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Health Frustration

Old 05-28-16, 05:52 PM
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Staypuft1652
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Health Frustration

For the past couple weeks or so, my blood pressure has been on the high side, 150ish over 100ish usually. Am 35 y/o, down around 280 lbs. Am eating healthier than ever, cycling pretty much every day. Except I feel lethargic, and generally crappy any time that I do not force myself to do things. Been to 3 different dr's for it, who without alteration, say eat better, and exercise. I am living healthier than ever, and actually exercising. Yet not a single one seems to believe me. Am at a loss as to what to do. At times I can hear my heart beat in my left ear. Sorry if this sounds like complaining, just like I said, at a loss.
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Old 05-28-16, 05:53 PM
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Oops, right ear, not that it makes a difference.
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Old 05-28-16, 06:10 PM
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I am not a doctor, I do have high blood pressure, but I'm 58. If it is consistently at that level I'm surprised your doc hasn't put you on some medication. Not that I'm advocating this, just sayin'. I'm not clear on your weight, is it 280#? How tall are you? You say you are down to this, what were you up to and how long ago?

HPB doesn't necessarily have noticeable symptom, "hearing" your pulse doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Constantly feeling lethargic isn't good. Did the doc have blood work done? All normal? What do you eat typically? Do you drink? What's your caffeine intake like? Are you lethargic all the time or only at certain times of the day? Any correlation with the times of the day you eat?

There could be a lot going on and you do need to figure it out. One of the things that helped me was understanding more about carbs, protein, fats, etc. There are various diets along these lines, such as the Zone. You want to avoid high glycemic carbs that cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Eat lean protein along with carbs. There are lots of books and material online too, but you have to be a bit careful in reading any of this stuff. Bottom line you have to figure out what works for you. We are not all the same.

This is not to say that your issues are entirely diet related, I have no idea. Start reading the Nutrition and Training forum here, there are some smart folks there.

Good luck.
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Old 05-28-16, 06:22 PM
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Yes 280 pounds, about 2 months ago I was up to around 305. I am 6'0". Have been eating more cereal, such as raisin bran etc. Only sweets were clif bars but stopped those. No fried foods. Actual meals, sandwiches. No salt added. No mayo. I am sure I could/should eat better, but considering I was living off hamburgers and fried foods, etc, I thought I made good changes, all things considered. No blood work has been done. Thanks for the Health and Nutrition tip, I will check that out.
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Old 05-28-16, 06:25 PM
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Just at a loss, never had high blood pressure, ever, ate whatever I pleased, never exercised, now that I started, I have high blood pressure. I want to continue living better, and doing better.
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Old 05-28-16, 06:27 PM
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Maybe I should take Wilford Brimley's advice.
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Old 05-28-16, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Staypuft1652 View Post
Maybe I should take Wilford Brimley's advice.
Have you had your blood sugar tested ?

mine was really high when I started losing weight and riding
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Old 05-28-16, 07:25 PM
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No I haven't.
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Old 05-28-16, 07:25 PM
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Think I need to find different primary.
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Old 05-28-16, 07:49 PM
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Very simply you are eating a bunch of grains (cereal, bread in your sandwiches, etc..) so grains equal carbohydrates which equal sugar (I know as I am diabetic and get to watch my carb intake), and too much sugar will increase your blood pressure.... try eating more protein (eggs) and leafy greens (raw spinach is a great one), and drink at least 1/2 your weight in ounces of water (i.e. 200 pounds = 100 ounces of water).

Also if Blood Pressure is an issue go to a cardiologist and have a stress test done (I did and the results were not nice... but a year later they were way better).
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Old 05-28-16, 07:56 PM
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OK. I'm 6'2" and topped out at 275# about 17 years ago. Dropped down to 235 and held in that range for a long time and them dropped down to about 205-210 over the last 3 years. Would like to drop another 20 but it's tough.

You're young, chances are all these issues will resolve with weight loss, but it does seem strange the doc would not have had basic blood work done to see if anything else is going on.

A couple of suggestions. On days when you don't ride, have lean protein for breakfast. This could be eggs, meat, or a protein shake, but not cereal. On days when you ride, maybe cereal before the ride and protein after. OK to treat yourself with a bit of bacon if you like.

Re sandwiches, eat only 1/2 of the bread. Try to get true whole grain bread, not just "wheat" bread. Dinners - lean protein (grilled chicken, fish, turkey), you can have as many green vegetables as you want. Skip potatoes, pastas, white rice. A bit of brown rice is OK with the meal.

