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Irregular heartbeat-high blood pressure

Posted By  CCF CARDIO MD-APS on September 18, 1998 at 15:27:49:

In Reply to: Re: Irregular heartbeat-high blood pressure posted by OLIVER on September 17, 1998 at 04:18:02:

: My normal blood pressure is 110/70 on the average.  At times however, especially at night, it shoots up to as high as 140/100.  It is coupled with me experiencing palpitations, chills and difficulty in breathing.  I have a hard time sleeping.  My cholesterol and blood urea nitrogen are within normal range.  My T3 and T4 levels however are slightly elevated.  I have consulted many specialists in our place but nobody seems to solve the real problem.  I still am suffering from the said symptoms and it's getting worse.  I would appreciate it if you would help me with this because I am having a difficult time.  I am a teacher and I usually have a hard time concentrating on my work once these symptoms show up.  Thank you in advance.
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Dear Oliver,
The symptoms you speak of (namely increase in blood pressure, chills, and difficultly breathing)
are all very non-specific and therefore are difficult to sort out.  Technically
when presented with such symptoms the possibilites range from one enc of the
spectrum to  the other (like from possible anxiety disorder to what is called a
pheochromocytoma.)  If your blood pressure is really rising like that on an intermittant
basis then it is more likely the latter diagnosis than the former.  The difficulty
breathing can be because your heart does not like the higher blood pressure and again
it can be anxiety.  Now since this forum is not one designed for diagnosis or treatment
I will tell you this.  Because some of the symptoms are concerning it would not
be unreasonable for your physician to rule out potentially life threatening
entities first.  Regardless of age, an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
would be useful to help sort out if there is any heart problem that is causing the
shortness of breath.  You need an opinion (even if it is a second one) from a general
physician first who takes a full history and does a complete physicial and refers you
to a (not many) specialists and for specific tests.  Please read my answer to Roxie
who has no symptoms but the awareness of the skipped beats ("palpitations").  These
palpitations are generally benign, but would warrant further investigation if the person
developed say shortness of breath, as you have.  I hope this has been somewhat
helpful to you, and do write again if you have any further questions.  Good Luck.
Information provided in the heart forum is intended for general medical informational
purposes only, actual diagnosis and treatment can only be made by your physician(s).

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