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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Anti-Anxiety Meds to Control Blood Pressure

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Author Topic: Anti-Anxiety Meds to Control Blood Pressure
seekhelp
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At my last visit with my ID doc, he recommended I try some anti-anxiety meds like Xanax, Valium or another to control my blood pressure better. I'm having some major issues with it. I've had readings at 170/100 at times. Not always, but if I'm feeling bad it spikes. Definitely spikes on anti-malarial and Mebendazole treatment. [Frown]

I'm already on Lisinopril and Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). I upped my diuretic dose w/no help. I'm in my mid 30s. This isn't good. He said maybe the anti-anxiety med would reduce it substantially and no other BP meds would be needed.

While I'm not thrilled with the idea, I'm not thrilled with dying either. The average reading I probably get would be 140-150/90. It used to be lower. [Frown]

Am I just hurting myself with anti-malarial/babs treatment? I'm SO lost.

I think my immune system is in hyperactive mode with no brakes. I don't know how to stop it. I now understand what Keebler means.

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annier1071
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Seek
I have BP always no less than 170/90...sometimes it is 190/120! I am on toprol XL for many years and this is the lowest it seems to go? I have been on xanax for menieres and vertigo for many years. It does not lower my pressure at all? I asked my doc why my pressure would not be lower since I am on anxiety meds..He said it would not affect the way the blood is pumping through my heart.

My new LLMD is making me take xanax four times a day now too for vertigo and to calm the inflammed nerve endings mostly in my head. At least it helps in that respect.

--------------------
Diagnosed with chronic neuro lyme 12/10 after 30 years of vertigo.2 tick bites in 3 yrs from upstate NY. Was on omincef for nine mths..zith and rifampin stopped.Remission~ All the pain and symptoms are back and I am not treating now with biaxin.

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seekhelp
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OMG Annier1071. I'd be scared ####less with those numbers! They have not tried new blood pressure meds? I don't know all the aggressive ones, but you'd think they'd try them. Is Toprol seriously aggressive?


That's not encouraging to hear anti-anxiety meds don't touch this issue. If it's the root cause (and not infection), I'm guessing it 'may' help some.

When I have these bad moments, they are unprovoked. My body goes haywire. It's not stress-induced IMO, but still control is needed if available through some method.

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jkmom
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Who is managing you blood pressure meds? Have you tried any other ones?

My husband's high blood pressure is controlled with cozaar and diltiazem, Those are different types of drugs than either of the ones you are on. He has had high blood pressure since his early 20's. I'm not sure what he tried in the beginning to get it under control, but he has had to adjust it a few times in the 20 years I have known him.

Do you feel like you need an anti-anxiety med for anxiety? That might be a reason to try it, if so.

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seekhelp
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I have been to 40+ doctors over the years Jkmom and no one cared much about my BP. Criminal IMO. Docs are USELESS.

My PCP Rxed those original BP meds 8+ years ago. No one will take me off Lisinopril though I've begged. I always wondered if there were better options.

The only doc who even cares/recognizes it is my ID doc. He doubled my HCTZ and is suggesting the anti-anxiety med. He has treated me for Lyme long-term over the years surprisingly, but not aggressively enough.

I even went to a Nephrologist a few weeks ago. They have made one more suggestion which I will start soon: Metaprolol (beta blocker). I have never taken this class of drugs before. I took Norvasc in the past. Didn't tolerate it too well.

I certainly have some anxiety. it gets worse when I treat for Babesia.

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seibertneurolyme
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Seek,

I seem to remember you having a bad reaction to an epsom salts bath. Have you ever had your red blood cell magnesium levels tested? That is supposedly the best test for magnesium levels. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure if you are deficient. Calcium and magnesium balance effects blood pressure.

Hubby's blood pressure went too low when he tried very low dose benicar. Normally he does not take b.p. meds -- but his b.p does spike when he has herx type reactions. And high dose ativan does nothing to lower his b.p. -- he actually thinks it makes it worse.

You really ned to try I.M. or I.V. mag -- oral may not be working. See the link below -- there is a section discussing magnesium supplementation.

http://www.tinyurl.com/4z267fs

Bea Seibert

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TF
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Yes, in the book "The Lyme Disease Solution," the doc says that many chronic lyme symptoms are related to magnesium deficiency, including high blood pressure. So, he routinely tests nearly all lyme patients for magnesium deficiency.

He says the best and most expensive test, if you can afford it, is the blood "ionized" magnesium (performed by most large commercial labs). It is a test on the red blood cells.

This is all from page 267-8 of the book.

