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  1. #1
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Cycling with Health Issues - High BP and Diabetes

    A number of people have posted about their current struggles with health issues and my prayers are with BudBent and BluesDawg, both who have been dealing with cancer. My prayers are with you guys and I admire your courage in the face of your challenges.

    In the past month I have begun treatment for high blood pressure, which is under control and just last week started dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. The Blood Pressure is under control and this past Saturday I did a 20 mile ride with moderate hills and high temps. The day after I was just shot. No soreness, no exhaustion during the ride but high blood glucose. Kept well hydrated and snacked along the way. I have been reading up on Type 2 Diabetes and have done a number of searches on BikeForums and there are plenty of people cycling with Diabetes - Type 1 & 2. This is all new to me and I certainly have many of the typical symptoms listed particularly fatigue. I can get a full night sleep - 9 hours and still feel worn out the next day. I am certainly not used to it.

    I'm not sure if it is the BP Meds or the Diabetes, but it is really quite irritating! Do any of you have experience with one or the other or both combined? I know I have read posts in the past regarding BP Meds and the impact that they have on your energy level. I have an appointment with the Doc tomorrow and would appreciate your input and suggestions of any questions that I need to ask.

    For the record - I don't have a white bike DG. That could be a contributing factor. One never knows.
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  2. #2
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    I don't know about the effects of diabetes medications, but some blood pressure meds have a side effect of causing fatigue. They slow your heart and make it beat less forcefully, but the heart is muscle, and they seem to have similar effects on other muscles, too. Several years ago, when I first started taking them, walking was difficult for me. I could walk the quarter mile (downhill) to the local pharmacy OK, but would have to stop and rest on the way home. However, as the years went by, and the doctors juggled the types of medications and their dosages (and I got used to the stuff?), the situation has improved enormously. I'm still slow, but I'm walking 4 miles a day or biking 12 miles a day, now.

  3. #3
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    Fred, when my mom first started taking BP medication she complained about the fatigue you talk about. She reduced her dosage and felt better. It's mostly under control now, I believe, after losing all her excess weight and continuing to exercise almost daily.

    Type 2 diabetes can be a blessing in disguise. If you have not yet seen a Registered Dietitian, I urge you to do so. An RD can give you an eating plan to help balance your blood sugar and tailor it to your level of daily exercise. It's one of the first steps a newly diagnosed diabetic should take; your doctor should have made this suggestion -- if not, please do it anyway. If you are overweight, dropping that excess weight, adhering to a diabetic exchange food plan, and continuing to exercise can often bring it completely under control. I've seen that result in middle-aged, overweight newly-diagnosed diabetics who said that the diagnosis turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to them.

    Don't let yourself get discouraged; these are two diagnoses that can be controlled by lifestyle changes alone, that could lead you to feel better than you have in years.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I don't have diabetes but due to an operation to remove a cancer some years back I've got a system that likes to act somewhat like diabetes at times.

    The fact that you're here shows you want to improve and lick or at least deal with and contain this issue. I'd recomend the dietician as noted before and on top of that an ongoing series of visits with them and perhaps a doctor while you're making your lifestyle changes. As you begin to exercise more be it riding or some other activity you're needs and balances are going to change. In some cases quite radically I suspect. You'll want to work with both your doctor and a dietician to adapt as needed while you're on this path until things level out.

    Exhausted the day after a longish ride that's outside of your ordinary activity? I don't doubt it. I know that when I travel for business and have to sit through seminars or trainign courses and then take taxis everywhere with the others in the group I'm wiped from my commute for the first couple of days back after only a week away. Good health in later years is a soap bubble that requires constant attention to prevent it bursting. I've seen it in my own body as well as other friends of advanced years when something happens to limit their usual activities.

