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High Blood Pressure

707guy

"You can't make this shit up..."
I've had similar issues with high bp - mostly I thought it was just because I was in the doc's office. I'm not a regular so when I have to go it's a "thing." Last check-up it was high - even after trying to relax and it was higher when I went back a couple of weeks later. I've been on bp meds for almost a month. I've done the same things mentioned - no alcohol, cut the sodium in the diet. Make sure you check the labels on foods - the sodium content can be high in something that you wouldn't think would contain much. Good luck!
 

feddoc

Really old guy
Super Moderator
Contributor
I had been using the blood pressure monitors at the gym as my point of reference, today i bought a blood pressure monitor and recorded a few times through out the day and even had a corpsman buddy take it manually. The results were alot more consistent. The top number got a little high sneaking into the mid 140's a few times but I even had a few read as low 122/78.... Corpsman took it and it was 125/85 , and when i took a few minutes ago it was 145/80.... Im thinking don't stress, cut the caffeine, booze, and limit salt and stay exercising will do the trick.......... I hope :/
Your final sentence is accurate.
 

feddoc

Really old guy
Super Moderator
Contributor
Stupid shit that I and my shipmates tried:

Prior to Annual FP: 10 days of nothing but boiled white rice and the residual water from same… (this totally sucked…)

No alcohol; no salt for a year: Didn't actually suck, but it was a burden. Worth it in the end. There was also a lot of running involved, before this was a "Navy norm". You had to "want it".

I've come to a point in my life when I now totally dismiss "medicine by numbers". I never really bought into it…but I understood the rules.

A 120 pound Chinese dude and me…a 218 pound white Celtic-American dude…why do our numbers have to be the SAME? Who says "that's normal"? Normal for WHO? Sheesh….

Off my soap box. Good luck. Do what the professionals say you should do. BP can be controlled.
Truly…from a lifetime/career of similar experience, I can tell you that HALF the problem id dietetic…see the posts above. Modify what you can. Don't hurt yourself in the process..

The other half is MENTAL… it's called "White Coat Hypertension"…every time you get the BP cuff Velcroed to your arm by a medical type…you start to sweat the program. I don't have the answer for this. It is what it is.

There are probably relaxation and deep breathing exercises that might help. Again…I dunno. Hope a Doc wades ih here…

My own personal truth: The Navy WANTS guys who "get their muscle up" when the enemy is in the LAR or windscreen…but the Navy really never really bought my hypothetic.
For that year you were without salt, alcohol....did you quit playing with yourself too?
 

IUGUY

Active Member
Hey guys, thanks for all the input.... I have been having some positive results by cutting the salt down to 1500mg a day, its a pain because you really have to watch what you eat and cutting out the booze.

I would say on average my blood pressure is reading 140/80 . The bottom number stays pretty consistent +- 5 , however the top number fluctuates a lot between 130-150 . Typically being higher in the morning and mid day........ Am I clear yet??
 
IUGUY:

Ideally the number is 135 or less when at rest. "Borderline" high BP is 140+. If you're getting up to 150 when sitting calmly, that's concerning. If you're getting that high after climbing a few flights of stairs or any other physical activity, that's understandable and expected.

Before you take a BP, absolutely make sure that you're calm. BP goes down with the more relaxed you are, i.e. it will be lower if you are lying down as opposed to standing. If sitting, don't cross your legs - it changes the "flow" of blood and raises your BP. Try to sit quietly and relax for 15-20 mins before a reading is taken.
 

TimeBomb

Noise, vibration and harshness
IUGUY,
All the comments above are legit. If you run into problem at NAMI, you'll should request a consultation with the internist on staff there if it isn't directed. We used to see mild hypertension pretty regularly, and the first step in the process was to get a 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure measurement. You'll wear a portable cuff device which will record your blood pressures a number of times over the course of a day, eliminating the "white coat" factor. If the readings are normal, no problem, and the recommendation will be PQ. If still elevated, you'll get evaluated for secondary causes of hypertension. Rare in your age group, but not zero. For now, focus on modifying the things you can change...no alcohol, watch the diet (Google "DASH diet" for a place to start), get some aerobic exercise, drop some weight if you're overweight, especially if you tend to carry your weight around your midsection. I've found a good rule of thumb is "10 pounds, 10 points". Best case is that you never have to go through the secondary evaluation. Regardless of how the NAMI evaluation turns out, having any degree of hypertension at your age suggests you'll need to be on top of this for years to come.
R/
 

srp_4737

Member
Reviving an old thread: I have a quick question. If you have a high BP reading at OCS on medical Monday (above 140/90) do you get the boot automatically, or will they put a monitor on you for a few days? I literally passed MEPS by the skin of my teeth because I have whitecoat hypertension. They recorded a 139/87. I am 5'10" 155 pounds and run 30 miles a week so it makes no sense. When I take it at home I'm consistently 120/80 or less. Thanks!
 

Hopeful Hoya

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I read high during my initial flight physical, so they took readings at medical twice a day for three days and averaged it out. It will help if you can figure out a way to put yourself in a happy place for the 30 seconds that the cuff is on.
 

