Blood Pressure and weight

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Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:02 am

Alright, some of you will have seen my weight losing struggles on here a bit already.

Well, I did well at the beginning of the year and lost about 8kgs pretty quickly until about 2-3 weeks ago. Mostly stopped cycling and kinda fallen back into bad habits with my eating. No, I don't particularly want any "it's easy" and "grow a pair" comments because of my lack of self discipline!

Anyway, paid the price for it this weekend. Went to bed with one of the worst headaches I've ever had on Saturday night and thought I'd just check my blood pressure for safety's sake. While riding quite a lot and losing weight earlier in the year my BP has been really good so this was just a safety check and I didn't really expect that the headache was caused by high BP.

Well, my BP was 150/95
Drank some panadol, but an hour later my head felt worse so I took my BP again and it was 160/106 so I started panicking. Didn't have any asprin in the house, so I drove to 2 petrol stations and K-mart (FYI, k-mart does not sell asprin) and final found some Aspro Clear at the 3rd petrol station. By the time I got home I could feel my heart beating in my head and I felt like I had to sneak around slowly coz every step felt like a hammer hitting my head. Took my BP reading again and it was 177/113. Not good at all!!

BP went down to 150/83 about an hour later and 127/83 (+/-) when I woke up later Sunday morning.
Early Sunday evening the headache returned and and my BP went up to 147/106 again, but I drank two Aspro Clear and the headache went away. At the doctor's this morning it was again 140(something)/106 and the doc's prescribed an additional BP pill.

So... I'll be back on the bike tomorrow and I'll simply have to stop these bingeing sessions of mine.
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by BNA » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:07 am

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Blood Pressure and weight

Postby Comedian » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:07 am

Sorry to hear mate. I know two people that have had this gland play up which causes high bp. They have had them removed and all good.

Unfortunately I can't remember the gland... Lol. I guess the point I was trying to make is it might not be weight alone causing the issues so don't beat on yourself. :). See how it goes but maybe there are other things to get checked.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby sogood » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:20 pm

Adrenal glands? :wink:
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Blood Pressure and weight

Postby Comedian » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:29 pm

sogood wrote:Adrenal glands? :wink:

Thanks! :mrgreen: .... Those are the little beggars..:D

The theatre bucket is too good for them! :mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby wheels46 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:51 pm

I'd follow the red forum rules tag on top of the page and consult your GP. Those readings aren't what you'd call great. Jumping back on a bike and beating yourself up could do more harm that good in the short term. :!:
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby TimW » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:44 pm

Agree with above, with those readings did the Dr say it was ok for you to go back on the bike? Maybe some walking, then walking at a quicker pace might be better for the heart atm , but follow the Dr's advice, as recommended by others.Tim
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:08 pm

Actually my doctor's on leave and the one I saw today didn't even let me finish describing the events of the weekend. She interrupted me while I was talking, took a reading and decided that I need extra medication.
So I'll go back to my own doc when she returns in 2 weeks' time.

But yes, I am wondering whether I should ride Loop The Lake on Sunday... For now the plan is to ride 20kms tomorrow and 40 on Wednesday and see what my BP does in the mornings and evenings over the next couple of days.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby sogood » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:40 pm

It's not clear to me that the headache was definitely BP related. JustD did not give sufficient information.

Otherwise one of the best thing a patient suffering from hypertension is to get their weight down to the "normal" range (if they are obese), and exercise of suitable exertion. There are plenty examples of patients able to wean off poly-medicine as a result. Not guaranteed for everyone, but it's better than even chance and the body will definitely be healthier.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby rkelsen » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:52 pm

justD wrote:... 150/95... 160/106... 177/113...

Scary chit. This is the sort of thing that keeps me on the bike. A healthy heart is well worth the inconvenience of getting wet or riding into headwinds.
justD wrote:So... I'll be back on the bike tomorrow and I'll simply have to stop these bingeing sessions of mine.

