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High BP confusion

Old 05-03-19, 02:55 PM
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High BP confusion

I ride thousands of miles a year and I still have hypertension! Iím not fat but could lose some weight so I guess I will start there. Salt intake too high? Too much beer? Over caffeinated? Or just doomed? My genetic tree has high BP the doc says there nothing you can really do. So Iím off to Walmart pharamacy with an increase in dosages. Makes no senses I have excellent conditioning due to my bicycle addiction. Any suggestions? Iím only 51 and donít want to croak early Iíve got too many miles to go.
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Old 05-03-19, 03:10 PM
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If you have family history, itís important that you get checked out regularly and take your medications. I would also look at your diet and make the necessary adjustments.
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Old 05-03-19, 03:55 PM
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What is your actual BP? And, the doctors keep changing the rules.

Family history of hypertension, or family history of heart attack, stroke, or anneurism?

It sounds like you are in pretty good shape, but you do need to look at other factors. Salt, Caffeine, etc. Better shape? Cholesterol?

I haven't been a big fan of tightly regulating salt, although I personally rarely salt anything beyond the way it was cooked (which usually has salt).
If your kidneys are working, then they should regulate the salt.

I'll admit that I am currently getting 5 to 8 thousand miles a year, and at 50+, am in some of the best aerobic fitness that I've ever been in.

But, much of my riding is pretty slow. I keep telling myself to work a bit more on the top end of my speed, not just miles, but actually pushing myself. But, I rarely push unless I'm late for an appointment. More HILLS?
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Old 05-03-19, 04:43 PM
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Check your nonprescription meds and supplements for stuff that can elevate BP.

For example, Sudafed and other decongestants can raise heart rate and blood pressure. So can some early versions of antihistamines. More recent antihistamines like Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin are safer.

Many supplements and energy drinks contain stimulants. It gives the illusion that the main ingredient is working quickly. Besides caffeine some supplements contain yohimbe, guarana, ephedra and other stimulants that can elevate BP and HR.
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Old 05-03-19, 07:05 PM
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It hovers around 140/90 it might be because I’m at the doctor’s office. I drink energy drinks so that could be the culprit and I like coffee and salt. I’m going to monitor my BP and if it doesn’t improve the doc said to come back. Plus that diet Dr. Pepper I’m going to take it seriously for a change and look at BP lowering diets.
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Old 05-03-19, 07:08 PM
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My grandfather died at 59 from an aneurism he had untreated BP they suspect that was back in 1974. So I’m very concerned.
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Old 05-03-19, 07:38 PM
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The original post could be written by me. All my numbers are astoundingly good, doctors say I'm as fit as someone half my age... except BP. It started climbing when I was in my early 50's. Without medication, my numbers are maybe 160/90. I commute by bike year-round, ride 5,000+ miles/year, hike, backpack, don't own a car and walk everywhere. My current doctor is pretty anti-med, and has worked with me on diet, sleep quality, and stress to get me off them. I've tried yoga, meditation, cutting beer, dropping weight, even going vegetarian for 30 days. Nothing has worked so far.

If I go out and to a hard 40k, BP is down for a day.

My mom had hypertension all her life. I'm not done trying things, but maybe it just is what it is.
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Old 05-03-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
It hovers around 140/90 it might be because Iím at the doctorís office. I drink energy drinks so that could be the culprit and I like coffee and salt. Iím going to monitor my BP and if it doesnít improve the doc said to come back. Plus that diet Dr. Pepper Iím going to take it seriously for a change and look at BP lowering diets.
Good idea to check your own BP. Can't go by just what readings you get at the MD office.
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Old 05-03-19, 08:07 PM
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I feel your frustration. As I resumed cycling almost six years ago, weight came down and all my numbers improved - except BP. It has hardly budged and I am still on meds to control it.
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Old 05-03-19, 09:02 PM
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Same here my blood work is excellent my circulation is excellent and I heal very fast. But my darn BP is high. I’m going to try various things to try to bring it down.
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Old 05-03-19, 10:57 PM
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I second the checking your BP at home. Mine is fine at home, not so good in the Dr. office. It is called “white smock syndrome”.
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Old 05-04-19, 11:08 AM
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Beetroot juice will lower BP some, not like prescription meds though. For a lot less money, sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate works just as well, and is what's used in many clinical trials. A clinical dose of sodium nitrate = 2g, potassium nitrate = 2.4g., beetroot juice = 250mL

