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Thread: Blood Pressure

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    Registered User willybrokeback's Avatar
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    Blood Pressure

    I have been dealing with elevated blood pressure for a while now, but last week I went to donate blood and the nurse took my BP and it registered at 180/110, so I am going to go seem my GP tomorrow and most likely get put on medication before something explodes. Anyone on BP meds? At first I was really depressed about it, and I am working at dropping weight to help, but my family has a long history of hypertension. Anything I should worry about from a lifters perspective?
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    Registered User latverian41's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by willybrokeback View Post
    I have been dealing with elevated blood pressure for a while now, but last week I went to donate blood and the nurse took my BP and it registered at 180/110, so I am going to go seem my GP tomorrow and most likely get put on medication before something explodes. Anyone on BP meds? At first I was really depressed about it, and I am working at dropping weight to help, but my family has a long history of hypertension. Anything I should worry about from a lifters perspective?
    I have had BP issues since I was 15. Even with the meds mine stays high

    Defeintly go get some blood pressure meds if you’re is high like that
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    Originally Posted by willybrokeback View Post
    I have been dealing with elevated blood pressure for a while now, but last week I went to donate blood and the nurse took my BP and it registered at 180/110, so I am going to go seem my GP tomorrow and most likely get put on medication before something explodes. Anyone on BP meds? At first I was really depressed about it, and I am working at dropping weight to help, but my family has a long history of hypertension. Anything I should worry about from a lifters perspective?
    I have been on them since 38 y/o or so. Long history of family hypertension here as well. My BP was never as high as what you are seeing, mine is more borderline. I have done a fair bit of research and spoke with my Dr etc on numerous occasions. My suggestions: Avoid heavy singles with heavy compounds, if you have to hold your breath for long periods or valsalva to complete the lift that is probably not good either, this obviously will effect how much you can safely lift as you wont be able to brace as well.
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    My blood pressure was getting high and I was looking at probably ending up on some meds. But when I started working out and lost weight at 49 it dropped significantly and is well below 120/80.
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    Dropping weight will help and throwing in some cardio if you're not doing any.
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    You will find the doctor is very keen to give you pills. You should always follow medical advice, but you should also seek to avoid having to get it. Run this by your doctor:

    1. eating 3 pieces of fruit and 3 cups vegetables a day
    2. eating oats for breakfast
    3. replacing some red meat with fish and beans
    4. doing a 30-60' brisk walk every day
    5. dropping bodyweight to get to the 18.5-25 BMI range

    and ask if that's likely to help your blood pressure. I suspect your doctor will agree that these things will, in most cases, contribute to lowering blood pressure and other things risking heart disease and cancer.

    With a family history like that you can't afford to mess around. Genetics loads the gun, your behaviour pulls the trigger. as currently practiced, modern bodybuilding and powerlifting are not conducive to good health long-term. Lots of meat, getting as big as possible, and of course any illicit drug use - well, you look great but most won't live long.

    A more balanced approach as was advocated in the 1880s to 1940s is much more likely to lead to good health. If your gun is loaded at least put the safety on and point it away from your head.
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    Originally Posted by willybrokeback View Post
    I have been dealing with elevated blood pressure for a while now, but last week I went to donate blood and the nurse took my BP and it registered at 180/110, so I am going to go seem my GP tomorrow and most likely get put on medication before something explodes. Anyone on BP meds? At first I was really depressed about it, and I am working at dropping weight to help, but my family has a long history of hypertension. Anything I should worry about from a lifters perspective?
    Don't shoot the messenger!

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    What's your weight/height. Hows your diet? Drink? Smoke?

    Meds unnecessary for the vast majority of the population
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    I have always tried to make changes before resorting to meds, if/when possible. Look into magnesium (do some reading into different types). Also, as advised, look at your eating, cardio, weight, fitness etc. My mother has had dangerously elevated BP (hypertension) since she turned 40. Dad never did. Instead of looking at her eating habits (she had also been a smoker till then), she went straight on meds. She's been on several now.

    Try asking your doctor what HanleyTucks suggested. Many doctors will push meds, but not all do.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Dropping weight will help and throwing in some cardio if you're not doing any.
    This.

    Mine used to run higher when I was about 25 pounds heavier in body weight (despite still being in very good shape at the higher weight). Heart still had to work harder to pump the blood through that much mas though.

    As for the cardio, just walking for 45 minutes to an hour a day will do wonders for a person's BP.
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    Guys, I'm a pediatrician so not the most relevant to this section but there is no doubt on my mind that if OP's blood pressure is 180/110 he needs to be on meds ASAP. Lifestyle modifications are great and perhaps OP will get to a point where meds are not necessary but to walk around with a BP that high is going to be terribly harmful to one's health long term. Suggesting OP to not take meds now is poor advice given how high the blood pressure is.

