High Blood Pressure - Minneapolis,MN

Updated on July 24, 2012
D.R. asks from Minneapolis, MN
7 answers

My 6 y/o daughter was recently found to have high blood pressure both at her well-child visit and a follow-up appointment - 99th percentile for her age. She doesn't meet any of the risk factors: She is in the 30th percentile for her weight, is very active, and eats pretty well (more sweets than I'd like but probably less than most kids, and doesn't really like things salty). There is no known family history of significant high blood pressure, she was not premature or underweight at birth (7lbs at 38 1/2 weeks). Her pediatrician has seen this so seldom that he doesn't know much about it, but suspects it might be related to kidney function. He is not particularly concerned and does not plan on referring her to a specialist or doing any further testing, just recommended monitoring it for now at each check-up. From what I have read online, they usually do at least a urine/kidney function test, blood test, or echo-cardiogram to begin with, and ultrasound the kidneys if they find any abnormalities, as ignoring it, at best, can lead to more severe problems as an adult if not sooner. I am not comfortable letting this rest. Does anyone have experience with this? What was done, and what was the outcome?

I should mention that we are currently overseas and seeing military doctors. Her pediatrician will be leaving this post next week and we are also moving moving back to the states (MN) in 5 weeks. I will follow up when we get back to the states and demand more testing if it's still high, but want to know as much as I can for now...

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So What Happened?

This isn't much of a "what happened" because I am still not back in the States to follow up, but I wanted to thank you all for your responses.: Especially Ann C. and Loving Life for the personal stories and the info about diet. I personally have tried to go gluten-free and struggle with that daily, and have considered a paleo diet as my fitness group has researched it and some follow it. I try to buy organic produce, dairy, fish, etc. when possible (I'm a pescetarian and don't buy the meat for our family). It has been difficult because my husband has not been on board, but if test showed her blood pressure was related to food sensitivities he would support a household-wide diet change. As for the whitecoat syndrome, she was quite at ease at the office during both visits, but I also think ambulatory blood pressure checks at home are a good way to check for the most basic cause of the problem, and was planning on requesting that upon follow-up.

More "what happened:" We have done some diagnostic testing with her pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist. She has an appointment with the pediatric nephrologist (kidney doctor) in December, as those appointments are hard to come by, and we'll review her renal ultrasound then. So far all tests have been normal, and their best guess is that it's idiopathic, meaning no known cause, which most pediatric cases are. I do plan on taking her to a nutritionist as well.

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

"Her pediatrician has seen this so seldom that he doesn't know much about it." It scares me, that your doctor would find waiting acceptable...when he admittedly has little knowledge.

You need a second opinion. Your Dr. simply cannot be the head of this situation, since he does not know anything about it. I would think most doctors would immediately order up the most basic of tests. As a parent, I would not like the doctor's laid back approach, considering his narrow knowledge on the subject. I do not know how the military health system works. Is there a way to get a second opinion immediately? This is not something I would be comfortable waiting on.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I don't have any experience with this, but I wanted to commend you for not blindly trusting the doctor, who clearly does not have the knowledge to deal with this situation.

I was glad to hear in your post you will be getting second opinions and that you will be back home soon. Maybe start calling and researching doctors with more knowledge in the area where you will be in MN, and maybe make your appointment now to reduce your wait time when you get back.

Good job being your child's advocate, Mama!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I wonder why the dr isn't willing to at least run a couple blood tests as they aren't invasive or require much as a precaution. I would follow up just in case.
I always get elevated blood pressure at Drs apts because I get anxious and cause it to spike (White Coat-itis is what I have heard it called more times than not). I do not have high blood pressure. Could she be getting a little scared and causing the high reading?
Can you test it at home or in another setting that isn't the doctors office and see if it still comes up high?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

When I was 8 years old I was diagnosed w HBP too. Like your DD, I was not overweight, very active, ate pretty healthy, no reason at all I should have it. I tried calcium supplements (per pedi's suggestion), and I dont think it helped bc my mom never refilled the Rx for me. This continued for the rest of my life, throughout 2 pregnancies (preeclampsia both times + BP meds for 3 years), until 1 1/2 years ago at the age of 33. I had quit taking the BP meds due to low BP as the result of high blood loss after 2nd delivery of baby and never got back on them again. When DD #2 turned a year old, I had an IGg ELISA blood test done through www.betterhealthusa.com (in case you wondered :p) to test for food sensitivities and tested positive for 31 foods. I cut out those foods, and within 2 weeks guess what happened? PERFECT blood pressure for the first time in MY LIFE! (Not even BP pills did that!) I have added some foods back in, but still cannot tolerate wheat. I now follow the Paleo diet and am so healthy. In case you're interested, here are some links to help you learn more about this eating plan:
www.whole9life.com (Their book is called "It Starts With Food)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

There could be a hereditary component you don't know about. I have colleagues in the nutrition field with strong tendencies toward HBP, high cholesterol, etc. They all get great results when they supplement properly - and that does NOT mean vitamin pills or individual minerals. That is NOT a good way to supplement.)

