Facebook Pixel

Heart problem or anxiety problem? (21 years old, BP 170/110)

By December 14, 2015 - 8:48am
Rate This

I am 21 years old. For the past months I started seriously paying attention to my health due to some scary factors. Before I write anything I do have to say that I am overweight: 190 lbs. 5"4', I work at church, so I volunteer a lot, sometimes pull all nighters, I do stress out sometimes, but I have learned not to especially handling big events for over 800 people.

Everything started around 6 months ago (June): I was not feeling well more and more often with every week - blamed it on lack of sleep. In July, I started becoming exhausted even more often, only with headaches and from time to time tingling (almost numb) feeling in my left foot, minor chest discomfort, lack of concentration. I never really connected these symptoms, and blamed it all on different stuff. I had Blood Pressure problems (4 years prior) before and simply refused to believe that I have them again. Sometime in the middle of July I was very tired and had hard time understanding and speaking all day, so I ended up going to my parents house, my mom saw the way I talk to her and took my blood pressure, which ended up being 175/110, she freaked out and wanted to take me to ER, I refused. She gave me dad's BP medicine and it all calmed down in 1 hour. In August-September things started getting worse, I switched my job and changed other things in my life just so that I can become more productive, nothing worked. I noticed that it became a lot harder for me to plan, to understand, to solve problems, to express myself - I literally felt like I was degrading mind wise - everyone around me noticed that I became less responsible and organized and thought I just burned out. Tingling, almost numb, feeling spread to my left foot, left arm, left side of the face (it appeared from time to time), headaches now more often, vision went down, chest discomfort more frequent, slept a lot, but felt like didn't get any rest. End of Sep. super high BP happens again. I stayed home. Finally accepted the fact that this is most likely blood pressure, decided to buy a monitor to see what is happening. In October, kept monitoring and it was around 140/90 everyday, heart beat between 80-95. I started eating more often (before did only once a day and not a lot), more fruits, less salty foods, more water, more walking, trying to regulate sleep. Brain activity started coming back to normal, took dads medicine for when I couldn't stand it anymore. Beginning Nov. things got a bit worse, so far had very high blood pressure 4 time past month. Numb feeling on the left side more often, discomfort in the chest area turned into mild pain, checked my sugar for several day - it is perfect, did CBC test - everything said I am perfectly healthy. However, what scared me the most is last night. I was not feeling well, all day, but I had to organize games for a kids event and simply had to tell myself to suck it up and keep on going. Felt constant pressure in the back of my head and kept thinking it is a simple headache, but pain killers didn't help. By 8pm, I already couldn't understand what people are saying to me, I just wanted to go home and lay down, but kept on cleaning after an event. Kind of almost suddenly my muscles around my mouse started twitching when I was talking to people, and I was like: "ok, time to go home." Asked my sister with a permit to drive instead of me, because I simply couldn't see well, which at first I thought was simple tiredness. Came to my parents house, and it hit me (like I couldn't realize it earlier) maybe it is my blood pressure! We measured it and it was 175/110, my mom told me to go to ER, I refused again. She gave me my dads pill, spasm reliever and some Valerian root, 30 min later BP started going down. During the night (I normally never wake up) kept waking up like 20 times. Today all day mild chest pain on and off and numbness on the left side for the past hour.

Now, I understand that I am not living a healthy life style, I am trying to change, but it is not like it will happen over night. Some people tell me that this is only because of stress, but I know when it is stress BP goes up almost instantly and I feel like throwing up, but the rest of the time it is more of slow fade. I am just very scared of a stroke or something similar. I just now got insurance, but it will go in affect only in January. Also it has been on my mind for the past 2 month so much that it feels like I am paranoid, I just want to find out what is wrong and keep on leaving. Please help me to understand and give me an advice, do I go to the doctor immediately or can it wait until January?

Add a Comment3 Comments

Thank you so much for your advice!
I went to the ER on Monday, Dec.14 with my friend (he worked at the hospital before and when I showed him symptoms for the first time, he basically said the same thing you did). As I later found out, my father's medicine is metoprolol (beta blocker), normally after taking it my blood pressure remains somewhat normal for about 4 days, though my heart beat slows down.
At the ER they did my blood work, urine tests, EKG 2 times, and a CT scan. They kept asking me over and over again if I am sure that I was taking the measurements correctly... At the end of the day, they said everything was clear and referred me to a cardiologist (they did give me prescription from high blood pressure though).
I went to the cardiologist next day. It just had to be that my blood pressure was perfect while I was in his office. He did the EKG again and sad that everything looks fine. He also started doubting the fact that I have high blood pressure. I felt devastating! This is why I was so scarred to go to the doctor, to look like a fool. Nevertheless, he sent me home asking to monitor my blood pressure and weight for the next 6 weeks with no medicine. In November I was taking 1/4 of a pill of metoprolol every day, that was the only way I could pull through the day; however if I missed even 1 night, BP would go up. I left thinking: "Most likely I will see you in less then 2 weeks." So far the average is 145/90 with the heartbeat 95.
My vision in left eye did not get any better since last Saturday, it is very difficult to see with both eyes, I close one eye when reading or driving. Tingling feeling continues to come and go on the left side. I found myself having trouble speaking, constantly looking for words, can't finish long sentences, it is very frustrating when I can't explain myself with others.
Last Sunday, before I posted to this community, I briefly talked to my relative who is a nurse (later I found out she works on neurologist floor). She read the post only on Wednesday night, called me and said that she is very concerned with these symptoms, also that she is surprised they didn't do the MRI in the emergency room and didn't refer me to neurologist. She recommended me to still schedule an appointment to consult with one. I did.
Do you think I did the right thing? Do you think I should just stick with what the cardiologist told me? I am just desperate for all of these symptoms and tiredness to go away.


December 21, 2015 - 4:04pm
Guide (reply to Yana)

Hello Yana,

You did the right thing by getting medical attention.

If your blood pressure rises above 145/90, please call the cardiologist's office right away. Likewise a heart rate greater than 95 warrants a call.

Like your cousin, I am concerned about your vision.

High blood pressure can place a strain on the blood vessels in the eyes. HBP can cause the blood vessels to either narrow or bleed when they are subjected to too much blood pressure force. Also, the optic nerve may swell, reducing the ability to see well.

Using an opthalmoscope, a healthcare professional can look at the network of tiny capillaries on the retina to evaluate the condition of the blood vessels in the eyes. Managing blood pressure is the only way to treat hypertensive retinopathy. The damage is increases with time, so the longer it goes untreated, the higher the likelihood of permanent damage.

Yana, one option is to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist.


December 22, 2015 - 10:17am

Hello Yana,

I am so glad that you reached out to us. Only wished you had done so sooner.

Get someone to drive you to the emergency room now. This is not the time to worry about insurance coverage.This is a medical emergency.

Problems with your brain, marked by memory loss, personality changes, trouble concentrating, irritability or progressive loss of consciousness, along with unstable chest pain indicated a high blood pressure emergency.

Your mother should never have medicated you with your father's medication. I am sure her intentions were good.

The experiences which you describe could have been transient ischemic attacks, sometimes called a mini stroke.

Untreated serious hypertension puts you at risk for having a stroke, developing an aneurysm and causing serious damage to your heart, arteries, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

Get to the ER now!

December 14, 2015 - 10:00am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

High Blood Pressure

Get Email Updates

High Blood Pressure Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!