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[CPAP] Can CPAP lower BP?
#1
Question 
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post. I have another question. I've had high blood pressure for some time, but didn't realize until I was diagnosed with apnea that apnea raises blood pressure.

My question -- Can regular use of the CPAP actually lower BP again? Has anyone had a positive result here? I have not found a BP drug that doesn't cause nasty side effects, and would love to get off it or at least reduce the dosage.
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#2
My blood pressure went from high to low-normal within a couple months of starting PAP.
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#3
Three months after starting CPAP therapy my cardiologist began to lower my blood pressure medications. I definitely think having my sleep apnea diagnosed and being on CPAP has not only helped to lower my blood pressure, but also to lose weight without trying (a little over a pound every month for the past 10 months) and I haven't had any A-fib "episodes" since starting CPAP therapy. I think the weight loss is happening because I'm not constantly trying to get energy via sugary foods and my A-fib is down because (I think, I can't prove it) I have a much more relaxed, happy attitude!

Good luck with lowering your blood pressure, atk1031. I hope CPAP works for you as well as it has worked for me.
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#4
Wow! Good news, MAPnea! I hope to see good results myself soon.
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#5
I noticed a lower BP reading initially, but lately it's measured a little high again a couple times. Could be that I'm still adjusting to CPAP, though I am convinced it can lower my BP and will do so in time.

My diet, however, has remained terrible! That's the next thing I need to clean up, and get moving on the workouts.
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#6
There is a direct relation to CPAP use and lowered BP, but the results vary, since there are many factors influencing your BP. Therefore, CPAP alone is not a reason to blow off other therapeutic approaches to lowering your BP. If you cannot tolerate Lisinopril or Amilodipin, then I suggest using diet and exercise as your first line defense, along with cutting salt out of your diet.
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#7
Have a seat, let me tell you a story.... If you've heard it before, don't roll your eyes at me.

I've had hypertension since I was a teenager and started medication for it when I was 20. After I started CPAP, I was able to drop the medication down quite a bit but we knew it would not completely go away and I was fine with that.

A few years ago, I started feeling dizzy. I started falling down more. One day I took my BP and it was really high. I went to my doc who confirmed the readings and considered calling an ambulance but I talked her out of it. She instead sent me to a cardiologist. I had a chemical stress test (since I cannot do the treadmill) which wasn't any fun and showed such a huge increase in BP and heart rate, they stopped it early. I then had a heart cath done to see how things were in there. Not an experience I ever want to repeat! No blockages, a healthy heart, all that. But again, my BP got way high during the procedure.

The cardiologist is in the same building as the sleep doc. He consulted with that doc who had me use an oximeter for a night. My CPAP pressure was raised from 10 to 12. Within two weeks, my blood pressure was dropping. By four weeks, we began lowering the BP meds. By three months, I was back to my dosage before the fun began.

This is why I am such a big advocate of a data capable machine. If I had one, then I would have seen the increased AHI. I would have known something was up, would have contacted the sleep doc or raised the pressure myself. But I had a brick (S7 Lightweight) that told me nothing other than the air was on for x hours. A data capable machine would have saved me a LOT of stress and saved the state a TON of money. They could have bought me and several others data capable CPAPs and had change left over for donuts.

So, yes, sleep apnea can effect the blood pressure. And yes, using CPAP may make your blood pressure go down. Sleep apnea is systemic. We say it is a "throat thing" or a "sleep thing" but it is a heart, brain, stomach, etc thing, too.

There endeth the story.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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#8
PaulaO2,
Thanks so much for your story! I have an autoset machine that displays data, so I hope to avoid the pitfalls you experienced. After 30 days, I've seen no BP improvement. My AHI is really good (from 0.7 to 1.4 most days), but I'm still waking up 3 to 5 times a night, which may be why my BP is still high (or maybe it just takes more time). My amlodipine dosage was recently increased and (I think) is causing a whole new set of nasty side effects. I have so far rejected metoprolol, verapamil, lotensin, and diovan, and was really hoping amlodipine was the answer. Getting off BP meds completely would really be something.
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#9
How long have you been using CPAP? It may be that your body has been accustomed to waking up periodically because of the apnea, and now continues to do so out of habit even though there is no more reason to do so.

Apparently, stuff like that takes many months before they "normalize".
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#10
I've just been using CPAP 30 days, so hope things will improve. The really down side is that every time I wake up, I have to get up to pee, although I don't think this is what is waking me up. Starting today, I'm keeping a liquid log and will try to keep track of how often and what time I wake up tonight.
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