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 Another blood pressure thread
Machforce1


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 9

Another blood pressure thread Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:50 am 

I've noticed that a lot of you are quite worried about your blood pressure. So many things can affect blood pressure readings. Your blood pressure can and will vary from one second to the next. While we all know that diet, exercise, weight management and genetics play the biggest role in blood pressure, there are literally tons of things that can affect it on a daily basis. I'm assuming most of you had your blood pressure taken by either a blood pressure machine or in a hospital/doctor's office. As I mentioned earlier, those blood pressure machines are hardly accurate. In fact, most of the time, they are WAY off. I wouldn't put too much stock into anything those machines tell you. The best way to have your pressure measured is with a BP cuff and stethoscope.

Things that can affect your reading? Hundreds of things, really. Caffeine will make it appear to be much higher than it should be. If you ran the day of your screening, that will affect it. Running elevates your metabolism, so trying to get a true BP reading on an elevated metabolism will give false readings. Even something as simple as an angry or negative thought can raise it quite high. Most people are already nervous as it is being in a doctor's office, so their BP measures higher than it truly is. Eating a heavy meal can cause it to spike as the heart tries to pump blood into the intestines to digest food. Drinking will elevate it. Smoking, obviously, will raise it. There are so many things that can give you a false reading.

The only way you're going to get a truly accurate reading is to have your own BP cuff and stethoscope and take it on an empty stomach with no chemicals in your system and when you're as peaceful as you can be. A 130/80ish reading in a doctor's office would probably be closer to a 120/72ish reading in a quiet, peaceful place like your home.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:00 pm 

That's good information to have. I find it hard to distill that sort of practical info from the barrage of dire medical warnings that seem to be everywhere these days. It's a good thing that people are more aware of potential problems related to high cholesterol or blood pressure or what have you, but it's a little frustrating without knowing any of the details behind the warnings and how much it all really matters anyway.

At my last doctor's visit, he did not seem very concerned with any of my numbers even though there were borderline high according to established guidelines. That left me wondering why. Either it meant the guidelines were bogus, or there were some other mitigating factors in my case that he didn't bother to explain, or something. Either way it's not particularly confidence inspiring.

I did have a chance to test myself with a home BP monitor a few weeks ago while visiting my inlaws. It gave a higher reading consistent with the drug store's machine, and higher than what was read in the doctor's office. I still trust the doctor's reading more, especially since it was taken three times by two different people and trying both arms, but it's frustrating to see such variability in a number that the medical world attaches such importance to.


Machforce1


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 9

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:46 am 

Don't get me started on modern medicine. LOL!

Blood pressure is an important measure of arterial functionality. It's also indicitive of cardiac function and can be predictive of heart efficiency. High blood pressure is usually indicitive of one or several things: reduced elasticity in the cardiac arteries, cardiac function (strength of heart muscle) or high BMI (obesity). Blood pressure is truly a measure of just how hard the heart is working to pump blood through the entire system. Higher blood pressures mean the heart is working harder to pump blood than lower blood pressures. So you don't want your heart having to work really hard to keep blood flowing throughout the system. Ideally you want it's job to be easy for it to handle.

Hardening of arteries can be attributed to many factors, but one very important factor is lack of vitamin C in the diet. Somewhere along the evolutionary cycle humans lost their ability to manufacture vitamin C, so they had to obtain it through the diet. Vitamin C is extremely important in the formation of collagen. Collagen just happens to be one of the main building blocks of human arteries. When there is a lack of vitamin C in the diet, arteries become soft and vunerable. With each beat of the heart, the artery must stretch and contract to allow blood to be forcefully ejected from the heart muscle. The average heart beats 72 times per minute, so the arteries are stretched and contracted a tremendous amount throughout day!!! That's quite a workload. When collagen cannot be formed properly due to lack of vitamin C (and other things), the arteries become very soft and permeable under all the stress. Obviously, this results in a life threatning situation. You cannot have blood leaking through the arterial walls, else you will die very quickly. So what does the body do? It has to fix the situation somehow or else face a quick death. What it will do is coat the arterial lesions with, yep you guessed it, cholesterol. This is the beginnings of corornary artery diesease. Without the necessary building blocks to reconstruct and maintain it's arteries, the body will use cholesterol to coat the inside surface of the arteries to prevent bleeding out and death.

Over time, the life saving cholesterol desposits on the artery walls will harden and reduce elasticity in the arteries, slowly turning that survival mechanism into a life threatning situation. Steps MUST be taken to ensure the body is getting the proper building blocks to maintain it's integrity and rebuild it's structures as needed.

