Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Im 29 and have Hypertension/Bradycardia for almost a decade. Really getting worried.
    JWD316 posted:
    Hello everyone,

    For years I have searched these sites to find a clue as to why I suffer from Hypertension and Bradycardia simultaneously. As the years go by, I have not read a thread that matches my issues so I figured it was time to see if someone could shed some light.

    About myself: Male - 6'0'' - 185lbs Blood Pressure: 153/101 (average based on 100 readings) Pulse Rate: 45-50 bpm (normal reading, does not fluctuate other than exercise) Diet: I eat healthy, low salt intake, drink plenty off water, little to no caffeine and always read nutrition labels. Lifestyle: I don't use recreational drugs, limited stress, no depression, walk almost everyday (no running due to losing weight rapidly. I can get down to 160lbs quick.) Medications: clonazepam 1mg once nightly; propranolol hcl 10mg twice daily (6 months)

    I am a former Marine and have been diagnosed with PTSD. I go to the VA but have a hard time getting proper care. I have some social phobia due to moderate to severe facial flushing randomly. I am in good shape, hardly have any fat, sleep pretty well with the clonazepam, without clonazepam I never sleep through the night. About 9 months back, I had an X-Ray of my heart and the results stated it was larger than normal. Even after I was told my results, I have not been given a follow up appt.

    I am really getting nervous about my peculiar condition. I was told a long time ago that it may pass but that has not proven true. I feel like my 20's were taken from me by always watching what I ate and often due to meds, never really partied like my friends did. I have a 6 year old and a child on the way and really want to be around for them as long as I can be. In order to do that, I need to find out the root of my condition.

    Thank you for reading and I am willing to answer any question you may have.
    billh99 responded:
    I am not a medical professional nor does one respond in this forum. But I am a heart patient & hypertension. But I am an engineer and research this as much as I can.

    Bradycardia is denote a heart rate less than 60. It is not a problem by itself unless you are having symptoms such as fainting, lightheartedness, not being able to catch your breath, etc.

    And it is not uncommon well conditioned people to have a resting heart rat less than 60.

    Beta blockers have the feature of reducing heart rate and reducing heart rate.

    From the propranolol insert; "This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain types of heart rhythm problems (sinus bradycardia, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block), severe heart failure, asthma."

    But I don't know if you had bradycardia before starting the propranolol or not.

    Also current studies indicate that beta blockers are not recommended as the first choice for treating hypertension unless there is also a heart condition that needs treating.

    There are number of other classes of hypertension meds that should be tried before beta blockers.

    Personally I found that my BP is affected by anxiety.

    The social phobia and facial flushing implies that you might also have a form of anxiety. I am not sure of the details of PTSD, but I think that it might be related.

    Relaxation techniques such as bio-feed back, deep breathing exercises, and meditation can help reduce BP and anxiety. They might help with the flushing and PTSD.

    You might want to look for a councilor that practices relation techniques.
    JWD316 replied to billh99's response:
    I've had bradycardia since I was 21. The propranolol was prescribed to me by my physician as a means to control my facial flushing and the clonazepam as a daily anxiety control.

    It seems that at some point in my military experience, I could not function around people the same as I use to. When I returned home from the service, any crowded area drove me into a panic. I have been on Xanax for as long as I can remember but about a year ago, I really wanted to try and handle my anxiety by myself and wean myself off of meds. This proved to be much harder than I thought, so I was put on clonazepam in an attempt to control it.

    I've been told to try the bio-feed back by some holistic physicians but 'thinking of happy thoughts' just wasn't cutting it. I really want to find a good physician that can help me further with the holistic approach, but the VA doesn't offer that kind of treatment and without any other form of insurance, it was way too expensive to seek a private practice. I've tried yoga, meditation, etc. but all seem to help momentarily with no long-term affect.

    I've always been asked if I was a marathon runner due to my heart rate, but when they ask me about the hypertension, they are amazed and stumped to find out I don't run nor exercise regularly. Once in an ER room (broken ankle), they turned off my heart monitor because it just kept setting off the alert due to my heart rate.

