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Pressures not falling in the less than 120/80 range? See our High Blood Pressure Health Center for information about symptoms and treatment.

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High Blood Pressure and aging
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Anon_59451 posted:
Hi. I am new to this forum and apparently an oddity. I was diagnosed with hypertension about 15 years ago. I am a small, white, female (80 yrs. old). I have scoliosis that first appeared 18 years ago and has become much worse as I've aged. I was told 10 years ago that I was not a candidate for surgery due to my age and that my bones were too fragile. I have a high tolerance for pain but used to take Darvocet on ocassion when the back pain became too much. One prescription of 60 pills would last me more than a year. Then Darvocet was taken off from the market so I no longer take anything for pain. I do not drink, am not overweight (5'2" and 107 lbs), eat very little meat, eat lots of vegetables and fruits, drink no more than one or two cups of coffee per day but due to my back problem am essentially sedentary. I live alone and do my own housework etc, drive, do my shopping and am independent. At one time or another I have been on almost all medications prescribed for hypertension, at one time 7 different meds daily and I've probably experience all of the negative side affects from each of these meds. Presently I am taking three meds for high blood pressure. I take my blood pressure every day. This morning it was 128/64. At times it has been under 120 systolic and sometimes it is under 60 diastolic but each time I see my doctor it is higher in the office. Several years ago I noticed on my lab results that my serum sodium was below what is considered the norm so I don't watch my salt intake. The doctors have still always told me to decrease salt intake and apparently never noticed that my serum sodium and serum chloride was low and gradually decreasing more until two weeks ago. At that time my doctor told me to increase my salt intake. What to do? I've never decreased it. I have none of the factors that hypertension is usually blamed on except my sedentary life style, which is difficult to change because of my spinal problems, nor am I suffering any decrease in mental accuity. In July of this past year I had a mild heart attack, had a heart catharization but no stent as blockage was under 50%. I believe the heart attack was brought on by stress as I had experienced some flooding from a tropical storm. I had no chest pain, shortness of breath but was awakened from sleep in the wee hours of the morning with my heart pounding and jaw discomfort that followed a "stiff neck" thrughout the storm and its aftermath. Am I just experiencing the consequences of aging? I only want to remain as healthy and independent as possible until my eventual demise.

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billh99 responded:
No medical professional responds in this forum.

But you might be suffering from White Coat Hypertension. That is where the blood pressure is increased every time that you see a doctor.

Peoples reaction to pain can also increase BP.

A 24 hour ambulatory BP monitor test is considered best standard to define hypertension and the British are now requiring it.

And home monitoring is the 2nd best.

You might want to go see your doctors nurse and bring you BP machine. Have it checked against the office gauge to make sure that it is accurate.

Then test your BP at home, 3 times a day, for 2 weeks. And record each of those. Then take it to your doctor and see if you truly have high BP and could stop or reduce your meds.

Also not all people are sensitive to salt within a reasonable range.


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