Also know that synthetic vitamins, especially synthetic vitamin C is not a solution to this problem. Nearly 99.9% of the vitamins manufactured today are synthetic. Can you guess what they're made from? If you guessed petroleum (yes - OIL!), then you are correct! Scientists will argue that the molecular structure of the synthetic vitamin is identical to it's natural molecular structure. But your body knows better. You cannot dump petroleum down your throat and expect it to keep you in tip top shape. Vitamin C needs to be obtained from natural sources like lemons (citrus fruits), vegetables and most fruits in general.

Running is fantastic at keeping your cardiovascular system in tip top shape, but many runners make the mistake of thinking that their running is protective against everything, regardless of anything else. Not so. No matter what you do, you MUST give your body what it needs to survive and function properly. So do yourself a favor and eat a few pieces of raw fruit and veggies every single day of your life to help ensure you're getting everything you need to live a long, healthy life. :)


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:53 pm 

Great info, Machforce - thanks a million! Interesting facts on processed Vitamin C as well.

Unfortunately, my BP issues stem from genetics, hard core. Nearly everyone on my mother's side going back 4 generations has been hypertensive. Almost every time mine has been checked, at every level of rest and relaxation, empty stomach, even taken at home by a student nurse friend of mine, has ranged from 145-155 over 80-90. Of course, once things get tense, or I eat a large meal, or I run too hard for too long, things spike, which is why I was admitted 2 months ago into the hospital with a stifling 196/110.

Naturally, my doctor has offered no help whatsover save for to medicate me (gee, they loooove that, don't they?), so I've taken it into my own hands to stop caffeine, lower my sodium intake, up my natural Vitamin C consumption and stay incredibly hydrated, all the while, still on the meds. I also recently began studying massage therapy and am now in touch with several nutritionalists and homeopathic specialists fairly regularly, so I'll be tapping them for ideas as well.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:51 am 

Rustyboy, have you explained to your doctor that you'd like to explore other diet and exercise options before resorting to medication for your high blood pressure? He probably would be thrilled, but just figured that most people want the quick fix of a pill. If not, you could search out a specialist or simply another doctor who shares your values better.

Machforce1


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 9

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:42 am 

Unfortunately nowadays most doctors are nothing more than stooges for the pharmaceutical industry. Medical schools teach absolutely nothing in regards to diet and exercise. You see, aside from emergency medicine, nearly ALL modern medicine centers on the treatment of symptoms, not disease or root causes of sickness. Have a headache? Take an aspirin. Have an upset stomach? Fill your gut up with Pepto or Nexium. Can't sleep? Take a pill. Can't stay awake? Take a pill. Have a runny nose? Here's an antibiotic. Coughing? Here's some syrup. Back pain? Here's some pain relievers. Can't focus? Take a pill. Your kids too obnoxious? Medicate them. Too fat? Here's a pill. It's absolutely ridiculous. Modern medicine never attempts to explore why someone is coughing or why someone can't sleep or why someone is obese. Symptoms are your body's way of telling you something is wrong. So why suppress symptoms if those are the warning signals? It's absurd, yet hardly anyone questions it. Why? Because we're taught from birth that doctors have our best interests in mind. News flash - they don't. Medicine is about just that - medicine. It's not about prevention of disease or treatment of the actual disease. It's about symptom suppression through chemicals. That's what drugs are - synthetic, man made chemicals.

Don't get me wrong, there are many doctors who are wonderful people and do attempt to help others, but lack the information to do so. They spent eight years of their lives being taught that there's a pill for virtually all ailments. Naturally when they get out in the world and see sick people they automatically recommend the only thing they know - medications. That doesn't mean they're bad people, they just don't know any better.

Health does NOT come from a pill or any synthetic man made chemical. I know some of you will say, 'well, I have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and it's genetic; there's not much I can do about it. When I take these pills my blood pressure/cholesterol drops...' Yes, that may be true. You can force your blood pressure down or your cholesterol down through the ingestion of chemicals, but there's some little known facts that the pharmaceutical giants work very hard to keep secret from you. Here they are: (1)Taking something like Norvasc will lower your blood pressure, but guess what? It doesn't lower morbidity. In other words, sure, it'll lower your blood pressure, but you won't live one minute longer than you otherwise would have, lower blood pressure or not. (2)Sure you can take a cholesterol lowering agent and it will, in fact, lower your total cholesterol (they also lower HDL and that's bad), but guess what? It will not lower your morbidity. In other words, you can lower your total cholesterol from taking synthetic chemicals, but it won't make you live one minute longer than you otherwise would have. In fact, most cholesterol lowering medications destroy your liver over time. Cholesterol is largely a myth and is ONLY partially predictive in younger adults. In other words, once you hit 50 years old, your chances of dying of heart disease actually GO DOWN the higher your cholesterol goes up. If you're a 51 year old male, statistics clearly show that if your cholesterol is low, you have a better chance of dying from heart disease. High cholesterol is only predictive of cardiac death in very young adults and even then it's a crap shoot.

