Blood pressure meds/possible side effects

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by ConfusedInPA, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    Hi y'all,

    I'm posting this on ChitChat, because this board seems to get the MOST views and replies here on PH. And I think there were some recent discussions on the Porch about blood pressure.

    I wanted to tell you about what's been happening with Kevin. He's been having pain in his left knee. He's taking aspirin, but says it's not helping much.

    He has an appt scheduled with his primary care doc for this month, so he decided to wait til then.

    But he was talking to his boss yesterday, and Kevin mentioned the trouble he's been having. His boss made Kevin call the primary care doc immediately, and schedule an emergency appt.

    Turns out, Kevin's boss was out of work for three weeks last year, not on vacation, but because of knee problems. He could barely walk, and got diagnosed, then got his med changed, then needed physical therapy.

    The problem was the BP med -- Cardizem, a calcium channel blocker. It "can" cause severe joint pain.

    Kevin's doc agreed, and switched Kevin's med to Norvasc (another calcium channel blocker), which should not have the joint pain side effect. Whew! Yep, Norvasc has its side effects too, but hopefully this will be better for Kevin.

    It seems to be one thing after another here. I can't keep up with all the posts on the porch, but I do read daily. I was just flabbergasted that a BP med causes joint pain!

    I googled Mayo Clinic cardizem side effects. Then I googled Mayo Clinic lisinopril side effects (my BP med). I almost fell off my chair reading about lisinopril. Besides the cough (which I think Rock and others mentioned), I have the severe fatigue, cold/flu symptoms, ear ache, runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, etc. It feels like I'm "flu-ish" each and every day.

    I'm in the process of trying to find a new primary care doc for me. I will definitely mention the lisinopril to him/her.

    I hope to get back to posting on the Porch, but not sure when. Right now, I'm on the Homebound board, playing song and alphabet games. :)

    I think about y'all often. Y'all are in my prayers.

    Luv ya, Diane

  2. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Diane: I'm sorry to read about Kevin's joint pain but hopefully this new med can turn things around. My mom was on lisinipril along with other things. Of course she was up in her 80s when it was first prescribed but she was very tired all the time. There are side effects to everything one takes, including ibuprofen. I would suggest you look up EVERY thing you take before you go to the doctor so you will be armed with info.

    How's the kitties?
  3. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Dear Diane,

    So sorry to hear about Kevin's knee pain. I sure hope that the new med will help and not cause any pain or discomfort for him. Nowadays who knows about the med and their side effects. Luckily, I guess I am only on two for b/p and heart rate and one for thyroid. The rest is now supplements, and vitamins for all my ills. DH is only on two meds one for b/p and other diuretic. Lucky guy.

    Gotta run DH needs the puter.

  4. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    Hi Sun,

    Good to hear from you!

    I hope this med will ease Kevin's joint pains, and continue to lower his blood pressure. He also has to go for an xray and to see a "knee specialist."

    One of the last times I saw my "then" PCP, he just looked at me, and sort of scowled a bit -- "You're sick again!"

    That's when I started losing faith in my doc. Instead of helping, he was ******** (fill in the blank), like I was making it all up. Yep, doc, that's just what I want--- TO FEEL ILL each and every day.

    Granni, Kevin has to take a diuretic too. And he sees a podiatrist to monitor his feet and ankles, for fluid build-up.

    Before I see a new doc, I'm going to print out the info from Mayo Clinic about my side effects. BUT -- and this is a big BUT -- will my doc think that I am self-diagnosing via the Internet? I only go to reliable sites like PH, Mayo, NIH. Sometimes this goes over well -- ah, an educated patient. Sometimes, not.

    Our kitties are doing well. Faithy's teeth extractions have healed. She now does not have Stage 2 Kidney Disease -- she's flagged as "high risk for getting kidney disease." We've change the kibble for the kitties. All kitties can eat the food -- it's healthy. Except for Tabeet -- she can't eat kibble because she lost all her teeth due to an autoimmune disease. So she needs canned food, three times a day.

    We're going to incorporate the low-protein, low-phosphorous canned food into their diet soon. Too many changes at once can "confuse" the cats. :)

    That's about it, what's going on here.

