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Old 05-28-12, 05:52 PM   #1
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Low BP

Like my father, I have always had low BP. In my 20s it was 90/60; around that time I started running and it registered 70-something over 40-something when my mom (an RN) took it one day. 35+ years later, my latest reading is 92/60. My resting HR is around 50; even when I was unfit, it was in the 60s.

I am wondering if this may account for feeling like someone pulled the plug if I'm outside in hot weather, and on rides when temps rise into the 80s. My theory is that when I feel hot, my BP goes even lower as my blood vessels dilate to cool the body; in turn, my heart rate rises to compensate, and this leads to early fatigue.

I'm wondering if anyone can offer an explanation and if this will improve as my overall fitness improves. I'm not worried about the low BP, but my brother shared something he heard while working in the ER about a possible link between a low HR and A-Fib later in life.

I need to find ways to stay cool on the bike this summer while training for events at the end of the year. Once I get hot, I'm wiped out for the rest of the day. I'm not overweight at all, and I always used to feel chilled even on warm days. But now, as a woman over 50, things have changed.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:00 PM   #2
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Try looking at a mail order catalog called They have some white running pants/tops and head scarves with SPF that may work to keep you cooler. It does not look like cycling jerseys, but may help. The wife has some skin probs and covering more prevents her skin from overheating.

Maybe bring a spray bottle to squirt yourself. Evaporating water might bring your core temp down

On the more extreme side, maybe a recumbent with a canopy on top.

Hope you find what's causing your problem.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:10 PM   #3
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A. fib leads to low BP, not the other way around.

The body makes adaptations to heat via the renin-angiotensin axis. It takes about two weeks of constant exposure. I bet air conditioning messes it all up.

Consuming lots of salt and water would help.

Half the population over 50 are on ACE inhibitors/ARBs. I bet that messes up adaptation as well. If I ride a lot I skip my ARB. I think it's a good idea, but I can't prove it.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:30 PM   #4
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I'm a male who had low bp (~110/60) most of my life UNTIL I went into a fib at about 45,when it rose to the 125/80 range. Got no idea what the relationships are there... Before the a fib my resting pulse was about 42, sometimes lower. Now on dyazide it runs in the mid-70s most of the time. I've always enjoyed running and riding in hot weather, up to 95-100 (I'm in the desert; humidity runs 10-15%), but for some reason I can't do it anymore. White clothing helps a little, not a lot...moisture transfer fabric helps more, and something Grant Petersen at Rivendell advocates is working pretty well: he says to ride in seersucker, that old- time crinkly cotton fabric. I had a couple of long-sleeved shirts in the back of the closet and broke them out last week. Worked great so far, up to about 85 degrees. I don't wear jerseys (too much like putting on full pads to play football with your kids in the park), and seersucker is way more comfortable anyway. I've tried a spray bottle, as well as riding up on people's lawns to go through their sprinklers, but that gives only momentary relief.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:37 PM   #5
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I still have a bradycardia sinus arrhythmia and even after surgeries my resting was 120/70 and a 68-78 bpm pulse with my xxl 245# body. Never had heat problems, worked n construction to get through engineering school, still do as a Civil/Quality Engineer and worked on sites the whole time mainly outside. Now that I am riding again the BP and pulse are slowing to what I like. Never had any heat problems but my wife had BP of 106/60 range usually and a pulse of ~60. She has real problems with heat and passing out even with good hydration. I'll tell her about the white, loose clothing.


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Old 05-28-12, 06:50 PM   #6
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Nora has very low BP, and can't stand the heat. Any relation? I don't know. No AFib at almost 75. High BP is more likely to lead to AFib, as I understand it.
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Old 05-28-12, 07:15 PM   #7
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An interesting post. I have had low blood pressure most of my life, and don't do well in higher temperatures. I also sweat more than most people when exercising. I would love to know if there is a relationship between BP and my adversity to heat and my sweating.
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Old 05-28-12, 08:24 PM   #8
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My BP is usually about 100/65. Sometime 110/70. But also 105/60 not unusual. My resting HR is about 55 or so when I wake. On a hard climb I can get my HR up to 170+. At a HR of 145 I can go on for a long time on the bike. I'm 61, have lived in TX most of my life, and did 35 miles on a tri-bike yesterday in 90+ heat, consuming 25 oz of water/G-2 w/ salt.

I had a full nuclear stress test last year before having a knee replaced. It's all good.

I have no idea what all that means, but throw it in the mix there.
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