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Old 10-03-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Young healthy son and hbp

My 24 to son who is very active and runs many miles a week has been having problems with high blood pressure. He has been to the dr several times and it is always high this time 155/90 I believe. This time Te dr put him on meds. Some background - he has had periods where he has not felt we'll mixed with wha we assume are anxiety attacks. When his blood is taken I usually is fine except for low potassium. Also he is a lifeguard and emt studying to be a paramedic. This means he has taken a few medical classes an seen many people in health crises. It also means he an his friends have bp cuffs and he often checks his pressure when he does not feel well. I don't know if there is something going on causing his bp to spike and make him feel ill triggering a panic attack or if the panic attack is the cause. I'm concerned about the bp meds. His dr ordered another thorough blood work up. Would a visit with a cardiologist be out of line? My dh father died from an aneurism at 45 and dh has an issue with episodes of tachycardia that e is on meds for.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:50 PM   #2
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My DS17 has HBP at the physicians office. He did go to a cardiologist and had all the tests and also did the Holter (sp) Monitor.

The cardiologist had my son go to Rite-Aid at the same time each week and different times. His blood pressure was always fine. Send him into the GP and it is up.

Have you monitored outside of the drs. office.

Forgot to add, yes my blood pressure spikes with panic attacks, then spikes more once I take it. I have been told never to take it myself if I am in an attack.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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Low Potassium and High BP can be the symptoms of a number of other issues. Cushings syndrome comes to mind. I definitely would get another opinion with regards to his health. If you have family history of problems regarding blood flow and heart issues I would have him look into the issues.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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He should see a cardiologist. Have them do a workup including an ECHO to rule out any heart abnormalities. I think it is odd that he was put on HBP meds without further investigation and after only a few visits to the doctor.

Wanted to add that I wore the Holter monitor as one of my first tests from the cardiologist. Results came back fine. If they had stopped there, without doing the ECHO, they never would have found out that I had a hole in my heart and that pulmonary veins were draining into the wrong chamber. For 34 years might I add.

Good luck OP. Definitely have your son do more investigating. Not sure I'd be returning to the doc that gave him the hbp meds.

ETA: To emphasize that with the family history of tachycardia I would most definitely be making an appointment with the cardiologist.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:13 AM   #5
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I guess seeing a cardiologist can't hurt, but the big issue is getting the BP under control.
Doctors are much more agressive now than they were 20 years ago at treating blood pressure in younger people. A lot of people just have high blood pressure, with no known cause other than genetics. Treating it now prevents problems later.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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I'm surprised your son being the age he is has not been sent to a cardiologist already.
Halter monitor, stress echo are a few of the things they will most likely do.

Always better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:21 AM   #7
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he did have a holter monitor. If I remember correctly that measures his heart rate but not the bp. His heart rate is always fine. Years ago when he was complaining of problems and very involved in hs sports he had an echo with no problems. I am going to try to get him to get a second opinion. The dr. scheduled tests but put him on the med because he was so concerned about the hbp. I doubt my son has told him of all of the family history stuff but the doc does see my dh sometimes. At 24 son handles his own dr stuff but I'm concerned that he was sent home with the med. If I ask him to at least seek a second opinion he would do it. We also don't need a referral and I would like to set something up with the cardio person his father saw if a cardiologist handles this problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:38 AM   #8
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155/90 is really not that bad if he has had the holter and an echo recently and may possibly be having a panic attack or white coat syndrome.

I would ask for a referral to a new cardiologist. Do some googling and find a good fit within your insurance group. You can fiind reviews and even call services for more information including if the Dr. has any disciplinary actions etc. All online, all free.

The new cardiologist should be made aware of the readings at the doctors and as I said earlier pick one time a day and maybe go twice a week at that same time and one time at random for a few weeks. Many people get high readings at the doctors vs. at home. Also tell the cardiologist about the anxiety attacks and have your son write down as much as possible how he feels before the episode.

We have quite a few nurses (maybe even some real doctors) here on the boards. If you feel comfortable with it, please post the med type he put your son on and the strength. It may be extremely low and he could be using it to see if it brings it down more "mentally" than with a high dose.

Also, if his heart is fine and the pressure is up with the episodes, have him try to see a counselor re: getting the panic attacks in control. Many people his age present with panic attacks. They would give him a low dose of Xanax or such. If taken at the beginning of an episode it should help keep his blood pressure down during the time of the attack.

