High Blood Pressure a sign of Peri?

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

High Blood Pressure a sign of Peri?

Postby marcielynn » Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:39 pm

Hi -

I've checked in and looked around this site a few times before but convinced myself that I wasn't really starting peri-meno. Well, know I believe I am.

I'm 38, which is young, but I sure do seem to be having LOTS of symptoms and PMS problems I NEVER had before. I get VERY emotional during my period now, overly sensitive, and I'm SOOOOO tired. I also have more cramps which I never used to.

Also, my flow is very spotting. I'll have a 4 day flow, then nothing for 2 weeks, then I'll spot for 2 days, then nothing for 2-3 weeks, then I'll have heavy flow for 10 days, then nothing for 4 weeks, then spot for 2 days, then.... etc. You get the drift.

Fastforward to yesterday...

I went in for my normal pap to get a refill on my birth control pills and my BP was 169/96!!!!!

I've NEVER had high blood pressure before.

Then I thought about it for a second and I realized that last year it was also high. But, I had dismissed it because 1) I never had that problem before and 2) I HATE going to the doctor for any reason so I figured it was just nerves.

I am a bit overweight. I need to lose about 40-50 more pounds (already lost 50) BUT, I've been this weight for a long time and my blood pressure wasn't high before.

I know it's going to be more important than EVER to get the rest of this weight off now.

So, is this something others of you have seen? Did your blood pressure suddenly go up when you started the change?

Sorry I went so long! This is so new to me and I'm still almost in shock at what's happening. I still feel like I'm 24 LOL :)
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Postby minniepauz » Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:56 pm

It's great that you are so aware of what's going on...what did you doc say when your bp was that high?

Here's some info I found:


Birth control pills may increase blood pressure. The risk of high blood pressure in women who take birth control pills also increases with age and the duration of use. Birth control pills contain progestins, drugs that mimic the activity of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. Progestins are responsible for high blood pressure when it occurs. Unfortunately, changing pill formulations usually doesn't alter the effect on blood pressure.

If you take birth control pills, have your blood pressure checked regularly. If you already have high blood pressure, consider an alternative form of birth control. If you do choose to take the pill, have your blood pressure closely monitored by your doctor.


If you develop high blood pressure while taking the pill, give serious thought to switching to another form of contraception.

Also, please copy your post on the "Ask the Professional" section and see what Dr. Judy thinks.
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Postby drjudy » Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:45 pm

Hi Marcie,

I'll get back with you later today.

Judy
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BP

Postby marcielynn » Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:59 am

Thanks for the input.

I joined a local women's fitness place this week and have started a routine.

4 days this week and a gallon of water a day. I'm doing well with that this week!

I already eat well. I've been mostly lower carb for 4 years. Of course, like many of us, I've been up and down in my weight but have managed to keep off 50 pounds. It's this last 50 that's really giving me difficulty. But, I imagine that if I truly am beginning peri, that's part of my problem.

I've been checking my BP on our wrist monitor at home and this week it's averaged around 145/92. Not great but not as bad as it was at the doc.

I'm also going to start the garlic today.

If my new exercise routine, extra water, and garlic doesn't help within a month or so, I'm going to quit the birth control pills.

After that, if I still have a problem, I'll cut coffee and watch sodium. Although, I really don't have much of either in general. I have about 2 cups of coffee a day, in the mornings, and that's usually it for the day.

Sodium wise, I use unsalted butter, low sodium broth in cooking, etc. and try not to add too much salt to dishes.

I look forward to your next response drjudy :)
It is always necessary to leave some part
of cooking to improvisation. - Paul Bocuse
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Postby drjudy » Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:18 pm

Dear Marcielynn,

Sorry, I don't know what happened to my follow-up response.

Odd that your periods are so irregular on the pill which ideally creates a predictable flow. I'd say that you needed a new pill type, but, as Dee points out, your blood pressure elevation suggests that you should not be on the pill at all.

Do you have a family history of high blood pressure? That, plus your weight, and perhaps an estrogen deficiency, could all be combining to elevate your BP at this time of life. The BPs you get at home have been shown to be a more accurate representation of how your blood pressure runs, so it is reassuring that it is lower than the value at the doc's office (which is often the case), but still not great as you noted.

