Ouch Too

Forum => Health and Disability => Topic started by: Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 11:31AM

Title: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 11:31AM
I've been feeling really ill physically the last few weeks. I have extreme fatigue, completing any task feels impossible and I feel drained, like I am going under a general anaesthetic. I'm having to force myself to do things as I am reorganising my upstairs and have deadlines and I am tearful and irritable. I wondered if I am producing less cortisol and had intended mentioning all this when I see my GP for our 4 weekly appointment on Thursday. Today I am nauseous and my head is swimming and I felt like I might pass out so took my blood pressure.

It's 141/88 which is high and not what I had expected! Now I have been looking that up and am worried. I am very overweight and obviously don't/can't exercise. I guess I need to think about my diet more as I could reduce my calories.

Does anyone else have high blood pressure or know anything about it? It makes me more determined to taper my steroids in the new year as steroids can raise blood pressure although I should only be on a replacement dose as my own production is suboptimal so not taking more than the normal cortisol levels that should be in my body anyway.

I'm barely sleeping at all at the moment and I am very stressed about a lot of things. No idea whether the GP will treat this or how it will be treated.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 05 Dec 2021 12:50PM
What I do know about it is that there are very conflicting views amongst professionals as to what helps and what doesn't.

Incidentally, on the diet thing, a few years back (four or five maybe?) I went on an internet binge on and around the topic of fat storage, gain, loss etc.  It left me convinced that it's a multifactorial thing, very individual, and that the standard advice for the last few decades has been too skewed by big-company and government interests. (E.g. pushing high carb, low fat, which made sense both in terms of pushing highly processed junk food and also in persuading people in America during the cold war to rely on crops that were American-grown like corn/maize.)

In the end, I reached the opinion that our society is over-keen on fat-shaming whilst under-helpful to people who are over-fat.  It's not helped by an obsession with weight, which is a useful everyday proxy, but to compare, I'm over-fat and under-fit but weigh 2lb more than I did when I could do PT with the paras.  Yes, that is two pounds not three stone.  Back then I was 'overweight' on an NHS chart but had a small belly and loads of muscle.

Likewise this year, I dropped about two and a half stone, mainly fat, just by changing my diet, not by 'dieting', but I'm putting some belly fat on again, and I'm pretty sure that for me it's currently wanting biscuits. 

(I wish there were a way of persuading my doctor to increase my thyroxine.  He'd save me hundreds a year on my heating bills as well as reducing my fat.)

Recently, I've started looking at it again.  I'm particularly interested in what Giles Yeo is saying about how individual the issue of storing and using fat is, and how it's not simply calories in, calories out.

The reason I say all that is that my weight, fat, size etc. have wildly yo-yo'd over the years and I've found it healing to trust my own instincts on when it's junk-food & sugar bingeing (which I do), when it's medication (olanzapine sent me from to size 12 to size 26), when it's practical food shortage (4 stone lost in 10wks in a psychiatric unit) when it's thyroid (last reduction, extra stone in 2wks) etc.

On the blood pressure front, my own blood pressure is higher than I'd like, though I haven't measured it for some time, and I'll be reading contributions to this thread, because it's a reminder to me to work on it, though I doubt I'll ever get back to the blood pressure of my twenties, 80/50 when relaxed, 90/60 when stressed.  (Yes, eighty over fifty when chilling out in barracks, preparing for my combat med tech exams.)

(Edited re weight - just nipped upstairs, took off my outer layers and weighed myself.)
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: oldtone27 on 05 Dec 2021 12:52PM

I had high blood pressure due to kidney damage, but it is now well controlled (for over 10 years) using tablets.

It took a few trials with different medications (there are several types) before coming to a mix of calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers.

I find I have no side effects from these medications and my blood pressure is consistently in the 130/60 range which is acceptable for my situation.

I recommend that you consult your GP as prolonged high blood pressure can be dangerous.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: ditchdwellers on 05 Dec 2021 12:53PM
My blood pressure readings were high when taken at the hospital last week. I'm not overly surprised as I think it's probably the stimulants I'm on for narcolepsy causing it. I'm a bit worried about bringing it up with my GP in case she recommends I change meds and not all narcolepsy meds for everyone; this one has been a real game changer for me.

The only other alternative I can see is taking blood pressure meds but this is a an absolute last resort for me as I don't like taking more meds to counteract the side effects of other meds! I will if I have to. Reluctantly.

This is a dilemma isn't it Fiz? Continue with our current courses of treatment with the addition of blood pressure tablets or change tactics entirely?  :f_sadface:
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 04:39PM
I already eat a low carb diet to try to prevent further weight gain from the steroids in that 13 days out of 14 I don't eat potatoes, rice, pasta, bread or wheat products but my downfall is my fortnightly shop has treats in it for the day it arrives which I now must stop. My mainly keto diet is flipping costly though and sticking to it strictly will make it more so. At home I tend to eat a Seagan diet for animal welfare reasons, though eat vegetarian when out due to lack of choice but I think pulses and nuts are higher in carbs and calories than lean meat so I think I need to eat what my body needs over animal welfare for the foreseeable. I was feeling so ill earlier that I looked up whether diazepam lowers blood pressure and it does so I took 5mg and even that dose made me feel less like keeling over. I think I also need to eat less.

