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  1. #1
    Gordon P
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    High Blood Pressure!

    I had my doctor take my blood pressure the other day and it is at the point where I have to start worrying about treating it either by taking drugs or by other means. High blood pressure is not new to me as I was first diagnosed with it when I was nineteen and I am now 39. I believe it is heredity, as most of the males on my fatherís side of the family have heart disease or have died from it. I eat a very good diet and get plenty of exercise, but I still could drop about 5 kilograms. So if you have or had hypertension how do you treat it? Any advice or information would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Gordon p

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have it. But I don't have much to say about it. I had to try a few different drugs before I found one that worked that I could tolerate. I doubt you will have as much trouble. Just follow your doctor's advice. You might find taking your BP in the morning before you get out of bed; and then recording it, helpful.

  3. #3
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    Well, I never thought I would have hypertension until 2 years ago. BP reading of 165/105. Since then, April 2001, I've dropped 40 pounds to 165 lbs, changed my diet to include more fruits and vegetables, complex whole grains and reduced the bad fats, sugars and salt. I am also cycling 5 or times per week including cycling to work, 45 km round trip. And I don't smoke. I have a glass of wine 2 or 3 times per week with dinner and keep my coffee intake to two cups per day. Also drink plenty of water every day.

    I did go on medication in early 2002. Now I am taking 10mg of Altace and a half of a direutic tablet every morning. My last readings two months ago averaged 120/70. BTW, I am going on 47.

    The lifestyle changes are important to help maintain a consistent medication or to minimize it and to maintain BP. Also, take the meds daily as per the doctor. And work together with the doctor.


  4. #4
    Member robertlees's Avatar
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    I was diagnosed with hypertension a few years back, but by all indications I should have been the last to have it - I was running 3 marathons a year, training almost every day, had a resting heart rate of 40, and had been a vegetarian for 12 years.

    The only known cause of hypertension is a restriction of blood flow to the kidneys (eg, a tumor). The kidneys respond by sending renin into the bloodstream, which has to sole purpose of increasing blood pressure so as to restore the blood flow they require to function properly.

    However if this is not the case, then it is called essential hypertension, and you need to be on medication - there is a smorgasbord of pills available, and your doctor will find the combination that is right for you.

    Don't let anyone talk you out of exercise in the presence of hypertension - while cycling, or any other anerobic activity, your blood vessels dilate, thereby lowering your blood pressure.

  5. #5
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Originally posted by robertlees
    I was diagnosed with hypertension a few years back, but by all indications I should have been the last to have it - I was running 3 marathons a year, training almost every day, had a resting heart rate of 40, and had been a vegetarian for 12 years.

    The only known cause of hypertension is a restriction of blood flow to the kidneys (eg, a tumor). The kidneys respond by sending renin into the bloodstream, which has to sole purpose of increasing blood pressure so as to restore the blood flow they require to function properly.
    .
    Robertlees is right in that there are very few causes of secondary hypertension. The big three are renal artery stenosis, (narrowing of the renal artery that tricks the one kidney to release more renin) in older people it is from atherosclerosis and in young females, fibromuscular dysplasia. Also, an aldosterone secreting tumor from the kidneys called Cohn's disease, but the tip off is consistently low potassium on blood work in a person not taking diuretics. The most rare, is something called pheochormocytoma , an adrenalin producing tumor. The tip off is huge, flucutations and sudden changes in blood pressure. Otherwise, it sounds like you have essential hypertension. As everyone posted, excercise, eating right and maintaining ideal body weight is important so that you can minimize the amount of medications you take. Contrary to belief, salt is most important in the African American and subsets of Asians but most caucasions are not salt responsive hypertensives. However, by avoiding salty foods, you end up avoiding most of the crappy stuff anyway. If you do go on meds, as an athlete I would stay away from Beta blockers and certain sets of calcium channel blockers that will slow your heart rate down and impair your biking performance. The ace inhibitors such as the Altace mentioned by someone is my favorite for athletes. No sexual sideeffects, no diminishment in performance, and has the best kidney protection data compared to all the other classes of hypertensives except ARBs or angiotension receptor blockers. Altace in particular has the best morbidity and mortality prevention data (the HOPE trial) compared to other classes of ACE but all are great. There has been recent hype that diuretics still have the best in preventing strokes (the ALLHAT trial) but that study was flawed and I won't get into it. All the antihypertensives, if all studies are looked at, are equal in preventing strokes with the exception of alpha blockers, specifically cardura,( it increased the rate of strokes!) So we don't use that one anymore.
    Just listin to your doc and follow his/her advice and good luck.
    Last edited by cbhungry; 09-29-03 at 06:35 AM.
    Ride forever, work whenever.
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  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Losing weight and exercise (biking, power walking and weight lifting), and an excellent diet has been essential for me. I ingest absolutely no caffeine, and limit my salt intake.