Please do this. If not only for yourself, do it for your family.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby philip » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:15 am

I've been measuring my blood pressure recently and it's a bit on the high side, but varies a fair bit, between 120-150, though diastolic seems to be in the "normal" range most of the time. I'm pretty skinny, here's a recent pic: (I'm at the front) Image
I'm not sure if it's something to be worried about, I haven't been to a doctor in decades so I would say I'd check next time I go but that might not be for a while so I will ask Dr Internets instead. My resting heart rate is around 45-50bpm. I remember reading an article about athletes with low heart rates and high BP but can't remember the details, does anyone know about this or happen to have a link handy?
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby MichaelB » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:41 am

Last BP/pulse reading when donating plasma wasa 112/73 and 48bpm :D . And my BMI is about 29 :x

With respect to the pruior doctor cutting you off - yes, she may know more, but it is your right (as you paid for the appointment) to ask her to let you finish and ask questions, and not blindly accept the 'diagnosis' without question.

Agree with rkelson, think about your family and seek assistance if you need it to stop the binging - there is ALWAYS a reason/issue that you are trying to ignore that drives the desire to binge. Been there, done that.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby martin_12 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:43 pm

Unfortunately lots of exercise doesn't guarantee low blood pressure.

For many people high BP is caused by eating too much salt. Most of us eat much too much salt, even if we don't add it at the table. Most processed foods, specially bread, contain loads of the stuff. Salt damages kidneys and blood vessels even in those people whose BP is unaffected.

To reduce your salt intake stick to the Aussie dietary guidelines and avoid foods that have more than 120 mg of sodium per 100g.

This is a very good website written by the late Trevor Beard who was an expert on salt and BP:
http://www.saltmatters.org

Despite what many think, a low salt diet does not cause cramps, even if you sweat a lot.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:37 pm

That's very interesting, thanks martin_12. I love salt and have been complaining for the past 2 1/2 years that I've been here about the lack of salt in Australian foods. Certainly willing to give that a go.

MichaelB, I agree and by the time I got home I could kick myself for not thinking for myself, but in the doctor's rooms on Monday morning I felt a little sorry for myself and just wanted someone to tell me this is how you get better. Anyway, my own doctor's back next week so I'll go see her then and watch my BP in the meantime. It's a little better today and was at 136/92 this afternoon when I got home. Still too high, but down considerably.

As for the adrenal glands Comedian and Sogood, I wonder if you're not talking about my thyroid. Something else I forgot about was that when they tested my thyroid about a year ago my results were "on the edge". Not sure of the medical terms, but the doc said I could be pre-hyper or hypothyroidism. Thyroid problems can apparently cause both high BP and headaches.

sogood wrote:It's not clear to me that the headache was definitely BP related. JustD did not give sufficient information.


Sogood, you're right - I don't know whether the headache was caused by the BP. What other info should I have given? All I know is that if I get a headache I check my BP for safety's sake and have often found it higher than usual when I have a headache.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby Comedian » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:58 pm

justD wrote:As for the adrenal glands Comedian and Sogood, I wonder if you're not talking about my thyroid. Something else I forgot about was that when they tested my thyroid about a year ago my results were "on the edge". Not sure of the medical terms, but the doc said I could be pre-hyper or hypothyroidism. Thyroid problems can apparently cause both high BP and headaches.

No it was the adrenal glands ... as I said I know two people who have had them removed. One was a doctor who got to nearly 40 living with high BP before one of her colleges worked it out. She has since had the offending one removed and has perfect BP. Having said that, there are clearly lots of causes for this... maybe you need to push the GP to do further tests or send you off to a specialist of some description. Hell I'm an IT guy what would I know? Still... it's just asking questions.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby sogood » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:49 pm

justD wrote:Sogood, you're right - I don't know whether the headache was caused by the BP. What other info should I have given? All I know is that if I get a headache I check my BP for safety's sake and have often found it higher than usual when I have a headache.

