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Old 05-06-12, 07:11 PM   #1
zacster
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Had a physical last week

For the first time ever, at 57 years old, I've had less than a stellar physical. My blood pressure is up, my cholesterol is high and my blood sugar was high. 2 years ago my blood pressure was borderline high, but everything else was fine.

My doctor's prescription? Eat less red meat and cheese, cut the salt, lose weight, and RIDE LOTS! She didn't want to prescribe anything else for another few months to see if riding brings it under control. I went straight to the bike shop from the office and bought a new pair of shoes and cleats that I've needed for a year now, but didn't buy because I wasn't riding enough.

I now have a doctor's note to go ride when I want.

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Old 05-06-12, 07:33 PM   #2
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Over 3000 posts and you're nor riding? Que pasa amigo?
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Old 05-06-12, 07:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
For the first time ever, at 57 years old, I've had less than a stellar physical. My blood pressure is up, my cholesterol is high and my blood sugar was high.
She didn't say anything about high glycemic index carbs? Eliminating soda, white bread, muffins, anything sweetened could be huge.

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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
2 years ago my blood pressure was borderline high, but everything else was fine.

My doctor's prescription? Eat less red meat and cheese, cut the salt, lose weight, and RIDE LOTS! She didn't want to prescribe anything else for another few months to see if riding brings it under control. I went straight to the bike shop from the office and bought a new pair of shoes and cleats that I've needed for a year now, but didn't buy because I wasn't riding enough.

I now have a doctor's note to go ride when I want.

The more the better! At age 66 My HDL is higher than it has been in twenty years, blood pressure down, triglycerides down, blood sugar good, etc. etc. I try to ride 100 miles/week. Cut down on carbs drastically. I don't worry about eating animal fats, but do look for quality grass fed organic meats.

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Old 05-06-12, 08:18 PM   #4
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I had my annual check up last week. Cholesterol and blood sugar are still in great shape, and the blood pressure is still high. I'm still on an ACE inhibitor and a diuretic. They keep things where they ought to be. I believe the blood pressure deal may be genetic. My dad had high BP and my mom (96) has high BP as well as one of my brothers. I've been riding a good bit this year with the favorable weather thus far. My doc, a young punk road cyclist, is all for my riding addiction.

Go out and ride, and put some oat bran and flax in your morning oat meal. Seems to work well for me.

Wonder if your doc could write a prescription for a new Cannondale?
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Old 05-06-12, 10:56 PM   #5
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She didn't say anything about high glycemic index carbs? Eliminating soda, white bread, muffins, anything sweetened could be huge.



Don in Austin
I'm not big on sweets in the first place, and never drink sugared soda (but I do drink diet soda), and never use white bread. I have an occasional chocolate but mostly avoid those too.
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Old 05-06-12, 10:58 PM   #6
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Over 3000 posts and you're nor riding? Que pasa amigo?
Been on the boards for almost 8 years now. I didn't ride much last year due to time issues, but I've been trying to ride more this year. The more I ride the more I post. I pretty much stopped the posting over the last year.

Maybe it's the other way around, you have 1300 posts since October. That's a lot more posting on average than I do even when I'm frequenting the boards.

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Old 05-07-12, 04:28 AM   #7
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I'm not big on sweets in the first place, and never drink sugared soda (but I do drink diet soda), and never use white bread. I have an occasional chocolate but mostly avoid those too.
That all sounds good. Chocolate is a health food IMHO if it is high percent cocoa and low sugar.

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Old 05-07-12, 04:42 AM   #8
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Been on the boards for almost 8 years now. I didn't ride much last year due to time issues, but I've been trying to ride more this year. The more I ride the more I post. I pretty much stopped the posting over the last year.

Maybe it's the other way around, you have 1300 posts since October. That's a lot more posting on average than I do even when I'm frequenting the boards.
Just wondering about your own circumstances. It wasn't meant to be the opening salvo of a flame war. Later.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:29 AM   #9
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FWIW, when I started riding 2 1/2 years ago at age 63, my triglycerides were elevated, LDL was high, HDL was low and my doctor was getting ready to put me on cholesterol medication along with the blood pressure medication I was already taking. Since I started riding, I have quit drinking carbonated beverages, quit eating at fast food places, portion my meals better, ride 30-45 miles a day and have lost 30 pounds. This past November, I went for my annual physical and my overall cholesterol was was 155, triglycerides were 103 (ideal < 200), LDL was 90 (ideal < 130) and the HDL was 48 (ideal > 40). I was taken off of my blood pressure medication about a year ago and I haven't felt better since I was in my late 30's when I was involved in martial arts. I'm not on a diet and eat pretty much anything I want, I just don't eat as much of it as I used to.

Last Wednesday, I went to my hematologist for my quarterly visit to see how my leukemia is doing. He and his wife are addicted cyclist and when I told him how many miles I have put on my bike this year, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. The riding is definitely helping the medication that I am taking in keeping the leukemia in check.

