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Health Forum    Heart Diseases
Health Discussion Forum

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 is 140/90 super high for blood pressure.. (more details inside)?
i was at the doctors yesterday and when they took my blood pressure they said it was 140/90. i asked her if that was good and she said it was high.

i don't work in the medical field ...

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Additional Details
Thank u, all answers are appreciated. But if I were referring to ...

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High Blood Pressure - Who to believe?
I was told by my gym that I have high blood pressure (I'm 26) so I went to my doc, who told me that I don't. A few months passed and I started seeing a new doc who said that I DO have high bp, and he put me on bp medication (eventhough my bloodwork came back fine). A month passed, I saw him again, he said it didn't work, so he doubled my dosage, but still couldn't tell me why, at the age of 26, I have high bp. I saw my gyno after that, who told me I should be concerned and need to find out the cause. She took me off of my birth control pills to see if that would help. I'm also on Effexor (150mg/day) but my doc and my psychiatrist said that couldn't be the cause cause I'm on such a low dosage. I don't know what to believe. Do I see a new doc? Should I be concerned that I don't know the cause? The medication is making my ankels swell. If the medication didn't work, doesn't that mean that I should try something else? Could it be the Effexor?
Additional Details
It's usually somewhere around 140/90. I exercise regularly and try to watch what I eat.

note your bp for a period of 2 weeks. take the info to the doctor and discuss the results. ONE bp read is not enough.

High BP is a concern because it can lead to these serious problems:
- Hardening and thickening of arteries
- Increased risk of heart attack due to blocked arteries
- Weakening and enlarging of the heart - possibly leading to congestive heart failure
- Increased risk of stroke - pressure is too great for weakened blood vessels
- Strain on kidneys - leading to damage to, or failure of, kidneys

You need to get to the bottom of your situation. One thing you can do is to get yourself a home monitor and regularly check your BP in a setting where you know you have done it right... not exercised, smoked, had caffeine, etc. for 30 minutes, sat quietly for 5 minutes, then taken two readings about 3 minutes apart. Do this a daily (or a couple of times a day) for a couple of weeks. Record your readings then average them. A free handy BP chart for recording your readings can be downloaded from here: http://www.smart-heart-living.com/high-blood-pressure.html

Lots of other information you might find useful is also on that page as well as links to other important aspects such as diet, exercise, stress, etc.

If you are not getting the answers you want from your current doctors, you should get a second (or third) opinion. You need to feel good about the person you're getting your health information from. After all, your health is the most important thing in life!

Hope this helps. Good luck!

You didn't say what your blood pressure was.

I would go to a grocery store every day, about the same time and check your own blood pressure using one of those free machines. Start charting it and see what your average is and if it fluctuates at all. You might be getting nervous when you go to the doctor which can spike your BP. My husband's BP always spikes when he has to get his blood drawn.

I would recommend that you ask your doctor and/or pharmacist about recommendations for a home blood pressure machine. They are easy to use and cost between $40-100. The one I use is by a company called Omron. (This is not an ad for Omron- There are other machines out there by other companies)

Use a machine that has a memory and take your blood pressure at home at least twice a day. Take the home machine to your doctor's office to see how close the home readings are. Sometimes people have what is called "White Coat Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)" meaning that it is only increased in the doctor's office. If your numbers at home are lower, you may have white coat high blood pressure.

I would also suggest that you read as much as possible about what can causes high blood pressure and how it can be treated. You'll be able to pinpoint what things you can work on to help keep your blood pressure under control.

The main thing is don;t be discouraged. It takes time to find out what causes high blood pressure in each individual. For some it may be a prescription or non prescription medicine they take.For others it can be lack of exercise or being overweight. In some people, it just happens.

You are doing the right thing by being concerned and having regular followup with your doctor. The pharmacist that prepares your prescription for high blood pressure also has a lot of good information.

For more information, check out the links below.

If you have other questions, please feel free to email me.