If mag is low and kidney function is good, he recommends a dosage range of 400-1000 mg per day. Take in divided doses. Best products are magnesium chloride or "chelated" magnesium (such as taurate, citrate, aspartate, glycinate, and others). p. 268

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mattnapa
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I assume this is obvious, but sugar intake can be linked to high blood pressure
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BoxerMom
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My husband's BP has been spiking during Babesia treatment. He had a full cardiac workup and everything was normal.

LL doc thinks it's dysautonomia.

--------------------
 - Must...find...BRAIN!!!

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karenlc
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I was on lisinopril/HCT for many months and it was controling my BP. But all of sudden it stopped working and I am now on diovan/HCT and my blood pressure is on the low side(112/70). While on lisinopril it got up to 160/90. So please go to your general practioner and find a new blood pressure med. You might have to experiment to find the right BP med. that works for you.

Karen

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annier1071
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seek

Metaprolol is what I am taking, toprol xl brand name, is a beta blocker. It also keeeps your heart from jumping around, that is why my llmd keeps me on it too. My pressure can flucuate in a second..don't know why? I know I have never had a bottom number under 90..even with meds. Maybe lyme has kept it high all this time? DOes lyme do that?

I should ask these questions to my llmd on feb 10th. Finally getting my second visit. The day I get there I will be so nervous and frustrated, I willl forget again!

--------------------
Diagnosed with chronic neuro lyme 12/10 after 30 years of vertigo.2 tick bites in 3 yrs from upstate NY. Was on omincef for nine mths..zith and rifampin stopped.Remission~ All the pain and symptoms are back and I am not treating now with biaxin.

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Lymetoo
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Seek and Ann ... you need to keep looking for a doctor who will get your BP under control. That is very dangerous. Damages your heart and your kidneys to have it that high. (not to mention the risk of stroke)

I think it would be wise to find a good cardiologist or an internal med dr ... PLEASE!!? [group hug]

[ 01-30-2011, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: Lymetoo ]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Keebler
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-
Xanax and Valium can cause liver stress and increase the herx reaction for anyone with elevated porphyrins (explained in the thread below). There are many safer options. Driving would also be more risky when on either xanax or valium. The "hang over" effect can be very strong for many with lyme.
------------

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/1/91842?
PORPHYRIA

========================

Turmeric (and the stronger extract, Curcumin) is an excellent choice. In addition to what others have suggested as the main key: Magnesium Glycinate or a similarly easily absorbed kind.

Dysautonomia is also likely. Any doctor who treats blood pressure should be LL. EVERYTHING is different with lyme.

Blood pressure irregularities with lyme/TBD are discussed here - along with what HELPS:
------------------------

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/77325

Topic: To everyone with CARDIAC symptoms please read !
-

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Keebler
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-
TURMERIC / CURCUMIN
--------------------------

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

PubMed Search of Abstracts from Medical Journals around the World:

Turmeric - 1517 abstracts

Curcumin 3176 abstracts

Curcumin, Hypertension- 17 abstracts

Curcumin dysautonomia one abstract

Curcumin, anxiety 7 abstracts

Curcumin, inflammation 291 abstracts

Curcumin, adrenal 18 abstracts

Curcumin, cardiac 63 abstract

Curcumin, pain 25 abstracts

Curcumin, depression 19 abstracts

Curcumin, diabetes - 113 abstracts

==================

Shrubmed is an index of the research related to herbs and other natural therapies.

http://www.shrubmed.com/dysautonomia.html

Shrubmed Search: Dysautonomia Links

www.shrubmed.com/hypertension.html

Shrubmed Search: Hypertension Links

http://www.shrubmed.com/anxiety.html

Shrubmed Search: Anxiety Links

============================

Sammy posted:

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/100254

Topic: "Common Spice Kills C.Difficile in Lab Dish"

============================

Sk8ter posted:

UCLA has a curcumin that they invented with a different delivery system. They did a 10 year long study on it and had clinical studies done on their Alzhiemer, Down's, and neuro inflammatory patients. They had great results. The name of it is Longvida.

===============================

DBergy posted:

How about brain cell regeneration? Does that sound appealing, especially to a person who has cognitive decline from Lyme.

This is a preliminary study, but it is just one more potential benefit.

Curcumin stimulates proliferation of embryonic neural progenitor cells and neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18362

==============================

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19540859

Xu Y, Lin D, Li S, Li G, Shyamala SG, Barish PA, Vernon MM, Pan J, Ogle WO.

Curcumin reverses impaired cognition and neuronal plasticity induced by chronic STRESS.

Neuropharmacology. 2009 Sep;57(4):463-71.

