Blood Pressure Very Low and I Don't Know Why

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ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/15/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I have always been told I had perfect blood pressure.  Am 57 years old.  Had blood tests done (normal, even good cholesteral and blood sugar), and had gallbladder removed about 2 weeks ago.  No meds other than Ativan 2x day for anxiety.  Over summer started walking close to 100 miles a month for over 2 months and have stopped.  Have had a problem with tachycardia (sp) (rapid heart rate) for about a year.
 
NOW, when I have been going to the doctor I have been asked about my BP being low.  It's freaking me out because my mother had a BP "crash" while in the hospital about a year ago and nearly died.  I want to say they hooked her up to a "dopamine" machine when she went to 57/24 (critical condition).  Thank God she's okay now and back on her high BP medicine.
 
I go to WalMart and other stores every day and have started keeping a record and it is scaring me.  I know the machines aren't totally accurate but I've been getting readings like 84/35 (114 pulse), 71/47 (129 pulse), and 74/57 (115 pulse).
 
COULD IT BE ALL THE WALKING WHEN I'VE NEVER BEEN ONE TO EXERCISE?  If I increase my salt intake that will spike my heart rate.  It's like a catch-22.  Somebody help!  Any ideas?

ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/17/2008 11:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the suggestion, Selmer.  However, we have a blood pressure monitor (purchased from WalMart).  It will work on my mom but will not register mine since I've gotten this problem.  Just like the store machines at times.  (And my arms are normal sized - the monitor we bought is for women).

I appreciate that someone responded.


Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6028
   Posted 9/18/2008 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ainsley, I'm not normally in this Forum but I take meds for blood pressure and noticed your post.  I think you need to be assertive with the doctor about further testing.  There are many reasons for low blood pressure and the sooner they find out what's going on, the better, obviously.  Some common reasons could be dehydration and over medication.  According to what I've read about Ativan, low blood pressure is not usually a problem unless the dosage is too high - maybe it's too high for you?  The tachycardia seems to go with low blood pressure as the heart is racing to bring the blood pressure up.  Diuretics can also wreak havoc with heart rate and consequently blood pressure.   In any case, you need more testing like blood work and more heart tests.  (There are many heart tests, not just EKGs or ECHOcardiograms.) All the exercise walking might be good otherwise but it might also be aggravating the low blood pressure as you say, too.  I'm not a doctor but from what I understand about blood pressure (because of my own history), this cannot be ignored. Please pursue this and let us know what's going on, ok?

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/18/2008 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ainsley, You stated in your post about the different stores blood pressure machines reading your blood pressure low however, you didnt mention any physicial symptoms you may be having at this time?
I have Multiple Sclerosis and an autonomic disorder that causes me to have a chronically low blood pressure.  I take several medications to try to keep it up and stable but there are some days where my bp will not support any physicial activities.  Such as walking, standing, and even some days just sitting up in a recliner.  When my bp starts to get low I get extremely dizzy, lightheaded, sick to my stomach, unable to concentrate...the list goes on and on.  Finally it will get to a point where I will just start to pass out as my body is trying to get blood to my brain, sometimes I may even have seizures.
My suggestion would be to consult your physician regarding this.  Someone with true Hypotension or Orthostatic Hypotension have very limited abilties in what they are able to do. 

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/18/2008 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lanie and Elisha,

Thanks for your feedback. It's weird that all the focus is on high BP and not very much is out there about low BP.

Elisha, you asked me about my symptoms. Especially when I stand I am very dizzy, light-headed, and feel like I'm going "black" but haven't fainted at this point.

When my mother had her rapid decrease in BP, they sent her home from the hospital with Midodrine (sp) (along with her high BP meds) but she stopped it - felt it didn't agree with her. Also I read that it could cause a stroke.

I actually bought some bouillon cubes because I know this health dilemma could be very dangerous. I've never been big on salt but have been considering adding a high dose of salt to my diet, staying hydrated and then test my BP a while later. But you are right Lanie, I need to pursue it with a doctor. I'd be satisfied with 90/60, which I think is supposed to be the acceptable low reading.

Your comments helped me. Thanks again, ladies.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/24/2008 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Good suggestions Selmer!  Thank you turn

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/24/2008 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Selmer,

The BP monitor is made by "ReliOn" and I think was about $40 or $50.  It used to read mine but recently when I tried, when it starts to inflate (sometimes when it starts to deflate), it just restarts.  This drives me crazy after several trys.  Also, the visiting nurse who used to visit my mother said how the store bought monitors are pretty inaccurate but will still give you a general idea about your BP.  (My arms are not too fat or too thin for the cuff!) and yes, it is the kind that you hit "start" and it's supposed to do its thing.  I put the cuff in the same place as when I check my mom's - in the general vicinity of where the drugstore models fit.  I sit and remain still.  We don't have the money to go out and buy another one that may or may not work.  While I have some health insurance I may end up pursing the low BP issue with my doctor but I so hate going to the doctor.