    At our ages we need to race forward just to keep up. At least its fun to do....
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  5. #5
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I'll push for a referral to a Dietitian and actually have a surprisingly healthy diet. Very, very seldom - maybe once a month do I have any fast food. I love to cook and eat a ton of fresh caught salmon, thrasher, and other fish that my friend brings home from numerous fishing trips to Mexico and British Columbia. Go to my favorite Mexican Rest and have a Shrimp Tostada or Civiche with a bunch of Japlepno's! Love those spices! Have a salad with a can of black beans for lunch with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (It actually isn't to bad.). I do not drink any regular soda's, drink iced tea with no sugar, water and probably to many diet soda's. My body is rebelling regardless!

    The frustrating part is that I have gone in three weeks from running 9 to 12 miles a week and lifting weights plus cycling to starting the BP med's and feeling like a sloth. My Glucose level has been gradually creeping up in spite of the exercise over the past five months. Additionally, in September I was down to 190 - 195 and my weight crept up to 220 and for the life of me I can't get it down. Exercise and all!

    In my research I ran across "Metabolic Syndrome" which described:

    High Cholesterol
    High Blood Pressure
    High Glucose
    High Hemoglobin
    Plus Other Things

    Fits me to a "T". I am concerned about leading a healthy active life with lots of bicycling and other outdoor activities verses just worried about my health, though that is important as well. Though I don't look particularly "fat" I consider myself over weight - no doubt!

    I know where I'm going, but I just don't know how I am going to get there! I am just not going sitting on the couch watching the tube!

    Thanks again for your input!
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  6. #6
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    The only book I would recommend on diabetes is by Richard K Bernstein, "The
    Diabetes Solution." He has a way of keeping your BG in a very normal range,
    much lower than the general medical profession's definition of normal. It is a
    bit extreme and I don't follow it exactly, but it is a big help when you understand
    what he is getting at. I have never had a 3 month average test result that was
    higher than the generally accepted normal range, and I would be embarrassed if
    I even got in the top half of that.

    On the other hand, low bg has its problems too. You can wind up unconscious and
    that puts a strain on your heart, because it pumps more blood (and puts your bp up)
    trying to get glucose to the brain or to everything that needs it. I just read a
    report lately that after a hypoglycemic incident, the rate of heart attack
    increased by a little more than double for the next couple of months. I do have
    the article saved somewhere and can send you the link if you would like.

    I do also take a bp medication and was horrified to do that at first. The
    beginning of the end I thought, but now I really like it, although I do have one
    mild negative side effect from it. I've had diabetes since I was 40 and just
    crossed 60 last year, longer than I expected to last. I don't think either condition
    adds too much to fatigue. I am certainly slowing down but doing a lot better than
    some of the people my age that I know.

    Best wishes with all that.
    Last edited by Closed Office; 07-10-08 at 01:00 AM.
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  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Have this talk with your doctor. Explain the tiredness, discuss side effects of the medicines involved and discuss possible alternatives with different side effects. Learn about the medicines that have been prescribed. Doctors tend to fall into set patterns about what should be given to patients with certain conditions and they sometimes need to be encouraged to think about what is most suitable for you. This requires that you become proactive on your own behalf.

  8. #8
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    [quote=fthomas;

    I'm not sure if it is the BP Meds or the Diabetes, but it is really quite irritating! Do any of you have experience with one or the other or both combined? I know I have read posts in the past regarding BP Meds and the impact that they have on your energy level. I have an appointment with the Doc tomorrow and would appreciate your input and suggestions of any questions that I need to ask.

    For the record - I don't have a white bike DG. That could be a contributing factor. One never knows. [/QUOTE]

    Thomas,
    You're a new diabetic, you have a long road ahead of you, the rest of your life!!
    Take it easy, I've been a diabetic 15 years and no problem yet BUt you have a lot of work to do.

