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Blood Pressure

portland_billportland_bill Posts: 287
Hi all,

I just wondered if anybody has any tips for reducing blood pressure or if anyone else has had a similar problem to me and managed to sort it out.

Over winter I've been doing some fairly general spin sessions on Wattbikes using a mixture of sufferfest videos and structured sessions from the guy who runs the classes.

Over the last few sessions, I noticed my eyes stinging and vision going a little strange mainly during efforts and toward the end of the classes. At first I thought this was down to sweat getting into my eyes and made more of an effort to keep my forehead dry between efforts, but in my last session about half way through I started to get what I could only describe as tunnel vision and I was struggling to focus on stuff but finished the session and went home. For about an hour afterwards I felt absolutely rotten to the point where my wife asked me to go and speak to the doctor because I'd complained a couple of times after previous sessions about feeling a little groggy or what feels a little like motion sickness.

I spoke to the doctor yesterday and she said it sounded from what I was describing that I was on the brink of passing out during my last session and that although she feels she needs to tell me to stop doing the HIT sessions she doesn't like telling people to cut down on their physical exercise, so she recommended that I try doing longer but less intense sessions instead, but she took my HR and BP and said my resting HR was fantastic at just over 50bpm but my blood pressure was just slightly too high and could have something to do with my experiences during training.

I just wondered if anyone else has had the same problem or has any suggestions on how to deal with it. I already have a lower than average salt diet and I try not to eat or drink much sugary stuff, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs, I rarely drink and I don't lead a life anymore stressful than most other people's so I'm not really sure what else I can do other than lose weight which is what I'm trying to do with my training even though I'm only two stone over my ideal weight.

I'm just a little puzzled.
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  • When you say 'slightly too high' what were the numbers?
    It wouldn't be unusual for BP to be raised just because of the 'stress' of going to the doctors.
    A BP monitor is only a few quid and might be worth investing in.
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    edited March 2014
    If it was me I'd go to a cardiac specialist.
    I would think the first thing they'll do if they think there's any possible reason for concern is get you to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24hrs and maybe get you to do a cardiac stress test. Neither of these should cost too much or may be free depending on your medical cover etc.

    I had some concerns a couple of years ago because of some chest pains and slightly high blood pressure (130/85 ish if I remember correctly). Couldn't enjoy cycling while wondering if I was taking any risks and didn't want to leave it unchecked anyway so I went to a cardiac specialist and got thoroughly checked out. Turned out there was nothing to worry about but it was worth the cost to know that!

    There's not much anyone online is going to be able to tell you to help other than point you to a specialist for a proper checkup.
    One thing to bear in mind is that most cardiac specialists spend most of their time dealing with folks in their late 50s or older with relatively sedentary lifestyles. From my experience I would say it's worth finding someone used to dealing with younger patients and ideally athletes. My initial check-up was at a small local hospital and they told me my stress test had some anomalies they were concerned about. When I later saw a very good specialist familiar with younger patients and athletes she was immediately able to dismiss their report as nonsense based on assumptions that don't apply in my case. Apparently being very fit can cause confusion and the ability to accurately interpret results isn't universal!
  • ncrncr Posts: 98
    Hi all,

    I just wondered if anybody has any tips for reducing blood pressure or if anyone else has had a similar problem to me and managed to sort it out.

    Over winter I've been doing some fairly general spin sessions on Wattbikes using a mixture of sufferfest videos and structured sessions from the guy who runs the classes.

    Over the last few sessions, I noticed my eyes stinging and vision going a little strange mainly during efforts and toward the end of the classes. At first I thought this was down to sweat getting into my eyes and made more of an effort to keep my forehead dry between efforts, but in my last session about half way through I started to get what I could only describe as tunnel vision and I was struggling to focus on stuff but finished the session and went home. For about an hour afterwards I felt absolutely rotten to the point where my wife asked me to go and speak to the doctor because I'd complained a couple of times after previous sessions about feeling a little groggy or what feels a little like motion sickness.

    I spoke to the doctor yesterday and she said it sounded from what I was describing that I was on the brink of passing out during my last session and that although she feels she needs to tell me to stop doing the HIT sessions she doesn't like telling people to cut down on their physical exercise, so she recommended that I try doing longer but less intense sessions instead, but she took my HR and BP and said my resting HR was fantastic at just over 50bpm but my blood pressure was just slightly too high and could have something to do with my experiences during training.