    OP, I'd get on the meds and then also do the obvious lifestyle things (low sodium diet, lose excess body fat, other things suggested above). Over time you will likely be able to wean down on the doses and possibly get off the meds entirely.
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    Let me add that since op said this, "family has a long history of hypertension" there is a good chance that it is written into his "genetic code."Now that doesn't mean that he can't lower it, but it may be higher than most people because of that.

    Get on the pills asap so you don't drop dead and start the life modifications so that they can lower the prescribed dosage amount sooner than later.

    The pills make you dizzy and tired so less is best. By lowering your naturally high pressure you feel sluggish.
    good luck!
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    I clicked on this thread to see the responses as I'm going to my doctor at 2:00 pm today for not high blood pressure, but for prolonged elevated heart rate. My heart rate has been bouncing around as high as 160 for almost two weeks now. It's been pretty scary. Hopefully I'll get some answers soon.

    I agree that OP should get on meds until he can make those necessary lifestyle changes.
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    I had to try 2 or 3 different dosages to get it right. Even then there were times it was still just over the borderline. The timing of when you take readings is important, you should take it rested. Its a good idea to keep track of it on a regular basis and be consistent how you take the readings. I bought a decent quality home BP tester and usually take my readings in the later part of evening...just before I fall asleep, but sometimes in the morning before coffee after visiting the bathroom. I have not had a reading out of the safe range for years.

    The other thing to keep track of is stress. I am a completely different person now than 15 years ago, I am mentally stronger much of this through maturity of course, but also through fitness; there is a certain self reliance and satisfaction from seeing through a hard gym session, 75K on a road bike, or playing with my hockey team (usually down 3 goals)... Something someone who does not take their fitness seriously would not understand. I have not had to alter my dosage since we got it right. Meds are not a failure.
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    Originally Posted by bustasinclair View Post
    I clicked on this thread to see the responses as I'm going to my doctor at 2:00 pm today for not high blood pressure, but for prolonged elevated heart rate. My heart rate has been bouncing around as high as 160 for almost two weeks now. It's been pretty scary. Hopefully I'll get some answers soon.

    I agree that OP should get on meds until he can make those necessary lifestyle changes.
    Get ready for the enlarged left ventricle due to years of weight training.
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    50 years old been on Lisinopril for 2 years. Started at 10 mg, lost weight, stopped drinking and started getting headrushes. Now down to 5 mg.

    HBP is really bad for your kidneys as well. My problem is good old fashioned genetics. Laying off the booze and losing 10 lbs helped a great deal.
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    Originally Posted by x-trainer ben View Post
    Get ready for the enlarged left ventricle due to years of weight training.
    I RARELY go to the doctor, so I'm prepared for the usual, "we needs tests to determine what's happening". But I suppose I have to get the ball rolling now before it becomes something much worse. I am now of the age when my father passed from massive stroke.
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    Originally Posted by bustasinclair View Post
    I RARELY go to the doctor, so I'm prepared for the usual, "we needs tests to determine what's happening". But I suppose I have to get the ball rolling now before it becomes something much worse. I am now of the age when my father passed from massive stroke.
    Oh hell yeah, lower that rate b4 a "fight or flight" incident spikes it and you pass the point of no return. The family history carries some weight.
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    Weight loss is the place to start IMO.
    The heart will have less of a work load pumping blood with a lighter body.
    I dropped thirty pounds and it made a difference on my BP.
    As mentioned a better diet helps.
    Unfortunately my doctor didn't notice the weight drop even with charts in front of his eyes.
    I had to ask to if i could be taken off one of the BP meds i was taking.
    If i didn't ask he would of just kept me on the same regime of meds.
    Im not keen being on several meds at once and most doctors don't take the time to revaluate your meds if your situating changes.
    They probably are just two busy IMO.
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    Originally Posted by latverian41 View Post
    I have had BP issues since I was 15. Even with the meds mine stays high

    Defeintly go get some blood pressure meds if you’re is high like that
    Stop drinking.
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    Thank you

    Appreciate the responses. See if I can hit everything here. I am 5'10 254 (262 clothed at the Dr.). I don't smoke, drink moderately (defined as two drinks or less a night). I lift six days a week, heavy, iso holds and drop sets varied up in the routine. I walk at work most days on my breaks, 30-45 minutes. I play two hours of hockey on Sundays. My diet is pretty good, but could be better. I really struggle to drop weight, to the point I think I may have low T. It seem I have to go sub 1800 cal daily to drop weight. I am trying to get more plants in my diet, my wife is a salter, but I am not (except hard boiled eggs)

    Today I went to the Dr. and she put me on a mixed bp meds that apparently reduces the salt in your blood and the other helps you keep potassium. I am really trying to drop weight and see if that helps, but I was worried that something would explode before I was able to get things under control. So I am going to take the meds and keep working on it. I am great in the gym (considering my terrible back), but my willpower at home is medium at best.