    Love, Diane
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  5. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    I don't come here often, but this post caught my eye today (wanted to check up on Den's problem).

    I very "anti" medication. SF will verify this. Sometimes we only learn about a reaction to a med unless someone else tells us about it...most doctors won't. Why? I have no clue. I'm soooo glad you followed up on this and are now reading up on reactions and side effects to new medications.

    I've developed an opinion that doctors are now in the business of "selling" 3 things...prescriptions (regardless of side effects), tests (far too much radiation IMHO), and surgeries. We, the patient, have to be constantly aware of what we're being prescribed. Many medications can cause senility especially if there are more than one...if a med says it can cause memory loss, watch it carefully.

    I had "sort of" a chuckle recently. A TV ad for an inhaler says one of the side effects of using this inhaler is lung cancer. This is tossed in at the end of the ad and by that time, most people aren't truly "listening".

    If your doctor thinks you're "self-diagnosing" then you need to find a new doctor. He's the type who thinks he knows it all (a semi-god?). WE have to look out for ourselves and weigh what's best for us.

    gb66 likes this.
  6. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    Hi Windy,

    Thank you so much for posting to me! I agree with everything you said.

    We've tried natural stuff, foods and supps and lower sodium intake, for both our HBP. But we both still need meds. Kevin's on 3 meds now for the HBP. I wish we could figure it all out, using natural "stuff." And we're both still eating healthy diets.

    I am so glad that Kevin's boss insisted that he get an emergency doc appt. At least the Cardizem is stopped. We'll have to wait and see what the knee specialist (orthopedic doc) has to say. Appt isn't until the end of this month.

    I have to be prepared for a new doc appt. When I get nervous, I babble. I'm not confident. But when I stick with a doc that I like and respect, he/she gets to know me and understand me. And I get comfortable. I have 3 prospects for a new PCP. I still have to research all of them.

    Oh, don't you just love those TV ads. NOT! I think they should be banned. And some of them are so cute with their cartoon-like characters. NOT!

    Great to hear from you Windy! I too have been checking the boards, to hear about Den. I keep Julie and Den et al. in my prayers.

    You take care!

    Love, Diane

    PS: Kevin appreciates everyone's good wishes!
  7. jkennedy

    jkennedy Member

    Diane, did your husband try Holy Basil (Tulsi)? I have naturally low blood pressure and can't take Holy Basil because it lowers my BP too much. Tulsi tea is inexpensive.
  8. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    Hi, Jkennedy --

    I just did a quick search on webmd, for Holy Basil (Tulsi). That website says it's possibly safe to use for short periods of time, up to 6 weeks.

    I'll mention this to Kevin! Maybe he can drink a cup or two or three of tea per week.

    Thanks for your input!

  9. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Has Kevin tried going on a low-carb diet? Does he "fight" his weight?

    Dr. Atkins believed that simple carbs cause all sorts of health issues and HBP was one of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting the Atkins Diet's a very tough diet to stick to. the beginning of his book, he discusses all the side effects of eating simple carbs. If you have a local library, see if you can find his book and read the beginning before he starts discussing the diet itself.

    (Many say Atkins died of a heart attack so his diet doesn't work. Well, this is a stretch. He fell slipping on ice hitting his head and was hospitalized. He died of a heart attack while under treatment for his head injury.)

    Initially, this low-carb concept was brought to light for the treatment of obesity...called "Banting". Banting was a mortician who went on this diet and it gained in popularity. Here's a link:

    Many have done well in lowering their HBP and other health issues by just not eating anything white (potatoes, white rice, bread, sugars, etc.) The "in" diet today is the Paleo Diet...this is based on eating what our ancients ate (but some recipes I've seen don't follow this rule).

    Just something more to think about...a possible "natural" way to lower his BP rather than depend on medications.

  10. jkennedy

    jkennedy Member

    I know many people can't exercise, but my husband got his high BP back down to normal by doing 2 things: He started exercising regularly and stopped drinking a large glass of orange juice everyday. That was hard for him to do since he grew up in Florida.

