I'd really like to hear from anyone who has medical knowledge, not just someone who feels the need to comment, just anyone who actually can answer my question. I have tried to post this question on the doctors forum but it has reached it's daily limit, so here goes.
I take 80mg Propranalol for severe anxiety for the last 6/7 months. Lately i have been experiencing dizziness, a drunk type feeling and chest discomfort. Over the last couple of weeks the dizziness has been getting worse, short bursts of intense dizziness that lasts roughly 5 to 10 sec's then passes. Fot some reason i decided to take my blood pressure a few days ago while i was feeling very poorly in bed and it read 85/45, then i stood up and immediately took it again 2 minutes after the first reading it read 140/124. I started to have a panic attack as it read high, sat down and breathed through it, calmed down and while sitting took it again it read 106/67.
Over the last couple of days i have had the same dizzy spells, they hit me when i'm trying to do tasks, not that strenuous in nature, things like cooking, hoovering, light housework.... So anyway today while doing the cooking i became very dizzy an so took my blood pressure but i was standing and it read 157/143. Well i nearly had a heart attack on the spot from how high it was, so i sat down and breathed through another panic attack that the reading caused, then re-took it and it read 124/80. In the end i had to take some Valium to calm me down as i'm now convinced something terrible like a heart attack or stroke is going to happen cause of these VERY high readings.
However i need to know this also, is the blood pressure readins correct in a standing position? Or are they only acurate when in a lying or sitting position and do you have to give a certain amount of time and positioning of the BP machine before you measure your BP?
I am hoping that i have performed the procedure wrong and this is why i'm getting such messed up readings. Please help put my anxiety to rest as i'm now really worried and have anxious chest pains.
When you stand up, blood needs to be pumped higher under more pressure to reach the brain. Lying down should require less pressure to distribute the oxygenated blood. This would be true if all factors stay equal.
Best to sit and relax for a few minutes would probably be the more accurate. Go through the same routine each time and you can come up with an average, same time each day as well.
The way I understood it was that when you are in any position, blood pressure is running at the ideal level for that posture (if working properly). When you suddenly stand up, it takes a while for the heart and arteries to adapt, but gravity plays a big part in a sudden drop in pressure. However, very quickly the heart and arteries compensate for this. It's incredible how quickly this happens with chemical, electrical and mechanical processes all aiming at the same goal. Isnt the body incredible.
Sorry, I went off on a tangent there. Blood pressure can be taken either laying down or sitting comfortably, but the laying posture is normally for patients too ill to sit up. As Kenkeith states, sit still for a while and relax. However, have the cuff ready, then press the button when you have your mind focused on something nice and relaxing. If, like me, you sit there thinking "oh god, I just know its gonna be high", you can guarantee it will be. Get your mind off it, with finger lurking over the GO button, then press it.
I used to take Propranalol, and graduated to more potent beta blockers. The advice to get up slowly is very important if you are going to continue to take this drug. About ten years ago after my first MI when taking it, I got up fast in the middle of the night and fainted from low blood pressure, I'm sure, and broke five ribs and severed an artery as I fell into a dresser and broke the mirror. My cousin is a professional Jazz musician and takes it for stage fright. At a House of Blues opening he had been sitting for quite a while and the number called for the musicians to jump up suddenly, and he keeled over in a dead faint.
Because of other problems I had a pacemaker inserted and it ended my need for a very gradual process of standing after prolonged sitting or sleeping, but do be careful, blood pressure as low as you are reporting can easily cause you to pass out.
I think it also depends on what you are used to. When I had blood pressure of 150-160/90-104 I felt better. Now it's down to 120/80 I feel kind of strange and light. 40 years of high blood pressure must have adapted me to feel that as normal. Now it's at 120/80 I keep getting dull headaches, so I hope my body adjusts soon.
Thank-you for all your replies, i'm not that concerned with having the low blood pressure readings, although i dont want it to go too low, it's the two high readings that have totally freaked me out. The vast difference in how my BP went from low to very high in a matter of a minute is VERY worrying. Although i'm not sure if i took my BP correctly in the standing position and got a false reading cause i did it wrong. The BP machine was sitting on my bed with me facing the bed standing. I guess i decided to take it like this cause i thought maybe i was suffering from postural hypotension, so i would get a reading of what my BP is while standing and work out why i keep coming over dizzy. However the two times i have come over dizzy that i have taken my BP standing i have had very high readings, this don't make sense but now i'm so scared that i have something terribly wrong with my heart an i'm gona have a heart attack or stroke.
Has anyone of you guys any medical experience?
Thank-you for your time in advance.....:0)
Those electronic devices can be very inaccurate if the sensor isn't exactly aligned with an artery in the arm. I was taking my BP at rehab one day and it read 210/150. My arm was blue with the pressure in the cuff. I hadn't lined up the sensor correctly. Next time you get a high reading, wait about 30 mins and try again, re-applying the cuff.
I do have medical experience and I can tell you that your anxiety is probably doing a real number on you! Throw the BP machine away! (Most of them aren't that accurate anyway) People can go into a doctor's office and have readings that high just from the anxiety of seeing the doctor. A reading of 200+ tends to worry a doctor and those kinds of readings can cause strokes. If it helps go see your doctor and have them do your BP and talk to you about the levels.
Grendslori makes a good point, but recently there has been a change in thinking (according to source) in white-coat hypertension as not benign and its counter point "marked" hypertension is a consideration as well. Marked hypertension is low in medical setting but higher in the every day setting.
Thankd again guys, i have an appointment with my GP tomorrow morning, but apart from the dizziness i have been suffering breathlessness, chest tightness and jaw, neck pain. Now i'm fully aware that anxiety can cause these symptoms, but yesterday i had to ask family to bring a bed into the frontroom so i dont have to contend with the stairs, i was soooo utterly breathless from just standing, it felt like i was winded and i'd become dizzy and confused. Then last night i got a bad pain in my right hand side and peeing made it worse, but it has settled down at the moment, however i kept waking up and was hallunciating, things just kept moving around. If things get worse over the course of the day i'm gona go hospital cause things seem to be getting worse and not better.
Thanks for your time. God bless.
Personally, I would go NOW. It doesn't hurt to get checked over and don't ever feel like you are wasting their time. There's no point in having a heart attack and thinking "oh i was right,,I should have gone". Cardiologists say "time is muscle" so I would get checked.
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