Endometriosis/endo and low blood pressure
K. wrote at 2011-01-27 15:59:09
I have a very similar health/symptom profile as you and am also looking for some answers. You posted more than 2 years ago, so I am not sure if you will read this message, but I am curious as to whether you have found a solution. I was diagnosed with endo at the age of 17 (also after a laparoscopy that I pushed for after doing some of my own research - they also left behind some endo on my bowels and ureter). I also am petite in size (5'3" and 110lbs), like you. Now, at the age of 30, I am getting frequent debilitating migraines - linked to my painful menstrual cycle, and my blood pressure seems to fluctuate between 80-105 over 45-60. I get chest pains, muscle twitches, rapid heart beat and also wake-up in the middle of the night with 'episodes' similar to what you have described (for me: stomach cramps, vertigo, nausea, and a feeling like my chest is caving in and my vision is narrowing, which once lead to a loss of consciousness - this seems to be what is referred to as a vasovagal episode). I am now tired and dizzy all the time and the doctors can't seem to figure out why.
I believe that my blood pressure is a clue to something, but the doctors make very little out of this and shrug it off, simply suggesting that I eat more salt (however my blood test show that my sodium levels are well within the normal range) and I haven't noticed any difference as a result of increasing my salt & water intake. The dizziness and headaches have become so sever that I have had to take medical leave from my graduate school.
In my own research I have come to better understand the relationship between estrogen, progesterone, prostoglandins and pain (particularly migraines), however it's a very complex picture. Kimberly, your single ovary may be still be producing a hormone cycle, which may be contributing to your migraines, as well as the development and shedding of remaining endometrial patches. I still am not clear about the relationship between female sex hormones and blood pressure - I haven't found any academic articles yet that look directly at this. There is, however, some evidence of a relationship between female sex hormones and a couple neurotransmitters - serotonin (5HT) and norepinephrine (NE). Activation of NE in the central nervous system (brain and brain stem) is involved in the body's sympathetic response ('fight or flight'), contributing to vasoconstriction (decreasing the diameter of blood vessels & increasing blood pressure). On the other hand, inhibition of NE in the central nervous system contributes to the parasympathetic response ('rest and digest'), contributing to vasodilation (increasing the diameter of blood vessels and reducing blood pressure). NE also appears to be related to vasovagal episodes (which we both seem to have sometimes in the middle of the night). I have linked mine to drop in progesterone levels and increase in prostoglandins - as I typically get these episodes on the first day of menstruation. This also links up with a theory regarding the cause of migraines - the vascular theory.
The vascular theory of migraines suggests that excessive vascular dilation (opening of the blood vessels in the brain via NE inhibition) produces migraines and some of the neurological symptoms associated with them. What is not clear is how this all connects with endometriosis and the other similarities that you and I share, such as our petite stature (which is also correlated with lower BP). Interactions between female sex hormones in the brain and neurotransmitters is a complex story, but I feel like the answer is somewhere in there. I am just wondering if you, Kimberly, have found anymore answers or connections in the past 2 years. Or has anyone else?
Does this combination of symptoms sound like something anyone else is experiencing? I would love to hear from other individuals that may share in symptoms and/or perhaps ways in which they are dealing with them.
yes my name also starts with K, but my name is not Kimberly :)
Jb wrote at 2011-05-28 11:45:35
I think you must be on to something. I just started wondering this morning if my low blood pressure could be CAUSING the endometriosis. I thought maybe it could have something to do with how well the blood circulates. I thought "low BP probably means the blood isn't circulating too well, and that certainly seems like that could have something to do with the endometriosis.
I was diagnosed about 8 years ago(when I was about 34), but I'm pretty sure that I had endometriosis since I was about 15. I'm also of short stature (5'0"). Just a couple of years ago, I started having migraines. I kept trying to tell the doctors that I thought it was related to my period, because I would get them the day before my period started and they would miraculously disappear the minute I started bleeding. I also had terrible neck pain, which eventually led to a diagnosis of arthritis/degenerative disc in the neck. However, even though the pain from my neck might cause the migraines, the neck pain itself also seems much worse around the time of my period. Try getting a doctor to listen to that.
One of the sites I was looking at briefly said that 40% of women with endometriosis also have low blood pressure. But every thing I've looked at indicates that the endometriosis might be causing the low blood pressure. I'm just curious if it might not be the other way around!
AM wrote at 2012-04-24 22:13:26
I have endo and recently started to have vertigo wich has lasted over a month off and on and then now I am getting migraines, lightheadedness and chest pain along with fatigue and a trip to the ER x 2. I was asked by ER doctors "Do you have any problems with your hormones?" I said no. Now days later I realized I have endo and did not say so there. Nor have I mentioned this to the cardiologist or even my primary care doctor. During my ER visits my heart rate was dropping from 65 to 47 and my BP was jumping up and down. My symptoms continue and I am in agreement that there is definitely a relationship between these symptoms and the endo.My blood tests showed lymph levels higher than normal which is also indicative of endometriosis and it could be endocrinitis even. I won't know until all of the tests are completed and I am able to discuss these symptoms and the relationship to endo with my doctors.
