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High Blood Pressure in a 22 year old.
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High Blood Pressure in a 22 year old.

Hi,

I don't know what to do. My name is Aaron and I'm 22 years old. until I was 18, I always had perfectly normal blood pressure. I remember looking at a physical from high school and my blood pressure reading was 117/72. I've never been nervous at the doctor's office, ever. Then it happened. One night I was in my dorm room with my girlfriend and I felt something in my chest that felt like someone punching me from the inside out. I panicked and thought I might be having a heart attack or something and went to the emergency room. It was just one hard beat, nothing more. They ran an EKG and everything came up normal, I've never had heart murmurs or anything. The doctors have always said I have a perfect sounding heart. However, at the emergency room, when they took my BP it was something like 158/100. Maybe due to fear of what was going on? It was the first time my BP had ever been high during a reading and it seemed to come from no where.

After that, and after the doctor at the emergency room told me about HBP - i constant began to worry about my heart and my blood pressure. I constantly had my heart and blood pressure on my mind and couldn't get the thoughts out of my head. I constantly felt "tightness" in my chest related to anxiety and it consumed my every thought.

Following that incident, I set up an appointment with my GP to monitor my BP and it was constantly high although everytime I went in, I was terrified and tensed up when they took my BP. As I write this now I can feel the tightness in my chest and I just know my BP is through the roof.

Well, my doctor at the time told me she couldn't understand why a 18 year old had HBP - I have a family history of LBP and everyone in my family has lived to ripe ages of 80. I'm not overweight and since then I have eliminated fatty foods from my diet. I'm 6'2" 183 lbs, so I'm hardly obese like I said.

For about a year, I kind of lost hope of fixing the problem and just gave up. After I gave up and "accepted" that it would eventually kill me (Which I know is ridiculous to have these thoughts), my BP went down and I came off the medicine. Then, one day about 2 years later, I went back in, my BP was high, and the cycle started all over again. I cannot stop thinking about my BP, I never feel "loose or comfortable" its like it consumes my every thought and I can't enjoy life. I feel like nothing will lower my BP and like I've got no chance of overcoming this.

My current doctor just precribed me Paxil --which I haven't started yet-- will this help? What could be causing what is going on? I don't understand why I have high blood pressure. I bought a home BP monitor cuff and use it at home and my readings range from 120 to around 145 / low 60s up to 90s. My pulse is constantly between 50 and 60 beats a minute.

I feel like there is no hope and its affecting my personal and work life. I don't understand why I have HBP at 22 years old. And its been here on and off for about 4 years now. Currently, I'm not on any BP medicine. I was originally on atenolol. I don't understand why sometimes it seems completely normal (Like 120/72) or (Like 132/85) but other times it's ridiculous like 162/79 or 151/82 or 142/89 or 90.

What should I do?
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5 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
You can get false readings when you are worried about your BP.  If your doctor told you that she never heard of an 18 yr old having high BP then you need to find yourself another doctor.  Children can have high BP.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, I meant to say she said it is very uncommon. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Avatar_m_tn
If your current MD prescribed you Paxil, I would start taking it and just see if this helps. The drug is for anxiety and maybe this is just what you are experiencing. Anxiety can really do a number on your blood pressure. Having normal or lower readings at home and then much higher at the doctor's office is very common. There is a term for this: "white coat syndrome". You are just getting anxious when they are talking the BP. Anyways, my advice (not a doctor....just a med asst for a Cardiologist) is to being the Paxil. See how it works for you. If it does wind up being the right drug for you, it should really help you with your anxiety. Just follow your Doctor's orders and you will be fine. Take care!
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61536_tn?1340701763
Hi there.  It sounds like the thud in your chest was probably a palpitation, which are common and usually harmless.  They leave many of us who have them quite terrified before we learn what they are and how many people have them for years and live a very long time.

As for your blood pressure, I suspect there is a major anxiety component, and by the sound of the Paxil prescription you received, our doctor suspects the same.  When you gave up worrying, the numbers went down.  Stress can play havoc on blood pressure numbers, much like those of us suffering from the palpitations like you felt that night you went to the ER.  Many of the triggers are the same.

I suggest relaxation techniques.  I love Yoga For Dummies (because it was simple to learn and is very calming).  The breathing they teach you can bring your anxiety in check quickly.  Also make sure you're doing things for relaxation that you enjoy.  Obsessing over your numbers will only guarantee they'll stay high.  The best possible thing to do is manage the cause, which appears to be high stress, and everything else should fall into place.  

Hang in there!
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