Heart and blood pressure problems.

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    Mar 20, 2013 1:22 AM GMT
    So I've just come back from the cardiologist and will soon be seeing a nephrologist. My bp can run as high as 205/130 and EKG and X-ray show an enlarged left ventricle. Anyone have similar problems or advice?
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    Mar 20, 2013 3:20 AM GMT
    Swimguy - I think you already realize that your blood pressure reading is really high. What are you taking for it? My mom has an enlarged heart but it's well under control because she's taking an ACE inhibitor for her blood pressure (the cause of her enlarged heart).

    Also, I take it that you're seeing a nephrologist because your lab work came back as abnormal. First things first though, take care of that pressure and get it down. Once you do, your heart won't be working so hard to pump blood throughout your system.
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    Mar 20, 2013 3:30 AM GMT
    Erik101 saidSwimguy - I think you already realize that your blood pressure reading is really high. What are you taking for it? My mom has an enlarged heart but it's well under control because she's taking an ACE inhibitor for her blood pressure (the cause of her enlarged heart).

    Also, I take it that you're seeing a nephrologist because your lab work came back as abnormal. First things first though, take care of that pressure and get it down. Once you do, your heart won't be working so hard to pump blood throughout your system.


    Yup on two blood pressure medications. Could be the kidneys raising my bp which damages the heart.
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    Mar 20, 2013 3:47 AM GMT
    swimguychicago said
    Erik101 saidSwimguy - I think you already realize that your blood pressure reading is really high. What are you taking for it? My mom has an enlarged heart but it's well under control because she's taking an ACE inhibitor for her blood pressure (the cause of her enlarged heart).

    Also, I take it that you're seeing a nephrologist because your lab work came back as abnormal. First things first though, take care of that pressure and get it down. Once you do, your heart won't be working so hard to pump blood throughout your system.


    Yup on two blood pressure medications. Could be the kidneys raising my bp which damages the heart.


    Usually it's the other way around. Damage to the heart usually results in damage to the kidneys. This is why all open heart surgery patients are monitored closely on their kidney functions because there is a chance of kidney failure.

    There is also a chance that the kidneys are causing problems to your heart; hence, the reason why you're seeing a nephrologist. Still, I would be curious as to what he/she says because I'd like to know what's causing your kidney issues. Regardless, your blood pressure takes priority since lowering it will decrease your chances of getting a stroke.
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    Mar 20, 2013 6:43 AM GMT
    swimguychicago said

    Yup on two blood pressure medications. Could be the kidneys raising my bp which damages the heart.


    I would guess that your doc is sending you to a nephrologist to rule out a condition called renal artery stenosis which (although relatively uncommon) can be the source of unexplained high blood pressure, especially if the meds aren't helping. The renal artery carries blood to the kidney. Stenosis refers to a narrowing of the artery; this narrowing can be due to plaque build-up if you have high cholesterol. Since the kidneys help regulate blood pressure based on the flow of blood to the kidney itself, when that renal artery is narrowed, there is less blood flow to the kidney, and the kidney responds by secreting hormones to increase your blood pressure because the kidney needs excellent blood flow, and the kidney doesn't care about the heart; all the kidney cares about is keeping the blood flowing to the kidney. Selfish organs!
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    Mar 20, 2013 10:56 AM GMT
    swimguychicago saidSo I've just come back from the cardiologist and will soon be seeing a nephrologist. My bp can run as high as 205/130 and EKG and X-ray show an enlarged left ventricle. Anyone have similar problems or advice?


    Sorry to hear about this. man. Keep working with your doctors and start learning about the condition by your own research.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Mar 20, 2013 11:18 AM GMT
    First off - breathe. You can and will find balance and good health. Stress is a very real factor in managing your health.
    The only thing I'll add is to suggest you see an integrative practitioner who specializes in sports nutrition. Diet and diet relative to exercise and your new meds will bring you into more consistent balance.
    You'll be fine, buddy. Breathe. We will all be anxious to hear how it goes.
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    Mar 20, 2013 9:05 PM GMT
    livelifenow said
    swimguychicago said

    Yup on two blood pressure medications. Could be the kidneys raising my bp which damages the heart.