Not saying your headache wasn't related to your BP, but it wasn't enough info earlier. Right now, it's more suggestive. If you find your BP to be lower when you don't have a headache, then it's more supportive. Irrespective, the BP at your stated level isn't something that you can afford to wait for weight loss and exercise and diet to control. Go see you GP and get it under control ASAP. But bringing it under control doesn't mean you can slack off and not work on the fundamentals. At the end of the day, it's your life, your family, children/partner's fortune you are dealing with. Motivation can only come from within. Get well!
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Thanks for all your support people.

Just for the record, the doctor did put me on an extra pill (calcium channel blocker, I believe) and the BP does seem to be going down. So I'm not just sticking my head in the sand and leaving it - as I understand this type of medication takes a while to take full effect.
As for the adrenal glands and thyroid, I'll go see my own GP early next week, have those tested and ask her what else we should be testing.

Weight will obviously take a while to prove, but I have been eating healthy these past 3 days and I just came to the site now to update my ACF Loser's Club 2011 status which I conveniently skipped last week when things started going wrong.

Just for interest, another thing I didn't mention. For most of this year I've been off gluten. I haven't stuck to it religiously, but for most of the past 2 months I've stayed clear of bread, pasta and all wheat products - exception being Cheese Naan and KFC (I assume the batter has gluten in it) on my binges. On Saturday I bought the first loaf of bread this year and finished most of it between Saturday and Sunday. Don't know whether it has anything to do with it as my system was never completely gluten-free, but who knows.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby fatherofmany » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:34 pm

Hi Dirk,

sad to hear (read) this and that your not riding on Sunday. Still your health is the main concern, so your still riding around for many years to come.

As far as gluten goes, out of the 7 of us, 1 is a coeliac, 4 test positve to the gene but aren't coeliac and 2 of us aren't mutants. Wheat and Barley contain gluten, Oats don't but the protein they do contain is so close to gluten they are included in the "thou shalt not eat" list too.

So what does it have to bear... if your ok then eating wheat, barley or oats shouldn't have any adverse affects. Other than if you overdo it you may feel bloated as your body tries to digest it. If you have the gene but not the malady then it will affect the uptake of other nutrients, make you feel bloated even on small amounts, you'll be tired and generally not yourself. If your a coeliac then it drastically alters the lining of your stomach and intestinal tract, the villi (small fingerlike protrusions that increase surface area and absorption) get inflamed and retract. This alters the absorbtion area and food just seems to slip on through. our little one lost so much weight and her toilet visits stank like vomit, it was bad. She got so tired and listless she didn't want to do anything. Completely the opposite now that we've found out what it was and are doing something about it. Basically if you test for the gene and/or are a coeliac then really its an all or nothing deal if you want to live the best life possible.

Most take-away foods have something in them containing wheat, even chinese. Soy Sauce - wheat (most tamari however is ok and Fountain is ok but you have to check) Naan - definitely wheat. KFC - definitely wheat (unless you see me for a gluten free recipe that is almost indistinguishable from the original). At the supermarket it's astounding what actually contains wheat product when you start reading labels. Oh yes... beer is off the menu too. Although there are a couple of g/f brands out there, O'Briens is one of them and they make a light and a dark ale.

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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby jpgibson » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:06 pm

im readin the post on my iphone at my sons football training- so i may have missed a bit. your bp varies with every heartbeat. your adrenal glands are working- as you got more concerned re your headache and bp , so it went up thats the stress reponse. as it does when you see a dr- so called "whitecoat hypertension". it is very important to treat hypertension( both lifestyle and meds) if it is hypertension ( ie no gp would treat it aftera single isolated high reading). weight loss has significant benefits ( 1kg adipose tissue leads to about 1000m of extra capillaries which needs a higher head of pressure to perfuse). in general you lose 1mmHg BP for every kg lost. i may be medically qualified but this is to be taken as general info and not specific advice( sounds like a disclaimer doesnt it?).youre doing all the right things and as youve discovered, weight loss will in most cases cause a healthy rwductionin bp. there are rare things that can cause very high bp ( eg phaeochromocytoma- an adreanl tumour) but remember "
common things occur commonly).
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby wombatK » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:18 pm

philip wrote:I've been measuring my blood pressure recently and it's a bit on the high side, but varies a fair bit, between 120-150, though diastolic seems to be in the "normal" range most of the time. I'm pretty skinny, here's a recent pic: (I'm at the front)

