Author Topic: Blood Pressure and this WOE  (Read 5848 times)

Offline Shawn

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Blood Pressure and this WOE
« on: February 05, 2007, 08:26:33 AM »
Hello everybody.

Stats:
   Male
   34
   5'6"
   163 lbs
   28% bodyfat
   Exercise 4-5 times per week
   Supplementing mag/cal, B vitamins, 1000 mg niacin nightly and a multi
   Meds:  Inderal LA 60 mg

I've always been a big eater.  When I got married at 17(year 1990) I weighed around 140.  Within a year I weighed 180.  I stayed heavy for years, eventually reaching 215.  I've always done alot of walking, but little other really physical activity.  Every other year or so, I would start to workout and improve my diet and lose some weight, but it always came back because of my insane carb cravings.

About 8 years ago, I started having dizziness upon standing, and whenever walking around.  This led to adrenaline surges which gave me crazy panic attacks.  9 doctors later - I am told that I have orthostatic hypotension which means my BP is lower when I am standing, which is the opposite of how it should be.  Nobody can tell me why for sure. My cardiologist did stress test, echo and halter monitor and says my heart is on the large end of the normal scale (size 1-4, I'm a 4) and I have 2 minor murmurs, but there is nothing really wrong with my heart.  No blockages, no arrythmias, nothing else. 

My GP put me on Inderal LA to help with the panic attacks and the orthostatic hypotension.  I was also told to eat more salt to keep my blood pressure up.  Probably a good idea, I thought, since Inderal LA can cause your body to retain too much potassium, and the extra sodium should help to balance that out (right?)  In addition to causing the sodium/potassium imbalance, Inderal LA (propranolol) also raises blood sugar and cholesterol.  So my cholesterol levels 8 months after starting the Inderal LA were through the roof.

OK.

I wanted to do something to keep my blood sugar down, and also to deal with the high cholesterol.  I researched and found this site, along with a couple others.  I definitely agree that eating like our ancestors makes sense.  So, I started eating this way in mid-December or early January.

Well, I've lost 23 pounds since early December, including a few percent body fat.  I eat what I feel is mostly "evolutionary food" and I work out 4-5 times per week, lifting weights, jogging, etc.  But my orthostatic hypotension is still with me.  Most of the time.  Occasionally, my blood pressure will really shoot up.  This is where I need help.

This morning my blood pressure was really high:  128/94, 144/85, 145/115, 149/96. 

WHY???  What is wrong with me?  I think constantly about this, I worry myself sick about it, always imagining I could keel over any minute or something.  I don't get chest pains or anything, but it's still scary as hell.  Most of the time my BP is around 123/77 or less.  But other times - it's just nuts!!!

Maybe the strangest thing of all is that right now, my standing BP is 134/92, 2 hours after taking my Inderal LA, and my energy levels are very high, I feel good with very minimal dizziness upon standing.  Now, I know that's why I was told to increase my sodium intake - to raise my BP.  But should it be this high? And is it safe to exercise when it's that high?

Could it be I've been getting too much salt?
Could it be the beta blocker (the Inderal LA)?
Could it be that I feel this way today because I only slept 5 1/2 hours last night?
Could it be...?

I know this is a long one, but any reply would certainly be appreciated.

Shawn
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 08:30:57 AM by Shawn »

Offline Orc65

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 12:32:17 AM »
First up, mate, I am NOT a doctor.

Here's a thought,...... Stress is a big cause of many physiological irregularities, is it possible that all this worrying you do, is causing your BP to spike like that?

Here's another thought, have you talked to your doctor about an alternative to Inderal LA. Whether a different drug or a natural solution.

While my ailment is different to yours, I found the diet to be my alternative to the drugs.
I do however still consult my doctor, at least semi-regularly.

Trust your doctor, but do ask about alternative methods.

Just this afternoon, my doctor was prepared to put me on anti-cholesterol medications permanently, however I have talked him into a 3 month stay on this, if at the end of three months I can reduce my Cholesterol from 7.7 to 5.5 or less, he will not make me take the drug.

Talk to your doctor, discuss with him your concerns, ask about alternatives, and above all don't worry, worrying takes the fun out of life.

Stress is after all the number one killer of modern man.

Oh... and it is never just one thing, everything is connected so it may well be a combination of too much salt, the beta blocker and lack of sleep.

I ramble.... sorry, just talk to your doc.  :)


Offline Shawn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 06:40:37 AM »
Thanks Orc. 

This morning before I got out of bed, my BP was 108/75.  Right befotre I worked out, it was 129/90 or so.  After working out, it's back down to a nice number.  My body is just weird.  I know stress can cause major BP spikes.  That's probably a big part of it. 

The biggest irony of it is that I feel 100% better when my BP is high - it keeps the blood going to my head, so there's much, much less dizziness.  Still, those were the highest numbers I have ever had or imagined I would have, so it scared the crap out of me!

Shawn

Offline kallyn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 07:49:57 AM »
Hey Shawn,

I have a heart condition where the docs wanted to give me beta blockers, but I refused them.  What I have is called mitral valve prolapse, and along with the actual valve malfunction there are a whole bunch of other seemingly unrelated symptoms like panic attacks, BP spikes, heart palpitations, overexaggerated startle reflex, etc.  What I have found in my own situation that may be applicable to yours, is that a very large part of it is psychosomatic.  If I think about or worry about having heart palpitations for example, I get them.  If I tell myself that my health is in no danger and to stop worrying and force myself to think of other things, then I don't get them.  If I were in your shoes, I would suspect the worrying itself to be causing the BP spikes - not only are these symptoms psychosomatic, but BP is notorious for shooting up under stress, and worrying is definitely a form of stress.  Relaxation techniques might help you if you have problems clearing your mind, either meditation or yoga or something like that.

Hope you feel better soon, I know how stressful this stuff can be.  It took me weeks to get myself under control when it happened to me.

Offline Shawn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 09:25:03 AM »
kallyn,

For years I suspected MVPS and while I do have a minor mitral valve murmur, my cardio says it's not MVPS.  Of course, many doctors deny the existence of MVPS, so who knows?  I have all the symptoms.  There are a couple of really good forums for people with MVPS, but when I was told I don't have it, I stopped visiting those.

I really appreciate your post, it helped ground me back in reality.  What I really need to do is find a new general practitioner and a new cardiologist who are willing to dig deeper into whatever is doing this to me. 

What is your alternative to the beta blockers?  I only continue taking them because it helps with my orthostatic hypotension. 

Shawn


Offline kallyn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2007, 09:40:06 AM »
My alternative to the beta blockers was just to chill out.  :)  That, and eat low-carb.  When I eat too many carbs, the insulin rushes aggravate all my symptoms.  As long as I stay relaxed and low-carb, my health is fine.  Taking magnesium helps too, but I don't remember to take it most of the time.

I actually stopped seeing the doc once I got my diagnosis, since he was pretty useless.  The book that helped me the most was Natural Therapies for Mitral Valve Prolapse by Ronald L. Hoffman.  He talks a lot about the whole symptom constellation, not just the heart murmer.  It was actually this book that turned me on to low-carb, and started my interest in nutrition!

Offline Shawn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 09:59:31 AM »
Kallyn,

Do you also have the orthstatic hypotension?

Shawn

Offline kallyn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 02:21:12 PM »
I was never diagnosed with orthostatic hypertension, no.  I would always get insanely high BP readings at the doctor's office, though, that would usually subside over the course of the visit.  And I often get lightheaded when I stand quickly.  Not sure if this is the same thing that you have.

Offline Shawn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2007, 03:36:51 PM »
The lightheadedness upon standing is probably orthostatic hypotension (OH).  OH often comes with MVPS to some degree or another.  You may or may not have it, but if you do, it sounds very minor.  With me, I'm dizzy whenever I'm standing/walking etc.  When my BP drops really low, I get an adrenaline surge which kicks my BP back up but can also trigger a panic attack.  That's why the doc originally put me on the Inderal LA - for the panic attacks.  She wants to treat the symptom, but not look for the cause.  Another good reason to get off the beta blocker.

Shawn

Offline suze

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 01:08:47 PM »
I have also taken Inderal for migraine prevention, but I didn't like the side-effects much, so I gave it up after a year.  Kallyn raises a good point about worrying leading to stress reactions in the body.  She suggested yoga and meditation, which are both good ideas.  I would add Tai Chi to this list.  It has had a very beneficial effect on my mental state over the years.  The very precise but gentle movements seem to put my head in a very calm place and it has helped me with balance and dizziness issues as well.  But Tai Chi is slightly tricky to learn properly, and I think a class is pretty essential for a beginner.  Once you know the forms you can practice on your own, and there is nothing nicer than standing on your porch in the quiet of the early morning, performing the graceful dance of Tai Chi.  Suze

Offline Shawn

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2007, 04:58:48 AM »
I do have a strong interest in yoga particularly, but there are no local groups here where I live.  There are some places about 45 minutes away I am looking into.  Most mornings when I workout I have the tv on in the background with NAMASTE YOGA on (it's on FitTV) just because it makes me feel good.  But trying to learn from a video is next to impossible.  How do you watch and do at the same time?

And what's the deal with tai chi?  Does it build strength, and how many movements are there?  I heard there's only a short and a long form.

Shawn

Offline suze

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Re: Blood Pressure and this WOE
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2007, 12:01:21 PM »
There is lots of information about Tai Chi available on the Internet.  There are 108 different movements or forms you can learn, and they have to  be done in order.  Not a lot of people learn the long form any more because it takes awhile to get up to speed on that many different movements.  I learned the 24 movement "short" form of Tai Chi, yang-style. 

By building strength do you mean bigger muscles?  It doesn't do that, but it does do wonders for your balance, flexilbility and peace of mind.  It would be an excellent adjunct to any other work out program you already do.  Suze