Don't worry too much about fat. Don't go out of your way to add it, but don't try to eliminate it. Have some mayo on the sandwich if you want. Have some salad dressing but don't go crazy. If you want beef, have some, but don't go crazy with it. If you want a burger, have one, get it "protein style" (wrapped in lettuce), or try to get a whole grain bun. If you do get it on a bun, throw away the top of the bun and just eat the patty and the bottom half of the bun. You can have fruit with any meal (not juice, whole fruit), as you like, keep portions reasonable. But have a few bites of protein first.

Soft drinks - absolutely none, diet or otherwise, they are poison. Drink water, unsweetened tea or coffee (cream is fine). Stay well hydrated.

Try this for a few weeks, see what happens. Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel so you can make adjustments to this that work for you.
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Old 05-28-16, 08:08 PM
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Thank you @dagray & @jimincalif .
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Old 05-29-16, 08:32 AM
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My Primary gave me a free glucometer when lab tests showed me to be if not type II diabetic yet, at least Pre Diabetic. With some age and abuse of the bodies system to handle Sugars many people will develop it.

So I went nuts testing all kinds of foods 30 minutes after eating, 60 minutes after, 2 hours after, to see what I was sensitive to. Cream style soups, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, stuff like that would blow my blood sugar up to 200 for a couple hours. Most packaged dry cereals would, oatmeal would...Orange juice or any other fruit juice, yep.

Now the GOOD news is after losing over 100 lbs, and riding an hour a day almost year round, that totally went away....I could eat any food on earth within my calorie goals and my Blood sugar would stay 150 or so after eating. MANY people IMHO could control it with diet, but FEW actually do so a day at a time.

If you can get your Primary to do an H1AC test, a non fasting test it will give you a snapshot of your average blood sugar for the last 90 days. Many Urgent Care around here offer a full blood panel including H1AC for around $100 sometimes, which you can pay for with Medical Flex if you have that.

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Old 05-29-16, 08:38 AM
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I am going to bug my primary some more, short of getting a referral, but I like the glucometer idea, I am going to try that. I am willing to change my diet. Thank you @Willbird !
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Old 05-29-16, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Staypuft1652 View Post
I am going to bug my primary some more, short of getting a referral, but I like the glucometer idea, I am going to try that. I am willing to change my diet. Thank you @Willbird !
I got my wife a free one the other day when she was in for establishing visit with her Primary, they are getting chintzy with the amount of test strips they give you with the free one, they give you ten of them. Walmart has a store brand glucometer where the strips are about half when others cost. But with ten strips you can test your fasting sugar in the morning for ten days anyway :-). That will tell you SOMETHING :-).

Early on I started an Excel spread sheet for waist measurement and weight, and I added in the fasting sugar too, pretty easy to do. And it is nice to be able to look back :-).

Sweet Potatoes were another alternate food I found I was OK with, they did not spike my sugar, and have lots of good nutrients and vitamins on them, and some places have Sweet Potato french fries (Red Robin does) :-).
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Old 05-29-16, 09:01 AM
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I suspect you are overtraining.

Check your BP before you get out of bed each morning. For a few days, stay off the bike, and see if the BP goes down.

What is your training regime?
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Old 05-29-16, 09:21 AM
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I don't have a regime as such, I try to ride every day at least some. This past week I tried to increase my mileage each outing. A couple 20 mile days, one 25 mile day. Then went down to 15 or so. If its just me out there I try to keep my speed up, legs permitting. Before last week my max had been around 16 - 17 miles.
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Old 05-29-16, 09:22 AM
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With anywhere from 8 to 12 normal.
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Old 05-29-16, 09:51 AM
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Do you keep a food log? If not, I highly recommend it. One, if you feel worse some days than others you can look at the food log to see if you ate something specific on or the day before those days that could cause it. Also, if you're scrupulously honest about logging everything you eat and drink you'll have a very accurate picture of your overall diet and can use that for evaluating it. It's really easy to think you're eating healthy but not actually be, and impossible to really see it unless you have a food log.

Log exercise, too! Then take all of this to your doctor(s) and ask them to evaluate it. Doctors hear "I eat healthy and exercise" all the time, but it's another thing to actually see it.

