Drops in blood pressure a result of stress? 35 year old female

Posted by akfthomas @akfthomas, Mar 23 12:35am

Hi all,

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

I'm a 35 year old woman with no thyroid issue, doesn't smoke, only rarely drinks and exercises daily.

I've had a sleep disorder for many years and have been working on that with diet, exercise and sleep hygiene (of course). I've seen an improvement in sudden "drops" since my sleep has improved in the last year, before this improvement, I would (daily) experience very foggy brain, a feeling like my face was numb, my heart having PVCs (feeling like an engine revving and a squeezing feeling in the chest), shaky, pale and feeling very heavy and tired in the limbs. I also have IBS which is exacerbated by stress and am on the FODMAPS diet avoiding specific triggers with some success. I have experienced headaches and optical migraines since childhood, which have eased with sleep treatment (starting with a round of Zopiclone two years ago).

While taking sleep medications, these "low" symptoms were a lot more frequent, and I couldn't exercise more than 10 minutes without worsening symptoms, collapsing on a couple of occasions. I haven't taken a sedative for sleep now in over a year, largely because I asked to be taken off them because of a deepening of my symptoms. I've had a lot of success in the last few months sleeping without aids, but I suspect only because my financial situation has improved.

However, while my sleep has generally improved- I actually stay asleep more than 3 hours, and migraines and headaches are a lot less common- I am still experiencing 'low' symptoms. The most common is, especially when stressed, I get physically cold (blue nails), chattering teeth, foggy and anxious, slightly blurred vision.

Eating salty foods doesn't seem to make any difference. I DO need to invest more time in deep breathing exercises, but by the time I know what's up, and start deep breathing, the symptoms have set in and I am just desperately trying to warm up and stop shivering (while inside, under two blankets and drinking a cup of tea!). Thinking back over the years, I've relied on eating to 'warm up', but then have sudden dips in pressure/sugar afterwards which make me nod out.

Any suggestions are welcome! My doctor is not very interested in pursuing any further tests, as I am otherwise relatively healthy and have limited insurance.
Is there anything I should be looking for on a blood test? Or monitoring at home?

Many thanks in advance.

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@akfthomas, it sounds like you are very pro-active and diligent with your health and health aware.

Have your doctors identified this as orthostatic hypotension — also called postural hypotension?

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