    I would guess that your doc is sending you to a nephrologist to rule out a condition called renal artery stenosis which (although relatively uncommon) can be the source of unexplained high blood pressure, especially if the meds aren't helping. The renal artery carries blood to the kidney. Stenosis refers to a narrowing of the artery; this narrowing can be due to plaque build-up if you have high cholesterol. Since the kidneys help regulate blood pressure based on the flow of blood to the kidney itself, when that renal artery is narrowed, there is less blood flow to the kidney, and the kidney responds by secreting hormones to increase your blood pressure because the kidney needs excellent blood flow, and the kidney doesn't care about the heart; all the kidney cares about is keeping the blood flowing to the kidney. Selfish organs!


    I agree, also how to poster above me suggested I wouldn't get too stressed out because your taking the appropriate steps to ensure good health. just make sure to follow up on all your appointments. The only thing I would add (which I'm sure they told you in clinic) is make sure your keep a low salt diet and adding garlic too your diet has also been shown (long-term) to lower blood pressure.

    Hope everything works out well for you.
  • Zinc

    Posts: 197

    Mar 20, 2013 9:20 PM GMT
    It is hard to say without more information. I would definitely follow up with the MDs and comply with there treatment though. At 200/120 you are damaging your organs so you need to bring that down with medication.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Mar 20, 2013 9:30 PM GMT
    Stick with the doctor like glue. Do exactly as told and ask LOTS of questions if you do not understand. There is info on the web, but stick to sites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic for information.

    Ask you doctor about fluid intake. He will probably advise lots of water. Ask about salt and potassium intake and all of that. Do not go off to dietary extremes. Talk to the doctor and not to the online supplement store.

    Get plenty of rest and talk to the doctor about how much exercise you should do.
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    Mar 21, 2013 3:38 AM GMT
    "When I was your age" the doc told me to either stop coffee or start exercising and get in shape (I was a wee bit fatter, like 70 lbs fatter).

    Since coffee is like the life blood that flows through my veins, I got in shape. That was much easier than stopping coffee. Now my EKG readings are within limits to keep my job (get a physical every year). That's kinda important.
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    Mar 26, 2013 1:27 AM GMT
    So I'm going in for my echocardiogram and kidney ultrasound tomorrow. Any suggestions?
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    Mar 26, 2013 1:36 AM GMT
    I can relate. My BP started going up on me at age 23! I noticed I had a slight tightness on the left side of my heart, and went to a Cardiologist. Turns out, I have a bicuspid aortic valve, and it was/still is leaking mildly. Dr, said it could give me problems in the future, if I don't take care of it now! Of course, I used to drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day back then, and ate more salt and sugar. After going on the D.A.S.H diet, and cutting out caffine...My BP runs like 130/65 now. Medicine today is really great, if you have a problems, it can be easily maintained...Good luck.
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    Mar 26, 2013 1:42 AM GMT
    hypertension can damage the kidney, and kidney damage can also result in BP elevation (look up the RAAS system for more info), so it sounds like your Dr is trying to figure out which is causing the other to best know how to treat you. good luck.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Mar 27, 2013 3:30 AM GMT
    swimguychicago saidSo I've just come back from the cardiologist and will soon be seeing a nephrologist. My bp can run as high as 205/130 and EKG and X-ray show an enlarged left ventricle. Anyone have similar problems or advice?


    Some of the other posters touched on the issue.


    It really depends on the practitioner, but Nephrologists tend to deal with blood pressure issues better.

    ( I am biased ) because I am a Nephrologist.

    So many things can be going , and the more common things had been mentioned. But there are rare blood pressure conditions that require special attention.

    Curious if your potassium was ever low? Are you taking any supplements?

    Are you taking any NSAIDS like ibuprofen or Alleve?
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:03 AM GMT
    My blood pressure is very VERY sensitive. Here is how I got it to 120/80.