================================

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17479421

Nat Prod Res. 2007 Apr;21(4):328-33.

Anti-babesial compounds from Curcuma xanthorrhiza.

====================

http://www.tillotsoninstitute.com/important-herbs/turmeric-root-curcuma-longa.html

TURMERIC ROOT (Curcuma longa)

. . . Turmeric root is bitter in taste and warming in action. It strongly reduces inflammation and mucus in all parts of the body, protects the liver, lungs and intestines .
. . .

. . . If you have bile duct obstruction, gall stones, or stomach ulcers: due to mucin-reducing effects, do not use the concentrated extract (curcumin) or oil in high doses. Use turmeric as a spice freely. . . .

. . . full article at link above.

From The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook (Tilltoson, et.al.)


================================

http://tinyurl.com/y8bd9k2

Curcumin Prevents Some Stress-Related Changes

Excerpts:

A recently published study investigated the effects of curcumin, a constituent of the botanical turmeric, on changes in cognition and memory caused by stress. . . .

In this new study, researchers investigated the effect of curcumin supplementation on stress-induced learning defects in mice. . . .

The results of the study showed that curcumin reversed memory deficits in a dose dependent manner, meaning increasing dosages of curcumin provided increasingly improved memory in the mice.

In addition, curcumin reversed the stress-induced increase in the levels of serum corticosterone, the primary hormone secreted during the stress response.

The researchers also found that the effectiveness of curcumin was similar to the effects of a tri-cyclic antidepressant.

. . . inhibited changes due to corticosterone-induced toxicity including preserving nerve cell connections, and inhibiting the corticosterone-induced activation of the enzyme calcium/calmodulin kinase II and stimulated glutamate receptor expression, which play a role in neurotransmitter secretion and certain kinds of memory and learning.

The researchers concluded, Thus, curcumin may be an effective therapeutic for learning and memory disturbances as was seen within these stress models, and

its neuroprotective effect was mediated in part by normalizing the corticosterone response, resulting in down-regulating of the phosphorylated calcium/calmodulin kinase II and glutamate receptor levels.
-

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Shahbah
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Seekhelp, i used to have high blood pressure sometimes, it would go high for no reason and the next day be normal.... I did cupping therapy last summer and since then it has never been more than 110/80...
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mojo
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Xanax used to reduce my early herxes by at least 25% - I was keeping myslef very alkine with other things, though. My early herxes included a lot of anxiety so I tried the Xanax and it even took away some of the flu like symptoms.
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SashaC
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An ID doc, PCP, or LLMD is NOT qualified to treat or control hypertension. As a cardiac specialist, I have seen many patients with severe and often fatal heart failure due to chronic high BP.

It is NOT something to mess around with. Those of you with high or uncontrolled BPs need to see a CARDIOLOGIST ASAP.

Homeopathic and herbal supplements are fine for some things, but not for the blood pressures that have been listed on here.

Annier, a constant high BP of 190/120 is life threatening. Please see a heart doc as soon as possible.

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seekhelp
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Point well taken Sasha, Lymetoo. I HAVE seen Cardiologists and can get no help. [Frown] I guess I need to find another one. Even after seeing cardiologists, nephrologists and other specialists, no one has stepped up to aggressively try to help.

I agree herbal supplements do not seem to be a viable option for high BP. Sometimes conventional meds have a place.

I basically need to pick out of a phonebook as I know of no one personally who has a great cardiologist. SashaC, how often do you think it's appropriate to follow-up with a cardiologist for blood pressure control when first beginning a new regimen? Weekly? Monthly? My ID doc Rxes a medication and says come back in 2 months. How does that help? Same with the Nephrologist.

I don't see why these docs can't even assist appropriately with standard health conditions.

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seekhelp
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Shabbah, I will need to look up cupping therapy. I don't know what it is. Interesting. Were your numbers ever really that high?
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Lymetoo
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Then yes... keep looking. I can't believe there are cardiologists stupid enough to ignore high BP.

(yes, I believe you, seek!!) [Smile]

If you have to have a referral for one, then begin with an Internal Medicine MD.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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lymeinhell
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I watched my blood pressure and pulse transform by doing an IV of Magnesium Chloride. I had woken up with a pulse of 124 bpm and pressure was 154/90 JUST GETTING OUT OF BED. Mind you I was on Toprol XL 100 mg. I was so anxious over absolutely nothing - it was so crazy - I called my LLMD, who had me come in right away and gave me the IV.

After the 20 minute IV, my bp went to 110/70 and a pulse of 80. After that, I did a few more IV'S and started weekly IM mag sulfate. Hasn't happened since and that was 6 years ago. And I had been taking oral mag (low doses 6 times a day) and my mag levels were still that low.

