Thank you very much for your question and for taking the time to provide us with a detailed medical history.
From your question I can’t be sure whether the beta-blockers have been suggested to control your blood pressure or in relation to the ectopic heartbeat or palpitations, or indeed for another reason. Therefore it is difficult to comment as to whether an alternative is a possible option. If it is being recommended for your blood pressure then there are a number of other medications that could be prescribed. Beta-blockers are not usually a first choice for high blood pressure treatment these days, although sometimes they are still prescribed for this in a patient not suited to the other options. However, it is still a first-line choice in the case of palpitations and anxiety.
Current guidelines recommend that medication is started in all patients with blood pressure of 160/100 or greater. However, some patients are started on tablets if their blood pressure is regularly 140/90 or above, depending on their medical history. It is also now recommended that in order to ascertain whether a patient has hypertension, they should undergo ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). This is where a patient wears a device which measures their blood pressure over a 24 hour period, whilst the patient goes about their normal activities or daily life. This then gives a realistic measure of their blood pressure, as measurements in the surgery do not always give a true picture. Sometimes instead of using ABPM the patient is loaned a blood pressure monitor by the surgery, which they use at home. They then take a measurement in the morning and evening for 7 days and record the results. These results are then discussed with the GP who makes a decision, alongside the patient, as to how to proceed.
It sounds like you have tried hard to address the areas in your lifestyle that add to your risk of high blood pressure. Certainly maintaining a normal body weight is beneficial. A loss of 10kg in weight has been shown to reduce the systolic blood pressure by between 5 and 20 mmHg. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat can reduce the systolic pressure by 8 to 14 mmHg. Reducing salt intake as much as possible can cause a lowering of 2 to 8 mmHg systolic pressure. Moderating alcohol intake down to 1 unit per day can cause a 2 to 4 mmHg reduction. I know that physical activity is difficult for you. Somebody who is able to undertake aerobic physical activity of at least 30 mins per day, on most days of the week, can lower their systolic blood pressure by between 4 and 9 mmHg.
I hope that this information has been helpful for you.
Answered by Health at Hand nurses.
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