    As far as stress I have three little girls 3,5, and 9, so my house is nuts. My job is medium and I live in the LA/OC area of CA so traffic is a nightmare, but there is not much I can do about those.

    Thank you again for the responses and advice. My goal is to get off the meds by dropping weight and cleaning up the diet. Hopefully.
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    What worked for me.

    1. Eliminate alcohol.
    2. Reduce mean consumption (I've been predominantly plant based for 5 months).
    3. Maintain a healthy weight, I'm guessing 5'10 254 is overweight for you.

    6 months ago I was borderline hypertensive, I'm not any longer.

    Regardless of the above, I hope the meds get it under control for you.
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    Originally Posted by willybrokeback View Post
    I have been dealing with elevated blood pressure for a while now, but last week I went to donate blood and the nurse took my BP and it registered at 180/110, so I am going to go seem my GP tomorrow and most likely get put on medication before something explodes. Anyone on BP meds? At first I was really depressed about it, and I am working at dropping weight to help, but my family has a long history of hypertension. Anything I should worry about from a lifters perspective?

    The question that needs answering: why does your heart create such a high pressure to pump blood into your brain?

    How is your pulse at rest?


    I found high bp and high pulse correlated with dehydration. Drinking more and getting a massage to losen up muscles usually reduces my bp.
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    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    What worked for me.

    1. Eliminate alcohol.
    2. Reduce meat consumption (I've been predominantly plant based for 5 months).
    3. Maintain a healthy weight, I'm guessing 5'10 254 is overweight for you.

    6 months ago I was borderline hypertensive, I'm not any longer.

    Regardless of the above, I hope the meds get it under control for you.
    The other recommendation is to walk your doggy everyday, even if you don't have one.

    There's no disputing the diet correlation. Implementation depends on if the OP wants to dance with his daughters at their weddings and play with his grandchildren or just be referred to in stories.
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    Originally Posted by andy0w View Post
    The question that needs answering: why does your heart create such a high pressure to pump blood into your brain?...
    The systolic (top number) isn't just the heart behavior. Blood exits the heart into the Aorta, sort of like a walking-stick shape curving round then straight (ish) downwards, it's muscular and should work in concert with the heart pumping. It can get stiff/tense and not function optimally which can be one factor in high systolic BP.

    I'm not suggesting anyone here BP issues are caused by that or any other issue, but I do want to point out that it's not just the heart, there's a whole lot going on.

    Other factors such as general arterial stiffness, nitric oxide, levels, sodium and other mineral levels + kidney function, hormone levels like aldesterone and friends (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineralocorticoid), medication interaction, stress, snoring and/or sleep apnoea, bodyfat, fitness, dietary vegetables+fiber+potassium, genetics - there's a heap of possible causes and why this needs diagnosis by a qualified doc.

    It really is a subject that's way too complex and way too important to get wrong for "internet-diagnosis" by random people like me, definitely a qualified doc issue.
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    This is going to get hate on a bodybuilding forum, but at that height OP, you could stand to drop almost 100 pounds and still be at a healthy weight for your height.

    Next time you are at the gym, hold 100 pounds and fel how much weight that is that your body is needlessly carrying around. Do you need that size for your daily life, or vanity?
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    It would only make logic sense to fix your diet first before taking drugs. Cant hurt to try.

    Of cursem, this is my cure all for everything, probably because it works.
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    I would agree to the diet/lifestyle approaches if it was borderline readings.

    The OP's BP is excessively high...he requires medical intervention, and surveillance until he gets it under control.

    I would not be doing anything that increases the BP either until he gets it under control, and that includes heavy lifting.
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    Is anyone aware of any scientific research involving muscle mass and blood pressure? I know excess body fat, especially visceral fat increases BP, but muscles? It would seem prudent to work on the visceral fat first right? Then if it needs to drop still possibly drop some muscle?
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    Originally Posted by willybrokeback View Post
    Is anyone aware of any scientific research involving muscle mass and blood pressure? I know excess body fat, especially visceral fat increases BP, but muscles? It would seem prudent to work on the visceral fat first right? Then if it needs to drop still possibly drop some muscle?


    This all depends on HOW muscle mass has been developed, just because one has muscle does not mean it's healthy. Many of strongmen who use weights for cardio still die young, with family history, my theory is they follow the whole eating every couple hours which is too much beef/meat.

    Best not to play with nature, eat when the body naturally says "I NEED it" not when the muscle mags and other heros say to.

    You may already follow that? Like I said, just me theroy, only a gut instinct, is all????????
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