    I just wondered if anyone else has had the same problem or has any suggestions on how to deal with it. I already have a lower than average salt diet and I try not to eat or drink much sugary stuff, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs, I rarely drink and I don't lead a life anymore stressful than most other people's so I'm not really sure what else I can do other than lose weight which is what I'm trying to do with my training even though I'm only two stone over my ideal weight.

    I'm just a little puzzled.


    A lot of sweating and lower than average salt diet ???????
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,602
    I too had high BP diagnosed recently, and I have a family history of heart disease: currently getting all sorts of tests done and it looks like I'll wind up on medication pretty soon.
    No symptoms I can tell while riding or any other strenuous exercise (e.g. walking the dog ;-)) but what triggered the investigations in my case were regular crippling headaches, with quite particular symptoms, in the middle of the night.
    OP you sound similar physically to me (I too have a generally healthy diet and lifestyle, am a bit overweight but have a resting HR of about 45), obviously you should get it checked out - the 24 hour monitor seems like a good idea even though it's a proper PITA - every half hour through the night I would get woken with a violent start by a noise like a cow mooing together with something gripping my arm tightly, my BP must have been through the roof!
  • Please don't do HIT sessions if there is any chance that you may have raised blood pressure - you are risking doing yourself some very serious cranial or cardiac blood vessel damage. Your doctor's advice about doing longer but less intense training is wise.

    Unfortunately, some of us (me included) have a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure and when you have tried all other means (weight loss, not smoking, reducing alcohol intake and doing regular exercise), there isn't much we can do about it other than taking a tablet every day. ACE inhibitors are not so bad!

    Get yourself a 24 hour monitoring session that Bompington mentioned.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I've a home BP monitor just now because my car racing licence medical showed a slightly elevated BP and I wanted the GP to give me the all-clear letter to do Alpe D'HuZes. I'm around 130/80 but can be as low as 120/70 and up to 140/85. Absolutely no symptoms and had my ticker thoroughly examined a while back because my bro and mum both have leaky heart valves - all was good. Not drinking much (almost tee total currently), doing loads of exercise, don't think I get much salt (don't add any or eat salty foods), a bit heavy but have lost 7kg - only more fruit and veg in my diet is an opportunity. I'm slightly at a loss what to do.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    I'm in a similar position, I dont drink and I dont smoke. I have a low bmi as I was a marathon runner up until a couple years ago when my knees packed up.

    My highest reading was 195/123. That set the alarm off in the machine which startled the nurse.

    The Doc just couldn't figure out why it was so high. So now I just take my daily pill and don't worry about it.

    Just checked it now. 150/95 which seems okay.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Anybody any expertise on this topic? Took my pressure 3x in a row this morning as per Blood Pressure website advice

    135/85
    117/72
    118/75

    The second 2 look to be in the "ideal" range and the first one on the margin. What number matters on blood pressure? The highest it gets, the lower numbers or the average over an extended period?
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    There's nothing extreme there but you need to stop looking for advice online.
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    But surely online, everyone is an expert....?
  • ZingzangZingzang Posts: 196
    ai_1 wrote:
    There's nothing extreme there but you need to stop looking for advice online.
    He's probably looking online because of the difficulty of getting advice elsewhere. And anyway, when you say "There's nothing extreme there", that sounds to me like giving someone advice online.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I did start with the caveat about expertise :wink:

    Anyhow, I should just ask my neighbours and not here: one anaesthetist and two surgeons ought to know. Ultimately I'll just be going back to my GP anyway so I could get censored advice on here and it wouldn't matter it's just that I know nothing about the subject.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ZingzangZingzang Posts: 196
    Anyhow, I should just ask my neighbours and not here: one anaesthetist and two surgeons ought to know. Ultimately I'll just be going back to my GP anyway so I could get censored advice on here and it wouldn't matter it's just that I know nothing about the subject.
    You can get bad advice from GP's and hospital consultants too, unfortunately, and when it's bad coming from them it can be really bad because you tend to follow it. Listen to all advice with an open mind, but listen to your own body most of all.
  • ncrncr Posts: 98
    Hi all,

    I just wondered if anybody has any tips for reducing blood pressure or if anyone else has had a similar problem to me and managed to sort it out.