Find a new dr.

--------------------
Julie
_ _ ___ _ _
lymeinhell

Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.

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seekhelp
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I'm really starting to think that may be the issue Lymeinhell. My Serum magnesium was 2.0 and 1.6 - 2.4 is normal. My RBC Mg is usually OK, but I've never done the gold standard test.

Whatever is happening to me feels uncontrollable. It's completely physiological. My body starts shaking, heart pounding, and teeth clenching. It's scary. No amount of breathing into paper bags, L-Theanine or other adrenal supplements help.

I've never had any magnesium IV or IMs. I always wished a doctor would at least try it. I've had super tight muscles for longer than I can remember.

That's an amazing transformation you had after 20 minutes!

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kday
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quote:
Originally posted by seekhelp:
I'm really starting to think that may be the issue Lymeinhell. My Serum magnesium was 2.0 and 1.6 - 2.4 is normal. My RBC Mg is usually OK, but I've never done the gold standard test.

Whatever is happening to me feels uncontrollable. It's completely physiological. My body starts shaking, heart pounding, and teeth clenching. It's scary. No amount of breathing into paper bags, L-Theanine or other adrenal supplements help.

I've never had any magnesium IV or IMs. I always wished a doctor would at least try it. I've had super tight muscles for longer than I can remember.

That's an amazing transformation you had after 20 minutes!

What you are describing sounds like panic attacks.

Stupid name, huh?

I called them death attacks. They didn't abate until IV meds in ER. Blood pressure as high as 260/140 during attacks and about 160/100 was my normal for quite a while (I don't need a lecture. Blood pressure problems are as good as gone after antimicrobials.)

As most have POTS with hypotension, I was a bit of an anomaly and had POTS with hypertension (yes, it's still POTS).

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seekhelp
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kday, are you saying only treating the infections put a dent in your panic attacks? It very well could be. It's not situational, but I know they certainly don't have to be.
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lymeinhell
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Seek, if you can get a dr to try the IV, I would really suggest it. I denied trying it for a long time because I'd never had an IV for ANY reason and thought it would be a big deal. No biggie at all. It took a crisis (in my mind anyway) to agree to it and it was a life changer.

Tight muscles is a givaway.

Prior to the IV, I had several IM shots because we knew through Labcorp testing that I was low. So after the IV, I was taught to give IM to myself weekly, and did several more IV's biweekly.

You need D to process Mag, so perhaps you're low in that as well?

--------------------
Julie
_ _ ___ _ _
lymeinhell

Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.

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seekhelp
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I swear nothing stops this blood pressure issue. I can't control the spikes and can't figure out what even provokes them. [Frown]

For 7-10 days, I was getting somewhat better readings, but still higher than I would like. The systolic number won't go below 140 and usually is between 145-155. The diastolic number at best is mid 80s and usually high 80s or low 90s. Resting pulse is always 70-80 range.

Well, out of nowhere last night my heart starts feeling like it's beating harder. Today, I have felt bad most of the day. I start having horrible yawning spells mid-afternoon so bad I can barely catch my breath. I'm not on any treatment for the time being so not a herx. My eyes won't stop watering. it's like a terrible histamine response, but all blood markers prove no inflammation (very low SED rate, low CRP, etc.).

Today I'm getting 160+/low 100 BP readings with my pulse around 100-110 resting. What the hell is going on seriously? I'm not even doing any activity. It's crazy because I felt decent yesterday and was able to function. In one day, boom all goes to the waste side.

My wife just won't understand. She does not have much fear that my 160/100+ figures are bad for me. Sadly, I have to say she's medically uneducated as the doctor's offices have giant charts on the wall showing BP levels of this range make stroke 8 times more likely.

Why she takes this approach, I can't comprehend. She keeps telling me we saw a cardiologist a month ago and he said no meds were needed and I just have to exercise. I tried diligently for 2 weeks and crashed. He gave me his 'home' phone number to call anytime. She just makes comments to call him. I say why since I presented a solid month of BP readings at my appt and he didn't care. Why bother calling now?

I just get mocked when I say I need help with this issue. She said a doctor would be stupid to give me BP medications. I say they are stupid NOT TO. I understand lifestyle changes are needed, but there is no way in hell I can take off enough weight fast enough to improve my BP numbers enough to not warrant medication adjustments in my mind.

Am I just completely off base? Should I expect my physicians to want to actively manage my blood pressure with the tools available to them when I provide detailed medical logs proving I have an ongoing hypertension issue?

