Blood Pressure & Heart Disease
Just a short note today to say that Losartan seems to be doing right by me. I’m glad I did my research and stood up to the Dr about what I wanted treatment-wise. My pressure is down, no weird side effects, and I feel better.
For anyone considering a BP med, do your reading on the various ones and inform yourself. The Dr won’t necessarily do that for you, and you have to be educated for your own safety. I’ll be seeing a cardiologist in a couple of months (darn wait for specialists is ridiculous at times), but in the mean time it’s managed.
Lisonopril apparently has a fairly common habit of giving people a dry, hacking cough – seen it happen. If you’re struggling with that, ask your pharmacist about it and they may tell you skip a pill to see if it improves. They might just tell you go to your Dr and get it switched right away. Don’t tolerate feeling like you’re swallowing broken glass unnecessarily. Side effects really shouldn’t be ignored, even if it’s just to reevaluate. There are MANY blood pressure meds of different types on the market and you have choices. Get the right one for you.
I do of course, as always, advocate that you make whatever lifestyle changes you may need to make. I had this moment of realization after starting this med… the reason some people don’t do better with their diet, activity, and habits is because there are pills to fix everything these days. If one doesn’t work, take another. If one doesn’t work by itself, take two. If those two cause a problem, take a third… and so on. It’s a disaster in some cases that could be prevented by just taking care of yourself in the first place. Whatever you do, don’t let a pill do all the work for you. If you smoke, stop. If you drink to excess, get help and cut down. If you’re sitting on the couch when you could be walking around the block, get off your ass! I’m not speaking to people that are physically unable, but let’s remember the lessons from many yrs of Richard Simmons in the spotlight and do what you’re able to do from wherever you have to start. If you can only raise your arms, do that. Don’t just give up on everything because it’s hard.
A couple of pieces of information that I wish I’d had earlier on. The first is that high BP can damage your heart. That may sound obvious to some people, but it was never explained to me in detail. Of all the many things I studied, the cardiovascular system is one I hadn’t gotten to until my recent Medical Terminology class. The second is that BP that is up, then down, then up again, then down again… is more damaging than a consistently high reading. [Source of info, Dr. Mirkin] Mine was vascilating like that for a long time. The normal readings were enough to prompt a Dr to say I was okay. I was not okay. I wish my Dr at the time had been better informed. Now my readers are better informed. I can at least try to help someone else avoid the damage I now have.
I don’t yet know what the significance of it may be, but I was also experiencing orthostatic (aka postural) hypotension. It was documented in the Dr’s office that this happened when I would stand up – a good 30 point drop in my systolic pressure. They never did anything about it. I’m being told now to stay well hydrated, but I believe there is more involved than that. I’m better hydrated than most people. If I drank more water I’d be running to the little girls room about every 10 minutes! When you stand up, if you (consistently/often) get lightheaded, dizzy, or can feel/hear your heart pumping in your head like it’s working hard to get the blood up there, or worse you pass out, get in your Dr’s face till you get answers. It shouldn’t be ignored.
If you feel a weight on your chest as if you’re short on oxygen, even if it seems respiratory, get it checked by someone bright enough to consider a cardiac problem.
I started out with what is termed “white coat hypertension”. That can later turn into primary hypertension that no longer drops when you leave the stress of the Dr’s office. If you’re prone to these swings, get informed and do something about it.
Posted on June 12, 2011, in General Blather and tagged Blood Pressure, Cardiomyopathy, COPD, Heart Disease, Hypertension, Left Ventricular Hypertrophy, Lisonopril, Losartan, LVH. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.