    1) I have to count sodium. Most foods, even healthy ones, give you large amounts of sodium. I examine every processed meal I eat and I avoid fast food and restaurant food. All of my food has to have a sodium content of below 600mg. Also sauces are a killer in the sodium department, with mere tablespoons having 120mg or more.

    2) I take Ubiqinol and I make sure to add garlic to my food. If you don't like garlic, a pill can be a less smelly alternative.

    3) I jog for 20 minutes every other day.

    My blood pressure went from 160/110 to 118/74 and my heart rate now stays a healthy 50 to 60 bpm.

    My energy has also increased dramatically and my overal composure is better. I literally feel like I did when I was a kid.

    I've also made several other changes though.

    1) I make sure to eat a half of carrot, an orange, an apple, a tomato, and a banana every day! When I need a snack, I eat berries and nuts. I also have a glass of soy milk daily, and I avoid sugar.

    2) I meditate

    3) I make sure to orgasm at least once a day. Sometimes I used to go months without an orgasm until I found out that that's not healthy.

    4) I also do a lot of group social events and I avoid things that I KNOW will piss me off.
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:29 AM GMT
    swimguychicago saidSo I've just come back from the cardiologist and will soon be seeing a nephrologist. My bp can run as high as 205/130 and EKG and X-ray show an enlarged left ventricle. Anyone have similar problems or advice?


    Both your pressures are extremely high and cause for ALARM. You could have a stroke, a heart attack, blow out an optic nerve, have renal failure, etc. THIS REQUIRES IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION BY QUALIFIED FOLKS. You have stage 4 hypertension and could have a horrible event.

    I would think that your cardiologist would want to treat your BP NOW, and get it done and do an echo stress test to look at your heart dimensions, valves, velocity and so on.

    I'm found several triggers in managing my own BP: MSG, NSAIDS, stress, getting bloat, dehydration...all thing that cause your body to do lots of stuff trying to maintain blood flow and osmotic balance. ALCOHOL CAN REALLY WHACK YOUR BP, by bouncing your DH and ADH levels all over the place. Smoking WILL KILL YOU, and, if you smoke, YOU MUST STOP.

    Your cardiologist almost certainly will want, at a minimum, a stress echo test, and if you flunk it, he'll want to do a cardiac cath. Some science suggests over use of stents, but, you want to avoid further kidney damage (your MD will probably want a 24 hour urine test to look at your renal function and see how much protein you are spilling...because...it's a given with BP like your's that you've got organ damage going on.)

    The good news is that you can get this under control. Most days, I take no BP meds at all. I found that making sure my testosterone is in a certain spot, avoiding MSG (Chinese food), and not drinking much allow me to keep my pressure at 120/67 to 80 at around 67 to 84 BPM.

    I use a state of the art ARB called Benicar, that is specific to AT1 for vascular muscle, and, occasionally, I use Bystolic which is a B1 specific beta blocker that is also state of the art (it also promotes an increases nitric oxide causing vasodilation), but, like I said, most days, I am med free. Angiotesin plays a role in muscle growth, and an ARB is more specific, and works just on AT1, without the cough associated with ACE inhibs, and leave angiotesin floating around to do what it needs to with regard to skeletal muscle.

    Your doctor may want a diuretic, but, if you're active,you can get too dry (low sodium / low fluid content), and end up dehydrated. It's a tough call.

    CCB's (calcium channel blockers) are generally a bad idea for any athlete, and have issues with peripheral edema.

    I had a elevated ST segment on my EKG which we originally thought was athlete's heart, or LVH. As it turned out my heart wall thickness on LV is 14 mm, which is good. The bad news was that I had a 95% blockage of my PLAD, that we put a 3.5mm by 30mm stent in. I didn't even take the day off from work, and it was easier than a dental appointment until I got into non-ischemic stretching pain (blood went rushing into place in my heart where it had not been in years.) My EKG, now, is nearly perfect, and I've made an excellent recovery, but, I can feel the stent, and because it's big (intentionally, if I ramp up my activity too fast, I'll get some stretching pain that is typical of folks with stents).

    You need to be drinking plenty of water. Your urine should be clear. This will helps your body maintain osmotic balance and proper sodium / potassium / dh / adh / aldosterone levels (I am not a biologist nor a MD.)

