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Need advice - treating high blood pressure with diet or meds (saw endocrinologist and cardiologist)
I went to see my cardiologist 2 1/2 months ago for abnormal heartbeats and palpitations after getting an abnormal reading on an EKG. During this visit the cardiologist stated he wasn't concerned about the EKG and that it was likely a false positive. However, in the office I had a blood pressure reading of 150/100 and the doctor was concerned about that. He wrote me a prescription for blood pressure meds, which I didn't fill or take.
Fast forward 2 1/2 months I've been on a strict low carb high fat, moderate protein keto diet (<50g carbs/day) and I've dropped roughly 15 pounds (from 174 to 159 lbs, I'm 5'6"). I'm seeing my endocrinologist to evalulate my thyroid as well as I've been on Synthroid (levothyroxine) for around 10 years and it's routine to get my dosage evalulated especially since I've dropped weight. The nurse takes my blood pressure and now it's 128/80 (not perfect, but much improved in my opinion). I mentioned my blood pressure issue to the endo, and also mentioned that I saw some studies online that *taking* blood pressure meds can cause strokes. When he heard this he got very upset at me and went on a rant how blood pressure and statin medications have saved so many lives and said that I was a "misguided man". He also didn't like that I was controlling my blood pressure with my diet, instead stating that once I stop losing weight (plateau) that my blood pressure would once again raise, and that he himself was taking blood pressure meds and tried the diet method for "4 years" and that it didn't work out for him so it wouldn't work out for me.
After hearing this I felt someone discouraged and honestly, I got a bad vibe from him. I feel like if I've lowered my blood pressure using diet and not meds, that should be worth something. I am still getting the abnormal heartbeats and palpitations and the endo recommended I get comprehensive blood tests, including platetts, electrolytes, vitamin d, tsh, and my blood pressure hormones.
The doctor also lashed out at me for taking Tirosint (recently switched) which is a brand name for levothyroxine that contains no added fillers and he asked me if I think I'm special that I need to take a medication that almost no one else is taking, given the high cost. I told him I'm doing it because I don't want to consume sugar, corn starch, talc and all the other unneeded inactive ingredients, especially being on keto.
I guess part of my struggle is that I want to understand why my body is raising its blood pressure before I artifically lower it with drugs. My body has to be raising it for a reason, right?
Am I right to proceed with these blood tests and continue seeing this doctor or should I see a new doctor?
AHAASAKatie, December 20, 2018 9:24am EST
Good morning, I can understand how you are in a pickle with all of the information that you have been given and the results that you have had managing your nutrition and weight loss. I am sharing what we have on HPB management with you. I also manage multiple conditions, including having a thyroidectomy in 2014 due to cancer and with multiple meds, it can be really confusing to know what to do and who to listen to. I chose to find a family practitioner who was great at explaining things and working with me to make sense of all the specialists and all my needs. Not that she drives the treatment protocol, but she does help explain what everything means so I can make informed choices.
If you did not feel comfortable talking to your endo and his response to you, that might really be the crux of the problem. Finding the right doctor that you can communicate with, vs the one that just treats your symptoms. Please let us know how things progress and what we can do for you. Best Katie
Jennmm, December 29, 2018 7:50am EST
I understand your want to move to more source of the problem solutions. I have been working with a very experienced, very science based ND (the normal path of pharmaceuticals always replaced one problem with another for me) to try and figure out where my blood pressure comes from as well. It has been borderline and “whitecost” Lanier for years but recently has been spiking. I have been researching and testing out hyper aldosterone as a possible explanation.My diet is paleo and I have never been a smoker.
Unfortunately, I had a heart attack earlier this week and three stents put in my LAD. I am now taking more meds then I ever have cumulatively. I am discouraged that I will have to go through the process of trying to get my self well and keep myself safe while working with drugs first and diet and more natural substances last.
I am new to these forums, new to this experience and looking for people who believe that this can be overcome with best for the body options. Hope we can keep chatting.