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Author Topic: High BP as a Young Adult  (Read 215 times)

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Offline Freedirt

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High BP as a Young Adult
« on: March 16, 2014, 11:32:50 PM »
I'd like to say how grateful I am that resources like this are available to those who need them. My case is sort of unusual so this is probably gonna be a wall of text. Thanks in advance to anyone who sticks it out long enough to offer any advice.

Physiological:
I'm eighteen years old with a ridiculously high BP. I average about 140 on my systolic with spikes of up to 200 being more or less normal. I've probably been this way since I was about sixteen. I'm outwardly fit, aesthetically. My BF% is ideal and I've got an athletic body type. My cardio could be better. I can only run for about 1 1/2 miles before I absolutely have to slow down. ACE inhibitors either do nothing for me or drop my systolic down to the 90s, depending on the day.  I've got a family history of hypertension. My father was diagnosed at eighteen. He had been taking a ridiculous amount of steroids at the time. My urine's been consistently foamy for about a year which raises concerns about the condition of my kidneys. I've got some scans and bloodwork scheduled to check for any renal damage and to see if my BP could tie in with any hormonal issues. I'll have occasional, mild shooting pains through my flanks. I have a hard time standing or sitting in one position for very long. The sensation is hard to pin down but it feels like I'd pass out if I tried for more than ten minutes. Shifting positions or walking around fixes the problem. Three or four times in my life I've found myself unable to stand because I experienced hot flashes and loss of vision without any warning. I might've chalked it up to panic attacks even though I wasn't feeling unusually anxious at the time but these sensations have been decidedly different from what I normally feel with panic attacks.

Psychological:
I know that I'm not the epitome of mental health. My ability to reason is 100% intact but I've got some definite emotional problems. Namely anxiety. It manifests itself in most facets of life but health anxiety is the real kicker. I can remember being five years old, questioning whether this or that was a sign that I was deadly sick, going to go blind, etc. The whole thing really took off about a year ago and it's put a huge dent in my quality of life. I'm fairly comfortable with the prospect of being dead, but anxiety isn't based in reason and as such the idea of being sick stirs up an overwhelming slew of emotions. I don't really have the expressive powers to describe just how awful I'll get to feeling. It transcends thoughts of self-preservation and makes me feel like the notion of existence itself is in jeopardy. I adhere to a religion/spirituality/philosophy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, so I shouldn't be having these feelings but I guess that's what anxiety'll do. I've never been to a behavioral therapist. My GP tried to get me on antidepressants and benzos but I won't take them on principle. I just want to talk to somebody. I've never told anyone about the extent of my anxiety. I feel like since it's been made into such an umbrella diagnosis and used as a scapegoat for so many young people anyone I told about it would just be exhausted with me. I function damn well, outwardly. But holy ***** am I a wreck. I just want to be happy. Or even content.

It's safe to objectively say that I've got SOME health problem. Just based on the foamy pee and consistently high blood pressure. Anxiety can't bring those about. I just need some outside perspective on how devastating a thing this needs to be for me. Because I'm not in a position, mentally, to judge that for myself.
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Offline Stressed Jumper

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Re: High BP as a Young Adult
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 06:30:38 AM »
Hello,
It sounds like you are being as rational about this as someone with an irrational anxiety brain (like mine!) can be.  That is a good thing. Your exercise regimen sounds top notch and if you are eating healthy even better.  Now as to the high BP:  anxiety can definitely increase your BP!  Mine is normally about 110/60 but when I was at the dentist about to have a wisdom tooth pulled it shot up to 140/80 because I was freaking out.  (I am a huge wuss about the dentist.)  Hot flashes, dizziness, muscle pain, and blurry vision are also part of the fun filled (NOT!) anxiety package.