    YOU HAVE TO TAKE INTERVENTIONAL ACTION NOW. THIS CANNOT WAIT. You could have a major event. You have to treat this ASAP. Your BP is in a very serious place..

    Visit http://www.theheart.org.

    Get flaxeed in your daily diet.

    Try to get your HDL up. Get your LDL down. (There are pattern and size tests that a good cardiologist will know about, too.)

    In my personal case, I do not have hardening...but, my high bp left me with a white goo inside my heart (yes, they can tell when they have you cathed and I was awake when we looked at it.)

    You have to fix this...ASAP...or...you will meet with an early demise..or worse...end up in a horrible spot.

    It's o.k. to be afraid...you should be, but...use that fear to motivate yourself to action. This will not just go away. If you do what you need to, you'll get better, but, you have to do this before something terrible happens.

    Your LVH may remodel after you get your bp managed, but, if you have a blockage, it may or may not be a candidate for optimal medical therapy. In any event, you have to get the BP down, and assess the extent of the organ damage that has happened.

    Finally, for the athletes here, it's normal for your systolic to go up when you're lifting and post workout. It's called wide pressure, so ... if you take your bp right after working out and systolic is up...that's to be expected. It'll come down (if you're healthy). Ideally, your diastolic should be 60ish to 80, and if you're heavily muscled, your systolic will likely not get much below 130 except first thing in the morning. BPs are higher in the evening, post workout, post meal, etc.

    blood-pressure-chart.gif
  • chgobuzz1

    Posts: 155

    Mar 27, 2013 6:50 AM GMT
    In my high BP experience part was stress and part was slowing down on my habitual cardio routines in favor of lifting to get bulkier. My diet focused on bulk which was a mistake. I went on BP med and a weak beta blocker and Crestor. Now 5 years later, 10 lbs lighter and back to more cardio and less lifting my bp is quite normal. I did go to a local naturopath, Ross Rentea who put me onto Q10 and Omega3. He advised 8 omega3s DAILY and 200mg ubiquinol or purer Q10. I continue those to this day. Side effects are increased brain and memory function, healthier heart, no eyesight or joint problems. I drink only soy milk, little alcohol, no red meat (started that 20 years ago), little sugar, never add salt and avoid anything I think may be too salty, avoid bread and complex carbs as much as possible. I switched to salads for lunch instead of bread sandwiches, but never use dressing and avoid cheese except in my weekly pizza fix :} No one is perfect.

    Im convinced Q10 builds heart muscle btw. Have run into others who had heart problems and after Q10 they seemed to resolve. Cant hurt.
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:53 AM GMT
    ACC recommends flax seed as the single best OTC intervention. 3 to 6 grams a day...every day, but, it's not likely going to fix stage 4 hypertension.

    Statins are falling out of favor and there has been lots of really bad information coming out in long term studies about their use, particularly in diabetics.

    COQ10 has some encouraging science behind it but it's still iffy. Most studies from places like Mayo say it's just not effective.

    Low testosterone / high estrogen seems to whack on BP, too.
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:58 AM GMT
    chgobuzz1 saidIn my high BP experience part was stress and part was slowing down on my habitual cardio routines in favor of lifting to get bulkier. My diet focused on bulk which was a mistake. I went on BP med and a weak beta blocker and Crestor. Now 5 years later, 10 lbs lighter and back to more cardio and less lifting my bp is quite normal. I did go to a local naturopath, Ross Rentea who put me onto Q10 and Omega3. He advised 8 omega3s DAILY and 200mg ubiquinol or purer Q10. I continue those to this day. Side effects are increased brain and memory function, healthier heart, no eyesight or joint problems. I drink only soy milk, little alcohol, no red meat (started that 20 years ago), little sugar, never add salt and avoid anything I think may be too salty, avoid bread and complex carbs as much as possible. I switched to salads for lunch instead of bread sandwiches, but never use dressing and avoid cheese except in my weekly pizza fix :} No one is perfect.

    Im convinced Q10 builds heart muscle btw. Have run into others who had heart problems and after Q10 they seemed to resolve. Cant hurt.