    Even though orange juice has a lot of nutrients, any kind of juice is high in naturally occurring sugars. I don't remember why, but a daily sugar habit can raise BP, maybe because it spikes insulin.
  11. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    Thank you both for your replies, Windy and JK! Very much appreciated.

    We have a special situation at our house. Kevin has HBP and Type 2 diabetes (on one med 2x a day for the Type 2 diabetes). I have a gluten sensitivity, which has been getting worse, plus the HBP.

    So we pretty much do all our own cooking. We have to keep our sodium and other mineral levels up, so we eat some salt, etc. I have to be very careful with what I eat, because of the gluten.

    Kevin got one of those "Fit Bit" thingies (free from his office). I know that it monitors how much you walk, I don't know what else it does! He's been walking a bit more, and just dropped 5 pounds. Then the knee pain started. He's still walking, but I think he's anxious for his orthopedic appt.

    If I could only get Kevin to eat more veggies. Steamed, stir fried, no. Broccoli, no. Cauliflower, no. Spinach/dark leafy greens, no. I did make two pounds of steamed green beans this past weekend, but I had to tempt Kevin with using a slice of thick cut slab bacon, for flavor. Well, I guess that's better than no green beans. Plus, 2 pounds veggies with 1 slice bacon ... I don't think that's too bad.

    Kevin grew up in the "country". Biscuits and gravy. Fried ham. I grew up in a small town, I'm of Polish origin, so I miss my noodles, and spareribs with sauerkraut. Etc.

    Thank you both so much!!!! I really appreciate your replies. Windy, I'm gonna check out that link you posted.

    Love, Diane
  12. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    I did want to mention -- about my looking for a new primary care physician for myself.

    I asked, signed the release, and got the medical record from my current PCP. I opened the envelope last night.

    And this morning, after Kevin left for work, the tears came rushing out.

    How could a doc's office be so "cruel"? They basically described me as unkempt, disheveled and uncooperative, for almost each and every appt since 2012.

    Now, I will need to take these records to a new Primary Care Physician -- with all the above stuff, plus other stuff that will make me cry more if I write about it. It's not true! What will a new PCP think of me?

    I have a call in to my therapist. Her first open appt on a Saturday is 10/10. But, she likes me, so she may find a way to squeeze me in earlier.

    Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I just knew that there was "bad stuff" in my med record, that's why I wanted to see my med record first, before seeing a new PCP. Now I have to figure out how to deal with it.

    I'm just devastated. Always something.

    Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and that I can get good counseling as my next step.

    Love and hugs, Diane
  13. jkennedy

    jkennedy Member

    When I started dating my DH, he was eating fast-food burgers twice a day. Over the years, I've converted him to a healthy diet.

    He really likes roasted vegetables now, especially cauliflower. Roasting gives that toasty browned flavor.

    Cauliflower rice is actually closer to couscous than rice. It gives you the feeling of a carb. You'll need a food processor. Here's a recipe:

    1 head cauliflower
    1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    3/4 teaspoon salt


    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

    2. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in two batches to avoid overcrowding.

    2. Place the cauliflower rice in a large bowl, add the melted coconut oil and salt. Toss until the rice is coated with the oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until tender and beginning to get a few brown spots, about 25 minutes.

    3. Serve with anything that needs a lovely bed of rice. (Meatballs are always a good choice.)

    In my oven, it takes about 19 or 20 minutes instead of 25. It's done when you start seeing a little browning. Also, I use olive oil sometimes instead of coconut oil. When it's done, I sprinkle it with smoked paprika.

    DH will also eat lots of other vegetables roasted, such as broccoli, sugar snaps, and green beans with cherry tomatoes. Roasting makes many vegetables taste better, I think.

    We also like roasted cabbage slices. The cabbage flavor goes away when cooked like this.

    DH will also eat raw vegetables sliced thinly such as fennel, red bell peppers, jicama, and cucumber.

    I make a lot of greens such as kale and collards, and he likes it when I slice the greens thinly and spice with chipotle powder in addition to salt and pepper. The chipotle gives some of the smoked flavor of bacon.

    Good luck!
  14. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member


    I love your recipe and suggestions.