Apps work best for this. I use Online Food Diary and Calorie Counter, with free iPhone, Android, and iPad mobile apps, but I know a lot of people who are big fans of MyFitnessPal.
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Old 05-29-16, 10:37 AM
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Your words, "Except I feel lethargic, and generally crappy any time that I do not force myself to do things."

You feel better when you force yourself to do things. The sense of accomplishment and living up to your own expectations replaces feeling crappy.

If being active, setting reasonable goals and meeting them does it and makes you feel better, GREAT!

But feeling lethargic and crappy is consistent with a lot of conditions, too, and the best place for that is with a physician who takes the time to listen.
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Old 05-29-16, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Staypuft1652 View Post
I don't have a regime as such, I try to ride every day at least some. This past week I tried to increase my mileage each outing. A couple 20 mile days, one 25 mile day. Then went down to 15 or so. If its just me out there I try to keep my speed up, legs permitting. Before last week my max had been around 16 - 17 miles.
Try one or two days off the bike. I typically ride 4 days, sometimes 5 per week. At least two days I walk quickly carrying 5# weights for 30-40 minutes. Also, take your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning to track your resting heart rate. When I'm fully rested/recovered my RHR is about 50, if I'm not fully recovered it will be higher. Once you know what this is, then you can track it to help judge your recovery time.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:05 PM
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There is excellent advice in this thread. As well as shunning carbs, wheats, sugars, energy bars I encourage you to take the advice of committing to a rest day or two very seriously. Your body needs the time to catch up, everyday efforts are for those who have years of training, and even they know that intense day to day efforts are counter-productive. Build into your weekly routine stretch and flexibility days, think about building a long term platform for sustainable energy and health, not getting short-term results. Think in terms of months and years.
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Old 05-29-16, 02:07 PM
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I really like "Myfitnesspal"....I just clocked 760 days in a row.

When I decided to become "healthier" I weighed probably like 325lbs or so....I had High Blood Pressure and Type II Diabetes that I could "control" by really watching my diet but honestly the only time I did was the 90 days before an H1AC test. I was faced with being kicked OUT of a PPO at work and being forced INTO an HSA type high deductible plan, and with having to take Metaformin probably for type II.

So I started walking at first, and signed up for a weight management class through Blue Cross Blue Shield....the lady who would call me and "coach" me every 6 weeks or so is who recommended Myfitnesspal.

Walking and even some jogging at 325 was really hard on my knees so I started riding, and really never stopped in those 760 days except for one month February 2015 and 4 months last winter.

All the health issues went away over time, Dr likes my BP numbers and my resting pulse......H1AC was in the upper normal range...all is well now :-).

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Old 05-29-16, 02:48 PM
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Staypuft - good luck with the struggle, man. Been there m'self, and still working on getting healthier. Good news is, with a few pounds off my knees (I'm down from 270 to 238), I feel better already. Riding fitness has improved tenfold. Sometimes I forget I'm a large man. But lethargic and crappy I've felt a lot in my life too.

Advice is easy - putting stuff into practice is really hard. Devour natural foods and vegetables in huge portions. Eat less processed food and sugar especially. Reward yourself every seventh day. Wish you the best!

I'd also like to say how great I think this forum is for supporting people.
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Old 05-29-16, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Staypuft1652 View Post
For the past couple weeks or so, my blood pressure has been on the high side, 150ish over 100ish usually. Am 35 y/o, down around 280 lbs. Am eating healthier than ever, cycling pretty much every day. Except I feel lethargic, and generally crappy any time that I do not force myself to do things. Been to 3 different dr's for it, who without alteration, say eat better, and exercise. I am living healthier than ever, and actually exercising. Yet not a single one seems to believe me. Am at a loss as to what to do. At times I can hear my heart beat in my left ear. Sorry if this sounds like complaining, just like I said, at a loss.
Your blood pressure being on the high side (higher than usual?) even after being careful with what you eat and exercising is counter intuitive. Have you isolated outside influences:
  • Measure taken at a different time of day.
  • Hotter outside temperature.
  • Tighter belt
In my case any of those can change the value quite a bit.

Doctors are humans, they make mistakes, and they have prejudices like anyone else. Having obese clients show up and claim that they exercise is probably common occurrence; in your case that is true, so the doctor needs to look deeper. I assume that, being in the US, you pay for your doctor, and that is one more reason for getting good care. Sit the doctor down, and tell him your concern; if the doctor does not take you seriously, have a cow, that should rattle the cage.

Take care
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