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Blood pressure question

Old 08-20-18, 08:19 AM
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Blood pressure question

I began riding last year right after my annual physical. At that (sedentary) time I weighed 263, resting heart rate was 62 and my BP was 134/90.

I biked 3,500 miles over the next 12 months. At this year's annual physical my weight was down to 245, resting heart rate was down to 49... and my BP was UP to 150/90.

Doc freaked out, wanted to do an EKG right then and start meds, etc. We had a talk and she agreed to give me 2 months to reduce sodium intake, increase drinking water and lose more weight.

This past Friday I stopped at a fire station to get my BP checked, after 7 weeks of doing what she asked. I'm now down another 4 lbs to 241. The EMT checked my BP and it was 160/100! Seems the more weight I lose the more my BP goes UP!

I'm confused, I confess. My weight is down. My RHR is down. My waistline is down. My cholesterol is down. But my BP is up...

Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I'd prefer to do something naturally instead of taking meds! (My doc tends to prescribe meds as a first course of action, something I'm not in favor of in general).

Thanks in advance,

Gary
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Old 08-20-18, 04:40 PM
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Read "How Not to Die" by Dr Michael Greger and "The China Study" by T Colin Campbell, it could change your life. Good Luck.

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Old 08-20-18, 10:14 PM
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The body doesn't always respond as expected to diet, exercise and lifestyle. Other complications can determine heart rate, BP and other issues, despite diet and exercise.

I'm 60 in reasonably good health despite some challenges (wonky thyroid, being checked this week for cancer). My blood work lab tests are fine. No problems with cholesterol. I eat whatever I like, but always within moderation. I exercise as vigorously and often as I can, mostly cycling (less often the past few months since I was hit by a car and the thyroid problems worsened). I take no prescription meds routinely. Occasionally I take metoprolol, a beta blocker, to relieve migraines/cluster headaches. It's an old trick dating back decades and helps some folks who suffer migraines and/or cluster headaches. The beta blockers make me a bit tired and dizzy for a day or so but it's a fair tradeoff for the pain relief. It does lower my BP and HR a bit.

My resting heart rate is seldom below 70, even when I was younger and fitter. Usually it's closer to 80. My BP is pretty normal but varies significantly. I often check my BP and HR during indoor training sessions, particularly high intensity intervals, and sprint/hill climb simulations. During maximum effort my HR peaks around 160-170, BP up to 160/90. That's not unusual for many folks. After awhile my BP settles to around 130/80 during the workout. Immediately after a workout it's not unusual for my BP to drop to 80/50 for about 15 minutes. Because HIIT can cause dizziness and even a bit of nausea I limit my sessions to once a week and only indoors now. I use that level of exertion only to improve my overall fitness so I can handle real hills and headwinds with more comfort. I don't race. I just want to be able to keep up with friends in group rides without being the anchor slowing everyone else down, or younger friends asking me if I'm okay.

It's possible my erratic BP and HR are influenced by my wonky thyroid. I'll find out more after a biopsy and other tests this week. I suspect it's due in part to an autoimmune disorder I was diagnosed with 15 or so years ago, but never really followed up on (Hashimoto's).

But, frankly, my BP and HR have never been typical for athletes. Even in my teens and 20s my HR and BP tended to run higher than average in competition. When I was an amateur boxer a ringside medic nearly freaked out when my BP was 140/90 before a fight. I told him "Have you looked at my opponent? I'm 5'11" and 154 lbs. He's well over 6 feet tall and at least a super middleweight, possibly a light heavyweight. Of course I'm anxious!" The doc let me go ahead with the bout. I outpointed the guy, but it was my toughest match.

Just before his first title bout against Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) had a BP of something like 200/100. The doctor threatened to cancel the fight, but Ali and his handlers said he was fine, he just pretended to get excited and acted crazy to intimidate Liston. Years later, Ali admitted he was terrified of Liston and until he actually got in the ring wasn't sure he could beat Liston. The peak Sonny Liston was actually very good, a smaller version of a style similar to George Foreman. Just a bad stylistic matchup against Ali. Not that Liston and Foreman were overrated -- they were both fearsome fighters. But they played right into Ali's strengths, while Joe Frazier and Ken Norton exploited Ali's weaknesses and flaws.

Nowadays even when my systolic pressure is over 130, my diastolic usually is around 70 or lower. The current conventional wisdom says that's not too bad, since the resting or diastolic pressure is considered to be more significant in terms of overall heart health.