I drank some heated water with 2 boullion (sp) cubes and got a reading (drugstore) of 98/71 so maybe that will work; however, I don't want to put weight on from a bunch of water retention when I am trying to eat healthy.  Maybe in my case salt is not the enemy, though, with the BP problem.

I didn't know sodium will work on some and not others.  Thanks!


ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/25/2008 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Selmer, I appreciate those sites you gave me and will pull them up soon.  It is reassuring to hear that it is considered to be a pretty good monitor.

I finally found the handbook and read through it today.  When I use it I use the AC adapter but now I know where the battery indicator is and want to check that.  Maybe I have positioned the cuff improperly and am going to try it tomorrow and take the time to do it right and give it a chance since this model apparently has been given a thumbs up.

Thanks for your helpful advice.  I'll keep you posted.

baroni
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/26/2008 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi
I am having a problmen much like yours. My heart has started racing.I am currently taking Atenolol.(Sp). I take 12.5 mg a day.Anything more makes my bp go down very low..But even with taking the Atennolol my heart continues to race if Im walking , or doing anything that Im exertering myself a bit.Ive always walked at least 5 miles a day and now Im afraid to,for if I do start to walk my heart pounds.My Dr assures me that my problem is electrical and not plumbing.Ive had a treadmill, echo,ekg,All show ok..Im am quite worrited about this.I am basically making myself into a crazy woman.Constantly checking my heartrate.Thank God for Serex which I take 2 times a day,for this problem is just stressing me out..I am also under aalot of stress, sick parent, thinking of retiring, granddaughter just moved in with me.I know alot of this contributes ,however when my heart is pounding so hard in my chest the only thing i can think of is Im having a heart attack..
HELP
Jo-ANn

ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/26/2008 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Baroni,

I can relate to what you are saying but I am a novice to these message boards and to the meds you are taking - don't know what they're for.  The stress I can totally relate to.  Lost my house, moved in with my sick mother whom I've been caregiving.  Lost my sister 2 years ago who was like my twin... goes on and on.  My father died of Alzheimer's Disease and now I read that low blood pressure can contribute to Alzheimer's.

That is why I stopped walking, too.  Got too dizzy and fearful I might konk out before I could get home.  I don't know how long I've had the rapid heart beat but it was brought up a year or so ago and probably had the low BP then BUT I thought low BP was healthy and was glad I had escaped my mom's high blood pressure.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people on this thread will help you and I will check back in soon.  Gotta go to watch the presidential debate!

But I can so relate to your anxiety and the fear of having a heart attack (heart disease runs rampant in my family history).  And, stressful!! -- I can't even find a part-time job when I have been a legal secretary among other things and worked my whole life.  It's like things are really crazy right now and I just have to tell myself things are going to get better.  And they will for you, too.

Good luck,

Ainsley


ainsley
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/27/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   

--Selmer AND Baroni--

Selmer, I have not been able to check those web sites yet - my computer has been acting up and I have a dial-up connection which is super slow.  HOWEVER, told my mom our BP machine is apparently credible.  Was feeling extra fatigued, dizziness, etc. and went to get groceries - stopped at Kroger machine and got 76/31 with a pulse of 129.  At home, got out the BP monitor, did some things different.  (By the way, the manual said if it restarts itself its because it did not detect an appropriate pressure).  It restarted 1st two tries just when it was supposed to give me the reading.  Then I unplugged it and using the batteries instead, rested my left arm on table with palm up, and I got a 86/66 reading with a pulse of 106.  That made me feel a little better and I am going to start using the home monitor more than the store - and take it the same time every day.  Thanks again for your help!

Baroni, hope you are hanging in there.  My heart was racing today when I went for groceries and I was weak and out of breath when I got home.  When my mother was having a visiting nurse come out, I mentioned it and she said that the rapid heart beat is wearing my heart out.  I just don't know how this is going to play out.  Now, this sounds crazy, but I'm thinking about walking again and carrying my cell phone and insurance card in my hand.  How's that for crazy?  This year I had the opportunity to get bloodwork done, a CT scan, a colonoscopy, and my gallbladder finally removed after 10 years of having gallstones.  I'm eating healthy, took up walking, and now, what if I die from some major blood pressure drop, or I go into a heart attack from the rapid heart beat?  ...don't know, seems like there's always something to worry about - whether it be financial, family's health, or my own.

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