I feel like I live on Mars and I'm going to die if someone won't get off their butt and help some. [Frown]

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gwb
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Seek, this thread started today by Silverwolf has some really good suggestions on how to lower your BP. Several people gave some very good suggestions over there. Check it out:

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/105643

So sorry for all the suffering you've been through.

Gary

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sammy
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Seek, I'm sorry. You know what you need to do. Go back to that cardiologist or try to find another doctor. Don't give up until you find someone who listens and treats you properly.
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Shahbah
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Seekhelp, just was wondering if you've ver checked your adrenaline levels... if they are continuously elevated they could cause your sx, in that regard, maybe you should try the beta blockers as they lower adrenalin levels and blood pressure as well as anxiety attacks...
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seekhelp
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Thanks for the link. That has great info. I missed it. [Smile] Sorry for all the venting. I'm just frustrated at how quick the issues arise and how hard they are to control. The one that always blows my mind is when I get the terrible yawning episodes where I can't even catch my breath out of nowhere.

What on earth can cause that severity within 5 minutes when not provoked by activity? I have never in my life seen another person yawn as often as me in public. I am proven not to have narocolepsy, sleep apnea under control, happens even when on Zyrtec and other anti-histamines. Something seems very, very wrong about that symptom to me.

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seekhelp
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Shahbah, all endocrine tests come back OK. 24 hr urine cortisol fine, HIAA fine, Histamine level fine, Metaphrines fine, and the list goes on. I assume adrenaline is measured by these tests, right? If not, please let me know.

No endocrine tumors on my scans. I have low testosterone though and am male. Supplementation only worsened things. Borderline hypothryoid with TSH of 2-3 usually. Tried Armour and all hell broke loose - super anxious.

Parathyroid normal. Adrenaline makes a lot of sense from the way I feel. They can't be controlled mentally for sure. Even breathing into a paper bag makes no difference. My CO2 levels are always slightly above normal range.

Sometimes, it almost seems like something is crawling through my intestines triggering these symptoms. It's eerie.

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Lymetoo
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Be sure to continue keeping a log of your BP. If this continues you need to see a dr and ask them if they are willing to risk a lawsuit if you stroke out.

Seriously.

What would be so wrong about giving you a beta blocker?

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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seekhelp
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Good point Lymetoo. I'm certainly not a lawsuit threatening type of patient, but at some point you become desperate. I don't understand why one can get an anti-depressant at the snap of your fingers for suspected depresion while one with verifiable high blood pressure is left to die. It really makes zero sense.
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jkmom
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That yawning symptom sounds like my air hunger. My air hunger feels like a yawn that I don't quite finish sometimes. It looks like I am yawning when I have it.

I have it when I am just sitting around. Strangely, I rarely have it if I am up and moving around. I used to even run and be able to breathe fine, but would still have the air hunger at other times.

I think mine is babesia. It is controlled pretty well with Biaxin alone, though. I am now taking Mepron also.

I don't understand why no one will treat your high blood pressure. That seems pretty standard to me.

Maybe you should send a letter to the cardiologist and say something like you would like to clarify your understanding of your last appointment. Your blood pressure averages XX/XX and you understand him to say this is fine and doesn't need meds. Copy your PCP.

You could send a similar letter to your PCP. Registered mail maybe.

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Shahbah
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seekhelp, i just thought of adrenaline levels simply because adrenaline does create shrotness of breath, mental confusion, panic attacks, high blood pressure, veins and arteries constriction... it's like the body is always on a very high level of alert... do you get muscle spasms too?
You and I have very similar symptoms and I know exactly what you mean... Do you exercise? Apparently exercise helps lower levels of adrenalin... So my next step is to start a real program of exercise, do acttivities and increase endorphins as much as possible and maybe also try LDN...I think I also have chronic fatigue and my hope is that the worst years of CFS are the first five... (just like with MS and a lot of autoimmune diseases by the way....)
Just found these very interesting articles yesterday, they all suggest that the worst damage is done in the first five years of disease and then relapses get less severe (if no permanent damage like in MS for example)... No wonder why lymies must treat at least for five years before getting better (unless previous remission) , maybe they would have got better with or without abx...

there you go:
http://chronic-fatigue-syndrome.emedtv.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-prognosis.html

http://www.disabled-world.com/health/autoimmunediseases/ms/ms-relapses.php

SOme people can recover almost completely and others just never do...

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Shahbah
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Seek, just realized that you said you had a high CO2 level, here is another possible explanation:
http://biology.about.com/od/molecularbiology/a/carbon_monoxide.htm

Maybe that's what you should concentrate on...

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