I may eventually take BP meds full time. I can cope with the minor loss of energy issues. But I doubt I'll take cholesterol meds until the old medical studies have been repeated to correct some admitted errors.

There's no consensus or definitive connection between diet and cholesterol and whether serum cholesterol has anything to do with plaque inside blood vessels. Most of the current practice is based on educated guesswork at doing the least harm -- the notion that it's safer to take the anti-cholesterol medication, even if it doesn't actually help prevent atherosclerosis.

One of my uncles did everything right -- diet, medications, etc -- and still had serious atherosclerosis, multiple procedures to unclog arteries, multiple strokes from TIAs to full blown strokes. Nothing seemed to make any difference. He ended up with Parkinson's and dementia in his 80s.

My mom wasn't as careful about her diet until I took over managing her health care over the past decade. Her cholesterol issue wasn't quite as serious and she took her meds. She still had multiple transient ischemic accidents (mini-strokes), gradually worsening dementia for which none of her neurologists could pinpoint any cause, and ended up in a nursing home a few months ago with severe osteoporosis despite careful management of her diet and medications.
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Old 08-21-18, 07:00 AM
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Increased water intake may increase blood pressure. In my case, cutting out sugar and white flour completely (not salt) from my diet in addition to eating healthy brought down my blood pressure to normal levels quickly. High blood pressure was something that i was struggling with for years and i wish i had known this years ago. Unfortunately i had a heart failure a couple of months ago and had 5 stents put in because of blocked arteries. I'm currently recovering and trying to get back to cycling soon. My blood presure is now in low 100's over 58-70, i do take a few medications now but BP medication is not one of them.

2 weeks before being diagnosed for heart failure (and having diabetes as well), i somehow decided on my own to cut out sugar and white flour from my diet completely and my wife and i were both surprised when my blood pressure dropped to normal levels in no time.

Also low potassium and magnesium levels may cause high blood pressure or even irregulat heart beat. Do not take high doses of potassium without consulting your doctor as it may cause problems if your kidneys aren't functioning well.
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Old 08-21-18, 09:12 AM
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with your history, I'd suspect white coat syndrome. You're worried about your blood pressure, and that anxiety is going to raise your BP. Make sure you sit down and relax for five minutes before you get your BP measured.
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Old 08-21-18, 09:03 PM
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I didn't want to take meds either but needed a TKA and it wasn't going to happen without a medical clearance. Being on'm now is the new normal and what I've been taking over the last 5 years is what I'll probably be taking for many more years... as you get older, a little higher than 'normal' is perhaps to be expected... 134/90 doesn't seem all that bad but if it's not really a problem, 160/100 is definitely on the high side of okay. You may not have the issues that some obviously do, e.g., -- an ultrasound can show a bigger heart with thickened ventricular walls and valve blow back due to high blood pressure such that not eating a Big Mac the day before you go in for your next check-up may not be all that is needed to defuse a ticking time bomb. 49 is a pretty low heart rate... mine is pretty low too but it does sort of raise the eyebrows of doctors based on what they usually see...

HR is easy to take yourself -- especially when sitting at a computer -- which, I just did and interestingly, it also is 49. So, I don't see that necessarily being a problem. The BP medications many take open up the pipes which reduces BP, which I don't think has any direct correlation with HR. Commonly-taken drugs may be the one I take, an ARB (angiotension receptor blocker) or an ACE(angiotension-converting enzyme inhibitor).

All said tho, you can't get concerned over a single reading. You can't know if, for example, the cuff at the firehouse was even accurate. Additionally, there are other things that can cause BP problems that probably need to be eliminated as a cause--e.g., sleep apnea.

Last edited by McBTC; 08-21-18 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 08-21-18, 10:00 PM
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Do you ever take your own bp reading while relaxed at home? As someone mentioned might be white smock syndrome.
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Old 08-21-18, 10:24 PM
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I take a BP med and it’s seems to work sometimes. A few years ago I was bitten by a dog while cycling and I had to go to ER by law and the nurse said 170/120 that’s high well I was recently bitten by a dog after relaxing for about 20 minutes my BP was great. I believe in the white coat syndrome because every time I’m at the doc it reads high and at home all relaxed the BP is good. And I suffer from anxiety so that is a factor.
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Old 08-22-18, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
with your history, I'd suspect white coat syndrome. You're worried about your blood pressure, and that anxiety is going to raise your BP. Make sure you sit down and relax for five minutes before you get your BP measured.
Lots of folks do, including myself. It's typically 130+ when I arrive at the docs office, and 120- when I leave.