I'm not sure if it's something to be worried about, I haven't been to a doctor in decades so I would say I'd check next time I go but that might not be for a while so I will ask Dr Internets instead. My resting heart rate is around 45-50bpm. I remember reading an article about athletes with low heart rates and high BP but can't remember the details, does anyone know about this or happen to have a link handy?

You might have nothing to worry about...
Some conditioned
athletes (particularly young men), with a slow heart rate
and compensatory increase in stroke volume, have high systolic
BP that is considered “spurious” hypertension (12) but should
nevertheless be carefully monitored.

From Eligibility Recommendations for Athletes with Cardiac Abnormalities (page 1346). The full article is worth reading
for more detail on how to evaluate Systemic Hypertension, including how to properly measure your BP.

It's worth seeing your doc, so that you've got a baseline of what is okay for you as you age. And to eliminate
the relatively unlikely possibility that there is something more serious to watch. Much less common, but skinny people do
get heart disease too.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby martin_12 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:20 am

Blood pressure is extremely difficult to measure accurately. If you are measuring your blood pressure with an automatic electronic sphygmomanometer, you need to do 2 things:

1. Make sure it has been properly validated. You can do this by looking on the .
dabl Educational Trust website. Check that your device is "recommended" or is equivalent to a recommended device.

2. Even validated automatic sphygmomanometers do not read correctly for some people. In some cases the errors are very big. Take your device with you to your doctor a few times and get him/her to measure your BP manually with a mercury manometer and compare the measurement with the value you get from your device. Preferably do more than one measurement with each instrument at each visit. Don't accept any BP measured with an aneroid manometer. Aneroid manometers have a circular mechanical pressure gauge indicating pressure. If your doctor doesn't have a mercury sphygmomanometer, find one who does. Even mercury sphygs can be inaccurate, but they are usually better than the other types.

Also remember that as jpgibson says, your BP varies a lot during the day. You should measure it at the same time of day and after resting quietly for about 10 min or more. Exercise, eating, tea, coffee, stress (like worrying about your BP) and many other things alter your BP, usually upwards.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby sogood » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:12 am

martin_12 wrote:Don't accept any BP measured with an aneroid manometer. Aneroid manometers have a circular mechanical pressure gauge indicating pressure. If your doctor doesn't have a mercury sphygmomanometer, find one who does. Even mercury sphygs can be inaccurate, but they are usually better than the other types.

Also remember that as jpgibson says, your BP varies a lot during the day...

You'll be hard pressed with that. Nowadays, it's hard to find an old style mercury sphygmo even in the hospital. So don't be too hard on the GPs.

BP not only varies a lot during the day, it varies beat to beat. The value of a home unit is not to be within 1mmHg accuracy that's required for lab experiments or critical hospital applications, but to be generally in range and be able to demonstrate a trend, one that alerts the user to consult a professional. At home, there's nothing you can or will do for a fluctuation of 5mmHg.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:50 pm

sogood wrote: The value of a home unit is not to be within 1mmHg accuracy that's required for lab experiments or critical hospital applications, but to be generally in range and be able to demonstrate a trend, one that alerts the user to consult a professional. At home, there's nothing you can or will do for a fluctuation of 5mmHg.