I'd eliminate processed foods (e.g. chicken nuggets but even soups crackers, cookies) that have high salt content, and go for all natural (but even so, check the sodium because salt is a "natural" ingredient). Look on the label and if "salt" or "sodium" is one of the first 5 ingredients, don't buy it. (Same with sugar in any form and "enriched" flour.)

I'd make an appointment in 5 weeks when you return to the states. I agree that a doctor who hasn't seen it but isn't concerned is a problem. If you can get another opinion where you are, fine.

You can go through the rounds of tests and kidney function and all that, or you could do comprehensive supplementation where you are. What country are you in right now? Depending on where you are, you could start this now or at the very least be ready to start when you get to the US. Let me know if you want more help.



answers from Madison on

I, too, was diagnosed with high blood preesure (HBP) when I was young. Made it through life until I was 30 years old with no meds. Then I moved to Mdsn, WI, which has a very active medical program/university. I was put on meds. One med led to another med to another med to another... None of the meds actually helped regulate my HBP. They just made my body very, very sick.

When I turned 40 years old four years ago, I became horribly sick. My blood pressure shot sky high. My cardiologist couldn't figure out why--he just kept adjusting my meds. When I pushed for him to actually find out WHY I was so sick and what had caused it, instead of helping me, he kicked me out of the clinic! I suppose I wasn't a dutiful enough client who "just went along with taking meds and not asking questions."

I went to alternative healthcare and started seeing a naturopath. Found out I had severe heavy metal toxicity. I detoxed. Also discovered I had severe malabsorption and was severely nutrient depleted; I took (and am still taking) various minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids. Like LovingLife, I discovered that I have casein allergy, soy and gluten intolerance--and intolerance to 21 others foods. So I modified my diet to stay away from those foods. Ate my veges.

Still had issues.

I changed healthcare providers when we changed health insurance companies and actually found an allopathic doctor who at least is willing to help me stay healthy. I had discovered that I have a liver issue that doesn't allow my body to detox or metabolize correctly; Pharma drugs are OFF LIMITS to me. She asked me if I drink pop; I said I was off diet, but was still drinking regular. She told me to QUIT drinking pop. I did, and have officially been "pop free" since March of 2012.

Wow! What a DIFFERENCE it made! My overall blood pressure went way down. I'm also watching how much overall caffeine I'm taking in (in tea and chocolate). AND I discovered that hibiscus tea helps lower blood pressure. I found one with pineapple, apple, and stevia right in the bags. It is SO GOOD iced! And it tastes good hot as well.

I also use a variety of different herbs and homeopathic remedies to help in lowering and balancing my blood pressure.

The biggest difference, though, has been in changing my family's diet over to organic. We rarely eat any fast food or processed food, and the restaurants we do eat at, we've checked to make sure the foods we eat are compatible to what we can eat (i.e., allergen-free, organic or farmer's market produce, local ma & pa owned restaurants, etc.).

The best thing you can do for your daughter is, when you get back Stateside, take her to see a naturopathic doctor and have him run a full diagnostic work up on your daughter. He will be able to tell what your daughter is deficient in, what she's allergic/intolerant to, and any other areas her little body might be out of whack in. He will be able to help you get her body healthy--and her blood pressure should come back down to normal.

It's better to find out now what the issues/problem areas are so that she can be healthy. When you get to be 40 years old before you find the actual problems, well, it takes a long time to get the body healed and healthy again. It's been four years, and I'm still working on it.



answers from St. Cloud on

I work as an RN in the hospital on a Peds unit. When we get a high BP an alert fires in our computer system signaling the need for recheck (when the patient is calm) and then follow up from the doctor specifically relating to kidney US. I would recommend that you attempt to take her BP when NOT in the clinic setting (walmart/walgreens/ etc) to make sure it is not unduly high related to "whitecoat syndrome" then make a follow up appt with a dr besides...Good Luck!

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