    If you like drop me a note at pitzpho@earthlink.net and we'll talk, I also have VoIP so we talk talk. Don't worry about the firewall, I'll get it.
    Burr,
    I Push Iron & Turn Cranks!
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    I Stay Busy, I have GOPD

  9. #9
    Super Moderator making's Avatar
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    Since you were hyperglycemic I would bet on your blood pressure meds. I am not a doctor but I think diabetic education is one example of the problem with American healthcare. You should not have to seek out education, it should be routine and extensive. I think 25% or more older adults are diabetic, it is the largest cause of amputations today. Adequate education when a pt is diagnosed diabetic would save millions of dollars and improve quality of life for millions in US. Oh well that was my rant. Just educate yourself as much as you possibly can.
    Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are

  10. #10
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by making View Post
    Since you were hyperglycemic I would bet on your blood pressure meds. I am not a doctor but I think diabetic education is one example of the problem with American healthcare. You should not have to seek out education, it should be routine and extensive. I think 25% or more older adults are diabetic, it is the largest cause of amputations today. Adequate education when a pt is diagnosed diabetic would save millions of dollars and improve quality of life for millions in US. Oh well that was my rant. Just educate yourself as much as you possibly can.
    YUP, I had to go to school the first month and it has sure helped me.

    I stay about sugar 120-130, BP about 110/60 and my pulse base rate at wake up is 40. Some times I go up a little but thats OK, after 15 years I got to cheat a little.
    Hope Thomas sends me a phone number so we can talk. The main thing is relax but take care.

    If I can I'll help.
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    I Push Iron & Turn Cranks!
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  11. #11
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Burr - I will PM you my phone number and look forward to speaking. Thanks for everyone's feedback and information.
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Are you limiting your salt intake? Looks to me with all the mexican food,???

    I add NO salt to any home prepared food or to the food on my plate, and try to limit what I get otherwise. Last time I had pizza, my legs swelled up like a stuffed sausage!

    It makes a big difference. I have been able to significantly reduce my BP meds - along with weight loss, exercise, etc.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fthomas View Post
    .

    In the past month I have begun treatment for high blood pressure, which is under control and just last week started dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. The Blood Pressure is under control and this past Saturday I did a 20 mile ride with moderate hills and high temps. The day after I was just shot. No soreness, no exhaustion during the ride but high blood glucose. Kept well hydrated and snacked along the way. I have been reading up on Type 2 Diabetes and have done a number of searches on BikeForums and there are plenty of people cycling with Diabetes - Type 1 & 2. This is all new to me and I certainly have many of the typical symptoms listed particularly fatigue. I can get a full night sleep - 9 hours and still feel worn out the next day. I am certainly not used to it.

    I'm not sure if it is the BP Meds or the Diabetes, but it is really quite irritating! Do any of you have experience with one or the other or both combined? I know I have read posts in the past regarding BP Meds and the impact that they have on your energy level. I have an appointment with the Doc tomorrow and would appreciate your input and suggestions of any questions that I need to ask.
    It could be normal fatigue unless you are a regular rider. I have friend who was on a BP med and he had no energy loss. He's naturally a high energy guy. Actually, when he started to ride regularly, he had to be taken off BP medication as his blood pressure got too low. He rode hard and often. Exercise can be a cure for both high BP and possibly type 2 as well.

    Unfortunately, he's stopped riding and I expect to see him on a BP med again. We get lazy I guess.

    I developed high BP at age 26. I refused to take medication and cured it in three months by jogging. It's been down ever since or for about 43 years now.

    Al

  14. #14
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    After reading all these post I can only be thankful that I am in as good of shape as I am.

    Two weeks ago I changed my workout routine to three days riding and two days lifting BUT after reading this months “Men’s Health” I am going back to three and three.

    Living with diabetes is one of the hardest things to do but if you want to live then you have to do.

    My Motto is “DO OR DIE”

    I keep very good records and I find the harder I workout the better share I am in. I just can’t wait to workout everyday and I’m 66.
    Burr,
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  15. #15
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I would love to put you in touch with my best friend. He's struggles daily with his diabetes and BP (as well as high cholestrol). He takes a mountain of pills everyday (and he' only 46) and knowing him for 10 years, I see his health getting worse and worse each year. Sadly it's not the diabetes but the medicine (or medicides as he calls them) that's killing him.