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1...AHA.110.153536
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288952/

I have a cycling buddy with genetic hypertension. He's had good results from losing 30 lbs. and finding a doctor who understands athletes. Most docs just want to put you on a beta-blocker or ACE inhibitor which puts s limiter on HR and prevents hill climbing, etc., and also causes problems with potassium levels, hyperkalemia, which requires even more meds. Getting all these meds to balance in an athlete is a full-time job for a pharmacist.:
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/...m-importance#1
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Old 05-04-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
It hovers around 140/90
Hmmmff

They've moved the goalposts on you.

20 years ago, that would have been upper-normal.

Now you are at the lower-elevated... perhaps even mid-elevated.


https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/measure.htm
Putting "pre-hypertension" between 120/80 and 139/89. Hypertension at 140/90 or greater.

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-h...w-your-numbers
This one defines 130/80 to 139/89 as "stage one hypertension, but treatment varies in that range, and is only aggressively treated at over 140/90.

Anyway, you're still at the upper borderline range.

I'm in the low 50's now.

I've had a BP that hovered around 140/90 for many years. And, my HR was rarely under 70 BPM.

Now, I've cut out nearly all coffee (rarely decaffeinated, and occasional half and half when driving which is rare). Almost no sodas of any type etc. Still like the theobromine though.

I've increased cycling mileage from say 1000 to 2000 miles a year to 5000 to 8000 miles a year.

I can't say there haven't been changes with how I've been taking measurements, but my BP has dropped by about 10 to 20mm Hg (systolic & diastolic), and my HR varies a lot, but bottoms out in the mid 50's.

Oh, I've also had an "Essential Tremor" for most of my life.

It is now essentially gone in my left hand. I still have it in my right hand, but can almost control it (tremor when I want, none when I don't, good for video games which are rare).

Personally, I'd rather manage with diet and exercise than taking pills forever.

Last edited by CliffordK; 05-04-19 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 05-04-19, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I ride thousands of miles a year and I still have hypertension! I’m not fat but could lose some weight so I guess I will start there. Salt intake too high? Too much beer? Over caffeinated? Or just doomed? My genetic tree has high BP the doc says there nothing you can really do. So I’m off to Walmart pharamacy with an increase in dosages. Makes no senses I have excellent conditioning due to my bicycle addiction. Any suggestions? I’m only 51 and don’t want to croak early I’ve got too many miles to go.
Hmm, "not fat" could mean a lot of things to different people. Still, if your doctor told you there's nothing you can do then you need to get another doctor.

Sure, there's nothing you can do to change your genetics, but there's a lot you can do when it comes to improving BP through diet and exercise. These are your two greatest variable with diet taking center stage:

Lower salt? Yep, that's a good first step -- for all of us. Next, there's the blood pressure lowering foods such as a lots of fruits and vegetables. Berries, yogurt, and oats are some of my daily favorites. Which reminds me, I just ran out of blueberries and bananas.

After that, alcohol. Yep, delete it. At least the beer kind. Caffeine? That needs to go as well. Or at least do what I do and lower it. I love coffee and used to drink 3 cups/day. I lowered that to 2-3 cups/wk.

It appears you've already done your research for most of this and are just looking for either validation or some moral support? In any event, there is no magic pill.

Nevertheless, the closes thing there is too it after the aforementioned, is Blackseed oil . Provided you don't have some allergy, it is the single most effective supplement for lowering BP on the market.

But don't expect it to work miracles or it to work without first applying the above techniques. I didn't mention exercise since I'm pretty sure you already have that covered. "Live long and prosper."
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Old 05-04-19, 02:53 PM
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I’ll never be Tour De France skinny but I think I could lose 20 without looking like I got out of a prison camp. I’ve read over everybody’s suggestions and will incorporate them into a healthier regimen. Just got back from a 40 mile ride so I’m off to a good start.
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Old 05-04-19, 03:30 PM
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I am 57 almost 58 and have had HBP since I was 14 years old. Back then and even now it is unheard of basically for kids to get HPB. But I did and had all sorts of test, they were sure it was probably a kidney problem or something since it was unheard of. They found it on a routine sports physical for school to play 8th grade baseball. I was a regular active kid in shape not overweight. Well they had me stop everything no sports, to PE, no baseball and guess what? My blood pressure went even higher.

Finally a doctor who was a runner decided I was probably ok let me do sports and then I took medication and have since I was a teenager. So fast forward now and I have been a runner all my life 41 years. Not overweight and my resting pulse is 41 most mornings. I generally can keep it under control with calcium channel blocker I take Lorstartan. I was taking 50 mg per do but I lost my wife of 32 years 6 weeks ago and it went up and I am on 100mg now.

I have server "white coat" syndrome and they start taking my BP and it skyrockets. I go home and relax and it come back ok. They never did a stress test on me because they said the 5-10 miles I would run in a day was my daily stress test. Well finally 2 years ago I had a stress test due to an EKG that showed a slight change. Turns out in the Cardiologist office he did not see the same result and said I had basically a heart that acted like an endurance athlete.

He still wanted a stress test and that was the most nerve racking thing I went through. I was scared to death. I did a thread about it when it happen. But before the test my BP was 180/90 sitting in the chair. I was shaking all over. Finally they allow me to proceed the dr said go to 250/110. Well they need to get my heart rate up to 148. I got it to 148 and had been on the treadmill for I am not sure how long, but the nursing said "you not struggling at all." No I told her this is nothing and maybe I had been on 12-15 minutes. I know it seem like I was crawling compare to my real runs but they got my BP to 250/90 and said stop,

In the end I must have passed because they told me to do what I had been doing. Well of course my BP still can run high and I do need to take meds but a lifetime of exercise means nothing really if you ask me. Glad to be alive and doing things, my bride had excellent BP and all but breast cancer for 10 years. Gosh I miss her.
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Old 05-04-19, 03:32 PM
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Meh, 140/90 is within the normal range for white coat fever. Just moving around to get to an appointment can elevate blood pressure and heart rate a bit.

When I was an amateur boxer in the 1970s my BP was 140/90 just before a bout. The medic was concerned. I told him to look at my opponent. I was a light middleweight at the time, 5'11" and around 155 lbs. They didn't have anyone in my weight class and the next closest guy to my size was 6'4" and pretty close to a light heavyweight -- there was no super-middleweight division at that time, but that guy would easily have weighed 165-170 lbs. I told the medic "Sure, my BP is elevated a bit. Look at the guy." I outpointed him but it was a tough job getting inside his long jab and having to punch upward.

Before his first title match against Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali's (then Cassius Clay, for historical accuracy) BP was something like 180/100, unusually high. Ali and his handlers said it's just because Ali gets hyped up before a big fight. Later Ali admitted he was terrified of Liston before that bout. It was only after the fight started that Ali realized he could beat Liston.

So, yeah, external stressors are a factor in BP even with highly trained and otherwise healthy athletes.

The usual ideal way to check our blood pressure and heart rate is first thing upon waking, even before standing. So keep a cuff by the bed.

My BP is usually within the normal range, but for years my HR was high. My resting pulse seldom dipped below the 80s, and was usually closer to 90. Exercise didn't make any difference in my resting HR. My HR during exercise was within the normal range for my age, topping out at 160-170 bpm.

But after my surgery last year for thyroid cancer and getting onto levothyroxine replacement, my resting HR is usually in the 60s. If I check my BP/HR first thing upon waking, sometimes the pulse is in the high 50s, and BP usually around 110/60.

But as soon as I get up and move around, or during strenuous exercise my BP is typically 130-140/80-90, and occasionally spikes higher during high intensity interval training sessions. After resting a few minutes my BP typically drops below 120/70, and occasionally dips below 100/60. I think the lowest I measured last year was 88/50 after a hard workout session.

I wouldn't take blood pressure meds unless I noticed a pattern of high BP at home. I do have a beta blocker for severe headaches, but don't take it daily. For some reason beta blockers are effective for some folks with migraine or cluster headaches. It works but drains my energy. Even when I took propranolol daily years ago for headaches I never got accustomed to the feeling of lethargy. So now I take it only when nothing else works and resign myself to feeling groggy all day.

Ditto, cholesterol. I've never had high "bad" cholesterol, until recently. My doc suggested taking meds, but I declined. I'm pretty sure I had a big breakfast before that lab test, which skewed the results. So I won't worry about it unless there's a persistent problem. Even then I'm skeptical of cholesterol meds.

Last edited by canklecat; 05-04-19 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 05-04-19, 07:32 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
Glad to be alive and doing things, my bride had excellent BP and all but breast cancer for 10 years. Gosh I miss her.
Iím sorry to hear about the loss of your wife, much too soon. My wife and I just had our 32nd anniversary, I canít imagine. Take care.
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Old 05-04-19, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
I am 57 almost 58 and have had HBP since I was 14 years old. Back then and even now it is unheard of basically for kids to get HPB. But I did and had all sorts of test, they were sure it was probably a kidney problem or something since it was unheard of. They found it on a routine sports physical for school to play 8th grade baseball. I was a regular active kid in shape not overweight. Well they had me stop everything no sports, to PE, no baseball and guess what? My blood pressure went even higher.

Finally a doctor who was a runner decided I was probably ok let me do sports and then I took medication and have since I was a teenager. So fast forward now and I have been a runner all my life 41 years. Not overweight and my resting pulse is 41 most mornings. I generally can keep it under control with calcium channel blocker I take Lorstartan. I was taking 50 mg per do but I lost my wife of 32 years 6 weeks ago and it went up and I am on 100mg now.

I have server "white coat" syndrome and they start taking my BP and it skyrockets. I go home and relax and it come back ok. They never did a stress test on me because they said the 5-10 miles I would run in a day was my daily stress test. Well finally 2 years ago I had a stress test due to an EKG that showed a slight change. Turns out in the Cardiologist office he did not see the same result and said I had basically a heart that acted like an endurance athlete.

He still wanted a stress test and that was the most nerve racking thing I went through. I was scared to death. I did a thread about it when it happen. But before the test my BP was 180/90 sitting in the chair. I was shaking all over. Finally they allow me to proceed the dr said go to 250/110. Well they need to get my heart rate up to 148. I got it to 148 and had been on the treadmill for I am not sure how long, but the nursing said "you not struggling at all." No I told her this is nothing and maybe I had been on 12-15 minutes. I know it seem like I was crawling compare to my real runs but they got my BP to 250/90 and said stop,

In the end I must have passed because they told me to do what I had been doing. Well of course my BP still can run high and I do need to take meds but a lifetime of exercise means nothing really if you ask me. Glad to be alive and doing things, my bride had excellent BP and all but breast cancer for 10 years. Gosh I miss her.
Sorry about losing youíre wife. Thank you for sharing the information about how you deal with HP.
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Old 05-04-19, 08:04 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Meh, 140/90 is within the normal range for white coat fever. Just moving around to get to an appointment can elevate blood pressure and heart rate a bit.

When I was an amateur boxer in the 1970s my BP was 140/90 just before a bout. The medic was concerned. I told him to look at my opponent. I was a light middleweight at the time, 5'11" and around 155 lbs. They didn't have anyone in my weight class and the next closest guy to my size was 6'4" and pretty close to a light heavyweight -- there was no super-middleweight division at that time, but that guy would easily have weighed 165-170 lbs. I told the medic "Sure, my BP is elevated a bit. Look at the guy." I outpointed him but it was a tough job getting inside his long jab and having to punch upward.

Before his first title match against Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali's (then Cassius Clay, for historical accuracy) BP was something like 180/100, unusually high. Ali and his handlers said it's just because Ali gets hyped up before a big fight. Later Ali admitted he was terrified of Liston before that bout. It was only after the fight started that Ali realized he could beat Liston.

So, yeah, external stressors are a factor in BP even with highly trained and otherwise healthy athletes.

The usual ideal way to check our blood pressure and heart rate is first thing upon waking, even before standing. So keep a cuff by the bed.

My BP is usually within the normal range, but for years my HR was high. My resting pulse seldom dipped below the 80s, and was usually closer to 90. Exercise didn't make any difference in my resting HR. My HR during exercise was within the normal range for my age, topping out at 160-170 bpm.

But after my surgery last year for thyroid cancer and getting onto levothyroxine replacement, my resting HR is usually in the 60s. If I check my BP/HR first thing upon waking, sometimes the pulse is in the high 50s, and BP usually around 110/60.

But as soon as I get up and move around, or during strenuous exercise my BP is typically 130-140/80-90, and occasionally spikes higher during high intensity interval training sessions. After resting a few minutes my BP typically drops below 120/70, and occasionally dips below 100/60. I think the lowest I measured last year was 88/50 after a hard workout session.

I wouldn't take blood pressure meds unless I noticed a pattern of high BP at home. I do have a beta blocker for severe headaches, but don't take it daily. For some reason beta blockers are effective for some folks with migraine or cluster headaches. It works but drains my energy. Even when I took propranolol daily years ago for headaches I never got accustomed to the feeling of lethargy. So now I take it only when nothing else works and resign myself to feeling groggy all day.

Ditto, cholesterol. I've never had high "bad" cholesterol, until recently. My doc suggested taking meds, but I declined. I'm pretty sure I had a big breakfast before that lab test, which skewed the results. So I won't worry about it unless there's a persistent problem. Even then I'm skeptical of cholesterol meds.
You have a great point. A few years ago I got bite by a dog while riding and by law I had to go to the emergency room my BP was 170/120 because I was irritated. The nurse was concerned but after 20 minutes it dropped significantly almost to normal range. She said you are a spiker. I guess an underlying anxiety issue might be a cause. I get good readings when relaxed at home. Doctor offices and hospitals freak me out after 14 surgeries I still get anxiety in a medical setting
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Old 05-05-19, 09:02 PM
  #21  
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Might be a good idea to check side effects of any meds(Rx and OTC) you are taking. Surprising how many have increased BP as a side effect.
Some of the machines can't cope with a minor irregular heart beat. Again, might be worthwhile to use a manual BP by someone who actually knows how.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:28 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
It hovers around 140/90 it might be because Iím at the doctorís office.
I have "white coat syndrome" too. My doctor had me get a BP monitor for home use. Turned out my BP was lower at home.
I also took the monitor into the Doc's office to make sure the two BP monitors were calibrated. I recorded my BP in a spreadsheet and show the Doc regularly.

mike
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Old 05-06-19, 08:02 AM
  #23  
Tusk
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Processed carbs drive my BP up. Especially donuts. And I have a weakness for donuts. It was really bad when someone brought some into the office the morning of a Doctor's appointment.

My suggestion is to lose the energy drinks for a month.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:51 AM
  #24  
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Oh, man. Sorry for your loss, deacon mark.
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