Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hypertension and Baguio City

Just got back from Baguio City for the annual MC Weekend of Couples for Christ.  This trip made me aware  that I can never live in the mountains.  The moment my husband and I arrived at our hotel, I felt different already.  I didn't blame it on the high altitude at first but later realized that the mountain altitude had something to do with it.  From our arrival up to our departure for Manila, I had an elevated blood pressure.  The maintenance medications that I took for my hypertension were not effective in stabilizing my blood pressure. 

I have been hypertensive since I was twenty seven years old.  My hypertension was triggered by my first pregnancy.  My obstetrician-gynecologist hoped that my hypertension will disappear once I was not pregnant anymore but it was in vain.  The hypertension stayed up to this day. 

On reading about the relationship of hypertension with high altitude, I found out that as you travel higher, there is less oxygen in the air that you breathe.  With less oxygen getting inside the body, it responds by pumping more blood thereby increasing the heart rate.  In my vocabulary, the increase in heart rate is palpitation.  Palpitation is my tell tale sign that I have high blood pressure.  True enough, when my doctor-friend from Couples for Christ checked my blood pressure, the sphygmometer read 170/90.

To cope with the elevated blood pressure, I rested, refrained from walking up and down and took my medicines.  The slow pace stabilized my blood pressure for a while but it was not my normal blood pressure.  Once in Manila, it started to stabilize only after a day from arrival.  

For future vacations, I should keep in mind to stay away from high altitude places if I want to enjoy.  I will surely miss the bright colors of the Baguio blooms that dot the mountainside and the cool weather. 

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