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  • Primal and Blood Pressure

    Apologies if this isn't the right forum, but it is fitness related.

    I'm having problems with my blood pressure that have kept me from being able to exercise and I'm hoping someone can help me find a solution. My problem isn't high blood pressure. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

    To put things in perspective, I'm 6'1", 185lbs (last time I checked). My body fat is around 9%-10% according to a hand held meter.

    Last November, about one month after switching to a primal diet, I stood up quickly, passed out and during my descent hit my head on an inconveniently placed desk. Other than a mild concussion, the only thing that the doctors found was that my blood pressure was low, and I was a little dehydrated. My BP was 90/74 that day. At a follow-up visit a week later, my BP was 90/68, and a week after that it was 92/68. I made sure to be well hydrated for both of those visits.

    Since then, I've been having spells of lightheaded-ness when going up even a single flight of stairs, or just about any other exertion. When I passed out, I didn't have any warning at all - I just woke up on the floor. This has made me very hesitant to exercise.

    Does anyone have suggestions to help work around this? I have plenty of energy and I feel like I need to get out and move. Other than staying hydrated, my doctor hasn't been able to offer any suggestions though.

  • #2
    Have you had a mineral assay of your blood? Sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and selenium all have a role
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    • #3
      I had a physical, including a full blood panel, a week after I passed out. Everything was within the acceptable range, though I don't know the numbers off the top of my head. The only concern was my red blood cell count, which was at the low end of normal.

      I'm due to have another blood panel at the end of this month to see if B12 and folic acid supplements have improved my RBC.

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      • #4
        Any follow up to this bhigh?

        I just got the results from my blood work this week and the doctor said everything looked fine except my blood count looked low. I am suppose to schedule an appointment a month from now to do a follow up blood test. It may be nothing but in the meantime I'm trying to determine if there is something I can do to help.

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        • #5
          Perhaps you need iron and you can get it by cooking in cast iron skillets and pots.

          I was always anemic and had to take iron when I was a kid. I have no problems now but I use cast iron for cooking almost everything.

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          • #6
            Question: Do the cast iron pots have to be without the "liner"? I have the French (Staub) cast Iron, and wondering if the liner negates the advantages of using strict cast iron? Thanks for your help.
            ----------------------------------------
            F, 48, 5'10"
            Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
            Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

            Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Louisa655 View Post
              Question: Do the cast iron pots have to be without the "liner"? I have the French (Staub) cast Iron, and wondering if the liner negates the advantages of using strict cast iron? Thanks for your help.
              Without knowing for sure, I would assume so... Liner would prevent iron from transferring into the food.

              Foods you could emphasize or add: dulse seaweed, liver, nettles, chlorella, or any chlorophyl-rich dark green veggies, to build blood
              "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
              "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
              "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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              • #8
                When people cut their refined carbs, their blood pressure usually plummets. If yours was already low, it will have dropped even lower, and it's not uncommon to be experiencing head rushes etc. I had it really badly a couple of weeks ago - tried upping my salt intake and that helped a little, but then it just went away by itself!
                "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                - Ray Peat

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                • #9
                  Yogabare beat me to it. Im going thru something similar right now. not so much light headedness but any quick action will result in a quick up tick in heart rate and lil bit increase in respiration. slight feeling of being outta breath. what might cause this in me ... lack of carbs. i am not gonna notebook my nutrition but i suspect im well below 50 carbs a day. slowly i will get use to it and increase my excercise but for now. I am just getting use to it.
                  I was at fireschool the other day taking a training on vehilce extracation. (think jaws of life) lil bit light headed because of the heavy lifting ... time for a break with a heart rate of 130. Long way from where i want to be but i am on my way.

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                  • #10
                    Great thread - I was about to post a similar question but the search saved me

                    Since going primal I've felt light-headed occasionally when I am rested and stand up quickly, but it passes after a few seconds. I regularly do some serious metcons (pushing heart rate around 170) in my training and it has never affected my exercise ability and don't experience it during or after exercise. It seems to be exclusively when I'm well rested and I suddenly do something like standing up quickly. Generally I thought this was just the low carb diet that I was adjusting out of - although it seems like it's been long enough.

                    Yesterday I was messing around with a blood pressure monitor that I happened across and my blood pressure was 95/45 which seemed really low and I haven't really done any blood work or been to the doctor since going primal about 8 months ago becaquse generally I've just felt great. After some research I've concluded that my light-headedness is directly a result of my low BP and am now trying to figure out how to get back into a normal range.

                    I'm generally eating about 2500 calories a day and that's with an average carb intake of somewhere between 80g -120g depending on how much fruit I had. It doesn't seem to matter whether I'm at the low or high end of that carb range for the day to get the dizzies.

                    I'll definitely need to subscribe to this thread.

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                    • #11
                      Blood Results

                      I thought it might be helpful for people to compare the results of recent blood work that I had done as part of a physical. I'm 26 years old 6'3, 170lbs, resting HR 48bpm, blood pressure is 104/70. The Dr. mentioned that everything looked good to him except my blood cell counts were lower than normal. I have never had any issues in previous tests regarding my blood count. This might be a sign of anemia, iron/b12/folate deficiencies. I was told to schedule another appointment for blood work in the coming month to make a comparison. Assuming all there isnít anything actually wrong with me, I feel like its possible my counts could be low cause I was coming off of a tough weekend for triathlon training. Did a 13 mile run on the Saturday, 65 mile bike on Sunday, had an early dinner which lead to a 12 hour fast prior to the test. I also splurged on a bit of bread during dinner/birthday cake for dessert as well. But here are my numbers. Feel free to share your thoughts with me:

                      Triglyceride 45
                      HDL Cholesterol 68
                      Total Chol/MDL Ratio 2.1
                      VLDL Cholesterol (Calc) 9
                      LDL Cholesterol (Calc) 65

                      LDL, Direct 75

                      Sodium 136
                      Potassium 3.9
                      Chloride 103
                      CO2 26
                      Glucose 94
                      BUN 25
                      Creatineine .97
                      Bilirubin, Total .7
                      Alkaline Phosphatase 47
                      AST/SGOT 28
                      ALT/SGPT 44
                      Total Protein 6.7
                      Albumin 4.6
                      Calcium 9.6

                      WBC 3.9
                      RBC 3.91
                      Hemoglobin 12.7
                      Hematocrit 37.5
                      MCV 95.9
                      MCH 32.5
                      MCHC 33.9
                      RDW 13.2
                      Platelet Count 161
                      Granulocyte % 46
                      Absolute Gran 1.8
                      Lymph % 43
                      Absolute Lymph 1.7
                      Mono % 9
                      Absolute Mono .4
                      Eos % 1
                      Absolute Eos 0.1
                      Baso % 0
                      Absolute Baso 0

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