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Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: High bloodpressure & cholesterol after long flight


 Liesbetella - Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:58 pm

Hi, I went for blood pressure test and cholesterol test at a clinic yesterday and was told my blood pressure was high and cholesterol total 5.89. The first blood pres reading was 164/102 and I was told to wait few minutes an then another reading was done 146/90. I was told to come back on Tuesday to check again. I went for these test as i felt very tired and my head sometimes spinning and very heavy. Sometimes it feels like my heart is throbbing in my throat. I felt this way since I came back from the UK on a flight of 11 hours. My feet and legs and hands were very swollen after the flight and had difficulty walking. My lower legs were swollen tight and even the skin was tight - felt like bursting. ( I had the same problem with swollen legs after the same flight beginning of January 2009) Now most of the swelling has gone done but I still get a feeling of restriction?/like calves being pulled tight with elastic and during the night I have difficulty sleeping due to my legs being uncomfortable and hurting - lots of cramps. I also get up lots of mornings with a very puffy face and hands. Do i need to go and see my doctor for this? or just wait till it gets back to normal?
I am also worried that my kidneys may be part of the problem - my father had one of his kidneys removed when he was in his forties and my brother had one removed when he was in late 30's. I do not know what the reasons were for removal but worried that it made be a family problem. Help wil be much appreciated. Thanks
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:14 am

User avatar Hi there --

While the family history of kidney disease makes this a slightly greater possibility, the likelihood is that it's not behind this at all. Overweight can play a big role, as can confinement during long flights. However, you describe some other symptoms that make it seem suspicious -- the sensations of tightness, especially in your calves -- and some other things, that make this seem a good enough reason to see your doctor and to arrange for a duplex doppler sonogram of both calves to rule out deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which could account for a lot of the symptoms, and is becoming increasingly evident as a complication of long flights.

There may be something else going on as well, and of course blood work to rule out kidney involvement should be done, but something is not right, and you certainly should at least see your doctor, and I would hope he/she would perform or order the appropriate tests to rule out the various possible causes of all this.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please follow up with us as needed, and keep us updated.

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