High Blood pressure

Yesterday I had a Dr tell me I had high blood pressure.
The day before it felt like my head was going to explode.
I've been full of stress and obviously it tipped me over the other day.
Has anyone on here had the same thing and found the best way to deal with everything.
It's been the usual combination of family problems,worrys over the kids health and work.
Zero time for myself other than sleep or having a shower.
No time to have nice walks along the coast where I live like I use to.
My hormones are all over the place too which just adds to the problems.
Obviously I need to make some changes to my diet, but it's definitely stress that is the massive offender.

Replies

  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,747 Member
    edited July 27
    I found out I had high blood pressure this past winter, and like you, stress was my main factor. I had gone in to donate plasma and couldn't because my bp was too high, and I asked what the numbers were expecting something very different than what they told me. It was a wake up call!

    Shortly after that I started a daily "Win the Day" critical task list. I knew I couldn't change the big things in my life, and I also knew trying to do it all was part of the stress, and I also needed this to help keep me focused on the things that would have the biggest impacts on my life in the long run. For example, the floors not getting mopped one week has no impact on my life down the line, but not spending any time on my business and/or career skills WOULD have a big impact someday.

    So, every morning, would write a very manageable list of 3-5 items aka "touches" on the things I really valued. Health, fitness, career, business, mental well being. They could be SMALL touches sometimes just a "choose a salad while out" or "five minutes of walking the dog" - but the idea is that if I complete my list, I have "won" the day. Sometimes, if there was a house chore that needed to get done (or it's lack of being done was causing me stress), that would be on the list as one category.

    This has been HUGE - like massively huge - for my stress levels, because at the end of the day, even if there's something sitting around that "should" be done, if I have "Won" the day, it doesn't matter because I have spent time on the most important things.

    It wasn't overnight, but that, coupled with losing a little weight (a by product of some of my tasks), and my bp stabilized around the high end of normal for me. Not great yet, but it is slowly dropping from there, but stability and at least in kinda normal-for-me range let me know I was on the right track.

    That initial drop took about 4.5 months, and since then it's slowly continued to creep down, and I haven't seen a crazy high number in months (like I was regularly at first).

    All of this was NO meds - if things wouldn't have improved I would have looked into meds for sure, but I knew stress was killing me (some major, major life stressors over the past couple years), and knew getting a grasp on it would help.

    Extra bonus is that the things that were causing my stress, have all started to resolve, and even when big stressors hit, I've come to realize that as long as I "touch" it each day, I can control the situation, and it isn't the huge deal I thought it was at first. That daily progress though, and looking at where I am now vs when I started my list on December 28th is radically different for it just being just over half a year....
  • mpapa1856
    mpapa1856 Posts: 21 Member
    I had the same experience with giving blood and finding out I was too high to give. Then my doc put me on a calcium blocker that helped control it. I have since lost 25 lbs and am trying to loose another 15 lbs before going back to doc to see if my pressure might allow me to drop the pill in half or get off it altogether. I took prescription vitamin D because my levels were low and it really helped me feel better and seemed to reduce stress.
  • PizzaPowerlifter
    PizzaPowerlifter Posts: 7 Member
    I didn’t have the symptoms you did, but my anxiety and panic have been sky high for the last couple of years. In addition to the pandemic, we had a couple of deaths in the family, etc. I think it was feeding my anxiety and vice versa. I finally went on a low dose medication (I’m fortunate that’s all I needed) and it’s helped so much. I’m still on it almost a year later, and things are pretty manageable.

    It’s really hard to just “find a way to reduce stress” when that’s not entirely possible. I’d say maybe see your doctor, take their advice on a medication if they offer one and then see if you can find ways to incorporate regular self-care into your life. Good luck ❤️
  • joans1976
    joans1976 Posts: 1,080 Member
    @ToadstoolBetty Sorry to hear you got bad news. Since you work in care you probably know what you need to do. Hopefully the BP meds help you feel better. There are a lot of pre-diabetes threads on here, just type it in the search bar. Take care!
  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,259 Member
    I second reading the pre-diabetes threads.

    I'm sorry to read you are also having hormone issues, these can cause/contribute to being prediabetic, having high blood pressure, stress too. Stress its such a broad term, it can really mess up hormones regardless of the cause of your stress. I hope your doctor is someone who is able to look at your personal health situation as a whole rather than this snippet or that. I'm thinking, being restricted to 1, being blood pressure, 2. being pre-diabetic, 3, considers things which can amplify stress, as being independent health problems which they are not, they are all integrated issues, poor sleep crosses the boundaries.

    Please look into the Holistic view of health. Its time to make time to invest in yourself. Have that shower, you will feel better. Breathing deeply is beneficial, practice it, do it when you think of it. You will start to feel better promise. Even if you live in a highly prescriptive health system there is so much you can discover giving you the opportunity to take care of yourself beyond just taking this or that drug. Could be as simple as adding some different foods to your weekly total even cutting somethings out, it could necessitate taking good quality supplements. I'm sorry you have needed a wake up call but even without your doctors active help you can improve your future health dramatically. I for one have a better quality of life than I had in my mid to late 30's. I decided "life" had to be better and found ways, probably could be identified as building resilience, having identified possible root causes.

    All the very best, take care of yourself, self is vital to your others, they are fortunate to have you. Looking after you is the way to ensure they have the support they need.
  • ALilCountryMouse
    ALilCountryMouse Posts: 4 Member
    I, too am on BP medication. It wouldn't hurt to have a second opinion with a Cardiologist. That's when I found out about my 2 mini-minute strokes I did not know I had. You really do need to take time out for yourself. Whether going for a walk or a soak in a tub when the kids are in bed. Those mini Mom stuff is taking care of you. You have a lot to be thankful for. What's inside your circle is what you can control. Changing your lifestyle is a commitment....do it slow and invite the family to take a walk on the beach with you. Make some sand castles.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,287 Member
    My had a high BP diagnosis over a year ago: not after a single reading at the doctor's office, but consistently high readings at home as well.
    He got a prescription for it, but decided he wanted to try a different strategy first (he's young, and has no specific risk factors, and his BP was only slightly high): he increased his exercise (mostly strength training).
    But at the next doctor's appointment, his readings were still high, so he started taking a small dose of BP medication. In the meantime, he has lost weight (he wasn't technically overweight, but had some excess fat) and increased his cardio. And due to anxiety issues, he is now also doing breathing exercises daily to manage his stress.

    II'm curious to see what the results will be for him, but I think his strategy is a good one:
    - first check if the issue (high BP) is systematic, not just one or two high readings at the doctor's office -> it does seem to be the case for you
    - try to fix the issue by other strategies (weight loss, stress management techniques, exercise)
    - in case of high health risks, do this while taking BP medication; if if the risk isn't high, you could ask your doctor if you can hold off on the meds until you've tried the other strategies

    I recommend looking into for stress management:
    - breathing exercises (my BF does this 5 minutes per day but it does help him
    - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: my BF got info on this through his kinesiologist/physio (but we are based in Belgium, different healthcare system), you can probably find some resources online or via a health professional you have access to