I would go with what your doctor is suggesting and RIDE LOTS. Besides, you DO have a prescription for it.
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Old 05-07-12, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
For the first time ever, at 57 years old, I've had less than a stellar physical. My blood pressure is up, my cholesterol is high and my blood sugar was high. 2 years ago my blood pressure was borderline high, but everything else was fine.

My doctor's prescription? Eat less red meat and cheese, cut the salt, lose weight, and RIDE LOTS! She didn't want to prescribe anything else for another few months to see if riding brings it under control. I went straight to the bike shop from the office and bought a new pair of shoes and cleats that I've needed for a year now, but didn't buy because I wasn't riding enough.

I now have a doctor's note to go ride when I want.
I feel for you. Though I've never had cholesterol or sugar issues I do have blood pressure issues. In fact my most recent cholesterol reading, my highest ever was 134 with a ratio of 3.7; HDL 36, LDL 83, triglycerides 77. My glucose reading came in at 90. Since I eat and drink whatever I please I suspect that genetics are my friend here.

My blood pressure however is high and I've been overweight and on medication and for the past several years. I have just recently gotten serious about weight loss and assuming that I successfully loose an appropriate amount of weight I'm anxious to see if the blood pressure drops.

My poor bride, on the other hand, suffers from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and M.S. The poor girl is a walking talking drug experiment as she is currently taking medications that are keeping all of her ailments under control. She's very cognizant of the various side effects of all these drugs and has had to change medications a few times to find the proper mix for her.

So do follow your doctor's advice and try to stay off the meds if at all posible. Every medication we take takes its toll on our bodies as it performs its primary task.

Good luck on your life style adjustment and here's hoping your next doctor visit has rewardingly good results.
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Old 03-15-15, 06:56 AM   #11
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Well, here it is 3 years later and I've turned 60. At the last physical my doctor suggested I do a stress test because I was planning on doing a ride that would tax anybody's heart, up Mt. Haleakala. My BP was high even on my meds but cholesterol and blood sugar are fine. So I go to the cardiologist, get all hooked up, get on the treadmill and the nurse/technician starts the first test, which is just to make sure I'm not going to die on the spot . She watches the screen with a puzzled look on her face, looking to see if something is wrong. At the end she turns to me and says, "You went negative on the test, your signs went down, not up!" So she starts the full test and I went up to 175bpm before I had to stop, not because I couldn't do it, but because the pace was between a fast walk and a slow jog and I couldn't coordinate my legs, plus my knee hurt. They then take a sonogram of my heart.

The cardiologist comes in and he's laughing and shakes my hand. He has never had anyone come in with a plan like mine and he says to just go for it. My heart is in better shape than most.

Oh, and I also picked up an all-day wearable blood pressure monitor, so they could see what is happening with that, and that also showed I was fine. When my BP is taken while doing ordinary activities it is OK, it is only when I go to the Dr's. office that it's high since I'm always rushing to get there.

Now all that needs to happen is for the weather to clear up...
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Old 03-15-15, 09:34 AM   #12
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My previous PCP was a fellow cyclist. He regularly rode from his home to the office, and kept his high end Trek right in the office.
He was the type of doctor who was very reluctant to put people on meds. Instead, he chose to see if dietary changes and exercise
would do the job.

My present PCP is not a cyclist, and has even "suggested" that "at your age you should consider other forms of exercise". Not likely.
Oh he's, this guy's area of speciality is "family practice", i.e. young women with kids, as opposed to internal medicine. i.e. Adult patients.

Been thinking about finding another, as it just isn't "clicking" with this guy. Told him I ride a fixed gear, and he looked at me totally
dumbfounded. This guy is not old, he is in his forties.

It is interesting how some doctors are so quick to put people on pricey meds, and some are not. This adds some credibility to the
theories that many docs are simply agents for the pharmaceutical companies. Of course, that could not possibly be true.

Ok, rant over. Do carry on. OP, glad your PCP is allowing a chance for dietary changes and cycling to work for you.
Meds always have a hidden price.
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Old 03-15-15, 10:53 AM   #13
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Ride lots. Now that's a Doctor's Prescription that I can take without any reservation! What perfect cover! "You're going out to ride AGAIN!?" "I can't help it! Doctor's orders!"

Cutting way back on red meat, increasing my veggie-to-meat ratio, and going whole-hog on whole-grains, pulled my cholesterol back from thee brink, and lowered my blood pressure as well. Losing thirty pounds was an accidental side-effect that I only noticed when all my pants started looking like clown pants when I wore them.
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Old 03-20-15, 12:01 AM   #14
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If you can get your doctor to 'prescribe' a new bike for you to ride, maybe your health insurance or Medicare will foot the bill?
That would be preventative medicine, right?
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