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Avatar universal

Secondary Hypertension?


I'm 27 years old and have been battling with hypertension for about 3 years (that I know of...).  Anyway, I'm a pretty healthy individual (workout 3 days a week and don't eat too bad).  I recently just got on Benicor HCT (sp?) and it seems to be dropping my blood pressure to normal.  When talking with nurses (I work in pharma sales) they insisted that I take a closer look at the actual causes of the hypertension.  I'm 5'10 and weigh around 170lbs and have always been active so it was a shock to myself, family and friends when I had to get on medication.

Nobody has had hypertension in my family at this age though some had problems later...

Family info:
Grandpa (dad's side) had a heart attack 10 years ago (75 years old), later diagnoised with dimensha (sp?).
Grandma (mom's side) has congestive heart build up recently (86 years old)
Grandpa (mom's side) - lung problems, but he's 95 years old
Dad - had high cholesteral, low blood pressure
Mom - low blood pressure

I guess my question is do I become content with using the medication and adopt a more healthy lifestyle or are there other tests that can be done to uncover an underlying issue that I'm not aware of?  I guess I'm a little worried that my doctor jumped so quick to get me on medication without taking into consideration my lifestyle and my family history.  Don't get me wrong I'm thrilled that the medication is working, but I'm curious if there's something else that might be wrong with me.

Thanks in advance for the help!

11 Responses
Avatar universal
How high was your BP when your doctor put you on meds?  Was it high consistantly?  

I know the old saying goes "once on BP meds, always on BP meds", but I know of two women who only were on it a couple of months and then their doctor took them off.  I'm on BP meds for the last 4 yrs, and have to stay on them for the rest of my life, suits me fine, I have no side effects.

I was checked to see if there is an "actual cause" .  My kidneys were checked/scanned.  24 hour urine test to check for a pheo which is a tumor in the adrenal gland, a complete blood test, and a chest Xray as well as an EKG and an Echo.  Everything came out normal except for the Echo (leaking valves) but was told by the Cardiologist that this does not cause my high BP.  They usually can'f  find no cause for the hypertension.

How is your diet?  Lots of salt?  Lots of caffeine?  Lots of booze?  Any drugs?  Any over the counter drugs?  Any emotional stress?  Any Post Traumatic Stress?
Avatar universal
My bp was consistently 145-155 / 90-100, now it is at 120-125 / 75-85.

My diet is pretty regular, I splurge every now and then and eat horrible (pizza, fast food...), but normally it's okay.  

My salt intake was never immense and I do drink a half/half coffee every morning.  I'm a normal social drinker, a few drinks on the weekend. No drugs.  There's always some sort of stress but not a lot.

Thanks Barbarella.
Avatar universal
might be a stupid question:

Do regular doctors have these capabilities or did you go to a specialist of some sort?  Thanks!
Avatar universal
The regular doctors had different opinions when my BP was in the range yours is in.  When it got higher I was referred to a Cardiologist and a Hypertension Specialist.  The Cardiologist ordered the tests, the Hypertension Specialist educated me on BP.

With your numbers before the meds I can understand why the doc put you on BP meds.  The guidelines are even lower now.  120/80 is considered pre-hypertensive believe it or not

Did your doctor recommend certain lifestyle changes before he put you on meds?
Avatar universal
Not really, just the basic...eat healthier, exercise...

What was your BP at prior to the testing?  What BP meds are you on now?
216614 tn?1195668672
You say your salt intake was never immense....question....do you eat packaged food, canned food, frozen dinners?  The issue is with sodium, which is found naturally in almost everything and is exceedingly high in anything that is processed.  Your daily intake should be no higher than 2000 mg.  A can of soup can have almost that.  Not to mention those fast food burgers  :)    I only mention this because it is often misunderstood.  

Avatar universal
often,  I did become more aware of food packaging after finding out 3 years ago.  I can't believe how much sodium is in some products, that's CRAZY!

I know my sodium intake is lower than the average person...

My only question is this...If I'm a 27 year old male who eats relatively good (watches sodium), exercises and has no family history of high bp then why do I have it?   Yes I know that bp works in mysterious ways, but my only concern is that there is an underlying cause of this and I would love to know how I can go about getting it checked out.

Thank you for all the help, I appreciate it!!
Avatar universal
My Bp was in the 150 - 160/85 range, but I had a BP crisis all of a sudden and my BP shot up to 255/160 and I ended up in the ER.  I know it was from working myself up over a test, I already had/have white coat hypertension, and the suspense and anxiety drove my BP over the top.  That is when the Cardiologist and the Hypertension Specialist came into the picture.  All my tests looking for a "cause" for my high BP came back negative.

I'm on the clonodine patch (change it once a week), and on lasix (water pill)  for the last 4 yrs with no side effects at all.
263988 tn?1281957896
What is your potassium intake?

I've recently read about potassium because I'm on a diuretic (not heart related). My cardiologist gave me potassium chloride in pill form. I couldn't stomach the side effects so I started reading about potassium and it's role. So I changed my diet and started a regimen with potassium rich foods. My K level was hovering around the bottom of the test range, 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/L. My cardiologist wants it around the middle of the range.

Potassium along with sodium is an electrolyte which maintains normal water balance, acid-base balance, and is crucial to cardiovascular and nerve functions. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium help maintain normal blood pressure.

I eat about 3500 to 4700 mg of potassium rich foods a day. The old recommendation for a daily amount is 3500 mg. I've read this is about to change to 4700 mg per day.

My hubby who had borderline high blood pressure added 8 ounces of low sodium V-8 daily to his diet and his blood pressure lowered.
Avatar universal
I'm on prescription Potassium and eat a Banana and raisins every day, and my BP still would be high if I were not on BP meds.  Believe me I tried, never again. My potassium level is perfect the doc said.

It might lower the BP for some people, its worth a try.  However, "low" potassium can give you PVC's and all kinds of arrhythmias.
Avatar universal
Originally when I found out about the high BP, I took a prescribed water pill (can't think of the name), but it didn't work. I then decided to try and lower it myself by eating right, working out and taking plenty of natural pills (potassium, mag, cal, zinc, garlic and cinnimon on my oat meal) .  My BP dropped from 150/95-100 to 130-135/ 85-90.  Still I knew I needed to get it lower and that is when I got on Benicar HCT.

Now I take the following daily:

2 multi vitamins
4 omega 3 pills
Benicar HCT
Hawthorne Extract
Mag, Cal, Zinc
Garlic Pill
(note my mother is on sites similar to this every day and recommended most of these).

BP is now 120/80 (give or take depending...).

Has anyone had any side effects from Benicar HCT, I did get a little dizzy and light headed the first couple of weeks, but now it is fine.

I just hope I don't have any problems with my kidneys.  I go back in May for a follow up appointment and will bring up secondary high BP to my doc and ask to be checked out.

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