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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AT HIGH ALTITUDE
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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AT HIGH ALTITUDE

I AM TREATED FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. THE MEDICATION AS PRESCIRIBED KEEPS MY BP QUITE WELL AT SEA LEVEL. MY CONCERN IS WITH ANY RISKS EXPECTED WHEN MY ACTIVITY SHIFTS TO HIGH ALTITUDE. THE TENTATIVE SCHEDULE IS TWO WEEKS AT 2500 METER FOLLOWED BY ONE WEEK AT SEA LEVEL.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS
8 Comments Post a Comment
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976897_tn?1379171202
I think this is something you should discuss with your Doctor. I think you are talking about 8000 feet, which airlines normally pressurise at. I have read that 20% of people get high altitude sickness around that height, but I've never been on a flight where 20% of people need the vomit bags. Your body will obviously adjust to the new altitude, but it's getting through that period. Blood pressure isn't the only thing to consider obviously, it's the drop in oxygen saturation in the haemoglobin.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks,
It must be a misunderstanding. I was talking about working at a location at 2500 meter elevation for two weeks followed by one week at sea level and back to 2500 meter for two weks again. This cycle is supposed to be repeated fo some two years. My question is not related to flights that are normally at much higher altitudes. Sorry for the confusion it might have been created.
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976897_tn?1379171202
No misunderstand, I obviously was unclear and apologise.
2500meters equates to just over 8000 feet. My explanation about aircraft is how little effect it has on the passengers, with the cabin pressurised for that altitude. However, they are seated and not working.
Altitude sickness may be an issue with you, so mentioning this to your Doctor may result in receiving some medication, to be ready if it does occur. I can't see your blood pressure being changed for long at 8000 feet, I think it will adapt pretty quickly.
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63984_tn?1385441539
As Ed34 suggests, this is a conversation you should have with your doctor.  I live in an area where I regularly travel from sea level to high elevations. and back.  I don't have a completely healthy heart to say the least and I can tell you my blood pressure and heart rate increase in higer elevations.  That said, if your heart is healthy and your only issue is blood pressure, I'm betting you will be fine.  I'd buy a blood pressure cuff and check yourself at the higher location and see what it shows, and report any big change to your doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU OTHER ASPECTS I WAS INFORMED WITH IN THE MEANTIME:
- AT HIGH ELEVATION THE ATHMOSPHERIC PRESSURE IS LOWER THAN AT SEA LEVEL. THE NATURAL RESPONSE OF THE HUMAN BODY IS TO REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE IN ORDER TO ADAPT TO THE NEW CONDITIONS. AS LONG AS A PERSON  IS TREATED WITH MEDICATION INTENDED TO REDUCE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AT SEA LEVEL ONE CAN EXPECT THAT AT HIGH ELEVATION THE COMPUNDED EFFECT OF THE BODY REACTION AND MEDICATION MAY RESULT IN AN EXCESSIVELY LOW BP. HENCE MEDICATION MAY NEED A REVISION UP FRONT.
- LOW OXYGEN CONCENTRATION AT HIGH ALTITUDE MAY ADDITIONALLY IMPACT HEART AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEMS' FUNCTIONS HOWEVER IT IS IS NOT VERY CLEAR TO ME IN WHICH WAYS.
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Avatar_m_tn
2500 m it is not that high. Of course all will depends of how demanding your job will be there.

The most common complication in health people, at high elevation is diziness and if heavy work, potentially pulmonary edema, but not at 2500 m.

Jesus
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976897_tn?1379171202
Can you tell me where you got this information? because it really is wrong.
At sea level, air is quite dense, the air molecules are packed together which means your lungs easily get enough oxygen with each breath to saturate your haemoglobin (cells in blood carrying oxygen). At higher altitudes, the air thins, which means the air molecules are further apart. So with each breath you get less oxygen. Your body will quickly sense this drop and make short term adjustments. Firstly you will start to breathe faster to get more oxygen. Secondly your heart will speed up, probably double, even at rest. This will INCREASE pressure and flow rate, getting the little amount of oxygen to the organs and brain quicker. The body will shut down blood supply to non essential systems as much as possible, for example, the digestive system will receive much less blood so there's more to supply the brain and other organs. Leg and arm muscles will feel fatigued because the organs like the brain are always priority. The higher you go, the more strict the body will be.
While all this is going on, your body is making long term solutions. However this can take from a few days to weeks. The body increases the amount of haemoglobin in your blood, and grows new capillaries to feed body tissue. This way every valuable atom of oxygen can be utilised more efficiently.
If you went to a high altitude and your blood pressure dropped, you would be suffering hypoxia immediately.
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Avatar_m_tn
I HAVE RE-CHECKED THE INFO. IT WAS BASED ON AN ACTUAL SITUATION EXPERIENCED BY THE STORY TELLER WHO WAS REGULARILY TAKING MEDICATION AGAINST HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AT SEA LEVEL. HE WAS SPENDING HIS VACATION IN THE ITALIAN ALPS AT HIGHER THAN 2000 METER ELEVATION. AFTER A FEW DAYS HE FELT SO BAD THAT THERE WAS NEED TO ASK FOR AMBULANCE. THE ITALAIN DOCTOR WHO CHECKED HIM, DEFINED LOW BLOOD PRESSURE AS THE CAUSE FOR HIS CONDITION. AS REMEDY HE RECOMMENDED A SUBSTANTIAL REDUCTION OF THE DOSAGE OF THE BLOOD PRESSURE REGULATING MEDICATION THAT WAS CONTINUOUSLY TAKEN WITHOUT ADJUSTMENT TO THE HIGH ALTITUDE CONDITIONS. MOREOVER, THE ITALIAN DOCTOR MENTIONED THIS AS A RATHER FREQUENT SITUATION WITH VACATIONERS WHO ARE TREATED AGAINST HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. FACT WAS THAT BY REDUCING THE MEDICATION THE PERSON IN CASE COULD ENJOY THE REST OF HIS STAY IN THE RESORT.  
IT SEEMS THAT THE BLOOD PRESSURE REDUCING EFFECT OF THE MEDICATION WAS STRONGER THAN THE  RESPONSE THE BODY HAS BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE. AS I WAS TOLD THE ORIGINAL MEDICATION COCKTAIL INCLUDED HEART RATE SUPRESSOR AS WELL.
I AM INCLINED TO SEE THE ABOVE ADDITIONAL INFO AS COMPLEMENTING YOUR ARGUMENT RATHER THAN CONTRADICTING IT.
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