High Blood Pressure

Source
High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure | Source

     Last month I was told by my doctor that I have high blood pressure. This was one of those slightly shocking yet somewhat expected moments if you can imagine that. It was somewhat expected because high blood pressure, or hypertension, runs in my family. My mother and father are both currently taking prescription medication to control theirs, as are both of my paternal grandparents. Yet the news was still a bit of a surprise, given that I'm not even thirty years old yet.

     I always knew there might come a day when I would need to watch my sodium intake or adjust my diet to avoid having high blood pressure, and I have been aware that I may have to take a pill for it one day. I just assumed that day would come in my fifties, like it did for my dad, or in my seventies like it did for my grandma. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be taking blood pressure medicine at twenty-eight years old. Life's funny that way, I guess.

High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure | Source

My Symptoms

In many cases of high blood pressure, the person does not experience any symptoms at all or, perhaps, does not realize what they are experiencing is due to hypertension. In fact, thirty percent of all people with high blood pressure do not even realize they have it, which is why it is so important to get regular checkups by your doctor.

     What first got me to wake up and pay attention to changes in my body, was an increase in my migraines. I've been a migraine sufferer for fifteen years but, after the birth of my second son in January of 2008, my migraines had all but stopped.  I went from getting one a month to one every six months if not a year.  Then, all of a sudden in December of last year, they struck again.

     At first, I didn't think much of it. I figured maybe I'd had too much caffeine recently or was just stressed out more (it was the holidays, after all). But, when they kept coming and I found myself rarely without a headache that lasted all day, I figured it was time to see the doctor.

     That was about the time I started noticing other syptoms as well. It all came to a head one night when I began having distortions in my vision, similar to those that usually accompanied my migraines, along with numbness and a strange disconnected feeling, like my head was in a bubble. I hadn't yet connected it all but the week or so prior, I hadn't been sleeping good at night, I was frustrated and irritated all the time and I couldn't think clearly or get my words out the way I wanted to. So, I did what I always do when something seems off health wise, I called my dad. No, he's not a doctor nor does he have any medical training whatsoever but he's still the one I call.

     He was the one who asked about my blood pressure. The thought had crossed my mind that perhaps, in that very moment, my blood pressure could be up. I chalked it up to stress and caffeine again. He came over and checked it with his cuff and, sure enough it was high. 146 was the top number. Sorry I can't remember the bottom. In all my life, my BP has never left the 120's. Until now.

 

The Diagnosis

     I got into the doctor later that week and, after checking my blood pressure and pulse twice and having three tubes of blood drawn and an EKG and an MRI of my brain, I was left with the diagnosis of hypertension. The big H. I got a prescription that day for a high blood pressure medicine and left feeling scared and nervous. As far as I knew in that moment, my life had changed forever and I was never going to be able to stop taking the medicine i now held in my hands.

     Of course, once I got home and did what I usually do when I have questions about something, research, I felt a little better about some things. I may not have to be on the meds for the rest of my life. Since I'm catching it early, I can do things like adjust my diet and lifestyle to better control my blood pressure myself. I'm learning about what I can and can't eat and how to notice when it might be going up. I've read about ways to calm myself and avoid stress and now plan to share everything I am learning.

More to Come

     As I learn more, myself, I plan to share with others how to better control your blood pressure through diet and exercise as well some great stress reducing techniques. I still have some more research to do but I will posting links to those hubs here as soon as they are completed.

     Having high blood pressure seemed like it was going to be challenging and scary but, thankfully, it hasn't been. While I haven't completely revamped my diet, I have put a few small changes into effect and I barely even notice them. My prescription is working and I haven't experienced any of my symptoms from before, including the migraines, since I started taking it.

     I hope this hub can help ease your mind a little about high blood pressure, or at least reduce some of the stress!

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Comments 18 comments

Haunty profile image

Haunty 5 years ago from Hungary

It's said that you have to experience hypertension at such a young age. Maybe the only positive that comes out of this is that you started exploring effective ways of stress relief, which is not to be underestimated. I hope this will help you change things in your life that benefits you way more than just by reducing blood pressure.

My mother suffers from high blood pressure and when we found out she was scared of the same thing that you were - having to take pills for the rest of her life. So we started exploring alternatives and what we found was a herb called Terminalia Arjuna that's used to manage high blood pressure. Also, there is a herbal remedy called Divya Mukta Vati, it may be worth giving it a try.

Of course, there is nothing like finding your personal way to a healthy lifestyle. I wish you much luck and will be interested in hearing the developments. :)


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

Thank you Haunty :) I will have to look into those. I have come to terms a bit more with my diagnosis and I really do believe that I can get to a point where I won't need the daily medication. It's just one pill so I guess I can handle it until then :)


loveingyou profile image

loveingyou 5 years ago from Canada

Thanks. This was a good read.

I'm going to keep in mind these symptoms for the future!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

My husband has had HB since he was about your age. He has always been thin, exercised and eats fairly healthy so it's not fair but there you go. Good you caught it early.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

Thanks loveingyou!

Yes, Pamela, I'm glad I caught it now and not many years from now. Sometimes it just happens, I guess..


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Very important and informative hub...thanks for posting


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

Thanks Cog! :)


AskAshlie3433 profile image

AskAshlie3433 5 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

Very useful hub. Voted USEFUL AND VOTED UP. This page will help others.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

Thank you Ashlie!


MarciaBuie profile image

MarciaBuie 5 years ago

Thankyou for your info! I am 28 with HBP as well..;(


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

sorry to hear you have HBP too, Marcia. But glad I could provide some info :) I think more needs to be said about younger peole dealing with hypertension


JLClose profile image

JLClose 5 years ago from OreGONE

Wow, some of those symptoms are scary.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

It was definitely a little scary when I wasn't sure what was going on. Once I ahd a 'reason' for everything, I was able to cope better. Thankfully the medicine is working wonders :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Hello Selina , thank you so much for this story ..... because it's my story too. I also have high blood pressure and at 54 I must be careful as I also suffer from stress and anxiety.

I read your testimony very carefully here as you can imagine and I will look forward to reading more from you on this matter.

Currently listening to the great John Coltrane and his awesome Ballads album with a nice cuppa tea after a glass of wine and watching a splendid documentary on Patti Smith called Dream of Life.

Please check your fan mail and I am sending you a high five from Colin and his cats at lake erie time canada 10:50pm

Please take care of yourself my friend


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 3 years ago Author

I love your comments, Colin and I love your work as well :)

I'm watching a biography on Henry Fonda by his daughter, Jane at the moment. Clips of his movies in the background and that unmistakable voice in the air is a great way to write!

Thankfully, my HBP has been well controlled the last few years with medication, I hope your's is doing well.

Thanks for the read and the wonderful comment! Off to check my fan mail.... :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

My favorite Henry Fonda character in a movie would be the 'bad guy' in

Sergio Leone's Once upon a time in the west. I think it's the first and last time he ever played a bad guy in his career.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 3 years ago Author

I have to say On Golden Pond will always be my favorite but he's done so many good ones. He has one of those voices that kind of hypnotizes you when you watch him.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

...and then there's the definitive performance in The Grapes of Wrath - off now to explore another one of your fine hub presentations ....

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