component. But my concern is still the fact that I quit smoking almost a year ago, I don't drink often or a lot at a time, I'm a bit more active than I used to be, and I eat decent still. Yet, here I am, blood pressure being so terribly stubborn. Why?!

If you are treated for high BP, what was it like before you finally got it completely under control - meaning does my journey sound familiar to you? Did just taking medication work, or did you have to make notable lifestyle changes?

I'm asking in hopes of maintaining what motivation I still have, to know that this is not unusual, and that it'll work out. It's difficult to hold on to hope right now, because all my efforts so far seem more useless than not. :/
 

Hobbit

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Hey bin , have you had your bp machine synched with the one the doctor uses ? Sometimes they are off a bit . I've been on bp meds for years , Valsarten and Amlodipine . Mine goes up to 140-145 at the doc appt but at home usually around 128-130 , my normal . Are you taking bp at the most hectic times of your day ? Staying away from salty foods ? Mine was very high before i started my meds , like scary high . So they have been working for me but i should do better with the salty foods , i am a bit of a salt-a-holic I'm afraid .
 

bin_tenn

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Hey Hobbit, thanks for the reply. No, I have yet to have mine synced with the doctor's machine, but that's something I plan to do when I follow up in the next week or two.

I try to take my BP at my most relaxed times, actually. When I've been sitting on the couch enjoying a movie or family time. Or if I've been at my work desk having some enjoyable interactions with coworkers. I try to actually avoid checking it if I feel noticeably stressed or anxious, because I know it'll be elevated then (and I do understand that's normal).

Yes, I have long stayed away from most salty foods. We don't really cook with salt often, but when we do it's in minimal amounts. I do my best to avoid overly processed food. I also make it a habit to check sodium content in foods I buy, and I aim for the reduced or no sodium alternatives.

Mine is mostly genetic, I'm afraid. The lifestyle changes I've made, I know they're helping - imagine how bad my BP may be if I still smoked or was much less active! :O But that's why it's frustrating, because it feels like nothing is really getting it where it should be... :)
 

Hobbit

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Well it sounds like you're doing all the right things . Just get the machine checked out . I still smoke , ya i know lol . Working on it . Mine is genetic also , come from a long line of high bp family so i know the meds are important . Scary stuff having high bp , kidney damage blah blah . What does your doc say about the fluctuations? Maybe the new meds will level it off better , i hope . Let me know how it goes .
 

bin_tenn

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You know what's crazy about the smoking. When I quit last year my BP was very consistently (practically every single time) 115ish / 75ish. For about a week and a half. And suddenly it went back to pre-quit levels... :(

I haven't specifically asked about these fluctuations. That's another thing I plan to ask about when I follow up. I can say that today I had overall better readings. Morning it was a bit elevated, midday it was 128/75 (very happy with that), but then tonight I saw a couple of 150s / 90s.
 

Hobbit

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I am curious about my readings if i can finally quit , ugh . Need to quit as well for my gut and reflux issues for sure . Ya thats wild how it can go so much higher later on . But even 150 can be ok for some if that is their " norm " from what I've read . Try not to stress too much about it . Maybe don't take a reading too many times during the day as the fluctuations may stress you , then a higher reading etc . Pick 3 times and then be done for the day ?
 

TruthHurts

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What is your heart rate when you get these high readings bin? A lot of the time after a few high readings you get mentally triggered into getting scared during BP readings that will affect the reading. Before reading this I hadn't checked my BP in awhile this got me nervous so I went to check my BP my heart rate was 100ish lol it was just in the 60's moments before thinking about checking my BP. My BP reading was 134/85 I calmed down and about 8 minutes later my recheck was 120/77. The mind has a lot of power. Have you changed your diet? Are you still exercising? I've been taking a magnesium that's been pretty good Innate Vitality Magnesium glycinate 500mg another thing you can try is drink lemon water that will lower your BP. Check your BP maybe 30 minutes after waking up if you get a decent reading just let it be.
 

bin_tenn

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No, my heart rate is well under control these days. If I get into some good activity I can get it to 140+, but that feels good. When I'm anxious, it usually doesn't go much above 100, thanks to the beta blocker (Atenolol).

I'm certain it's very much related to my mental state. Scaring myself, basically. I know I do actually have elevated BP and it needs to be monitored and treated, but I also believe it's not nearly as awful as I'm seeing on these at home readings.

So today I waited until about lunch time to check. Sitting at my desk, working. Feeling good. It was 133/81. Checked again a minute later and it was 115/74, so I was happy and left it alone. Out of curiosity, I checked it about five minutes after lifting some weights and it was only 148/77, so that was also a pleasant surprise.

I always take two or three readings, because the first is almost always quite a bit higher than subsequent readings due to being even just a little nervous about it at first. Doctor agreed with that approach as well. I still just don't understand why I sometimes get VERY high readings like 160/100. That feels very wrong to me, even with anxiety...

I don't know exactly when I'll follow up with my doctor, but I'm thinking it'll be next week or weekend. I don't have to rush back, but I do have things I want to discuss. And I'm very curious about my cholesterol labs now that I've not smoked for a year.
 

TruthHurts

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Great job on giving up smoking Bin if it means anything I'm very proud of you and happy for you. I'm not sure what is causing those readings in the 160's check out the Game Changers on Netflix I found it very interesting.
 

bin_tenn

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Much appreciated. :) sure, I'll give that a look some time. In the meantime, I just need to remember that I shouldn't check my BP multiple times a day, and when I do check, it should be done when I'm relaxed and at the same time every day. Haha.
 

bin_tenn

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I've checked my BP a few times between yesterday and today, and it's been consistently normal. I wonder if the Lisinopril dose increase just needed more time. I'm getting regular readings of low 120s / mid 70s. I'm MUCH happier with that. I will absolutely still be following up with my doctor, and talk about long term, get necessary labs done, etc.

Thanks to everyone who's been following along. And for those who have offered advice and support in any way. Much appreciated. :)
 

Hobbit

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Well those are sure good readings , must make you happy and less anxious for sure ! Maybe i should check about changing my meds , been on them for so long and my bp is still a little high .
 

bin_tenn

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Well those are sure good readings , must make you happy and less anxious for sure ! Maybe i should check about changing my meds , been on them for so long and my bp is still a little high .
Yeah, for sure. I believe I wouldn't be nearly as anxious about it overall if it weren't for the very real family history / genetics. Doctor is not "concerned", but he's definitely wanting to keep a closer eye on it than someone without the genetics. And that makes sense to me.
 
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