I understand that it's only an indication and hear what martin_12 is saying, but I have on a number of occasions (incluidng Monday) taken my BP monitor to the GP and gotten similar readings. It differs a bit, but each time the doc has said that it's pretty close, so I accept that and as Sogood says, it's just an indication. For me, my own BP monitor said my BP was somewhere between 115/75 and 130/90 up to 3-4 weeks ago (I'd take it fortnightly or even less frequently when things seem fine). So when it said 150/95 on Saturday night (Sunday morning) all I knew is that it was way higher than usual. That together with the headache made me worry. I'm pretty certain that the rise from that 150/95 to 177/113 within an hour or so was mostly or completely from me worrying about it.

Hope you don't find this too boring, but just some background:
Back in 2009 my then GP told me that I might have a carcinoid tumour after running a battery of tests to find out why I was turning red and getting hot flushes and dizzy spells. After a couple of thousand dollars of tests and 2 weeks of stressing about having a tumour I changed GPs. The next GP asked me 2 questions and immediately told me that I'm having a reaction to my BP medication (hot flushes and dizzyness etc are symptoms of calcium channel blockers). Problem solved.

Anyway, so the GP on Monday prescribed another calcium channel blocker although I told her about the side effects, she said it's still worth trying as this one's a more modern one and it hopefully wouldn't happen. Well, my high readings this week had happened every night around 1:00 - 2:00am and I have not slept past that time once this week. Yesterday morning my BP was at 155/120 at 3:00am so I went to the hospital and sat in the emergency's waiting room "just in case" until my GPs offices opened at 7:00.
This morning I finally decided not to grab for the BP monitor immediately as soon as I woke up with this nervous feeling and burning skin, just tried to calm myself down and bla. bla. bla. May have taken me 3 nights to do so, but I finally realised that these were the same symptoms as I had in 2009. Didn't take the calcium channel blocker this morning, went to the GP again and we'll see tonight (or say tomorrow night if it takes a while to get out of my system) whether it happens again.
Oh, and the doc took my BP at 132/83 this morning - much better.

Also had blood taken yesterday, so will see whether it's my thyroid when we get the results next week. Doc just throwned when I mentioned adrenal glands, so I don't know whether that's being tested, but my own GP is back next week so I'll discuss the results with her and ask her about them glands then.

I think what happened is that my BP went a little high on Saturday because I had stopped cycling 2 weeks before (not on purpose, just the way things worked out because I finally got a car after not having one for 2 1/2 years), started picking up weight again and definitely ate too much on Saturday and things just got out of hand from there (a) because I stressed about it and (b) because I reacted badly to the new BP meds which I started on Monday. We'll see over the next couple of days.

In the meantime I'm 2.5Kgs lighter this morning than I was on Sunday morning (part of the 3kgs that I'd picked up in the 2 weeks before that), so maybe this was just the scare I needed to recommit to my diet/exercise.

Now just to get some sleep!
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby justD » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:22 am

Nope, that's not it. Last had those meds on Wednesday morning (and I only took it for 3 days) and still, like every night I wake up in the middle of the night with a burning skin (and while feeling cold with shivering tonight), high BP (167/110 - dropped to 148/103 after leaving it for 1/2 an hour) and feeling wide awake.

Went to see an after hours doctor when the burning skin and nervousness started last night and again he just took my BP, said it was high, but I should just relax and give the meds a chance to work and prescribed a sleeping pill????
Even drinking a sleeping pill at 9:30 last night, I still woke up at 1:30, exactly the same time as yesterday moring and I'm feeling wide awake and restless now, doubt I'll sleep the rest of the night.

I don't know what to do... but sorry, not really a cycling forum problem.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby martin_12 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:39 am

I think I would ask for a referral to a good physician who specialises in hypertension.
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Re: Blood Pressure and weight

Postby Apple » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:13 am

Wow justinD, sorry to read about that.
I hope you get better, I saw my dad suffer with carcinoid tumour and unfortunately for him he had 1 in a million carcinoid syndrome which was not nice at all.
Take care of yourself and do as you are told, It may be best that you are not doing loop the lake, there are other rides you can do when you feel better and everyting medical is under control
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