My doc advised me to get a blood pressure cuff and measure it for myself when I was sitting around doing nothing. It's pretty much always 115-120, so I stopped worrying about it. Before you get to crazy about it, buy a cuff and test yourself regularly.
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Old 09-19-18, 03:41 AM
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Just got back from my semi-annual physical and my BP was 110/70. The lowest I recall in life. Don't now what cause it; wasn't trying to get it any lower. Previous, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 120s/78 ~. Good enough for me.
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Old 09-19-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Just got back from my semi-annual physical and my BP was 110/70. The lowest I recall in life. Don't now what cause it; wasn't trying to get it any lower. Previous, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 120s/78 ~. Good enough for me.
The doc added 2.5 mg of Amlodipine to my other BP med to get my pressure normal. Frustrating because high BP for me is hereditary for me since Iím fit and active. 110/70 is pretty low.
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Old 09-19-18, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post


The doc added 2.5 mg of Amlodipine to my other BP med to get my pressure normal. Frustrating because high BP for me is hereditary for me since Iím fit and active. 110/70 is pretty low.
Black seed oil did it for me -- no pharmaceuticals necessary. These supplement remedies make a lot of claims sometimes but this one is unequivocal. At least for me. Before I had a higher than average BP, but never really in the unhealthy/concern range. I figured getting it lower wouldn't hurt. But not this last time.
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Old 09-19-18, 11:16 AM
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You might consider collecting a decent amount of data to discuss with a cardiologist (is this doc you're mentioning a cardiologist or a GP?).
I have pretty crazy blood pressure, aka "highly labile blood pressure," per my cardiologist. I can run up a 160/110, I can run down to 75/40.
Now, at first this presented at my GP's office and she pretty much freaked.
She put me on a beta-blocker and I started fainting on the train when I stood up. Oh, that stuff will definitely lower your BP, alright...
That led to first a meeting with a nephrologist (never even heard the word), who said "ultrasound says all fine."
That led to next meeting with a cardiologist, who gave me an ultrasound ecg stress test. I enjoyed running on his ramped-up treadmill at its highest angle, but this only got my HR to 145 (was riding about 90mi / week at the time).
The ultrasound produced great pics and suggested no issues. Cardiologist said, "Get more salt. I know the media tells you not to, but their advice is not for you. We call your condition 'highly labile blood pressure.'"
The only way the docs can get a good picture is for me to collect data over several days to "paint a complete picture." I usually do this for a few days before an annual check-up. 1. You need a good "at home" BP monitor, about $60. 2. I found this iPhone app *really* useful for collecting, displaying and emailing reports: iBP Blood Pressure by Leading Edge Apps LLC.
When you start seeing your BP readings eight-ten times a day over five days, then you will have the real picture for both you and the docs. Don't fool around, don't procrastinate on a subject like this.
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Old 09-20-18, 01:40 AM
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Anesthesiologist suggested I see a cardiologist for my crazy BP crazy high then normal I came out of foot surgery with unstable BP they gave me a BP reducer I almost passed out until they lowered my head below my feet no big deal I told them I’m anxious due to anxiety disorder now I don’t act like a chihuahua when I’m anxious but your body gets hijacked so to speak even If you don’t appear panicky the readings such as BP will read high. They said the BP reducer is working too well! I’m like No ***** kidding its anxiety not clogged arteries!
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Old 09-20-18, 01:55 AM
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In 2015 I awoke from hernia surgery and the lady next to me was awakening and she sounded like a 5 year old kid and I thought she is not all there yet and she has reverted to a time when she was very young. The lady probably has no recollection and when she was all there she was ok. The nurse laughed at me because when they induced me to wake up I was still fishing fixing to land a bull redfish while surf fishing. She said sorry you are not fishing you are in post op Total Buzz Kill. One time in pre op this collegiate athlete was getting a simple knee scope or something like that and he was terrified but to his credit he set his ego aside and said he was scared he came out of the butcher shop ok.
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Old 09-20-18, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
You might consider collecting a decent amount of data to discuss with a cardiologist (is this doc you're mentioning a cardiologist or a GP?).
I have pretty crazy blood pressure, aka "highly labile blood pressure," per my cardiologist. I can run up a 160/110, I can run down to 75/40.
Now, at first this presented at my GP's office and she pretty much freaked.
She put me on a beta-blocker and I started fainting on the train when I stood up. Oh, that stuff will definitely lower your BP, alright...
That led to first a meeting with a nephrologist (never even heard the word), who said "ultrasound says all fine."
That led to next meeting with a cardiologist, who gave me an ultrasound ecg stress test. I enjoyed running on his ramped-up treadmill at its highest angle, but this only got my HR to 145 (was riding about 90mi / week at the time).
The ultrasound produced great pics and suggested no issues. Cardiologist said, "Get more salt. I know the media tells you not to, but their advice is not for you. We call your condition 'highly labile blood pressure.'"
The only way the docs can get a good picture is for me to collect data over several days to "paint a complete picture." I usually do this for a few days before an annual check-up. 1. You need a good "at home" BP monitor, about $60. 2. I found this iPhone app *really* useful for collecting, displaying and emailing reports: iBP Blood Pressure by Leading Edge Apps LLC.
When you start seeing your BP readings eight-ten times a day over five days, then you will have the real picture for both you and the docs. Don't fool around, don't procrastinate on a subject like this.
That's a strange one that almost demands further investigation. Seeing that its virtually impossible for anyone living in the West to be low on sodium -- unless you're under a very strict diet?
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Old 09-20-18, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
That's a strange one that almost demands further investigation. Seeing that its virtually impossible for anyone living in the West to be low on sodium -- unless you're under a very strict diet?