    Cool, we have made a lot of similar changes. And I'm glad the wonders of Ubiquinol are spreading.
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    Mar 27, 2013 7:02 AM GMT
    swimguychicago said
    Erik101 saidSwimguy - I think you already realize that your blood pressure reading is really high. What are you taking for it? My mom has an enlarged heart but it's well under control because she's taking an ACE inhibitor for her blood pressure (the cause of her enlarged heart).

    Also, I take it that you're seeing a nephrologist because your lab work came back as abnormal. First things first though, take care of that pressure and get it down. Once you do, your heart won't be working so hard to pump blood throughout your system.


    Yup on two blood pressure medications. Could be the kidneys raising my bp which damages the heart.


    Renal stenosis, it's called.
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    Mar 27, 2013 7:06 AM GMT
    swimguychicago saidSo I'm going in for my echocardiogram and kidney ultrasound tomorrow. Any suggestions?


    A stationary echo will show soft tissue in motion. If you've not had it done, you'll find it fascinating.

    A stess echo (by drug induction, or exercise) can be painful, for a bit, but, is much more revealing about the workings of your heart. In my case, the bottom part of my heart was failing to contract properly, and I found out I had no LVH. The bad news, of course, was that...the bottom part of my heart was not contracting properly because it wasn't getting enough blood to it. That's all fixed now, and I no longer have an elevated ST segment on my EKG (checked it three weeks ago on a 12 lead EKG) and the bottom part of my heart is gradually remodeling with daily exercise and adequate blood supply.

    If you're not having a stress echo, it seems like they might be milking you a bit, but, they may wanta take a look first before they put on load on because your BP is so high. I don't know.
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    Mar 27, 2013 5:30 PM GMT
    My BP is 110/76 today, unmedicated. I'm, 5'5", 210#, and not fat. You can beat this, but, it requires you to understand yourself, not listening to just every doctor, studying the human machine, and making observations about cause and effect.

    If you don't change, it WILL kill you.
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    Mar 28, 2013 4:40 AM GMT
    musclmed said
    swimguychicago saidSo I've just come back from the cardiologist and will soon be seeing a nephrologist. My bp can run as high as 205/130 and EKG and X-ray show an enlarged left ventricle. Anyone have similar problems or advice?


    Some of the other posters touched on the issue.


    It really depends on the practitioner, but Nephrologists tend to deal with blood pressure issues better.

    ( I am biased ) because I am a Nephrologist.

    So many things can be going , and the more common things had been mentioned. But there are rare blood pressure conditions that require special attention.

    Curious if your potassium was ever low? Are you taking any supplements?

    Are you taking any NSAIDS like ibuprofen or Alleve?


    YES! My potassium has been low enough that my PCP has put me on potassium chloride.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Mar 29, 2013 1:19 AM GMT
    AtlasHarper saidMy blood pressure is very VERY sensitive. Here is how I got it to 120/80.

    1) I have to count sodium. Most foods, even healthy ones, give you large amounts of sodium. I examine every processed meal I eat and I avoid fast food and restaurant food. All of my food has to have a sodium content of below 600mg. Also sauces are a killer in the sodium department, with mere tablespoons having 120mg or more.

    3) I jog for 20 minutes every other day.

    OP- You are getting treatment for the blood pressure from physicians, who are actually knowledgable about your personal situation - You ought to follow their advice.

    If they recommend you reduce your sodium (salt) intake, what Atlas says is right on - Avoid eating all pre-packaged foods and fast foods, and almost all canned foods except fruit - they contain tons more sodium than even a person with normal BP should take in. Even canned soups marketed as "healthy" contain wsy too much added salt. Most restaurant meals contain too much sodium as well. The CDC recommends a maximum of 1500 mg of Sodium per day (and maybe your physiscians will recommend even less). 1500 mg of sodium equals 0.65 teaspoons of salt. A lot of foods naturally contain sodium. For example, a cup of non-fat yogurt contains 160 mg of sodium, even though no salt has been added. That is over 10% of the recommend maximum daily intake.