High Blood Pressure

My High Blood Pressure

My High Blood Pressure

I have probably had high blood pressure for a long time. This is the story of how I found out. In hindsight, I can identify many symptoms of high blood pressure, but I either ignored them or thought they were related to other things.

The major symptom I had was headaches. Most days I would either wake up with a headache or develop one. Some of them were real “head splitters” … occasionally I would have to lie down to stop the nausea. I remember often working in front of my computer and trying very hard not to move my head to avoid feeling sharp pains.

Since being diagnosed with high blood pressure and starting medication, I have not had one headache (around nine months now). My headaches were definitely due to my high blood pressure, but back then I thought they were due to stress, or poor posture due to sitting at a computer all day … or any number of things.

THE DIAGNOSIS

I had been told for years by doctors that my blood pressure was high, but that it was probably due to the “white coat”effect. Turns out it wasn’t. I went to a new doctor, and as she took my blood pressure, she had a very worried look on her face.

My systolic blood pressure reading was over 200. She told me to go to hospital immediately and made me promise I would not ignore her warning.

At the time I did think she was over-reacting, and I pictured myself sitting in the hospital emergency waiting room for a couple of hours, waiting for a doctor to see me, giving me a couple of pills to take, and heading home. The actual story was very different.

I arrived at emergency and was given the standard “patient detail” form to fill out. Before I was 1/3 of the way through, a nurse turned up to take my blood pressure. She also got a worried look on her face, and took me straight to one of the emergency beds.

This is in a hospital system famous for making people wait hours in emergency. I had doctors all over me … injecting things, taking blood, scanning me and god knows what else. My clearest memory of that day was suddenly feeling very light headed.

The doctor later told me that I “liked” a drug (I think it was hydralazine) he injected into me. I say “liked” because only a doctor could think I “liked” it. In about 30 seconds I went from feeling what I then considered normal, to being drenched in sweat, head spinning and throwing up my lunch. The nurses told me later that I was as white as a ghost.

I remember asking one of the emergency nurses if she thought I would be able to go home that night. She laughed. I ended up spending 4 days in intensive care, and 6 days in the general hospital before they let me go home.

The quality of the care, the doctors and the nurses were all amazing. We have a free hospital system in Australia which sometimes gets a bad rap, but my experience was very positive.

MEDICATION

They never found a cause … I just have high blood pressure. I take a fair bit of medication, and my blood pressure is now at normal levels. My doctor told me to buy a blood pressure monitor and record my readings each day.

Because I kept forgetting to take my readings, I wrote a software program to remind me. The software also charts the readings from my home monitor, and it is clear that my readings have been dropping over the last six months.

My readings are now around 110-120 over 70-80. Much better, but more importantly, I feel a lot better … I had no idea that high blood pressure could make you feel so unwell. If you also have high blood pressure I wish you well! If you have not seen a doctor about it, I highly recommend it … don’t leave it as late as I did, they can help you to feel a lot better!

Steve Alan is the author of a software program for Windows (free trial available), which reminds you to use your home blood pressure monitor, as well as recording and charting your readings. Email or print a report of your readings for your Doctor. For more information go to: web site at www.my-blood-pressure.com steve@my-blood-pressure.com

 

 

FAQ 

How do you feel when your blood pressure is too high?

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:

* Severe headaches.

* Nosebleed.

* Fatigue or confusion.

* Vision problems.

* Chest pain.

* Difficulty breathing.

* Irregular heartbeat.

* Blood in the urine.

What should we do when BP is high?

Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.

* Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline.

* Exercise regularly.

* Eat a healthy diet.

* Reduce sodium in your diet.

* Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

* Quit smoking.

* Cut back on caffeine.

* Reduce your stress.

What is a dangerously high blood pressure?

A hypertensive crisis is a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke. Extremely high blood pressure — a top number (systolic pressure) of 180 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher or a bottom number (diastolic pressure) of 120 mm Hg or higher — can damage blood vessels.

What is the main cause of high blood pressure?

Common factors that can lead to high blood pressure include: A diet high in salt, fat, and/or cholesterol. Chronic conditions such as kidney and hormone problems, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Family history, especially if your parents or other close relatives have high blood pressure.

How can I lower my blood pressure in minutes?

If your blood pressure is elevated and you want to see an immediate change, lie down and take deep breaths. This is how you lower your blood pressure within minutes, helping to slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure. When you feel stress, hormones are released that constrict your blood vessels.

Does lack of sleep cause high blood pressure?

Stress, jet lag, shift work and other sleep disturbances make you more likely to develop heart disease and risk factors for heart disease, including obesity and diabetes. A regular lack of sleep may lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) in both children and adults.

What foods cause high blood pressure?

11 Foods that Increase Blood Pressure

* Table Salt. If you are trying to follow a low-sodium diet, this seems like an obvious one, but it needs to be said.

* Certain Condiments and Sauces.

* Foods with Saturated and Trans Fat.

* Fried Food.

* Fast Food.

* Canned, Frozen, and Processed Foods.

* Deli Meats and Cured Meats.

* Salted Snacks.

Can not eating cause high blood pressure?

Not Enough Potassium

Your kidneys need a balance of sodium and potassium to keep the right amount of fluid in your blood. So even if you’re eating a low-salt diet, you could still have higher blood pressure if you’re not also eating enough fruits, veggies, beans, low-fat dairy, or fish.

Is Egg good for high blood pressure?

Eggs are also a well-known source of protein which is perfect for breakfast. Egg whites are especially good for high blood pressure. You can prepare scrambled eggs and add some vegetables to it.

Is cheese bad for high blood pressure?

Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium but is often high in saturated fat and salt. This means eating too much could lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Can empty stomach cause high blood pressure?

Can not eating cause your blood pressure to go lower or higher? According to the Cleveland Clinic, fasting can help lower blood pressure. It can also result in an electrolyte imbalance. That can make the heart prone to arrhythmias, or problems with the rhythm or rate of your heartbeat.

What drinks should I avoid with high blood pressure?

* Sugary drinks that may contain caffeine or high fructose corn syrup can include sodas and fruit juices.

* Alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise a person’s blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .

* Processed and prepackaged foods.

* Caffeine.

What is a good lunch for high blood pressure?

Lunch recipes for high blood pressure

Broccoli salad: Broccoli has been a popular superfood.

Quinoa chicken bowl: This protein-rich bowl contains chicken and quinoa.

Salmon lentil salad: Salads are easy to prepare and could be a great recipe idea for lunch.