    Over winter I've been doing some fairly general spin sessions on Wattbikes using a mixture of sufferfest videos and structured sessions from the guy who runs the classes.

    Over the last few sessions, I noticed my eyes stinging and vision going a little strange mainly during efforts and toward the end of the classes. At first I thought this was down to sweat getting into my eyes and made more of an effort to keep my forehead dry between efforts, but in my last session about half way through I started to get what I could only describe as tunnel vision and I was struggling to focus on stuff but finished the session and went home. For about an hour afterwards I felt absolutely rotten to the point where my wife asked me to go and speak to the doctor because I'd complained a couple of times after previous sessions about feeling a little groggy or what feels a little like motion sickness.

    I spoke to the doctor yesterday and she said it sounded from what I was describing that I was on the brink of passing out during my last session and that although she feels she needs to tell me to stop doing the HIT sessions she doesn't like telling people to cut down on their physical exercise, so she recommended that I try doing longer but less intense sessions instead, but she took my HR and BP and said my resting HR was fantastic at just over 50bpm but my blood pressure was just slightly too high and could have something to do with my experiences during training.

    I just wondered if anyone else has had the same problem or has any suggestions on how to deal with it. I already have a lower than average salt diet and I try not to eat or drink much sugary stuff, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs, I rarely drink and I don't lead a life anymore stressful than most other people's so I'm not really sure what else I can do other than lose weight which is what I'm trying to do with my training even though I'm only two stone over my ideal weight.

    I'm just a little puzzled.


    Did you go for blood tests,
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/millions-coul ... ml#3fJviF8
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    Anyhow, I should just ask my neighbours and not here: one anaesthetist and two surgeons ought to know.

    You don't happen to have a Police dog handler too do you...? You know, just for good measure.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Anyhow, I should just ask my neighbours and not here: one anaesthetist and two surgeons ought to know.

    You don't happen to have a Police dog handler too do you...? You know, just for good measure.

    I might :wink::wink:
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    Not that i'm stalkimg you or anything....

    Just keeping tabs on the locals. :oops:
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Not that i'm stalkimg you or anything....

    Just keeping tabs on the locals. :oops:

    Only the dodgy ones, anyway 8) 8)
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Anybody any expertise on this topic? Took my pressure 3x in a row this morning as per Blood Pressure website advice

    135/85
    117/72
    118/75

    The second 2 look to be in the "ideal" range and the first one on the margin. What number matters on blood pressure? The highest it gets, the lower numbers or the average over an extended period?

    The lower (diastolic) pressure is the one that is of most use in diagnosing hypertension as it is less influenced by other factors at the time of measurement; yours appears to be fine.
  • macroadiemacroadie Posts: 172
    In January 14' I got my yearly test and doc told me my BP was high. Good news my hematocrit was 49% :)
    She asked me to stop/reduce sodium/salt intake and add more potassium to my diet before med recommendation. My cycling increased and I do lots of intervals and weekend long rides (65miles +). My BP has gown down from the 140 to 99.
    Some foods I've been taking to help reduce BP. Beet root juice, garlic, flax seed
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    macroadie wrote:
    In January 14' I got my yearly test and doc told me my BP was high. Good news my hematocrit was 49% :)
    She asked me to stop/reduce sodium/salt intake and add more potassium to my diet before med recommendation. My cycling increased and I do lots of intervals and weekend long rides (65miles +). My BP has gown down from the 140 to 99.
    Some foods I've been taking to help reduce BP. Beet root juice, garlic, flax seed

    Hct of 49 is good - your HR must be pretty low. I have a friend with Hct up in the mid-50's. He actually has some health issues which may be related to that.

    I've been doing loads of miles in training and losing a lot of weight in preparation for AD6. Is that 99 systolic or diastolic?

