At what point should I take blood pressure medication?
- 3 Oct 2011 by Sandiego
- blood disorders, doctor, medication, blood pressure
I would like to post this question again.
My doctor at Scripps has been trying to get me to take blood pressure medications for a year now. At one point his nurse actually told me that they didn't want to see me again if I didn't take medication. My blood pressure when they take it at Scripps is around 130/90. When I went in for eye lid surgery a few months ago at a different medical group my blood pressure during surgery was reported as114/76. When I check it at drug stores and other places it is never over 120/80. When I check it at home it is usually below 120/80. I use an OMRON HEM-775 machine at home and just checked it: 118/79
Could it be that the nurses and doctors at Scripps do not know how to take blood pressure or they are trying to get everone over 55 to take blood pressure medications? And I wonder if Scripps is trying to get as many patients on blood pressure medications as possible to create a large control group that can be studied in the future?
I certainly don't want a stroke or heart attack, but on the other hand I don't want to be on medications that I don't need. At what point should I take blood pressure medications?
Yesterday I received the results of my blood work and everything is normal.
3 Oct 2011
At 130/90 you would be running high enough to justify meds. That being said, what I suspect is happening is that you get what is known as "white coat syndrome". This is where your blood pressure is up just from going to the Dr, be it nerves or stress, having rushed to an appt, walked in from the parking lot then called in and have your pressure taken-whatever. What you need to do is to keep a log for your Dr. Every so often during a months time, take your blood pressure at different times of the day (like you have been doing) and write down the value you get plus write where you took it (at home, at the grocery store, at Walgreens etc) and what time it is. Once you get a log of different times, different places, take it in and show the Dr. This will justify the fact that the only time you are high is in the Drs office. You probably were not high during your eyelid surgery because they give sedating drugs before these procedures.
We used to give quite a bit of Valium before we did ours to make sure people are calm and relaxed. This would have kept your pressure down. So keep a good log and take that to your next appt. If you truly run normal then this should prove it to your Dr.
3 Oct 2011
Has anyone suggested getting an ambulatory blood pressure monitor?
An ambulatory blood pressure monitor is a small machine, about the size of a portable radio. You wear it on a belt. The blood pressure cuff on the monitor can be worn under your clothes. This machine records your blood pressure every 15 to 30 minutes of a normal day. The information collected by this machine can help your doctor decide if blood pressure treatment is required. It gives a bigger and more accurate picture of what your blood pressure is doing through out the day.
It is believed to be able to reduce the white coat hypertension effect in which a patient's blood pressure is elevated due to nervousness and anxiety caused by being in a clinical setting. It also eliminates poor technique.
4 Oct 2011
Hi, I sympathize with you-I have "white coat" BP-160/110. I can go to an ER, Urgent Care, and other clinics and my blood pressure is 95/75. .-but you are in the range of needing blood pressure medication-but they sound like bullies at Script. I think that their reputation went to their heads-and they're idiots. Change doctors if you can-I doubt that they'll change their attitude, and their attitude is your real problem. I had a dog that had a stroke, and you don't ever want to go through that. You don't want your kidneys ruined-lots of diabetics here-and their diet sucks. I think that you are right to resist bullies, but should think about your BP.
The building has several family practicioners in it, and one was horrible to me, weighing me in as being heavier than i was/am, not working with controlling my thyroid, not wanting me to see my opthalmologist without getting her royal permission-no referral needed in this plan and been seeing this eye doc since the Gulf War, etc. Then she put in my chart that I was taking meds that I don't take at all and didn't ever talk to anyone about taking. My new doctor says that there isn't any reason that they should have been prescribed. They weren't prescribed-just listed in my chart. I really like my new doctor. I think that you should find a doctor that respects you.
3 Feb 2012
130/90 is not terribly high, it would be considered on the cuff of stage 1 hypertension in the diastolic (90) and well inside the prehypertension range on the systolic (130). In my experience it is likely due to the faulty technique of the practitioner. I've read that the mercury type meters are the most accurate but that must be assuming a well trained and exerienced practitioner, the algorythm type digital meters are easy enough to use yet a suprising number of practioners will use improper methods; either they have the rushed mentality to just get it done it won't matter because the machine does it all or they simply don't care or they had a temporay lapse in applying their training to practice. If I were in your situation and knew my own meter was accurate and that I was using it correctly, I would give my home results much more weight and refuse the medication but continue to monitor reglarly at home to stay on top of any changes which would warrant the use of meds in spite of potential side effects.
4 Feb 2012
The NIH - National Heart Lung and Blood Institute defines blood pressure as follows:
Normal Less than 120 And Less than 80
Prehypertension 120–139 Or 80–89
High blood pressure
Stage 1 140–159 Or 90–99
Stage 2 160 or higher Or 100 or higher
If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you're at risk for health problems. All levels above 120/80 mmHg raise your risk, and the risk grows as blood pressure numbers rise. "Prehypertension" means you're likely to end up with HBP, unless you take steps to prevent it. If you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, HBP is defined as 130/80 mmHg or higher.
Based on the numbers you have listed you are Normal. It appears that each time you visit Scripps you must get amped up and this is causing your blood pressure to be high when they take it. As long as you are tracking your BP on a daily basis and it is normal I would not be concerned. Do you see other doctors? If so and your BP is normal then the issue is with Scripps. If you are really concerned, see a Cardiologist. Hope this helps.
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