I love your new lifestyle choices, and it's great that you chose such a positive response to your current health situation. Exercise and weight loss will certainly improve everything about the way you feel, as well as your blood pressure. Nevertheless, I think you should discuss going off the pill with your doctor in light of a total cardiovascular risk assessment (including your fasting blood values for glucose, triglycerides, and HDL-cholesterol, as well as your family history of any heart troubles. Blood pressure elevations due to the pill can persist for months after discontinuing its use.

It's hard to assess your current hormonal situation while you are on the pill. If you and your doctor decide that you should come off, you may be in for further unpleasant surprises there. Theoretically, the birth control patch called Ortho Evra would not add to your blood pressure troubles.

If your gyn is not familiar with risk evaluation, or figuring out your fatigue, I hope your family doctor or an internist with particular interests in women's health can help you sort out your health picture.

Keep up the nice work,
Judy
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Postby marcielynn » Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:04 pm

My Aunt on my mothers side has HBP but no one else I'm aware of.

My mom died at 48 in a car accident so I have no info there :( She did not have any health problems that I'm aware of.

Nothing unusual on my fathers side of the family that I'm aware of but we aren't really very close so, perhaps I wouldn't know. My dad does not have HBP.

At this moment, I must admit I'm a bit scared about the pill. My pack just ended and I don't start my next one until next weekend. At this point, I'm seriously considering not beginning my next pack and giving it a few months to see if NOT taking it AND the exercise will help my problem.

Thank you so much for the input. I truly appreciate it.

Sincerely, Marcie (who's on her second quart of water for the day!) :D
It is always necessary to leave some part
of cooking to improvisation. - Paul Bocuse
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Postby drjudy » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:29 pm

I think that sounds like a good plan. Keep up the nice work. Chronic, persistent exercise is what human beings were designed for during the Ice Age 12,000 years ago when our genome was finalized; it brings out the best in us!

Judy
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Postby marcielynn » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:08 pm

Hi -

Just checking in. I've been 3 weeks into my new exercise routine and I'm down 8 pounds! Inches too, I'm certain, but my "offical" weigh & measure day isn't until July 12th so I don't know the numbers yet.

BP is holding steady mostly. 140-160 over the 90's.

I just started a new pill pack with a different set than I was taking. I'm going to try them for 3 months and see what happens. I've also been drinking much less coffee and really watching the sodium. I only have bacon 1-2x a week and not every morning.

I'm hoping to see some good improvement by the end of the summer. If not, I'll go in and see about a med to lower it which, hopefully might just be a temporary thing.

Any suggestions on new BP meds that are better than others?
It is always necessary to leave some part
of cooking to improvisation. - Paul Bocuse
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Postby Hopefully » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:09 pm

Marcielynn, I was just about to start a post about blood pressure and perimenopause when I saw yours.

I have always had low blood pressure (109/64) all my life until about August 2002 when my perimenopausal symptoms went from mild to severe. I tried all type of natural remedies, even bioidentical hormone patches and Prometrium, but they all made my symptoms worst. My symptoms included everything on the list from panic attacks to depression.

Birth control pills have been the only thing to so far enable me to function, I'm not symptom free, but functional. Despite the fact that I'm taking bcp when I had blood work done during the placebo pill week my estradiol level came back as <15, well below the minimum range of 19-538.

I was taking a bp med. call Microzide until it affected my glucose level because it's basically a diuretic. I switched to 2.5mg of Lisinopril for about 4 weeks, was doing well, until three days ago I developed Angioedema from Lisinopril. So now I'm on steroids, and not taking any bp medication, trying to correct the Angioedema.

My bp the last couple of days without any medication has ranged from 150/90 to 117/74. Today was the first day that I've had the lower bp reading.

I'm saying all of this to let your know that there are others who are also dealing with elevated blood pressure due to perimenopause. Also, I hope Dr. Judy will read my post and possible shed some light on possible optional blood pressure medications for someone like myself who is highly sensitive to medications.

I have a great relationship with my doctor, I simply love her, but I'm in the process of relocating to another state which means trying to find a doctor who is equally as knowledgeable and compassionate as the one that I'm leaving behind (boo hoo :cry: ). I wish that I could take her with me :lol:.
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