No kidding. I try to reduce salt and very hard to near impossible. Darn BP was 132/97 this morning I canít get this BP normal Iím back at the general doctor next Wed Iím going to see WTF is going on.
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Old 09-20-18, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post



No kidding. I try to reduce salt and very hard to near impossible. Darn BP was 132/97 this morning I can’t get this BP normal I’m back at the general doctor next Wed I’m going to see WTF is going on.
Diet and exercise (esp. diet) can do an awful lot to lower BP. I would hope that you've utilized and completely exhausted both of these before you resort to pharmaceutical. I lowered mine naturally and all on my own -- mostly from diet.

So if you try that route, and your BP is still in the danger zone, the pharmaceuticals will always be there as a last resort. Also, don't forget to try the Black seed oil. The stuff worked wonders for me.
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Old 09-20-18, 09:09 PM
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test your own BP at home.
This Omron works great. It's extremely simple to use. Omron 7 remembers the last 100 readings. Perhaps the cheaper Omron 3 works just as well, but I've never tried it.

My BP readings can be affected by a tight belt, not relaxing while taking the readings, and time of day.
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Old 09-21-18, 07:46 AM
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I will try the black seed oil see what happens. I can get my BP into the upper 80s but then it spikes. My diet needs an overhaul I have horrible diet discipline.
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Old 09-23-18, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I will try the black seed oil see what happens. I can get my BP into the upper 80s but then it spikes. My diet needs an overhaul I have horrible diet discipline.
High sugar consumption will bump up blood pressure at least it was the case for me. Try a diet without sugar and white flour for 2-3 days and see what happens. Low potassium levels will also cause high blood pressure.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:44 AM
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I’m thinking about lower my carb intake and see what happens. My diet while not completely terrible could be improved. Luckily I love my veggies but I love my salt too much and diet discipline is something I’m going to have to get a grip on. The training, working out part is easy almost religious.
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Old 09-24-18, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I will try the black seed oil see what happens. I can get my BP into the upper 80s but then it spikes. My diet needs an overhaul I have horrible diet discipline.
Do you by any chance take a dose of aspirin on a regular basis? if so...

Black seed oil may slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking medication that affects blood clotting, you shouldn't take black seed oil.


You might try swearing off fried foods for the rest of the year-- not too hard to do and you won't be missing any vital nutrients by abstaining from the fats that are used to fry otherwise good foods like... potatoes.
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Old 09-25-18, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Do you by any chance take a dose of aspirin on a regular basis? if so...



You might try swearing off fried foods for the rest of the year-- not too hard to do and you won't be missing any vital nutrients by abstaining from the fats that are used to fry otherwise good foods like... potatoes.
I did not know this. I don't have this issue, but shall add it as a caveat with any future BO recommendations.
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Old 10-03-18, 02:22 PM
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I am pretty sure my BP responds really well to losing weight. But it has to get below a certain weight, just losing 10 pounds isn't enough. I think I have to get down in the 170lb range.
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