-Registered Pharmacist with over 20 years caring for patients with high blood pressure

yes, BP of 140/90 is considered high and should be treated....why at 26 do you have it? sometimes we never know why...could be in your genes, could be your heart or kidneys, could be that if you are overweight, eat poorly, and don't exercise.... but many times making lifestyle changes will only help somewhat....what's important is that you need to get those numbers down...high BP is the silent killer, you may not have any symptoms, your blood work is "fine", but your BP numbers are still is too high...there are many diff meds to treat BP, each working in diff ways...it can take many tries to see which med or combo of meds works for you without the side effects... do not ignore this and hope it goes away...

many things cause this
and yes some medications do
if over wt lose it
dont use salt use dash

Ella L
Firstly, I am glad you got a second opinion after the gym. Gyms are not trained enough to give this kind of info.

Secondly, it sounds like it is coming back high a lot. So I think we can assume it is high, but see another doctor as you don't sound comfortable with your current doctors diagnosis or treatment.

I am not a doctor, but I am a dietitian. So from my perspective, the risks of high blood pressure are overweight, and high salt intake.

Most of the salt intake in the diet comes from what is in food. Like cornflakes, premade sauces, fast foods, premade soups etc. Try getting low salt versions and see if that makes a difference. A dietitian could help too if you dont want the medication.


I think it might help for someone to go over the ins-and-outs of blood pressure, so's you can see where the various opinions are coming from.

The blood pressure is the fluid pressure in the arteries, it isn't the fluid pressure inside the heart. Even though it's the heart that generates the pressure by pumping out blood.

The first pressure, your 140/ , is the pressure in the arteries a fraction of a second after the heart pumps. It's often said that this 'first' pressure should be your age +100, so on the basis that you are 26, a 'first' pressure of over 100+26 = 126 is too high.

This 'second' pressure, your /90, is actually more important in diagnosing high blood pressure than the 'first' reading.

The 'second' pressure, is the pressure inside the arteries in between heart-beats, whilst the heart is refilling. If the heart were a rotary pump, there would only be one blood pressure, but in fact clearly the heart is an intermittent pump, - - it pumps, refills, pumps, refills, pumps, refills, etc.

The 'second' arterial pressure depends not so much on the 'heart' end of the circulation, it depends on the other end or 'far' end of the circulation, where the arteries are emptying out at the 'far end' into the tissues and veins.

A high 'second' pressure expresses a blockage, an obstruction, or an 'arterial spasm' at the far end of the circulation,so that blood already in the arteries can't get out and 'backs up.'

It's this 'arterial spasm' that anti- high blood pressure tablets treat: they relax the spasm, so blood can exit the arteries as easily as it gets in at the 'heart' end.

There is debate about the normal 'second' pressure. 75 is normal, 80 is normal, 85 is normal, 90 is equivocal, 95 is too high. So you are on the 'edge' of what people consider normal.

In about 8 cases out of 10, doctors don't know why someone should have a raised blood pressure. In the other 2 cases, there is a find-able and treat-able cause, like being on the Pill, having a kidney infection, having over-active adrenal glands, that sort of thing. That's why you needed the 'blood-work,' to rule out the 20% of known causes.

I have looked up Efexor in my 'British National Formulary' (September 2007 edition), and hypertension (high blood pressure) is listed as a side-effect in black-and-white, page 210.

Efexor is a dual-action anti- depressant. It works by being not only a Serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, (as they all are), but also a nor-adrenaline re-uptake inhibitor. In other words, the effect of adrenaline is being boosted in the brain, and the effect is similar to having an adrenal problem, which we know can cause high blood pressure.

Why your doctor and Psychiatrist should be denying what is presumably in American drug-reference books as well as in English ones, is not clear to me. Probably they don't want you to stop the Efexor at any cost, because your depression has been so bad?

I don't think you should be getting ankle swelling, especially as it raises the possibility of the right side of your heart not coping very well, i.e. that could be related to the blood pressure problem.

The last time I posted an opinion that a Questioner's treatment wasn't right, the Moderators took it off, but admittedly I phrased it less tactfully that time. I would be very disappointed if they took this post off.

Yes, I think it could be the Efexor, and yes, I think you should try one of the single-action antidepressants.

If your dose of Efexor, (a dual-action antidepressant), really is so low, - - then you should be able to manage on a single-action antidepressant, shouldn't you?

I hope this is of some help.

Best wishes, Belliger (retired uk gp)

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