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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Low Blood Pressure / BradyCardia?

 Schitzo - Sun May 13, 2007 12:51 pm

Before i start, i'll let you know that i have seen my family doctor, and i'm scheduled for a barrage of tests next week (blood tests / ecg) etc.. I'm just starting to get paranoid waiting, and have questions...

Male / 28 / 5'11" / 181lbs

In the last 4 - 5 months i've been having trouble with Postural Hypotension (Orthostatic hypotension). I only ever seem to get very dizzy is when i stand up from sitting down or laying down. Usually this lasts for 5 - 10 seconds, once i'm over it, i'm 100% fine. I have only ever passed out once from this (this is when i made the dr. apt with my family doctor).

My doctor took my blood pressure in the office sitting down, he said it was low, "below 100/60" is what he said, and when he took it right as i stood up, he said one of the numbers dropped by about 10. I assume the first number.

I started googling and found some links to heart rates. i took my resting heart rate several times over 2 days, and I'm always around 47 - 49. I've never gone into the 50's, or below 47.

I've read that in atheletes, or people who exercise regularly , low heart rate is normal, i'm not sure if i fit into that category or not.

My history: On April 8th 2006 i weighed 355 pounds. with diabetes running in the family, i decided to do something about it and i started a low glycemic diet. I did this following a registered plan, and was monitored / weighed weekly. In 13 months i've lost 170 pounds, and am now at my goal weight of approx 181 pounds. In the last 9 months, i've exercised A LOT. I get to the gym about 5 - 6 times a week (although 5 times is average). I do not do any weight / resistance training, i only do cardio. I usually do 45 - 60 minutes (50 minutes average). When i do this training, i definitely push myself as hard as i can.

Would this put me in the 'athlete' category, after only 8 - 9 months of hard training?

I drink 3 - 4 liters of water daily, and have had my electrolytes checked (came back fine, they're one of the things being re-tested next week).

I used to smoke marijuana (almost daily for a couple years), but since i started on the change lifestyle, i don't do it a lot. only sometimes on weekends, and not every weekend at that. I do not smoke cigarettes, nor have i ever.

 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun May 13, 2007 4:27 pm

User avatar Hi Schitzo - First off, congratulations on a remarkably successful (and very timely) weight loss program. You've done incredibly well with that. Stay with it and be well.

Between the marked change your body's regulatory systems are having to adjust to and the consistent and high intensity workouts you've been doing it isn't surprising that your heart rate might have fallen into a below normal (sometimes "athletic") range. This may or may not be related to the orthostatic hypotension, since there are other things your body lived with for a long time that are different now as well. If this problem doesn't correct itself in a reasonable length of time, there are relatively simple tests (tilt table, for example) that can be used to determine if you have a defective autonomic response that has decided to stay that way. Baroreceptor failure is a common cause of orthostatic hypotension and also of common syncope (fainting). It's not unusual to see this after a large weight loss, but it should reset itself over time. Since this is happening rather late in the game, it may be that your baroreceptors (strategically located nerve bundles dedicated to regulating blood pressure) have gone on strike. If so there are medications which can be prescribed to treat this.

Your cardio workout program, combined with the weight loss would be enough to put your heart rate into that athletic range, and that, combined with confused baroreceptors would be likely to cause your problem. I don't think the marijuana use has anything to do with this.

I hope you find this helpful. Please let us know how things go.
 Schitzo - Sun May 13, 2007 6:05 pm

Thank you! I feel much better about things :). I need to revisit my family doctor in 3 - 4 weeks to get the results. I'll be sure to post back.

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