It also sounds like you have a family history of high BP so that is something to take into account as well.  You mentioned trying one med but perhaps you should try a few others, singly or in combo, to see it that helps?  My father had high BP and I think he tried three different meds before finding the one that worked best for him.  The "foamy" urine could be a result of your diet and is something to talk to your doc about but does not sound like any symptom of kidney issues I have ever heard of. 

Regarding meds for anxiety...don't be too quick to rule them out.  I did my best to manage my GAD and panic attacks for years with limited success but when I started my own business (I own a stable and train horses) things got our of control.  I was a nervous wreck 24/7 and it was effecting my business and my marriage so I decided to talk to my doc and take the plunge.  He started me on Zoloft with a side of Xanax to help deal with the start up anxiety.  (With many SSRI"s things get worst before they get better.)  I'll be honest and tell you that the start up side effects were no fun at all but once I got past them it was a revelation.  I felt better than I had in years!  Why had I waited so long?  I could drive again, I could sleep through the night, I could sit still even, lol.  Now that's just my personal experience and meds are not right for everyone, but avoiding something that could help you "on principle" seems like handicapping yourself.  Just my two cents!

Hang in there!
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Offline loverinthecold

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Re: High BP as a Young Adult
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 04:41:17 PM »
A couple things:

I feel kind of kindred in the fact that I have had problems with wildly erratic systolic blood pressure and anxiety for most of my young adult life.

I just turned 30 and I'm still here. I too have had spikes up into the 190/200 range during bouts of anxiety and my baseline was probably about the same as yours for many years in my twenties.

As far as the foamy pee. Could be anything. Doesn't necessarily mean your kidneys. I have foamy pee all the time and my kidneys are normal. Don't assume your kidneys are shutting down or leaking protein before you have them tested. Do you eat a lot of meat or high protein foods? That could be the culprit. Or it could be that's just how your body is. The bottom line is that you don't know until you know.

But I specifically wanted to mention a few things to you:

1) You're not alone. My situation is strikingly similar to yours, so if you need somebody to talk to, feel free to PM anytime.

2) Blood pressure, even really high blood pressure isn't going to kill you in and of itself. At worst, it will lead to heart disease way down the road. And that's the worst case scenario. My father-in-law is an MD and once told me that young people's bodies can tolerate a lot when it comes to blood pressure ups and downs. But on top of that, the thing is that it's all luck. Some people go their entire adult life with blood pressures of 200/100 and never know it. Some will live to 50 and others 100. It's the luck of the draw. And yes, some people with perfect blood pressure will also live to 50 and others 100. And while living with high blood pressure is never ideal, magic numbers don't mean jack squat.

3) I would strong suggest you at least reconsider your stance against SSRIs. I'm on Sertraline (Zoloft), Lisinopril and Metoprolol, and the combination has really improved my ability to function outwardly and inwardly day to day. Being on medications is scary, and they are often overprescribed, but there are also those of us who truly need help to conquer our existential anxiety. And I'd rather live in a world where they are an option than one where they aren't.
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Online TarheelBabe1980

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Re: High BP as a Young Adult
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 03:15:31 PM »
Ever looked into Dysautonomia, particularly hyper-POTS? Just a guess because your BP skyrockets so bad upon standing, rather than the typical POTSies who plummet when they stand (am I right?). It can be tough to diagnose because many GPs are unfamiliar with this. Sometimes cardiologists diagnose it, but the best kind of dr is a neurocardiologist. Standard test=Tilt Table Test...heck, your gp might even order that for you if you seriously express concern.
www.dinet.org might help. POTS is NOT life threatening, just annoying. I think there's a few on this site with Dysautonomia and they are fine. :)

P.S. One reason I am somewhat well versed in this is because I was once concerned about Dysautonomia since my bp readings have not been consistently normal in 6 years. GP finally said i have labile hypertension (possibility in your case too). Currently, i am not on bp meds and i average 115/80.
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Offline marc

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Re: High BP as a Young Adult
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 03:27:26 PM »
According to my physician, many cases of HBP are hereditary.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
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