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Can anyone relate?
Jun 14, 2011

Well, I have exhausted so many avenues that I don't know where to turn. I thought I would post my story here and see if any of you good people might have any suggestions.

I am a 45 year old male, 6' 2" and 185 pounds. Never smoked. Was a daily drinker (at least a beer or two) for many years, have now quit. My cholesterol is moderately high at 240-250 total, 180 LDL and 70 HDL. Have had hypertension for years but take medication for it and keep it below 140/90. My usual readings for a long time were 130/85 and these days 125/80. No family history of early diseases, however my father did have MS.

Around the end of last September (and I am not certain that this isn't just a coincidental happening) I came down with a virus of some kind that gave me the usual cough, etc. I also felt generally weak and tired. I might also mention that this bug gave me a run of PVCs that were constant. I woke up with them and I went to sleep with them. I am prone to getting them, but this was ridiculous. On day 3 or 4 of the virus, I had a fever of about 99.5 to 100.0 (high for me as I normally run 97.3-97.8 at home and 98.0 at the doctor's). During the fever the PVCs stopped, but my normal resting heart rate of 60 was a constant 95.

After the virus was over I felt very run down and could not work like I normaly do. Shortly therafter I started to notice that drinking alcohol gave me a somewhat unsettled feeling. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it just didn't agree with me.

In November I noticed that everytime I drank my shoulders hurt, like I had strained them. Then, gradually through that month I noticed that not only did my shoulders hurt after drinking, but my abdominal core in general started to ache much like the feeling of "stitches". After a while I just quit drinking. It wasn't worth it.

Also during November I experienced what was to be the first of 3 episodes of severe hypertensive spiking. I wound up in the ER twice, once with a reading of 180/120 and the other 190/130. My medication (Cozaar and HCTZ) was no longer controlling my BP.

I saw the cardio in November after the first episode and performed a stress echo. Walked for 12 and a half minutes total. Was told all looked fine.

I started losing weight (unplanned) in December and went from 204 down to 188. I retrospect I believe it was due to stopping the drinking coupled with a lack of appetite due to feeling poorly. Still, I had all the typical tests, scans etc. and nothing was found.

TSH is normal at 1.00

I have discovered on my own due to my obsessive BP monitoring, that I have orthostatic [U]hypotension[/U]. Although at other times I have actually experienced orthostatic [U]hypertension[/U], that is, my BP has gone [U]up[/U] to 150+ from 130 by merely standing up, though these episodes have been infrequent.

Current symtoms: Fatigue, intolerance to exercise. If I do any kind of mild work my pulse will easily go up to 120 and my BP will drop a little, sometimes only 5 points, other times 20 points. Major brain fog (which I actually have had for 6 years straight now). My stamina is gone. I still get the weird pain with alcohol so I don't drink anymore. I have a very sensitive stomach now and have to be careful what I eat or it will hurt and sometimes burn. I am seeing a gastro and he wants to do an endoscopy. I had one done a year ago for swallowing problems and it was clear, of course I was not symptomatic then.

After several months of having difficulty controlling my BP I tried several different meds. I started Benicar which is an ARB very similar to what I was taking (Cozaar) and my blood pressure went down quite suddenly. Now I am averaging 120/80. However, this too seems strange as an ARB is not a very potent BP med, and considering the problems I was having keeping my pressure down between November and March, it doesn't make any sense.

Any thoughts? I don't know what else to do.

Regards, Brenden.

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