Weight Loss Support - worried/high blood pressure?

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03-21-2008, 03:35 AM
I just had to post about this since I'm so frustrated right now and stressed out and none of my friends really are able to understand. I've been working really hard trying to lose more weight and improving my eating habits which has been the biggest change. I/we finally joined a gym which was a big ticket item for me/us considering I'm still in college and only 24 and mainly me and hubby rely on his salary pretty heavily. I also purchased some sessions with a personal trainer to help me get started especially to teach me how to do weights so that I wouldn't hurt myself and to get some suggestions on how to perhaps bump up my weight loss to more than .25 pounds per week since I am at a very high weight still. I had my first session today and I really liked him but I had a bit of a nasty surprise during my consultation when he took my blood pressure and it was sky high. He asked about headaches and eye discomfort and vision changes and I realized that I had been experiencing those especially in the past month and I had said a couple of times last week to my hubby especially after I got home from driving at night that I thought I needed to get my vision checked since I already do wear glasses. So today when I got home after my first session, I did a bit of research on what's so bad about high blood pressure and I did not know it could cause vision damage or even blindness which really freaks me out since I'm already severely hearing impaired and I rely on my eyes heavily to lip read. To Add all of this that I have no vision insurance,our credit cards are maxed out and I'm just beyond stressed about finances especially since my husband's salary from month to month is very sporadic and we have not yet been able to start saving yet due to us digging ourselves out of debt with credit cards, school loans from my hubby's education. I just feel like I had a double whammy.. I've been working hard busting my butt to lose weight, making all these healthy dietary changes which has been tough for me, going to school and working my butt off to bring in a puny paycheck and working almost full time and those hours are spent on my feet since I work retail so I'm TIRED and doing all these lifestyle changes and it just feels like all of this still hasn't made one bit of difference..And not to mention that I help my mom out about once a week doing errands for her since she is unable to drive due to severe health problems and is on disability so she can't help me out either. I'm just feeling really overwhelmed right now. I'm going to be making some phone calls tomorrow and set up a doctors and eye appointments since it's best to be on the safe side with all of this. But I just have no clue where the money is going to come from.. Sorry but I just had to vent... I feel better now.

03-21-2008, 04:53 AM
There is so much going on in your life right now - that comes with a lot of stress too. First things first....try and relax.

Definitely go see a doctor about the blood pressure and the vision. Keep a few things in mind though:

Blood pressure can change from one moment to the next depending on the situation you're in - what your body is experiencing in that moment (stress/fear/anxiety). The best way to diagnose or monitor high BP is to have several blood pressure measurements over time. That way you and your doctor will have substantial data to work with. I'd hate to think that you're adding extra stress and worry over one high reading that might be circumstantially high.

Fluid retention can also raise blood pressure - along with electrolyte imbalances.

Loss of vision and/or renal failure occurs with very long-term untreated high blood pressure.

If the findings are correct and you do have high blood pressure, the exercise and healthy eating lifestyle you've begun is a step in the right direction.

Think positive, and keep moving forward :)

03-21-2008, 08:31 AM
JadedJane gave you some great advice about blood pressure.

Just think, though, what if you HADN'T made these lifestyle changes? Could it have been worse? Just as Jane said, one of the ways to help control high blood pressure is to eat well and exercise and lose some weight. You've lost nearly 20 lbs! That's an outstanding amount of weight. Does it really feel like these changes haven't made any difference whatsoever?

I'm very sorry that you seem to have been hit with these things all at once. That must feel quite overwhelming. But, you know can continue on. :hug:

03-21-2008, 08:44 AM
Stress is really a big contributing factor to high blood pressure. Being overweight doesn't help. Have you looked into any stress-reduction methods? Usually exercise reduces stress, but it sounds like in your case it's been causing you more stress.

Perhaps you need to let up on yourself a little--I don't mean let yourself go, but I do mean stop pushing so hard. Going to work full time AND going to school would drive a lot of folks to their knees, let alone trying to lose weight and go to the gym at the same time. Are you taking a full course load? Is there any way you can cut back on that? Just an idea...