Biggest thing is to find out if the blood pressure is different when he is not at a doctors or worried when getting it checked. Your blood pressure changes so quickly and if he is suffering from panic, it does effect it.

It does look like you are doing all the rights things, but I really would have a new cardiologist look at the WHOLE picture.

I will say prayers for you and hope all turns out good. Please let your son know that panic attacks are nothing to be ashamed off. Many people suffer from them, it is just a matter of being able to control them once they start.

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:52 AM   #9
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RN here....29 years....
Here's what your son should do IMHO.

Call the cardiologist.
Explain that he has been having episodes of HBP and his regular doctor has given him a HBP med.
Explain that he is reluctant to take a HBP med without further work-up by a cardiologist first.
Make sure heincludes the information that there is a cardiovascular history in your family, that being the tachycardia & aneurysm.
Have him be politely insistent that they expedite getting him in for an appointment.

Once he has the cardiac work-up, if that all turns out fine then he can assume that his anxiety issue has something to do with his BP elevations and he can work on that with medication &/or therapy.

I know 24 is young to have HBP, but sometimes family history is what it is.

Also have him take a look at his diet...low salt and low cholesterol. Does he eat a lot of fast foods and processed (convenience) foods. They usually have a high salt & fat content which can impact BP.

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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do cardiologists work with heart and vascular system? He hasn't seen one yet. Initially they felt the problem was panic attacks but he is saying that random checks have his bp high and every time he goes in it is high. He is under a good deal of stress right now. Disney Doll, thanks so much. That's what I'm going to do. And he is taking the bp meds and says he feels better. He says his headaches are gone and he doesn't feel nearly as bad as he did.
He is also going to look for a counselor who can give him ways to control his panic attacks. They recommended xanax which he is resistant to take for some reason. I am hoping if he finds a counselor who specializes in cognitive therapy he can learn some ways to deal with them and if he is doing that he might be more willing to carry xanax as part of his treatment. My dh has the episodes of tachycardia and was very fortunate to have it happen while at the drs office and getting an ekg. The dr. instantly saw what was going on and put him on a beta blocker and sent him to a cardiologist. There was nothing wrong with his heart but the svt could be serious if not controlled. It can be hereditary and I wonder if that could be the problem. Dh felt awful for a long time until they figured out that was the problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:30 AM   #11
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sounds like what I have..high BP and anxiety attacks... plus sometimes feeling sick..everything came back normal....EKG, holter moniter except my blood work. I have severely low vitamin d..( normal is around 75.. mine was 13) which can cause high blood pressure, anxiety attacks and the sick feeling as well as the severe aches I was getting in my arms and legs...I took 8 weeks of the mega doses of vitamin d and felt immediately better....bp went back to normal...and no more Panic attacks...the other thing they said was to stop the caffeine, I would have a tea with extra sugar in the morning and when the sugar/caffeine levels would drop, Id get the sicky feeling and then I get a Panic attack....
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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This all seems related to adrenal glands. It could be Cushing syndrome or some type of issue with the adrenal glands. Go get it checked. I think an endocrinologist would handle this, but sounds like he needs a cardiologist as well. All of these symptoms are a sign of something else. They all are related and not normal for someone his age. Instead of just treating the symptoms individually, which is what they seem to be doing, they need to test for the cause of the problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #13
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Also, when the CBC panel comes back, ask them specifically to look at the creatinine levels. If they are elevated, it could indicate depressed kidney function. Kidneys do a lot of things including controlling blood pressure. With the low potassium count (also something kidneys filter out) it may be there's something out of whack with his kidneys. It's better to check it out now than let it go - my hubby's docs let it go for almost two years, and now he's in a world of hurt and complications and he'll never be truly better, even with a transplant - all the peripheral damage has gone too far.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #14
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I'm not a medical professional nor do I play one on tv.

For what it is worth, when my thyroid is out of whack I have bad blood pressure issues and headaches as well. I also know when it is out of whack because I feel "off" kinda shakey almost to the point of panic. It comes and goes but I definitely notice when it starts to happen.

Again just might be another avenue to pursue when doing the testing. I certainly don't know.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #15
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specific things dr. said he would be looking at are kidney function and thyroid levels. The thought is that it is possible something could be actually making him feel shaky and off and that this bad feeling triggers panic attack.
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