Read this slowly: Statistics clearly show that over 50% of ALL heart attack deaths occur in people with total cholesterol readings BELOW 200. Read it again. Read it over and over and over and over. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. How can that happen? If total cholesterol was truly the best predictor of heart disease we have, then it's a poor one. If high total cholesterol was really the culprit of heart disease then statistics would not show half the people who die from heart disease/attacks have total cholesterol BELOW 200. That's simply a no-brainer.

It's not total cholesterol that's predictive, rather it's the ratio. A person could have a total cholesterol of 200, yet 175 of it could be LDL. That would put his/her ratio at extremely dangerous levels even though we're told that person isn't at a high risk. On the other hand, another person could have a total cholesterol reading of 300, yet have HDL of 125 (although rare) and that would put his/her ratio in the ultra-low risk category. Taking synthetic, man made chemicals lowers the entire reading, including HDL, which ultimately doesn't help your chances whatsoever. Placing emphasis on the total reading helps to sell pills that's why doctors really only focus on the one number. If you have a total cholesterol reading of 275, but 95 of it is HDL, then you have virtually NO risk for heart disease. Yet, if you're told that you do and duped into taking pills, the medication will lower the entire panel. Your HDL will go down and your ratio will go up. Congratulations, you've just increased your chances of getting CAD/Heart disease and you've started a degenerative process in your liver. That's why I cannot stress enough NEVER ever EVER focus on the total reading. Anytime you get your cholesterol taken, get the entire panel. Know what your LDL is; know what your HDL is; know what your triglycerides are; know what your ratios are!!! They are far more predictive than the total reading. NEVER get your cholesterol measured by the quick pinprick method because it doesn't break the reading down at all. After you get the results of your entire panel, then figure out what your options are. Don't let your doctor say, 'You're cholesterol is 250. We need to get you on some pills.' Know ALL the facts before swallowing anything.

The same can be said for blood pressure medications or ANY medications for that matter. Explore EVERY single option you can before swallowing anything. Don't just take advice at face value because it comes from someone in a white lab coat. Do your research. Ask questions. Find someone who knows what they're talking about and ask them. Always try to take your health into your own hands first. Nobody on earth cares as much about your health as you do. Trust me on that one.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 9:35 am 

No joke about docs being stooges for the pharmaceutical insustry: I had to refill my prescription yesterday for aggrenox and was told that my current insurance does not cover it. So what does this mean? I cough up $163/month for the medication. Screw that. I'm exploring natural solutions (acupuncture, dietary changes, etc) and solving the problems versus just slapping a bandage on them.

The main problem is though, when you're laid up in hospital and doctors are running barrages of tests on you because you've exhibited the symptoms of a mini stroke and can't find anything (and trust me, CT scan, MRI, echo-cardiograms, the whole works was put on me), then they hand you a prescription that they say will prevent this from happening again, you're stuck. It's a little like a mechanic to someone who knows nothing about cars: Want it to run? You pay me, I fix it, no questions. Finding someone you can trust is much more difficult than it would seem. I mean, as stated, doctors (for the most part) all have our best interests at heart but are completely misguided. So how do we know whom we can trust?


Midwest David

Missouri
Joined: 02 Jun 2005
Posts: 1

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 2:05 pm 

I am 53 yrs old and have high blood pressure. I have also been running off and on for 20yrs. The doctor has me on Lotensin, which causes me to have pounding heartbeats while running to the point I almost feel like passing out. When I stop running for 5 seconds, it goes away. Does anyone have a blood pressure medicine that causes very little side effects llike gastric, heart irregularities, impotence, etc?
What is a good medicine for runners with minimal problems?
Thanks!


Jsphsl4204


Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 22

Re: Another blood pressure thread Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:51 pm 

Acupuncture works just as good as any of them for a good blood pressure... My dad used it in Vietnam during the war, and he said it did wonders...
My mom now also uses acupuncture for her blood pressure, and it also works better than modern medications... And it's a heck of a lot cheaper!


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