Among other things, I am a fitness instructor who does a balanced, invigorating program of cardio, weight training, stretching/meditation/relaxation, and skilled physical performance. I eat whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, fish, no-fat milk products, chicken only once a week, nuts, legumes, and lots of water. I never put salt or sugar in my food and I am now reading labels carefully to avoid canned and smoked fish, soups, and sauces but sodium is in everything. Nevertheless, I will make the sacrifices. I don't drink, smoke, or take drugs and I get plenty of rest. I have no angina, no pain, no shortness of breath, and can lift heavy and do cardio for hours without difficulty. Because I have a number of part-time jobs instead of one full time job, I can't afford health insurance. Although my resting heart rate averages in the fifties and occasionally goes to 100 when I exercise, my BP at rest is wild: one minute the Systolic is 124, then 138, then five minutes later 160, even as high as 170. The Diastolic used to be in the seventies but now it oscillates in the nineties sometimes climbing to 120. I checked my heart rate manually against the kit and it was correct, but I wonder if the home blood pressure kit is broken. How can I suddenly get this hypertension Stage One out of the blue? This wild fluctuation has been going on for several months now. Because of my low heart rate, I can't take beta blockers; because of my exercise career I don't want to take diuretics; and I am afraid of the long-term effects of ACE inhibitors on my fragile, somewhat hydronephrotic kidneys and blood vessels as blocking constriction all the time seems like a way to decrease elasticity. I don't have the money or the insurance to see a doctor. I live in a very expensive area where you have to be rich or have a full time job to see a physician, or be completely disabled and bankrupt and in fact, I am a productive citizen with many jobs that pay little.
Can blood pressure fluctuate this much in a healthy person at rest? Can a blood pressure kit be wrong? How do you know when it is wrong? When we exercise we are so obsessed with heart rates but what are the normal fluctuating blood pressure readings? If one is doing all the right things for exercise, meditation, and diet and always had low blood pressure before, what could possibly happen? Yes, I know about atherosclerosis, kidney disease, and heart disease, but I don't have any symptoms of those.
Are there any other fitness freaks flying high with the mmHg?
P.S. So I kept taking my BP with home kits and it kept soaring up to 175 over 125 even though I felt fantastic and my HR was in the fifties. However, numbers showed that I must be on the verge of a stroke. Nevertheless I taught my regular fitness classes and after one decided I should go to the hospital and beg for some kind of insurance. On the way, I ran into CVS pharamacy just to check my BP in its workout range. I sat quietly in their enormous, stable, expensive machine and even though my workout HR was at a nomral 94 (workout), my BP was 115 over 77! I thought it was a mistake so I asked the pharamacist who said the machine was great. Then I rested a few minutes and took it four more times. As my HR went down to sixties, my BP went down a bit more as well and never fluctuated. Then I spoke with some fitness clients who had been deceived by home kits. Dangerously deceived. Yes, you have to change the batteries and take it properly but sometimes they break. The pharmacies have better kits and if you get hysterical you have help. Obviously you can't get your lowest bed rest reading there so you must realize that your HR will probably go down 10 more points in bed.
However this excursion into the BP community has been helpful. I cleaned up my diet even more, found herbs and teas to lower my BP, began a daily meditation program, and bell-curved all aerobics to work the steady state. I will continue these efforts as a prophylactic. Hopefully I can now last until Medicare (a way off) without insurance because I simply can't afford insurance and the clinics are not in my neighborhood. Medicaid is good but you have to destitute and/or disabled for that. I live in a very high income crowded area in a tiny room. Anyway, I wish everyone the best and encourage you all to have BP tested with a professional kit and HR read by a professional who can detect real murmurs and arrhythmias, not those digital BP home kits that try to do it. This means medical insurance, so I also hope that the U.S. will cut the savage capitalist, chaotic, insurance providers and develop simple national health care that Canada and the rest of the civilized world enjoys.View Thread
Thanks, Bill. You are so knowledgable. I bought a better kit, took even more sodium out of my diet, lost a few pounds although I am already in great shape, but I am afraid to use the new kit till I relax a bit more. So I am drinking Chinese herbal tea to lower BP. When I workout hard and heavy I feel ggreat so I will try to get the courage to ask a colleague at the health club to take the BP on another machine. There aren't any cheap clinics in my neighborhood and going on BP meds would require monitoring, tests, visits, and everything I can't afford. I am an adjunct prof in the midst of a bunch of serious projects as well as a fitness pro who teaches kickbox, aqua, core etc. Maybe I will pray and wait for Medicare.View Thread