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My blood pressure fluctuates all day with significant swings.

When people quote their BP, is it an average, mean or random reading?  I am a 65 year old female of normal weight who walks and does 30 minutes of zumba gold every day.  My blood presure ranges from a highest of 166/92 (normally 148/88) when I wake up to 103/70 (normal of 118/76) through most of the day. It seems to go up again before bed, often I am asleep just before.  I am taking synthroid and cytomel and no other meds.  My GP wanted me to take a toprol xl 25 but I am very eager to avoid.  I made an appointment with a cardiologist but that will take 4 months.  Any advice on how to avoid and to know when it's time to just take the pill?
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973741 tn?1342342773
I would definitely see your doctor. My blood pressure slid up and up as well. It WILL fluctuate during the day. This is why when your doctor monitors you, they have you take your bp three times a day around the same time every day to chart it. If you showed up at your doctors office and they got a reading of 166/92, they'd talk about the hospital. That's dangerously high. How do I know? I showed up at the doctors with that reading. gulp. I did not go to the ER (I'm a bad patient) but I started blood pressure medication that same day. My bp immediately went down. I had ranged in that 140 range for a while which is considered prehypertension. And you get up near 150 on a regular basis, you will be diagnosed hypertensive even if part of the day it is lower.

My doctor says I have 'bad genes'. ha. I have familial hypertension. No matter what I do, I'll likely have hypertension in the end needing to be controlled by medication. This could be you.

I avoided a pill forever. I was terrified of it for some reason. But, I started losartin at a low dose. Do you know how much better I feel? You don't realize how having that high bp even part of the day takes its toll on your body. I physically felt better. I also lost a bit of weight.
Helpful - 1
I tried for a long time to avoid medication. One thing that is universal is that carrying too much weight will add to hypertension. Exercise will work to lower it. So, losing weight, exercising help. Alcohol raises blood pressure. Stop all alcohol drinking if you do.  I lost weight. I started a DASH diet approach. I got good sleep. I walked and exercised. I still had those crummy genes. Medication, to be honest and not overly dramatic, is probably saving my life. Just my two cents.
Thank you for your input. I increased my aerobics to 30 minutes daily, have added 478 breathing and am trying to lose another 5 pounds, I am 138 and 5/7.  No alcohol.  Numbers seem better but there is definitely an emotional component, and I do not know what to do about that without tranquilizers in which case BP medicine is similar.    Think I will keep trying current strategy and keep the cardiologist appointment in March, hopefully they can put me on something with minimal side effects as they have more experience than my GP.  Don't know anything about toprol xl 25 but took amlodipine (Norvasc) years ago when in a high stress job and hated it.  Is a cardiologist the way to go for BP control??
I really don't think you need a cardiologist at this point and would work with your gp. Hypertension is absolutely a common issue and they work with meds or this all the time. That's just me. But the emotional component is that stress will impact blood pressure. I know this myself. But ALSO, high blood pressure makes you feel anxious. I don't know how to explain it but the symptoms seem to overlap for a lot of people. I have a son who became suicidal, I'm sad to say, and we've been trying to help him and manage that situation. It's been like life or death stress on the regular for me. I get it. It's not tranquilizers that you need to treat that kind of thing. It's looking for strategies to manage mental health and day to day stress. Breathing exercises do help. As does mitigating situations. Problem solving. And if it is still an issue, there are many medications that do work with minimal side effects. Not to zone you out like a tranquilizer will but more to deal with things in a way that lets you do so as your full self. My son suffers anxiety terribly and ocd thinking. He does take a beta blocker as needed for the physical symptoms. So, BP meds are used like that for some people. But your blood pressure is almost exactly like mine. I fought meds forever. Once I started an angiotensin 2 blocker, Losartan, I was SO relieved. Unchecked bp over a long period of time does bodily damage. To your kidneys, to your lungs, to your arteries and to your heart. I have not a single side effect from my bp med that I can note. Other than losing a little weight without trying and feeling better. I'm not trying to talk you into anything, I'm just sharing my experience. Your bp seems borderline at best and moving toward true hypertension. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5942/norvasc-oral/details  Info on norvasc.
Also, I want to clarify. I DID have a bit of strange feeling when I first started Losartan. My chest felt tight, I got a little dizzy, etc. But it lasted about 48 hours and then I was good and have been since.
thank you, you really really helped.  Your son is lucky to have such a knowledgeable and caring mother. Some of the BP meds depress and that was scary as well.  