AM wrote at 2012-04-24 22:27:35
I have had similar symptoms. I have endo diagnosed a few years ago and did lupron treatment. I woke up last month with veritgo the room was spinning and was diagnosed by primary doc with BPV benign proximal vertigo and told symptoms would disappear in 2-3 weeks. Now over a monht later I still have vertigo however I have migraines, lightheaded and chest pain that comes and goes. I went to ER thinking I had a heartattack and saw on the monitor my heart rate was 65 and would drop to 47 and this happened 3 times in 30 minutes. I also wore the holter monitor after this and nothing showed up during the 24 hour period I had it on but hte symptoms are still present. I also had high lymph on my blood tests. Right now I am in the process of trying to get my gyno, primary care doc and cardiologist to work together to help diagnose me and help me figure out a game plan so that I can get back to life. *I was asked by ER Doctors "Do you have any hormone problems?" I didn't mention endo at the time not making a connection with endo and this question. So perhaps we are on to something with fluxuations in HR, BP and endo. I definitely am going to find out and post when I know more.
OH wrote at 2013-03-14 08:38:56
I have endometriosis and had very low blood pressure. My natropathic Dr. did a bunch of blood tests on me and found I had a cortisol deficiency. I started taking a suppliment and no longer have the dizzy feelings when I get up and I have more waking hours in general. Some of my allergies have just gone away. According to my allergist the cortisol acts as an anti inflamitory which I was desperatly in need of since my body wasn't producing enough. Hope this helps.
KK wrote at 2015-07-29 09:11:46
Thanks to your response K, I was able to realize what I thought were blood sugar drop episodes as vasovagal syncope episodes. Same here, I'm petite and thin with bouts of vasovagal episodes even when I'm not on my period but the worst ones are almost ALWAYS the first day of my period. Just that knowledge alone will help me get through episodes faster and with less anxiety. I'll know that I don't have to run for sugar or food but rather lay down with feet up to get blood to my head again. I'm sure I've been making it worse in a lot of ways by straining to stay conscious and sit and eat/drink. Although I think drinking helps. It always seems to clear up faster when I drink something. Especially the episodes that last a long time.
You're definitely on to something. Endometriosis + vasovagal syncope episodes are definitely connected in my life. I used to get horrible migraines but don't anymore. I'm not sure why though.
I do know that I stopped getting them and lost a lot of other symptoms when I started taking regular magnesium baths with magnesium flakes, not just the Epsom salts you get at the store. It's a little different. Anyway, it helped alleviate a lot of my fatigue too. I do know also that my homeopathic doctor at the time told me that 99% of people have magnesium deficiency and it becomes a huge problem when you are sick or have an injury. So soaking for 30mins in a magnesium bath once or twice a day can only help.
I put about two cups of mag flakes in a full bath and try to soak for an hour. Dr said to do it in the hottest water you can stand and stay in as long as you can but at least for 30mins. He said I'd feel better after a few days but I felt better after the first one and all the ones after just snowballed.
I don't think it's a cure-all but it even makes my daughter feel better when she is sick. It's worth a try. All I can tell you is my experience.
Now that my own endometriosis is so bad, I think seeing a homeopathic doctor again might be a really good thing to get balanced medical help. I've personally gained the most healing and relief from long term homeopathic remedy rather than short term drugs.
I wish you all good luck!!
K, but also not a Kimberly :)
K wrote at 2016-06-15 03:01:52
I was diagnosed with endometriosis in '08 and have had 3 laproscopic surgeries to rectify the issue, of which helped, but not solved the issue. I am writing because just today I was wondering if my low blood pressure had any correlation to my severe endometriosis and andenomyosis. I had my blood pressure taken today, and the nurse was concerned asking "is your blood pressure always this low?" and like others commenting here my OBGYN or PCP have said anything about me having "low" blood pressure, they're response is always, great blood pressure. When I asked this nurse what mine was today she said 64 over 108. That's pretty much my blood pressure every time I go to the doctors, sometimes lower in fact! No one has said boo to me about this being "low". For some reason it just popped into my head and I in searching I found this! I will say I don't have migraines and never did even when I had my period (on a continuous dose of norethindrone which suppresses my periods entirely), but I am 5'4" and before I was subjected to Lupron I weighed 115-120 consistently. When I did have my periods I would have fits of dizziness that I attributed to the pain I was experiencing. I have always had pretty debilitating chest pain episodes. More recently I have had episodes of waking up in the middle of the night with these very different chest pain sensations. They are near impossible to describe but the sensation carries up into my esophagus. Its awful and the pain is incredible, I think its what wakes me up actually. I also experience my heart changing rhythm although I don't have medical proof cause it hasn't caused me to go to the hospital and be monitored, but it can be very slow to very fast. I am also experiencing fatigue, but have always attributed it to a symptom of endometriosis and not my blood pressure until now. This is all very intruiging and I am blown away that this weird brain moment I had today might actually be a real thing. I will continue to look and ask for answers from doctors and otherwise, thanks for all the stories! Also K but not a Kimberly :)