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Sudden Hypertension
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Sudden Hypertension

Hi!  I'm a 21 year old female who just got back from overseas.  While abroad, it was discovered, from a visit to the doctor for an ear infection, that I had high blood pressure.  I visited the doctor twice for the ear infection.  The first time, I had normal bp, but the second showed an elevated bp and pulse (though he thought at the time that it was due to my taking Claritin-D).  I have since stopped taking Claritin-D, but the bp never went down.  My most recent reading (about 3 months ago) was 140/95, but the previous 4 before that averaged around 150/85.  While overseas, I had the usual blood tests and 24-hr urine, but that showed nothing.  I was then referred to a cardiologist, had an EKG and renal ultrasound, (which I assume were both normal since I never heard anything back).  I have since returned to the US, so I was never able to complete the other tests (echo, 24-bp monitoring, Holter monitoring) which the cardiologist recommended.  I have not been to a doctor in the US since returning because of busy schedule (college and work).  How worried should I be about this?  Is this something that needs to be taken care of right away or can it wait?  What are the likely causes of this sudden change in bp?  If I discover that my bp has dropped since returning to the US, is it still an issue?

Thanks so much!
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi IWUgirl,

Sorry to hear about your concerns.  Realize that high blood pressure does impact a small, but real population of people your age.

How worried should I be about this?  Is this something that needs to be taken care of right away or can it wait?

High blood pressure is an import long term concern.  The damage it does to your blood vessels now is silent and won't impact you until later in life.  It is important that these issues are followed in a timely way.  Maybe not over weeks but certainly over months or sooner if symptoms occur.


What are the likely causes of this sudden change in bp?

I doubt it was this sudden.  Probably overlooked on previous exams.


If I discover that my bp has dropped since returning to the US, is it still an issue?

If your blood pressure is in a normal range now, you would not require medications but should be followed because you are probably more likely to develop hypertension later in life.  I would guess that your parents probably have high blood pressure as well and you have inherited it.

Good luck, I hope this helps.
16 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
What the doctor said is true.  I used to be like you when I was your age.  BP elevated at times whether anxiety, excitement, stress, it always went back to normal.  Always was told I didn't need meds because it came down again.  Then when I reached the age of past 35 I was told I should go on meds, but ignored it, and refused.  (afraid of side effects etc etc) Until I had a BP emergency.  I now am on meds with no side effects, and my BP is excellent.  High BP runs in my family.  If you ever need to go on meds later on don't be afraid like I was and therefore end up in a medical emergency
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,Ive heard different alttitudes can cause bp fluctuations too. I would keep an I on it and have it checked often. Lifestyle changes can be made to help bp without meds or you might need them. Dont be afraid of bp meds it will save you alot of trouble in the long run. My parents have high bp too. Ive always had elevated bp (mild 140/85) when real nerveous so I was put on bp meds. Now my bp sometimes runs on the low side even when pg. Which is better then high:) Best wishes to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
You might need some bloodwork too. This may be caused by abnormal thyroid hormone level.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
Yes, I agree with anacyde about being agressive with the BP issue.  A few months ago I had a few fainting spells and it was discovered I had high BP (145/100).  I am in my late 30's never go to the Dr. and am very healthy, except for family history, and stressful job(legal assistant).  When they sent me to the cardiologist, after being taken to the hospital via ambulance, he said "You've probably had high BP for a while but no one has picked up on it"  I still don't understand, because I don't smoke, I'm 5 6" weigh 125, run/walk 5-6 times a week.  Anyway since the Dr. put me on a beta blocker, I feel so great. No more fainting spells.

I still feel like this should not be happening to me. I know it's frustrating, but thank you for expressing your heart and letting us know that there are others out there in similar situations.

Kind Regards,
Marching on
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
Thank you for your kind words.  I do have a family history of high BP.  I believe that is my only risk factor.  I did have some high blood pressure readings during my two pregnancies, but who doesn't during those times??
We did try the diuretic route first, but it did not help my BP just gave me bad side effects.  Then we tried the Beta Blocker and it was a good fit.  My cardio said beta blockers work better for younger patients.  That is all the explanation he gave.  I do have a high stress job, but I do enjoy it and find it very fulfilling, so I really don't want to drop to part time, which is some counsel I have recieved from friends and relatives.  Anyway, I believe I will just continue to moniter things and live my life.  The med has helped. I have agreed to have an echo in a few months also.
Regards,
Marching on
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Avatar_n_tn
BLACK PEOPLE are known to have high blood pressure. Mainly because they have a temper and they don't eat healty (high fat foods). I hope you're not black, if so it could very well be inherited and something you had no control over but can be treated.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think that is a rude statement to make to this young lady . What makes the difference what color she is, she is just trying to find the answers to her problems, as we all are!
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Avatar_m_tn
While it may be true that the percentage of black people that suffer from hypertension is greater that that of most of,if not all races, it is not because of their tempers nor their diets.  It may be a genetic factor that does it, they don't know.

I would recommed that iwugirl aggresively manages the hypertension.  It can wait for a little bit, but don't put it off.  The damage you can do to your organs can be irrevesable and greatly limit the quality of your life.  Not to mention it also increases you risk of stroke, kidney damage heart damage, and vessel damage.  Some people can go for a long time without sympotoms, and soem can't.  Unfortunaely, you don't know which camp you fall into, so it would behoove you to seek medical attention sooner than later.
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Avatar_n_tn
Odds are your doctors would have made this connection if it applies... but when I was around your age, I had high BP when I was put on birth control pills.  I came off the pill and BP went back down immediately.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have only mildly elevated BP, yet when I had a head MRI/MRA for something unrelated, they saw clear evidence that my blood vessels are being affected.  By strict criteria, my BP would not need to be treated, just watched.  But after they found out about the blood vessel issue, my meds were increased and I watch it carefully.
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84483_tn?1289941537

Just want to say, the blood vessels in my eyes indicated the need for much more agressive B/P control also, my meds were increased and diuretic added, now its where the docs wants it. I dont think B/P is taken seriously enough, like everything else some tend to get away with the effects of of even severe HBP, yet others with even mild HBP are adversely affected.
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Avatar_n_tn
Right you are.  I wonder how many people have "mild" HBP and are right now having damage beginning.  My doc said it "isn't cost effective" to do an MRI/MRA on everyone with mild HBP.  Perhaps not, but I'm glad I had one!
(my eye vessels are ok, according to my eye doc)

It was the docs advice here that prompted me to go back and see my regular doctor about the MRI/MRA result.   I printed out the reply for him and thus got my Lisinopril upped and HCTZ added.
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Avatar_n_tn

The only time I had high BP was when I had a kidney stone trapping urine in the kidney.  It would empty at night of course, but caused the kidney to enlarge, which is not good.  

I didn't even know I had a stone as there was to pain with it.  It was found while doing another test.   An enlarged kidney will suffer if not found in time.  The BP went back down after the stone was removed
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Avatar_n_tn
Black people are subject to racism, which causes stress, which raises blood pressure.

Your post is racist.

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Avatar_n_tn
Read the research. Factual information. Black people even have to take higher doses of some bp meds than whites.I don't think racism exist anymore, I think it's a matter of what people interprete in their heads as what they believe is going on with certain situations.
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