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Why am I having such a hard time getting my blood pressure under control?

Posted by @jen23 in Heart & Blood Health, Aug 20, 2011

I'm a 23 year old woman who is generally healthy, but for the past eight months or so, my blood pressure had steadily increased. I'm actually a little bit underweight, I eat very healthily and hardly ever consume any processed foods (because they're disgusting) and while I'm not a fitness fanatic I stay active by walking. My high blood pressure appears to be a hereditary condition since my mother has the condition and all blood work and tests that my doctor has run have ruled out the possibility of it being caused by any other health issue.

Last week I went to the doctor for a follow up visit due to my anemia and my blood pressure was as high as 157/114. My doctor put me on 0.01mg Clonidine twice a day. Yesterday I went back to see my doctor and my blood pressure was even higher than before, so she sent me to the emergency room. They gave me an IV of Labetalol which brought down my bp almost immediately. The ER doctor prescribed me Labetalol oral 100mg twice a day and instructed me to take that instead of the Clonidine, which was doing nothing but making me so exhausted that I could barely function. I felt very calm and much better after I left the hospital yesterday and my blood pressure remained under control the rest of the day. My bp last night was 132/80.

This morning I saw my doctor and again my bp was high despite taking the Labetalol. The lowest reading she got today was 148/110. When I got home this afternoon I took my bp and it was 176/112. I took another pill around 6:00 but the lowest reading I've gotten since then is 147/100. I don't understand why I'm unable to get my blood pressure under control. I'm taking my medicine as directed, consuming as little sodium as possible, and trying to stay calm and not get stressed or upset. It's becoming very frustrating though, not to mention worrisome. Any idea as to why I'm having such a hard time with this?

Tags: high blood pressure, hypertension

eio likes this

Posted by @kariulrich, Aug 20, 2011

Anyone who is having blood pressure issues at a young age needs to be worked up for renal artery stenosis. I was about your age when I started having problems with my blood pressure. I was give medication with out finding out the cause. At age 39 I was diagnosed with fibromuscular dysplasia. Both my parents have hypertension, but mine is due to stenosis of the renal artery.


Posted by @afternoonnapper1, Aug 22, 2011

Kari and I keep a bit of a lookout for posts like these (she and I met on these message boards). Totally agree that you need to be checked for renal artery stenosis. My BP shot up my senior year of college. I was seemingly healthy otherwise. The BP didn't respond to meds. The problem with stenosis is that the blood supply to your kidney is reduced and so your kidney freaks out and gives off a chemical that raises blood pressure. Unless the kidney gets more blood flow, the blood pressure will stay up. Testing is easy enough—it's just a strange thing to look for and not the first thing to come to doctors' minds. Very best of luck!


Posted by @jen23, Aug 23, 2011

Thanks ladies. I'm really hoping that isn't the case, but I'm definitely going to mention it to my doctor so we can at least rule it out if that isn't the issue. This is just so frustrating.

I ended up back in the ER right after I posted this the other night cause my bp was 215/122. The doctor at the hospital told me to increase my dosage of Labetalol to double what I was taking. They also did blood tests to make sure there was no organ damage and everything came back good. It seems to be responding better to the higher dose of Labetalol but it still isn't keeping it down between doses. I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Monday so hopefully I'll figure out what the problem is exactly then.

Thanks again for all of your help. 🙂

Kari Ulrich likes this

Posted by @eio, Aug 23, 2011

Hopefully the Doctor will know about FMD so many lack knowledge. You may want to print out information from Mayo that tells about FMD. As someone who has had blood pressure as high as what you mention it is important that rule everything out as to the cause. I have had silent strokes due to it. Not wanting to scare but stress how important it is to find the cause so it can be treated. In my case after a year of having more and more bp pills added I was sent to a kidney specialist who ordered an renal angiogram that is when they found the FMD. I wish you the best .


Posted by @jen23, Aug 26, 2011

My doctor advised me to start taking 300mg of Labetalol twice a day and it's gotten my blood pressure down to a normal level and has been keeping it down between doses too. I'm still going to mention the renal artery stenosis to the doctor on Monday.

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