    Maybe if I start making these for me, Kevin will take a taste, or two.

    But, I doubt it. He's stubborn.

    But, like I said I will try your recipes and suggestions.

    THANKS, Diane
  15. bct

    bct Active Member

    Hi Diane & Kevin; I take Norvasc for bp and it WIPES MR OUT! I get SO tired about an hour or two after taking the stuff. I DON'T like it at all, but have to keep on because I have labile bp and a blocked carotid situation. To the hell of CFS/ME is an additional fatiguing factor. :mad:

  16. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member


    I'm also gluten-free and the problem with this is most substitutes are made with white rice flours which are basically simple carbs. For substitute flour, I like Bob's Red Mill flour since it's made from beans rather than rice. I use it just as anyone would for normal cooking (haven't tried cakes, but it makes good fried chicken and gravy). Many people think going GF is good for weight isn't...we just don't eat wheat. There can still be a ton of "simple carbs".

    As for your doctor...don't fret over this. I also got a "bad report" from a neurologist I was referred to by my local PCP. He said in his report that I was "difficult and uncooperative". His report said he discussed pain meds with me (which he NEVER did) and I refused them. I had been trying to see a neurologist for many years and he was a total "quack". He never tested me for any nerve damage at all and told me to totally disregard previous neurological reports for an older issue (different doctor). I was furious and wrote a "nasty gram" to my PCP demanding it also be included with my medical history. Then, I "moved" my healthcare...I refuse to go to any local doctor. I ended up in another city and found a great doctor! He's since retired and his replacement seems to be just as understanding.

    Now, back to Atkins...please read his book...just the beginning chapters so you'll understand more about HBP and diabetes. I know lifestyle changes are me...been there, done that. My husband also balks at veggies...he eats only corn, green beans, peas and on rare occasion, "canned" spinach. He was raised in Arkansas and a total meat & potatoes man. Will rarely eat a salad. He's a hard man to please. As good as the cauliflower recipe sounds so good to hubby absolutely wouldn't eat it.

    Tossing in some bacon or sauteing using butter, etc., is actually good for us. I serve a lot of beans (blackeye'd peas, navy & pinto beans, etc.) as a side dish and they're low carb. Your hubby might enjoy them.

    I wish good health to both of you! Take good care...
  17. ConfusedInPA

    ConfusedInPA Well-Known Member

    Hi y'all, and thanks for your replies.

    Barry, have you asked your doctor about taking the Norvasc at night? Just curious. My doc (soon to be ex-doc) said that BP meds work best in the evening.

    Kevin takes his in the morning, and it does not make him sleepy. Thank goodness. He has a 45 minute commute to the office! Wouldn't want him falling asleep behind the wheel!

    Kevin did want me to ask you ...... do you have "strange" dreams, taking the Norvasc? The other night he was dreaming about Mo Rocca (TV personality), being our neighbor and mowing our lawn with his riding mower. Another dream was that I was upset because Kevin couldn't cut down a large tree, because I NEEDED a large picnic table! Last night was about Prince William, stuck in West Virginia because he couldn't get to Ohio. Arnold Schwarzenegger (looking like he did in the 70's/80's) was in that dream, too.


    I wish you well, Barry! And Richard and the pets!

    Windy, thank you for all your posts to me. I really appreciate them.

    I'll have to try the Bob's Red Mill for baking chicken tenders. We love those.

    I'll get the Atkins book.

    I have TWO upcoming appts with my therapist. 10/3 and 10/10. And she called me this morning and we talked for about 45 minutes. I really like her, and she is so helpful. She talked my worries "down", as I knew she would. So I have two appts with her, then I'll have an appt scheduled with a new PCP later in October.

    THANK YOU EVERYBODY! You all are great!!!!

    Love, Diane
  18. bct

    bct Active Member

    Dear Diane, thanks for the suggestion of taking the Norvasc pm rather than am. I'll certainly ask my doc. when I see him again!

    Tell Kevin I don't remember my dreams at all. Probably because I use med mj....:rolleyes:

    Best Wishes to you on your upcoming meetings with your new therapist! I'm sure they will go well. I wish I could get over the phone counseling.

    Love to all,