BroskiOCS

Well-Known Member
I have a question regarding hypertension waivers. I was previously denied for hypertension (among other things) back in August of last year. After being denied, I stopped taking my medication under the supervision of my PCM with the intention of reapplying and committing to positive lifestyle changes. My readings continued to be normal with daily checks. When the memo came out regarding the changes to the medical waiver process I completed a new commissioning physical. In that paperwork, I bring up all of my history and included a written statement saying that I had been off hypertension medication for the past 90 days with no adverse reactions. Well I was ultimately found NPQ but a waiver of physical standards was approved for my designator (SWO) for hypertension. I have been selected for SWO and class up at the end of this month. I have been doing everything in my power to keep my BP low (working out, running, low sodium, no booze, no caffeine, etc.). I check my BP regularly and it's hit or miss as to whether it is in the hypertensive range. I am nervous about Medical Monday and what my BP reading will be. My question is: since I already have a waiver regarding hypertension, am I allowed to be on medication for it at OCS? Would it be better to keep working on maintaining a low BP myself and risk having a high reading or go to my PCM (while I still have time) and get back on my BP medication to help regulate my readings? Any help is appreciated!
 

AllAmerican75

Back to School!
None
I have a question regarding hypertension waivers. I was previously denied for hypertension (among other things) back in August of last year. After being denied, I stopped taking my medication under the supervision of my PCM with the intention of reapplying and committing to positive lifestyle changes. My readings continued to be normal with daily checks. When the memo came out regarding the changes to the medical waiver process I completed a new commissioning physical. In that paperwork, I bring up all of my history and included a written statement saying that I had been off hypertension medication for the past 90 days with no adverse reactions. Well I was ultimately found NPQ but a waiver of physical standards was approved for my designator (SWO) for hypertension. I have been selected for SWO and class up at the end of this month. I have been doing everything in my power to keep my BP low (working out, running, low sodium, no booze, no caffeine, etc.). I check my BP regularly and it's hit or miss as to whether it is in the hypertensive range. I am nervous about Medical Monday and what my BP reading will be. My question is: since I already have a waiver regarding hypertension, am I allowed to be on medication for it at OCS? Would it be better to keep working on maintaining a low BP myself and risk having a high reading or go to my PCM (while I still have time) and get back on my BP medication to help regulate my readings? Any help is appreciated!
You should be fine. If you have a high reading, they'll do a three days of readings twice a day, and if it's still high, they'll refer you to a doc who will do some blood work and work with you to get your blood pressure down. The hard part is getting into OCS, and once you're there they will work with you to keep you. My blood pressure ran high most of OCS due to all of the stress and lack of sleep but the doc there wrote my a waiver with little hassle.

I would highly recommend that once you get to the Fleet, you work with your PCM to control your blood pressure by any means necessary. Four years as a DivO with little sleep, shitty diet, high stress, etc. aggravated my blood pressure to the point that I nearly had a stroke on the eve before INSURV. I DO have a long family history of hypertension, but the SWO lifestyle definitely had a hand in causing my genetic predisposition to arise earlier in my life than it otherwise would have.
 

BroskiOCS

Well-Known Member
You should be fine. If you have a high reading, they'll do a three days of readings twice a day, and if it's still high, they'll refer you to a doc who will do some blood work and work with you to get your blood pressure down. The hard part is getting into OCS, and once you're there they will work with you to keep you. My blood pressure ran high most of OCS due to all of the stress and lack of sleep but the doc there wrote my a waiver with little hassle.

I would highly recommend that once you get to the Fleet, you work with your PCM to control your blood pressure by any means necessary. Four years as a DivO with little sleep, shitty diet, high stress, etc. aggravated my blood pressure to the point that I nearly had a stroke on the eve before INSURV. I DO have a long family history of hypertension, but the SWO lifestyle definitely had a hand in causing my genetic predisposition to arise earlier in my life than it otherwise would have.
Thanks for the reply! Yeah I have an extensive family history as well. My mother had a stroke back in 2012 at the age of 53. I definitely plan on getting back on meds once I get back to the fleet. Not worth the risk. Good news is....after I cut out caffeine I clocked in at 128/78 at the end of the day. I'm hoping I can keep that trend going. Again...I already have a waiver for hypertension so I'm hoping that will play in my favor. Thanks again for the info.
 

srp_4737

Member
You should be fine. If you have a high reading, they'll do a three days of readings twice a day, and if it's still high, they'll refer you to a doc who will do some blood work and work with you to get your blood pressure down. The hard part is getting into OCS, and once you're there they will work with you to keep you. My blood pressure ran high most of OCS due to all of the stress and lack of sleep but the doc there wrote my a waiver with little hassle.

I would highly recommend that once you get to the Fleet, you work with your PCM to control your blood pressure by any means necessary. Four years as a DivO with little sleep, shitty diet, high stress, etc. aggravated my blood pressure to the point that I nearly had a stroke on the eve before INSURV. I DO have a long family history of hypertension, but the SWO lifestyle definitely had a hand in causing my genetic predisposition to arise earlier in my life than it otherwise would have.
Wow I had no idea they would work with you that much at OCS. I was under the impression that a couple high readings (even borderline) would completely DQ you from any aviation jobs. So in your experience, what happened after you had multiple high readings and saw the doctor? Did he put a cuff on you or something?
 
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