I have no idea how high is high but I've been collecting and graphing data and will bring with me hopefully to get to a better answer.  I am a scientist and can make the data look anyway I want but that's not helpful.

For the last 5 days I've been having 1 spike of 145/91 or 152/83 and the rest of the day at under 130/83 with moderate frustration on those days.  I've been doing 30 minutes of aerobics each day, the 478 and went back on the full dose of Cytomel (thought too much of that might be the issue).   daily Zumba may be too much for my almost 66-year-old body but the direction seems positive.  

I will follow your advice about exploring w my GP, I was just disappointed that he jumped to meds without exploring why this was happening.  Will try to get a referral from my endocrinologist, who I trust.  Too bad he can't manage this for me but suspect it's outside his lane. When I didn't want to take the BP meds, my GP told me to go to a cardiologist.

Thank you again.  Wishing you and your family lots of joy and peace this holiday season.
The spikes daily are too high. 130 is above the optimal 120, so even that isn't great. When I went to my physical last November (a year ago), my reading was high. It was in the low 160's and they wanted me to go to the emergency room. I couldn't because of my son's issues. But they got me scared enough to start the medication that day. Do you know when I actually did, it was a tremendous relief? I have a bit of health anxiety. I had been 'running' from the idea I had high blood pressure for a long while before that. Finally just saying 'okay' and treating it brought me to a much more peaceful place. When I saw my doctor for a follow up, she said that for many, it is hard to admit they need medication. She said she went through it herself. and then once they start, taking high blood pressure and all the damage it can do out of the picture, they are happy. But there IS that psychological component of not wanting to do it beforehand.

You are doing all the right things and that's awesome. The exercise is terrific. But for many, it's just not enough. I'd keep doing it even if you start medication. And if you do start meds, stick with it for past a week even if you feel funky at first. It goes away!

I'm not 'that' far behind you in age. I understand how our body changes. Ha. Zumba is fun though. You can modify to a comfortable point. I tried yoga recently and can I tell you that this was harder than most things for me? lol I'm not super flexible anymore. I used to do boot camp regularly. But I'd stay in the back and just change everything to my ability level. I do girl push ups. And a burpee is never fully gonna happen again, I don't think. ha I'm a girl of the 80's . . . I like step aerobics but no one teaches that anymore. Oh well.

There is a diet and fitness forum here. I may start a post and we can talk exercise in the years we're in now and support each other if you want to post there. I'd love to keep in touch with you about all of this. I stopped exercising with the seriousness of my son's illness the past year and a half and WANT to come back to it now. *I* need support. lol

By the way, how is your cholesterol?
Here's a link to that forum! https://www.medhelp.org/forums/Weight-Loss-and-Fitness/show/190
Hi.  My cholesterol is 217.  A little high but pretty much what my mother's was.  She's never taken statins, though the Dr. wanted her to 10 years ago and knock in wood, she's 90.  Not in perfect health but do not think Cholesterol is a big issue.

I used to love step as well but too much for me now.  Consider yourself supported; exercise is a gift you can give yourself that pays dividends in soo many ways.  Just go slow, physical therapy places are full of people who overdid exercise.  My favorite zumba class is on youtube https://youtu.be/SvJWWAWLuXQ.   I am getting a cheapie exercise bike for Christmas so maybe even more exercise is in my future.  I joined the link you sent, I can report back on how effective the bike is.  I can say my complexion looks better when I get off the bike :)  

I am just sharing the following in the hopes that it helps someone else, each case is so different.  I went to my endocrinologist today, I LOVE him.  He looked at the 2 years of BP data I'd collected and asked why meds were being suggested.  He also not surprised that the Norvasc I took 12 years ago made me feel dreadful, when I am low it would make me too low.   He was OK with Toprol Xp with hypothyroid and confirmed it was an antianxiety med.  I may need that but do not want to be dumbed down if there is another way as it's also a depressant.  He recommended I go to a cardiologist and ask them to do an echocardiogram and that would determine if there has been any damage.  He also said going super low on the salt would bring it down and of course, exercise.... I am trying.  My mother says to throw away the blood pressure cuff, taking it is making it go up.  Maybe I should listen to mother :)
BE well,

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