    When I met him he was an incredibly strong cyclist. His weight was under control. He was doing well. But little by little the doc started adding medicines. I know from my own experience with BP meds what they can do. You just don't feel good. Before after about 20 minutes I would warm up and feel good but now the entire ride is a warm-up. My legs never feel good. My friend is ultra sensitive to heat and dehydration and pretty much this time of year he has to shut down.

    I've worked with my doc to get down to a very low dose of BP meds but my friends diabetes (yours as well) complicates things. Your stroke risk is way higher than mine. As well as eye damages, kidney damage etc. All I can say is just keep riding but maybe tamper alittle; not as hard or out as fast. Try riding in the afternoon as oppose to mornings (my friend does better in the evening). Also if you have some weight to lose, try getting off 20 lbs and maybe getting off BP meds altogether.

    Good luck, I understand your struggle. Since going on BP meds, I've fallen apart, gained weight and almost stopped riding. I'm trying slowly to get back to it. But it's incredibly hard.
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  16. #16
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    BC,
    After being a diabetic for 15 years I have watched many people die or be very sick from Diabetes.
    In "most" cases in because they refuse to do right. IF, you eat right and exercise then your count has to come down.

    You can say all you want but the bottom line is “DO OR DIE” and until this becomes their motto they are going to suffer!
    Ounces you except the fact that you are going to have to eat right and exercise your count comes down, your BP comes down and your life get much better BUT it’s up to the individual.

    The stuff about the BP meds is that the byproduct is that it repairs your kidneys, all diabetics have bad kidneys!
    Burr,
    I Push Iron & Turn Cranks!
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  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Sounds like a lot of great advice BUT -- have you even tried just riding a white bike? What if that WAS the problem?
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burr View Post
    After reading all these post I can only be thankful that I am in as good of shape as I am.

    Two weeks ago I changed my workout routine to three days riding and two days lifting BUT after reading this months “Men’s Health” I am going back to three and three.

    Living with diabetes is one of the hardest things to do but if you want to live then you have to do.

    My Motto is “DO OR DIE”

    I keep very good records and I find the harder I workout the better share I am in. I just can’t wait to workout everyday and I’m 66.
    As you say, working hard is the key. The older you are (I'm 69), the quicker you decondition and the slower you recover which means it's easier to over train. The latest thinking/science on exercise and ageing is in an interesting book Younger Next Year. It's written by an MD and an old guy. I highly recommend it to anybody over 40 as that's when the genetically programmed decay sets in. A six day per week routine is recommended: 4 aerobic and 2 resistance training.

    I was doing fine riding single track twice a week for 2 to 2.5 hours at a time at pretty high heart rates and two days of weight training per week. I've recently added two days of jogging and feel even better. Six days is definitely better than four.

    You may not really "do or die", but you will definitely "do or decay" which means a poor quality of life for many years if not decades. A saying from Younger Next Year is that aerobics keeps you alive and weight training makes it worth living. I have found through personal experiences that it's literally true.


    Al

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    I have high bp and type II diabetes. I also have sleep apnea. A lot of research indicates that
    type II diabetes and sleep apnea go hand in hand and leads to enormous fatigue even if you are
    sleeping 9 hrs a night. This might be a consideration for you. Not all doctors are alert to the link
    between diabetes and sleep apnea. If you are getting 9 hrs. of sleep a night and still feel tired
    you all ready have one symptom. It might be something to think about. You can go here for
    more info.

    http://www.apneasupport.org//

  20. #20
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    I've been Type 2 for about 5 years now. Diet and exercise have worked wonders, but recently my glucose levels have been increasingly hard to control. I have always taken Glucovance, but recently my doctor started me on a new drug called Januvia (taken in combination with the Glucovance), and it has gotten my readings right back on track.
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  21. #21
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    Fred, please tell me your doctor recommended seeing an RD or nutritionist or seeking the advice of someone for dietary help. Diabetes management can be complicated and really needs the support of a professional walking you through it, at least at the start.
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