Good luck!

03-21-2008, 10:29 AM
Have your BP checked several times over a period of time. Since it can fluctuate quite a bit in just 15 minutes. Stress definitely will raise BP, as does exercise.

Try doing some meditation exercises and deep breathing. Taking 15 minutes for your own quiet time can really help you!

03-21-2008, 11:34 AM
Try not stress yourself more worrying about it yet. See what the dr has to say. I went in for my yearly exam and my gyno caught my blood pressure problem. He made me take my first pill right then. Just be thankful you are aware it might be an issue and that you have already made changes in your life to help control it!! Watch your sodium intake and drink plenty of water and see the dr. also alot of blood pressure meds are dirt cheap> I pay less than 5 a month for mine and i have no prescreption coverage. good luck and let us know what the dr says.

03-21-2008, 02:16 PM
Thanks to all for the kind words.. I was kind of in a panic last night about our finances and I'm much calmer today. My husband came home and was a lot of help and very comforting. He seems to think I have too much going on like what you said JayEll.. and wants me to cut back on my work hours. I'm already going part time to school so I can't really cut down on that since I'm only taking two classes. My m om recommended that I buy a blood pressure machine at CVS and start doing a journal of sorts and taking my blood pressure a couple of times a day since she's pretty sure that's what my doctor will do before he decides to put me on something. As for me feeling a difference in how I feel, I really don't feel a difference yet but maybe that's just because I am so tired all the time. I see a bit of difference in my face and stomach but that's about it. But anyways I talked more to my personal trainer and he just asked me to wait on the doctors appointment and buying the blood pressure machine until our next appointment which is on Tuesday and he'll do another blood pressure reading and then we'll go from there. But he did say that I probably did need to go to the eye doctor and that they could actually check for vision damage from anything. Thanks again to all that posted on here. I was really just stressed last night.

03-21-2008, 02:27 PM
Sorry to hear about all the problems, you sure have a lot on your plate right now. But definitely please see a doctor, it is a must, you will probably put on some medication to control the blood pressure. I am on meds for hypertension as well, although mine is only moderately high. I have no idea how much the drug is because I have coverage, but I believe that they usually are on the lower end of the price spectrum. I am hoping that if I keep up my treadmill exercise and lose some weight, the blood pressure will take care of itself and I may be able to discontinue the med. I am on Ratio-Ramipril, 2.5 mg a day.
Please try to relax, stress is really bad for blood pressure.
If I can make a suggestion - cook huge batches of everything and freeze, freeze , freeze! It really helps not to have to buy anything ready to eat (not to mention the fact that it will be better for you than stuff you buy on the go), and it will also help you with finances. Planning is crucial. Keep your eye on flyers and buy stuff when it's on sale.
Sending lots of cyber :hug: your way.

03-21-2008, 02:37 PM
Oh Tomato- Thanks for the suggestions.. I'm clueless on knowing what is okay to freeze though and how long it can be left in there since I basically had to teach myself to cook and what I first learned by just watching my mom cook while I was growing up was SO not healthy and was mostly fried so I've had to learn how to cook HEALTHY. My nutrition class that I've been taking this past semester has helped so much with me knowing how to interpret the nutritional data information on the back of things. But that's been our biggest change is not eating out, at one point we ate out probably 3 to 4 times a week for dinner alone and that was not including breakfast or lunch which we did that everyday and I cringe when I think about it since we could have saved so much money and probably be halfway done with paying off certain cards that have extremely high interest on them. But oh well live and learn I guess. Thanks for the hugs..

03-21-2008, 02:45 PM
Hey blonde,

I just wanted to add that I am not a believe in medication unless other strategies have failed. Cut down on your stress, keep exercising in a moderate way, and check your bp with one of the machines you can get at a pharmacy. Then see how it goes.

My bp has always been on the low side, and now with all the exercise I do, it's typically 106/56. I have my own bp machine that straps on my wrist--well worth it to have around.

What was your "sky high" bp, by the way? Just curious--if you don't want to say, that's fine.


03-21-2008, 03:05 PM
Oh Tomato- Thanks for the suggestions.. I'm clueless on knowing what is okay to freeze though and how long it can be left in there since I basically had to teach myself to cook and what I first learned by just watching my mom cook while I was growing up was SO not healthy and was mostly fried so I've had to learn how to cook HEALTHY.

Don't worry, you will learn as you go. One thing that is NOT okay to freeze are potatoes - they go completely mushy when defrosted.
I tend to make a lot of soups, as I put tons of veggies in them. Most of my soups don't have any meat and I use finely grated veggies (such as celery root and parsley root, my faves) in them because they thicken the soup and no flour/corn starch/roux is needed for thickening.
Some of my soups are so thick they are more like stews. Lentil and bean soups are great. A lot of my soups are of the "whatever was in the fridge" kind; one doesn't really need a recipe for a soup. I also love pumpkin soup with roasted red peppers - yummy, very filling and healthy at the same time.
Also, I always add finely grated veggies to meatloaf (usually a big finely grated carrot and an even bigger finely grated parsley root) - it will add volume and it's cheaper than meat.
Internet is awesome for recipes - you can google anything - no need to buy cookbooks. My favourite site is Epicurious. (http://www.epicurious.com)
Good luck with everything!

03-21-2008, 03:44 PM
Tomato-gotcha no potatoes in the freezer.. That makes sense though ha.

JayEll- My blood pressure is typically anywhere from 114/70 124/74. And that's been after I've gained all this weight. Before when I was at a healthy weight I actually had the problem of my blood pressure being tooo low sometimes- I take after my mother-she's even worse than I am about low blood pressure to the point where she's almost passed out a couple of times but due to all the other medications she is on they don't want to put her on anything for it. Yesterday my blood pressure it was 151/86. So that's why I'm so alarmed by it since I had my blood pressure taken about a month ago at the doctor and it was 124/74 and that's actually high for me too so that's a big jump to 151/86. I'm really just hoping that on Tuesday it'll be better since I was a little nervous about my consultation/session. But I am going to go and get a blood pressure monitor so that I can monitor it myself and write it down in a journal like my personal trainer said and recommended but not until Tuesday. But I really think I'm just incredibly stressed so I'm going to kind of cut back on being super-woman ha so much.. and ask for help from my husband like as in the house work and cooking and perhaps some other people that can help drive my mom on the weeks that it's super difficult for me to get out there.

03-21-2008, 03:51 PM
High blood pressure runs in my family. I don't have it even though I'm heavy. First of all try and relax. The more you freak out about the bp the higher it can go just from that. Be sure to breathe when they are actually taking it, cause that makes a difference. Try and walk every day. Cut out salt, cause that can really elevate it. When you get to the doctor's, have them take it when you first get there, and then redo it after 15 minutes or so, cause some people have "white coat syndrome", just taking it makes it rise. Keeping track of it at home will give you a much more accurate reading cause you're not stressed. Be sure to sit calmly for about 10 minutes before you take it and your arm should be at your heart level.

Really try not to freak out, you're not that heavy. My Mom's pressure has been as high as 300/200; your readings are not stroke category by any means. The top number is much more influenced by your state of mind, the bottom one is the more important number.

03-21-2008, 08:01 PM
I just had a thought ...have you taken any over the counter cold medications?? it always raises my levels. I agree with keeping a check on it. I also am one of the lucky ones who has white coat syndrome. My dr has learned that I record all my reading and he doesnt worry when its high in his office.

03-21-2008, 09:29 PM
151/86 could just be an artifact. Did he retest it 15 minutes later? Also, it's the second number that is usually of concern--but 86 isn't particularly high.

I hope you are taking steps to reduce your heavy load in some way. It sounds like this really upset you, and that won't help!


03-21-2008, 10:28 PM
something postive here for you! i was just taken off of blood pressure medication! i got off it through diet and exercise!! exercise is a great stress reliever! put yourself into your workouts 100% to reduce stress! i can totally relate to the money issues my husband is currently unemployed and its rough! i just have faith and believe that our needs will be taken care of, as yours will be as well!

also just a side note--i see you are from texas! where is texas are you? i am in the fort worth area!!

03-22-2008, 01:34 AM
Debimitch-No I haven't taken any of those kinds of medications and I very rarely do since I'm one of those people that if I do take those then I typically have some reaction to it that's not too pleasant whether it be dizziness or being very very sluggish. And I don't get colds, I typically get sinus infections and respiratory infections and due to my asthma I go to the doctor for prescriptions whenever I am sick.

JayEll- No he didn't re take my blood pressure after 15 minutes and just said he would do it on Tuesday at our next appointment. So if it's high again I'm going to get a blood pressure monitor and just start doing a journal of sorts and I'm sure my personal trainer will want me to go to the doctor. If he didn't recommend that then I would be concerned about his knowledge/credentials and ability to be a GOOD personal trainer. But he's already been very helpful in telling me what to do to improve my weight loss to go faster since I've been losing on average about .25 to 1/2 a pound each week. Apparently I was not burning off enough calories just walking on the treadmill without an incline. He informed me that I would really burn a lot of calories a lot faster in a short period of time if I used a decent incline during my work outs and I can already tell the difference lol..since I am a tad bit sore.

BlzMaxGnrCCJkMly- Thanks for posting about that. That's great for you! I'm positive with the help of my personal trainer and doing monthly appointments with him that if I do get put on blood pressure medication that it will be just for the short term. Sorry to hear about your husband being unemployed that must really suck for you guys. I totally agree about exercise being a stress reliever especially since I suffer from depression and it really does help it and I have found that I am starting to look forward to going and working out since I am starting to consider it like my "ME" time. I'm in the Dallas area of Texas myself.

03-22-2008, 01:42 PM
dallas! well darn! close but not quite close enough, thought maybe would could be workout partners! LOL! wel good luck to you! you can do it!

03-22-2008, 07:09 PM
Since you only recently had your blood pressure checked by a doctor, I'd be a little suspicious of the number your trainer got. That's a pretty good jump in a short amount of time. What's his training in taking BP's? How old is his equipment? Was it a digital reading or did he use the old method of putting a stethoscope under the arm wrap and counting it manually?

I'd check it at a local pharmacy before I got too worried about it.

03-22-2008, 07:58 PM
BP now is considered normal at no more than 120/80 my doctor says, but remember that is very close to going over. One of the simpliest ways to lower blood pressure is to get sodium out of your diet. My husband has end stage renal failure so we use no sodium, no prepackaged foods, and are very careful. His renal failure was caused by a medication he had to take, not high blood pressure. Without even trying, my blood pressure dropped nearly 20 points and the doctor told me I had to put a little sodium back in my diet because it was getting too low. My husband has chronically low blood pressure and takes medication to raise it. Losing just 10% of your current weight will also do wonders.

Getting new glasses will not fix the problem. If your vision is being affected by BP, only reducing your BP will help your vision.

You might check around and see if you have free clinic in your area where you could get it checked. Our fire station paramedics check it free also on Saturdays and many drug stores have machines for free.

Keep up your good work. Walking is one of the very best exercises. You don't have to go to an expensive gym.

03-23-2008, 05:36 AM
Robin41-He took it with a digital monitor so..But I'm much calmer now and am going to wait until Tuesday for my next blood pressure reading. If it's high again I'll be buying my own so I can monitor it at home myself. Or like you said checking it at the pharmacy which is what I'll probably do since that's free.

QuilterinVA- I know getting new glasses will not correct the problem if I do in fact have high blood pressure and that's what my vision changes are coming from. I'm having difficulty seeing at night again while driving already anyways so that's why I'm going to the eye doctor as well just to make sure. That's amazing your blood pressure dropped 20 points just by doing that. I really do not have sodium in my diet from prepackaged foods since I do not eat very much of those. Everything I have basically to eat has to be cooked from scratch and it's cheaper to buy those types of foods which is why I buy them and to me they just taste better and I often feel more full on actually less. Thanks very much for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to posting a 10 percent loss on here.