    Honestly, I was not so concerned about my hypertension/bradycardia until I had the X-Ray of my heart. With the results showing my heart being larger than normal, I started to worry. That worry only grew when my father in law who performs sonograms on cardio patients said at my age, my heart shouldn't be enlarged unless there is an underlying problem.

    Now I'm left wondering if the meds I am on is helping or hurting. Also ever wondering if I will ever see my blood pressure below 140/95 again (I can't remember the last time I had a reading than that low). I took my BP reading today for the first time in 3 months hoping it would be better... 157/105 bpm 46. That's even after being on my propranolol/clonazepam meds for 6 months. I'm just frustrated and don't want to continue this path for another decade.
    billh99 replied to JWD316's response:
    I don't have the slightest idea about the enlarged heart and beta blockers.

    Over in the Heart forum there is a doctor that does respond to some questions.

    I would ask this over in that forum. But title it Enlarged Heart. Hypertension, and Bradycardia.

    And in the message mention that you had the bradycardia before starting the beta blocker.

    Since you have had the bradycardia for a while, lean, easily lose weight, and are "nervous" along with the hypertension I wonder if you might have a problem with thyroid, adrenal gland, or similar underlying disease.

    From what I have heard from new stories and individuals that VA hospitals are either excellent or very bad. Is there another on that while not convenient it is possible for you to get to.

    Good Luck.
    JWD316 replied to billh99's response:
    Thanks for all your help Bill. I went ahead and posted a discussion over at the Heart forum.

    I believe I have had my thyroid and adrenal gland checked before, but if so, its been since the beginning of my crusade. I will try and see if I can get a consult for those areas.

    Once again, thank you!
    momof8kids replied to JWD316's response:
    I'd be curious to see what your adrenal gland test(s) showed, or what you were tested for specifically. I was getting a very odd combination of symptoms with my most recent pregnancy (number 8; he was born just a week ago), and I had to do the research myself and actually go to a different doctor to get the proper tests ordered. Even after the results were all in, which showed my suspicions were correct - I had secondary hyperaldosteronism, in my case apparently caused by pregnancy (the primary form is one of 3 disorders that are caused by an adrenal tumor, usually benign; other conditions can also cause the secondary form) - both of my doctors - OB and endocrinologist seemed to be stumped, at least in some way, as to how to manage it or even how long it would take to resolve. I have both hypertension as well as bradycardia, which is why this post jumped out at me; I thought this was an odd combination as well. And I'm on the same BP medication as you are; it seemed to help somewhat when I first took it, but not much. Tonight my BP went to 182/102 very suddenly, and my heart rate has been as low as 46. Like you, I am also trim, and otherwise my health has been pretty good. After 7 children (my oldest is 22 and expecting HER first baby), at 5' 4 1/2", I was 114 lb and a size 1 - 2 pre-pregnancy. I'm 43. One of the other symptoms of hyperaldosteronism is hypokalemia (low blood potassium), which I actually did NOT have at first, but my condition seems to have worsened since the baby was born, and the last time I was in the hospital, I HAD developed hypokalemia. This may not be the same thing that is causing your symptoms, and if it is, it would obviously be caused by something different than mine was. If you don't know for sure what testing you've had in the past, it might be worth checking. In any case, I would consider seeing an endocrinologist. Thyroid issues or even pituitary issues can cause some odd symptoms as well. I can't imagine dealing with this for 10 years; this has been a sore trial for me, and I've only been dealing with it for this pregnancy - no history of either hypertension or bradycardia. It's downright scary at times. I have 2 drs appts early in the week, so hopefully I'll get some kind of adjustment to my treatment that will get me more stable/functional. Good luck to you!

    Helpful Tips

    Tool to track your blood pressure
    Hi, I have a friend who has high blood pressure as does pretty much his whole family. His doctor asks them to regularly take their bp and ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    50 of 67 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center