Hypertension

h25b

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Just saw the doctor and he put me on hypertension medication...
Has anyone out there gone through this??? I guess I'm supposed to bring a bunch of paperwork in to my next FAA medical exam with a report from the doc. Items include EKG report, blood work, etc.. If anyone has done all of this before with some tips, please respond... I don't think this is a big deal, but I'm still concerned. After all, if I don't get issued my 1st class, I'm screwed....

Hope someone out there has some good advice, thanks in advance... I'm sure this is not unusual..
 

Timebuilder

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I had a student who had been on meds for hypertension, and after a lot of extra time and expense she had a SODA for her third class.

Why not visit a competent AME before you swallow that first pill?
If there is an alternative to the prescription, you'll be better off.
Good AME's take a second BP after you have adusted to being in the exam room (white coat syndrome) and sometimes your pressure my be substantially lower. AOPA has some answers for medical questions, and you will probably find info in their medical FAQ's.

Good luck.
 

Jetflyr

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I agree! Don't start the medicine until AFTER you've seen your AME. And don't wait until your next medical is due; make an appointment NOW!

If you do need medication, you'll be grounded for a short period of time until your AME can document that your BP has stabilized (i.e., the dosage is right). This is done after a series of visits to the AME.

Also, the FAA approves some methods (and medicines) to treat hypertension, but not all. Therefor, go with what the AME prescribes over your primary physician.

Hopefully, you won't even NEED medication.

However, there's still one more problem. If your primary physician precribed medication, then s/he made a diagnosis of hypertension to justify the presciption. Next time you fill out the FAA form, you've got to disclose the diagnosis... and this checked box will more than likely set off an alarm in Oklahoma City.

Sometimes M.D.'s hurt you more than they help you. If you didn't have HT to begin with, you will have it after you go through the necessary hoops to get it undone!

Find an AME you trust.

Best of luck!
 

likeitis

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Actually hypertension shouldn't be a big deal. Alpa aeromedical hasn't had a member lose his medical to hypertension in fifteen years. If you are an alpa member, this is the first place to go w/ any medical questions. This service by itself pays for the union dues. All you have to do is show that there are no side effects and have morning and afternoon readings done for about a week. If the readings are below 145/95 you are good to go. Though you will want to adjust the dosage to get below 130/85 to strave off long term problems that are associated with this condition. With the non-issue of FAA approval, I believe anyone with readings over 135-140/85-90 should look into having their doctor put them on the below drugs. The price is minimal but the long term savings in health problems is great.

There are too many meds to list out there that are approved. The best are cozaar, lotenson, and diovan. The lotenson is the only one I have heard that anyone has any type of side effect. It can cause some people to have an itch in the back of their throat, causing a cough. Otherwise these drugs are about as safe as any drug ever developed.
 

throttlejockey

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Hypertension is the most common issue among pilots according to my AME. As long as you can be treated using an FAA approved medication, IT IS NO BIG DEAL.

I went to get my new first class medical at the beginning of the month it was due. I did not pass the BP test so I had to do a full EKG work-up, a full B.P. work-up, and a blood test. I was then placed on meds (Zestril) which is approved.

After I was on meds for a few days, my AME had me return for another visit, checked my B.P. and signed me off for a 1st class. The whole process took about 10 days.

A month later I got a letter from OKlahoma City saying that I was all set. I did not even require a S.O.D.A. because hypertension is not considered a condition that requires you to demonstrate ability.

The most important thing is to get off cafeine (no more coffee or coke), quit smoking, stop loading up on SALT (everything we eat is loaded up with it anyway), loose all that weight you are carrying around for no reason, and start exercising a few days a week. It may be possible to get off the medicine later on.

I haven't had a cigarette since march of last year, I do not use salt anymore, don't drink coke or coffee. But I still am about 15% above the weight I need to be at and the only exercising I do right now is flying off the handle. Quiting smoking was a major deal for me, so I figure my battle is halfway there.

Good Luck!
 

h25b

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thanks for the replies

I really appreciate all of the replies to this post... I actually think my BP has increased since all of this... Anyway I am on Zestril, its been a week and I haven't had it checked since I started it. I haven't noticed any side effects at all. Hopefully when I go in Mon. for a follow up things will be better... My medical comes up in March so I really need to make sure everything's wrapped up by then.

I spoke to an aopa medical rep. they assured me as long as as I supply the required information with a satifactory response to the treatment, there shouldn't be any issue. I've gone through the possibility of the whitecoat hypertension theory, but I think that's wishful thinking and think it's time to treat the problem. To say the least, it's a little worrysome to be 26 yrs. old, not overweight, don't smoke, etc... to be dealing with this...

Thanks for all of the advice... Anyone else has any experience, please share...
 

OviedoBob

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All of the above posts are good.

If your not an ALPA member, consider joining AOPA. Dues are $39.00/yr and they have medical experts on staff as well as a huge amount of medical info on their web site (aopa.org).

Hypertension not big deal provided it can be controlled. Don't get all hyped up about it. Find a good senior AME (again on the AOPA web site) and work with him(her).
 

hawkerjet

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There is a herb package from an on line company called theherbfider, that deals with blood pressure, and funny enough it's called blood pressure herbs. Check out the web site www.herbfinder.com and check it out. you can get all the ingredients in the package on line and run it by your flight surgeon, but I know one pilot who swears by it. Good luck
 

hawkerjet

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Sorry I gave you a bad web address, but I think there is a forward slash after the com. (www.theherbfinder.com/) if not the 800 is 800-780-6934 the company is out of St. George, Utah.
 
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