    Diet is about the only thing I have left in my armoury and the one area where I'm pretty sure I'm not great - not enough fruit and veg. Will do more to fix that - I already had a bottle of beet juice in the fridge so I'll give that a go (though, from the data, I'm not sure I have much of an issue.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    I wouldn't ask a surgeon about anything medical.
    Go see your GP +/- Cardiologist if you are concerned about your BP
    https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/con ... ssure.aspx
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    FatTed wrote:
    I wouldn't ask a surgeon about anything medical.
    Go see your GP +/- Cardiologist if you are concerned about your BP
    https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/con ... ssure.aspx

    But an anaesthetist is a different story - that's a key part of his job to keep an eye on it
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • macroadiemacroadie Posts: 172
    macroadie wrote:
    In January 14' I got my yearly test and doc told me my BP was high. Good news my hematocrit was 49% :)
    She asked me to stop/reduce sodium/salt intake and add more potassium to my diet before med recommendation. My cycling increased and I do lots of intervals and weekend long rides (65miles +). My BP has gown down from the 140 to 99.
    Some foods I've been taking to help reduce BP. Beet root juice, garlic, flax seed

    Hct of 49 is good - your HR must be pretty low. I have a friend with Hct up in the mid-50's. He actually has some health issues which may be related to that.

    I've been doing loads of miles in training and losing a lot of weight in preparation for AD6. Is that 99 systolic or diastolic?

    Diet is about the only thing I have left in my armoury and the one area where I'm pretty sure I'm not great - not enough fruit and veg. Will do more to fix that - I already had a bottle of beet juice in the fridge so I'll give that a go (though, from the data, I'm not sure I have much of an issue.

    yes HR is around 50-55. Lots of vegetables (spinach, collard green, kale), avacadoes, all dark green vegetables is good for you. Take vitamn e, b complex, vitamic c. Snack on healthy nuts and bananas which have potassium.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    FatTed wrote:
    I wouldn't ask a surgeon about anything medical.
    Go see your GP +/- Cardiologist if you are concerned about your BP
    https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/con ... ssure.aspx

    But an anaesthetist is a different story - that's a key part of his job to keep an eye on it

    Only whilst he/she is looking after you, long term management of Hypertension is the domain of your GP/Cardiologist

    and it would seem the interweb
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    FatTed wrote:
    [
    Only whilst he/she is looking after you, long term management of Hypertension is the domain of your GP/Cardiologist

    and it would seem the interweb

    Yes - I'm not looking for long term advice just what number I should be thinking about: peak or average during a day. I've learned already that the figure starts low, increases towards the middle if the day and trails slightly towards the end. I'm only in a monitoring stage and not yet being treated - only to see if I have an issue. I'll be going back to my GP next week just interested to understand the numbers I'm seeing. I'll be doing nothing with the advice nor taking any decisions - I expect there's a few people on here who might be able to supply information.

    Interestingly I've always had my medical fairly early in the day (8am) whereas this time it was mid-afternoon. This might be why my BP has apparently gone up. It might be exactly the same but the variation through the day would account for the difference. I'm reasonably sure that, if I have a problem, it's relatively mild - worst case peak numbers are around 85/145. Yesterday's average evening numbers were around 75/125 and morning 70/117
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    GP says I'm fine
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    But they always say that....

    Not that i'm trying to worry you. :?
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    ...I'm reasonably sure that, if I have a problem, it's relatively mild - worst case peak numbers are around 85/145. Yesterday's average evening numbers were around 75/125 and morning 70/117
    As a complete non-expert: I don't think there's anything that looks like a problem in those figures. I think if you were typically around 85/145 it might be considered a possible indicator of a problem but as a highest reading it's probably meaningless. IIRC my BP is typically around 85/130 but I've been thoroughly checked out and told that although slightly above normal it's genetically inherited, not an indicator of any underlying problem, my heart, blood vessels and cholesterol are in great shape and not to bother coming back for another 20 years. However, as with most things, your situation may vary. So it's dangerous to either reassure or worry yourself based on other peoples experiences.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,385
    GP says I'm fine
    Was about to say that myself, as far as I can see your figures are completely normal.

    BP varies a lot naturally from hour to hour and minute to minute depending on what you are doing or even thinking, in fact variation is a sign that your cardiovascular system is in decent shape. It's only if your BP is consistently or on average slightly raised that it would even mean anything, and even then the danger zone is not really until the lower figure is over 90 (and on more than one or two isolated occasions).

    I've known for years that my BP spikes whenever a doctor takes it because I'm anxious that it will be high. Usually now I ask them to take it two or three times - I can almost always get both diastolic and systolic to drop by 15 or 20 points on the second or third reading compared to the first one.. :)
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