    During my bout with Trigeminal Neuralgia last year, my BP sky rocketed to 170-175/120 (despite tripling the medications)!!

    After my brain surgery (MVD), it dropped. I am not sure if it was the stopping of the extreme pain, or being off of the medications (Tegretol and Trileptal).

    Right now, I take 1/2 Hydrochlorothiazide and one Diovan daily, and it is generally 120-125/70. I even had a bit of a problem with low blood pressure and standing dizziness for awhile.

    I notice that my blood pressure drops markedly after about 15-20 miles of biking!!!

    It is important to take your blood pressure at different times than in the Dr.'s office. I generally check mine about 2 times per week, either with our home sphygmomanometer or at the pharmacy where they have an automatic machine.

    Dr.'s office blood pressure readings (at least in my case) can go higher because of just being in the Dr.'s office.

    As I have 2 children with profound disabilities, I have been in just about every emergency room and hospital in the area, and have seen 100's of doctors. Just getting near a hospital or MD's office makes me extremely tense.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-29-03 at 05:49 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Cbhungry,
    I am on Norvasc. Could that have an effect on my athletic performance? I can train casually; but when I go to the limit; I wind up feeling hammered. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    late

    Norvasc is a Dihyrdopyridine calcium channel blocker vs. a Nondihydropyridines (e.g., verapamil [Calan], diltiazem [Cardizem]). The latter can cause heart rate suppression and minor impairment of maximum heart rate, decreased left ventricular contractility and thus affect cardiac output, decreased cardiac rate and stroke volume during excercise . Technically, Norvasc is more ideal for athletes compared to its nondihydropyridine counterpart. However, it can cause reflex tachycardia (elevated heart rate) and may not be as good in preventing exercise induced hypertension (thus making the heart work harder during excercise) but that is rare, and most athletes do well with Norvasc along with the ACE inhibitors or ARBS like Diovan. Diuretics are problematic but if you are good at replensing potassium and hydrate adequatly, then it's not too bad. If you are having problems, best to discuss with your doc and see if there may be something else at work here.
    Ride forever, work whenever.
    XX power
    Eat more mud, mountain bike 'till you die!

    http://www.pnhp.org/

  9. #9
    Gordon P
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    Well I just had a complete physical examination and my doctor recommended I lose about 8 kilos and take Ĺ tablet of Novo-hydrazide 25 mg. My cholesterol level was great, must be due to being vegetarian, and my health is good for a person my age. I have a long cycle-tour planed for this winter and I am positive I will lose the 8 kg. I have a follow-up for early November and he will re-evaluate my blood pressure when I return.

    Thanks for all the replies.
    Gordon p
    Last edited by Gordon P; 10-14-03 at 08:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sebring's Avatar
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    Each person responds differently to different types of treatments.
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  11. #11
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I don't think you mentioned it... did your doctor have you monitor your BP for a while before starting the meds? Several times over the years I've been in for a physical and was told my BP was a little high. They had me start getting it checked frequently, and I would have a nurse at my workplace check it daily for a couple of weeks. The upshot was that I had many much better readings than what I was getting at the doctors office, and they felt there was no need for concern.

    On a related note, I was told those BP machines that they have at pharmacies, etc., are often not very accurate. Apparently, they aren't maintained well and typically not calibrated often.

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