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Blood Pressure Peculiarities

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    Question Blood Pressure Peculiarities


    Starting off with basic info... Nearing 18 years old in a few months, 5'11" hovering around 190 lbs. and 15% body fat. Been weight lifting 4-5 years, only 1.5 years seriously.

    I haven't started eating generally well until perhaps 9 months ago. Used to be weight lifting and everything, but would eat really bad foods. Nothing like candy or ice cream or anything, but I'd have fast food 1-2 times a week and eat really high sodium microwavable meals a lot. My blood pressure when I would eat like that used to not be great, around 120/65 and about a 70 pulse.

    However, nowadays my blood pressure is sky-rocketing and my pulse is plummetting. Just the other day upon waking my BP was 150/70, which was a bit startling and it's been climbing up to this over the past half a year as I've been getting bigger/stronger in the gym. What was extremely peculiar to me was that my pulse was 47, and generally stays around 50 at resting. I have no idea what my muscle mass has done with my blood vessels and heart, but now my heart is like a slowly beating, extremely hard pumping machine.

    I was wondering if anyone had any input as to what's going on. I'm thinking about seeing a doctor about it. Any input on supplements for blood pressure? I take garlic occasionally if I have to eat something with higher sodium, but my diet now is much lower in sodium than it used to be when my sodium intake was out of control. My supplements haven't really changed, protein and fish oil and a multi every other day because I have about a 15-16 hemoglobin count (don't remember units) which I thought was high. My training routine is about 3 days a week, typically every other workout is a leg workout switching between squat/quad movements and deadlift/ham movements, all leg exercises being 8-10 reps sometimes jumping up to 20 for shock value. Cardio isn't really cardio, but after leg routines I'll do a very high intensity cardio for about 3 mins, low intensity for 2 mins, high intensity for 5 mins and 5 mins warmdown and be done in the gym. Upper body workouts are a lower rep bodybuilding type routine with 6-8 for strength training and 1 or 2 finishing sets with up to 20 for fiber saturation.

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    You are the first 17 year old I've seen that knows his hemoglobin count.

    Are you sure there aren't any other supplements that you are taking? Creatine?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimalG View Post
    You are the first 17 year old I've seen that knows his hemoglobin count.

    Are you sure there aren't any other supplements that you are taking? Creatine?
    I've taken creatine before, but haven't had it for probably half a year. The only supplements I take which I could fathom having any affect on my blood pressure are Potassium Gluconate and perhaps Cissus quadrangularis somehow. Any other supplement I've tried was sporadic and discontinuously taken. This leads me to believe the problem stems from either my diet or exercise. The diet as the source of the problem would seem counterintuitive as I now consume reasonable amounts of sodium yet have much higher blood pressure. Given the very limited physiological knowledge I have, my best guess would be that it's my short duration, high intensity exercises which have built up the pericardium. I think that would at least partially explain a high pressure and such low pulse. What I'm not sure of is whether it's healthy or what to do about it if it isn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goslamacamel View Post
    I've taken creatine before, but haven't had it for probably half a year. The only supplements I take which I could fathom having any affect on my blood pressure are Potassium Gluconate and perhaps Cissus quadrangularis somehow. Any other supplement I've tried was sporadic and discontinuously taken. This leads me to believe the problem stems from either my diet or exercise. The diet as the source of the problem would seem counterintuitive as I now consume reasonable amounts of sodium yet have much higher blood pressure. Given the very limited physiological knowledge I have, my best guess would be that it's my short duration, high intensity exercises which have built up the pericardium. I think that would at least partially explain a high pressure and such low pulse. What I'm not sure of is whether it's healthy or what to do about it if it isn't.

    Interesting, as I'm 34 and have high blood pressure. Mine ranges from 135/70 to 144/78 throughout the day. It used to be really low, but has been increasing in the last year. I have no idea why as my diet is in check. I'm going to go to the dr. shortly if I can't get it down myself.
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    Oh yeah I forgot one other huge thing that has changed, and once again is counterintuitive to my increased blood pressure. I used to drink cokes often (at least 1 a day) and might easily have consumed 5-10x the sugar I do now. That was back when my BP was a pretty normal 120/65 around 70 pulse. Now I've completely turned around and only drink water and hot green tea (with no sugar/sucralose/whatever) and about 1 glass of milk a day. Along with my much improved diet (though still not perfect), this blood pressure increase is a very unexpected side effect. At least my heart isn't out of control but rather is quite relaxed at around 50 pulse, which I assume is a good thing, however weird.
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    Your blood pressure reading will be highest upon rising in the morning. Try taking it mid-day and gauge the difference. Do you have a family history of hypertension? Do you have a lot of sodium in your diet? There are many factors including stress, caffeine, and some supplements/medications that can contribute to the cause. Hypertension can hit early in some cases, especially in families with a significan history for it. It's something i would closely monitor and follow up with your physcian if this trend continues.



    In regard to your resting pulse rate, it's common to find healthy young adults with a pulse in the low 50's. When your cardiovascular system is working very effectively and in good condition, your heart needs to work less to achieve the same results as in a poor conditioned state. This often results in a lowered resting heart rate.

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    An increase in systolic BP is from a higher blood volume, which is not necessarily a bad thing. My BP is around 140/65 and my RHR is around 50. The better your cardio is, the lower your RHR will be, along with your systolic BP.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    An increase in systolic BP is from a higher blood volume, which is not necessarily a bad thing. My BP is around 140/65 and my RHR is around 50. The better your cardio is, the lower your RHR will be, along with your systolic BP.
    Interesting about systolic BP. My systolic averages high 130's to 150's. My diastolic # is always under 80. Never heard about the explanation about the higher blood volume. I'm get bloodwork and physical tomorrow. Probably take a week to get bloodwork back, so we'll see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludevil View Post
    Interesting about systolic BP. My systolic averages high 130's to 150's. My diastolic # is always under 80. Never heard about the explanation about the higher blood volume. I'm get bloodwork and physical tomorrow. Probably take a week to get bloodwork back, so we'll see.
    Training leads to higher hemoglobin and RBC count, which in turn increases systolic BP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Training leads to higher hemoglobin and RBC count, which in turn increases systolic BP.
    So I'm guessing this is a non-issue then, or should we still try to decrease it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludevil View Post
    So I'm guessing this is a non-issue then, or should we still try to decrease it.
    IMO, it is a non-issue, as long as the diastolic number is <80.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trauma1 View Post
    Your blood pressure reading will be highest upon rising in the morning. Try taking it mid-day and gauge the difference. Do you have a family history of hypertension? Do you have a lot of sodium in your diet? There are many factors including stress, caffeine, and some supplements/medications that can contribute to the cause. Hypertension can hit early in some cases, especially in families with a significan history for it. It's something i would closely monitor and follow up with your physcian if this trend continues.



    In regard to your resting pulse rate, it's common to find healthy young adults with a pulse in the low 50's. When your cardiovascular system is working very effectively and in good condition, your heart needs to work less to achieve the same results as in a poor conditioned state. This often results in a lowered resting heart rate.

    Around mid-day to night it does get 5-10 points lower, but is still hovering around 140-145/60-65, pulse still as low, sometimes up to 55-60 if I've been moving around before a reading. My dad was fat, had to have been 40-50% bodyfat and had an extremely good cardiovascular system for over 50 and as heavy as he was, I think better than mine when he told me about 120/70. My mom is very skinny and has extremely low blood pressure, sometimes around 100/60, but she does drink caffeine like it's her job, which is intuitive as having constant vasoconstriction will reduce the vessels' baseline pressure when it isn't consumed. Therefore my genetics lead me to have great blood pressure, so I have it completely isolated to training habits and diet. Those are the two things that have changed in the year since I had low blood pressure.

    As of now, my diet has more sodium than I'd like, though I believe it to stay a bit under 100% D.V. for most every day. However, compared to my diet when I had low blood pressure, my intake of sodium is nothing. I used to have multiple meals with preservatives and microwavable meals throughout the day. My training has become much more intense as I've gotten much stronger, max bench a year ago must have been 200 or less and I am now at least at 300. I have been taxing my cardiovascular system with very fast and heavy reps especially on the upper body. My "cardio" is also similar. Short periods of very high intensity paused by low intensity cooldown. I believe my changed diet to be counterintuitive of my higher blood pressure, and haven't a definitive answer as to what effect my more intense training could have had.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    IMO, it is a non-issue, as long as the diastolic number is <80.

    Wow, my Anatomy & Physiology must have done me pretty well, because when my mom sees my blood pressure readings, she gets all worked up and wants to call the doctor. I've been putting this off for a while by assuring her the diastolic is the one that counts, that I simply have too much iron and a high hemoglobin count and can't get rid of it any faster than what blood I can donate. I also had a feeling that for someone who's young, the systolic isn't a big deal as our vessels and pericardium are still resilient. Not sure what problems this will/could translate into when I'm older, however. This does explain why people who work out and eat somewhat healthily have higher blood pressure than you might think.
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    One further concern, however. Upon rising quickly out of bed or a chair, sometimes I can feel my intraocular blood pressure suddenly increase (maybe decrease, as gravity would have it?) and cause a dampening of vision with each heart beat. I can only notice this if I pay attention to it, but it is peculiar and I don't like it too much. Also if laying in a certain position where my face-chest angle is decreased, I can feel a pulsing juggular artery or something, and the pulses can be somewhat uncomfortable at my antecubitis and popliteus. Is this much to worry about or is it just a harmless annoyance?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludevil View Post
    Interesting about systolic BP. My systolic averages high 130's to 150's. My diastolic # is always under 80. Never heard about the explanation about the higher blood volume. I'm get bloodwork and physical tomorrow. Probably take a week to get bloodwork back, so we'll see.
    There are many reasons outside increased circulating volume that contribute to increased blood pressure. It's good that your going to your doctor to get blood work and a good exam. A systolic reading of 150 for a prolonged period of time is still going to draw attention by your pmd. While the diastolic reading is of more significance overall, a persistant elevated systolic reading will also contribute to problems in the long term. Something as simple as changes in diet/habits is frequently all that is needed for control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goslamacamel View Post
    One further concern, however. Upon rising quickly out of bed or a chair, sometimes I can feel my intraocular blood pressure suddenly increase (maybe decrease, as gravity would have it?) and cause a dampening of vision with each heart beat. I can only notice this if I pay attention to it, but it is peculiar and I don't like it too much. Also if laying in a certain position where my face-chest angle is decreased, I can feel a pulsing juggular artery or something, and the pulses can be somewhat uncomfortable at my antecubitis and popliteus. Is this much to worry about or is it just a harmless annoyance?
    This sounds like orthostatic hypotension. It's often the result of decreased cirrculating blood volume that causes an increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure in response to sudden rapid change in positioning and movement. It's the inability of your body to compensate quickly enough as the brain suddenly receives less blood flow causing a "dizzy" state.

    Just out of curiosity, do you have anxiety issues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trauma1 View Post
    This sounds like orthostatic hypotension. It's often the result of decreased cirrculating blood volume that causes an increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure in response to sudden rapid change in positioning and movement. It's the inability of your body to compensate quickly enough as the brain suddenly receives less blood flow causing a "dizzy" state.

    Just out of curiosity, do you have anxiety issues?
    Mild social anxiety, and probably an unhealthy lack of situational anxiety. I had a feeling this vision dampening was the reverse counterpart of something that happens to my girlfriend occasionally. She has very low blood pressure and is anemic, and so has thin blood I think it's safe to assume. If she suddenly gets excited and stands up or jumps or something from a very relaxed state and position, she loses her vision for a few seconds and has to sit down probably because of vertigo or something. I was thinking this periodic vision dampening that I can sometimes notice was from sudden pressure in my eye putting pressure on the optic nerve each time my heart beats. Sort of like a glaucoma type thing that's very short-lived and happens when the heart pumps the blood up into the eye. I believe this because I can sometimes actually feel a pulse in my eyes if it's drastic enough, though this rarely happens. Never really causes discomfort or anything, just once again peculiar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goslamacamel View Post
    Mild social anxiety, and probably an unhealthy lack of situational anxiety. I had a feeling this vision dampening was the reverse counterpart of something that happens to my girlfriend occasionally. She has very low blood pressure and is anemic, and so has thin blood I think it's safe to assume. If she suddenly gets excited and stands up or jumps or something from a very relaxed state and position, she loses her vision for a few seconds and has to sit down probably because of vertigo or something. I was thinking this periodic vision dampening that I can sometimes notice was from sudden pressure in my eye putting pressure on the optic nerve each time my heart beats. Sort of like a glaucoma type thing that's very short-lived and happens when the heart pumps the blood up into the eye. I believe this because I can sometimes actually feel a pulse in my eyes if it's drastic enough, though this rarely happens. Never really causes discomfort or anything, just once again peculiar.
    When there is a sudden decreased perfusion to the brain(be it from a decreased oxygen carrying capacity overall, or fluid volume deficit) coupled with a sudden change in positioning, your bodies compensatory mechanisms may not adjust in time and it can cause a brief period of distorted vision, vertigo, and unsteady gait as a result.

    If you're having a pressure feeling behind your eyes that may be the result of elevated b/p. If if continues i'd get in to see your pmd and get a good physical and exam.

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    Just to throw it out there as it may or may not be an issue...

    Cuff size matters a lot when it comes to reading blood presure correctly. Typically if you arm is greater than 13 inches (which is the case with a lot of weight lifters) , then you need a larger cuff. I had extremely high blood pressure for awhile because the nurse wasn't using the proper size cuff.

    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by badfish51581 View Post
    Just to throw it out there as it may or may not be an issue...

    Cuff size matters a lot when it comes to reading blood presure correctly. Typically if you arm is greater than 13 inches (which is the case with a lot of weight lifters) , then you need a larger cuff. I had extremely high blood pressure for awhile because the nurse wasn't using the proper size cuff.

    Joe
    Very good point. This can be an issue for sure. A cuff that is too small will falsely elevate a blood pressure. There is no substituition for a proper manual blood pressure done by a health care worker. Automatic B/p machines very often give false readings overall.

    It's sad to say, but i myself see fellow nurse's fall victim to this improper technique quite often.

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    Lol I am using a stupid little battery powered blood pressure monitor, and my arms are well over 13". I don't have a tape measure but I can barbell curl 135 for 5 reps. But I never checked my BP in the first place until I started feeling pulses in the crooks of my arms and legs and also in my neck. So I'm pretty sure my reading is fairly accurate anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goslamacamel View Post
    ...my arms are well over 13.
    Quote Originally Posted by goslamacamel View Post
    So I'm pretty sure my reading is fairly accurate anyway.
    Maybe I'm confused, but these two statements seem contradictory based on what I was saying. A bladder not specified for your arm size can cause a dramatically altered reading like up to 50mms off. The problem is fairly common - the below study shows it happening around 32% of the time.

    Miscuffing: inappropriate blood pressure cuff application -- Manning et al. 68 (4): 763 -- Circulation

    In any case, it's up to you, but I would look into making sure your cuff is appropiately sized for you arm.

    Joe
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    anyone think betaine hcl supplementation would help lower it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by badfish51581 View Post
    A bladder not specified for your arm size can cause a dramatically altered reading like up to 50mms off.
    Joe
    I think you meant cuff, not bladder lol. I'd be more likely to say in my experience the readings are most commonly off 10-15mmhg with improper cuff size. 50mmhg is pretty excessive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badfish51581 View Post
    Maybe I'm confused, but these two statements seem contradictory based on what I was saying. A bladder not specified for your arm size can cause a dramatically altered reading like up to 50mms off. The problem is fairly common - the below study shows it happening around 32% of the time.

    Miscuffing: inappropriate blood pressure cuff application -- Manning et al. 68 (4): 763 -- Circulation

    In any case, it's up to you, but I would look into making sure your cuff is appropiately sized for you arm.

    Joe

    I mean for some reason my readings must be accurate because I can feel minute fluctuations in blood pressure without a machine anyway. The reason I started checking it in the first place was because I felt it increase in my joints and neck. The cuff is adjustable also so it's probably getting a decent reading even if its a few mm off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trauma1 View Post
    I think you meant cuff, not bladder lol. I'd be more likely to say in my experience the readings are most commonly off 10-15mmhg with improper cuff size. 50mmhg is pretty excessive.
    The crucial part is actually the air bladder that is inside of the arm cuff. The air bladders are designed for a certain range of circumfrence's of arms. That's why you need to read the specifications on the actual cuff (13 inches is only a general rule as their actually isn't an industry standard) because it's really the air bladder that determine's whether or not it's suited for you.

    You're right about the 10-15 mmhg is more likely, but depending on how mis-matched arm is to cuff, it can be a lot more with 50mmhg probably being the highest end of that. I was just trying to make my point about the important of cuff size.


    Quote Originally Posted by goslamacamel View Post
    I mean for some reason my readings must be accurate because I can feel minute fluctuations in blood pressure without a machine anyway. The reason I started checking it in the first place was because I felt it increase in my joints and neck. The cuff is adjustable also so it's probably getting a decent reading even if its a few mm off.
    I guess it's time to see the doc then...

    Joe
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    would aspirin benefit hypertension?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludevil View Post
    would aspirin benefit hypertension?
    Aspirin doesn't exhibit any vasoactive/diuretic effects that are utilized in b/p management. It's used for it's preventative effects on decreasing platelet aggregation for those with coronary artery disease(CAD).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bludevil View Post
    would aspirin benefit hypertension?
    I've heard of it as a temporary alleviating therapeutical treatment at very low doses, but definetely no major help. Also vodka therapy at a shot or less a day can help for temporary relief, but still no long-term benefit I'm pretty sure.
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    Hey guys i've been following this thread for a little while and I would say that it is crucial that you go get blood work done to see whats going on. I mean you guys have it not so bad. When i say say I have hypertension, i have it real bad. Every time i would have my pressure taken it would be numbers like 200/100 with a pulse of only like 55. As far as my stats go, im only 19 6'1, 205lbs, 12-13%bf. Im extremely active, play college rugby, workout 4 days a week. I've had every test under the sun. It's not pleasant but it needs to be done. I would recommend actually going to a heart specialist. I had an ekg test, stress test, ultrasound (make sure my kidneys were ok because i was told high blood pressure attacks the kidneys) and a few blood tests done. As far as the blood tests went, everything was fine, lipid profiles and cholesterol and everything was fine. Luckily it is only linked to genetics. My mother, grandmother and sister all have hypertension. Anyway the doctor put me on medicine called diovan hct and it seems to have lowered my pressure quite a bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVCRFC View Post
    Hey guys i've been following this thread for a little while and I would say that it is crucial that you go get blood work done to see whats going on. I mean you guys have it not so bad. When i say say I have hypertension, i have it real bad. Every time i would have my pressure taken it would be numbers like 200/100 with a pulse of only like 55. As far as my stats go, im only 19 6'1, 205lbs, 12-13%bf. Im extremely active, play college rugby, workout 4 days a week. I've had every test under the sun. It's not pleasant but it needs to be done. I would recommend actually going to a heart specialist. I had an ekg test, stress test, ultrasound (make sure my kidneys were ok because i was told high blood pressure attacks the kidneys) and a few blood tests done. As far as the blood tests went, everything was fine, lipid profiles and cholesterol and everything was fine. Luckily it is only linked to genetics. My mother, grandmother and sister all have hypertension. Anyway the doctor put me on medicine called diovan hct and it seems to have lowered my pressure quite a bit.
    Thanks for the heads-up, I got mine down from mid 140/80 to 120/60 just through diet for a couple of weeks but now it seems to be creeping back up to 130-140/70 range. Guess I need to tighten my diet up a little bit.
  

  
 

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