I really hate medication, apart from the cortisol replacement, I only take supplements that I could be eating but will discuss with my GP about medication to bring my blood pressure down because this level isn't safe if left. I assume that if I can lower my blood pressure by losing weight that I could then stop the medication. Plus it has to be said, I have been feeling so weak and ill the last few weeks and if that's caused by high blood pressure and there's something that would lower it, why wouldn't I take it. Historically my blood pressure has always been low though and my knowledge about high blood pressure and the medications that treat it is limited. I guess I may know more soon!
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: ally on 05 Dec 2021 04:41PM
I had high BP readings a while ago, alongside anaemia, and, other health issues.  I decided to take control of my health, and, lost five stone.  The above are all fine now.   It wasn’t easy, but, once I started to lose weight, i just carried on with it.  I can’t join SW clubs due to being profoundly deaf.   Therefore, I did everything alone by researching the internet.  There’s some good sites to look at online if anyone is interested in losing weight.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 05:06PM
I've lost nine and a half stones in eighteen months before so I do know it's possible. That started off very healthily but I got caught up in the control and became frightened of food. A lot of me wishes that I was still frightened of food.

I've taken my steroid dose down a notch, slightly earlier than planned as I was going to try and get through Christmas before doing this but lowering the blood pressure takes precedent at the moment.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 06 Dec 2021 04:51PM
Just a quick post ... my blood pressure had been around 135 - 100 for a couple or so years. My GP was trying to find suitable blood pressure medication for me when Covid started and  we have not got that sorted yet. I recently started taking Menopace Night and it has helped fatigue and restlessness. It also brought my blood pressure down to around 128 - 93.

I am wondering if cortisol being higher during perimenopause and menopause is why my blood pressure was too high in the first place.

Still shaking too much.

Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 06 Dec 2021 11:39PM
I wish I'd had better menopause care.  I think it's often underestimated how relevant it is to so many health problems.  I admire women who look at how it affects them and take action.  I just sort of gave up because the psychiatrists and gynaecologists just attributed perimenstrual crashes as symptoms of my bipolar disorder.

I wonder how many women have symptoms attributed to loads of other conditions.

It's encouraging when various Ouchers try out various ways of helping themselves, it gives me a sense I should keep doing what I can.

It's a small offering in return, but hugs of thanks to those of you tackling blood pressure for the timely reminder not to give up on basics.  I haven't checked my blood pressure for a while, but I shall start doing so again.


Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 09 Dec 2021 02:19PM
My GP isn't concerned about my blood pressure! She said that if it continues she would start to worry but it's not alarming. She said that I am under immense stress at the moment physically and emotionally and she's sure that is part of it. I had tapered my steroid dose on Monday as they can raise blood pressure but she's told me to return to Sunday's dose as I am very fatigued and have a lot to get through plus Christmas in the next couple of weeks and my plan to taper at the start of the year was a good one. She didn't even take my blood pressure! She did say that she will keep an eye on it.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 09 Dec 2021 08:35PM
I don't know whether she did right or wrong not to check your pressure, but it sounds like maybe she was reassuring?  Or did her not taking the pressure undermine any efforts to reassure you?
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 10 Dec 2021 04:12PM
I was surprised she didn't check it. But thinking about it I think it shows she trusts me to have taken an accurate measurement and didn't feel the need to check it and believed me Time will tell whether she does keep an eye on it. I'm so fatigued at the moment that my daily tasks consist of getting up, feeding the dog twice a day and letting her in the garden a few times a day and getting myself a meal once a day and counting the hours until I can get into bed. This time of year my dog believes it's night time at 4.30pm so I can go to bed then thankfully.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 10 Dec 2021 05:24PM
I don't like to think of you being fatigued, but given that you're almost certainly doing a few basic things you haven't mentioned, like taking pills or whatever, I like the fact that looking after your dog is something that you mention.  You are struggling to look after yourself but still think of others.

Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: ally on 10 Dec 2021 07:34PM
Fiz your blood pressure readings on here isn’t that high. Mine was much higher.  I was suffering from stress at the time.  Stuff ongoing, and, an impending spinal op date looming.  If I’m stressed at all, my BP readings go high.  I also have white coat syndrome.  If a nurse, or, a GP takes my BP its always elevated.  Yet, if I take my BP at home it’s fine.  I take my BP from time to time at home to make sure it’s ok.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 11 Dec 2021 01:14AM
Yes she mentioned the fact that sitting in the waiting room won't have helped it and possibly influenced her decision not to take it. I ought to find the energy to take it again when I am calm at home. I only took it on Monday because I felt so ill and almost passed out.

Sunny, yes I swallow tablets twice a day, missing one medication dose currently due to lack of energy to take it. I haven't washed or done my teeth for some while. The GP said that I am in that situation again when I need help but it's so difficult with a fluctuating condition. I've been like this a few weeks now. I can't sleep tonight for some reason despite being so tired.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 11 Dec 2021 11:31AM
Yes, I understood you were managing to do very little.  I wasn't trying to suggest you were doing a lot more than you said, just that there'd probably be a few little other things you'd do, albeit with great difficulty, even if it's just plug your phone into a charger or pick a letter up off the mat.  It was just how you seem to see making sure your dog is ok as an essential core responsibility that you make sure you do every day that touched me.

Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Fiz on 11 Dec 2021 12:07PM
There's no choice with that, same as if I had a child. It's when I am physically unable to do the essential care of her that pushes me into crisis as I go into hopeless mode. I can go days without food myself though realise that doing so makes my mood and energy lower but would eat if I could summon the energy. It panics me why I try my hardest to do something but can't push through the fatigue to make myself do it.

I have finally found the energy to get my laptop out and read some PDF's that have been in my inbox. My GP has asked me to be on the interview panel for a Psychologist post within the practice and there was a fair bit of reading. All I need to do now is get there on Monday morning. Mornings are the time of day that I am achieving anything so when she asked me I thought it might be possible but she said if I couldn't get there that is okay too. I think she feels it helps me emotionally to feel that I contribute.
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 11 Dec 2021 04:49PM
Title: Re: High blood pressure
Post by: ditchdwellers on 12 Dec 2021 03:05PM
So sorry you're in the grip of awful fatigue again. I sympathise. It's such a familiar feeling  :f_hug: