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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Typically my blood pressure is normal and in the 120-130/60-80

Resolved Question:

Typically my blood pressure is normal and in the 120-130/60-80 range. At the DRs office today I was shocked to find it was 170/90.

I take a diuretic (hydrocholorizide - 25 mg) and it has been extremely hot and humid. I typically do not sweat much however lately it's been like being in a sauna. I am burning up and dripping with sweat a good deal of the day.

My DR said stop the diuretic, take a potassium pill (he found the potassium is low) and use, instead, Micardis for a few days. He is to check the potassium again Tues of next week.

I would like a second opinion and perhaps suggestions to supplement this. For example we are to attend a funeral today that will be lengthy (our pastor's wife) and I'm wondering if it is wise to go. The high blood pressure has me very concerned altho I have taken it twice since getting home and it is back in the normal range (altho a bit higher). My B/P also got down to 138/84 before I left the Drs officel. He attributed it partially to the abnormally high temperatures and humidity. I don't do well in this type of weather.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer.
What was your blood pressure when you got home? How much is a bit higher than usual?
Did your doctor say how low was the potassium?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My DR didn't say how low the potassium was. My blood pressure, when I got home... this was several hours later however, was 128/70.


 

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

Generally speaking, I am not concerned about blood pressure that is elevated only at a doctor's office, sometimes referred to as white coat hypertension. However, proving that the blood pressure is only elevated at the doctor's office requires multiple checks on multiple days in various situations.

The other possibility is that the blood pressure may increase in response to a variety of stressful situations, and stress in this situation is any physical or emotional stress. Since non-specific stressful situations arise much more often than doctor appointments, this would be more of a concern than if the blood pressure only increases when at the doctor's office.

Therefore, I would usually obtain more information, rather than changing the blood pressure medicine based on a single elevated blood pressure reading at the doctor;s office.

However, this is complicated by the discovery of a low potassium. Obviously, there would be more of a concern if the potassium is significantly decreased than mildly decreased. If significantly decreased, it makes sense to change to a different blood pressure medicine that does not lower potassium, such as the Micardis. It also may address any concern about blood pressure, but it still would be better to check multiple blood pressure readings in multiple days.

Also, since your blood pressure was so good once you returned home, there is no reason to avoid going to the funeral. Certainly, a funeral can be quite stressful, but so can the loss of someone close to you, regardless of whether you attend the funeral. In many ways, a funeral benefits the people attending the funeral, so may be better for your blood pressure long-term.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 13836
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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