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How much of an issue can lower heart rate be?

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  • How much of an issue can lower heart rate be?

    I checked my BP today on this gizmo at work. I had to walk about 100 yds. to get to it. I sat down and pressed the button. My BP was 110/73 with a pulse rate of 68. I reset it and pressed it again. 111/72 and PR of 62. I told my buddy about it. When I mentioned the last PR, he did a double take. I asked him if that was an issue. He said I would have to ask my doctor, but he thought it wouldn't be unless I get light headed when I stand up.

    Well, coincidentally, I do get light headed, but only after sitting or squatting for long periods of time. It takes longer for just sitting, but if I stay squatted for over a minute, say, like when looking in the cabinet trying to find something Primal, then when I stand, I get woozy. If I stay seated on the couch for an hour or so and stand up, after about the third step, I'm looking for something to possibly grab on to.

    My BP and PR have not been this low as far as I can remember and I've been on BP meds for the last 4 or 5 years (to no real avail). Only after cutting out the no-no foods have I seen these results. I also do not exercise. I don't choose not to, I'm just lazy.

    What's happening? I think I'll air my concerns with my doc tomorrow, but I'm curious if I have a problem for realz.
    Started my journey on May 22, 2010:

    Beginning weight ~180
    Current weight ~145

    Nov. 9, 2009........Nov. 9, 2010.....Jun. 17, 2011
    LDL 155...............LDL 176............LDL 139
    HDL 39................HDL 66..............HDL 95
    TGL 154..............TGL 77..............TGL 49

  • #2
    Uhhh... pretty sure a heart rate of 60-something is fine. Your blood pressure is fine too.

    My active-resting heart rate is about 60 bpm, my 6 am-haven't-moved-in-hours heart rate is 50ish and I'm a small individual, so I think yours is just fine. Some people have resting heart rates in the 40 range.

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    • #3
      Mine is usually about 55 at rest. A low heart rate is not a bad thing at all.

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      • #4
        What they said

        My resting pulse is 60 to 65'ish, which according to this chart is good to excellent for my advanced years. Whereas John's puts him in the excellent to athlete category!
        If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

        Originally posted by tfarny
        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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        • #5
          Here is my paramedic answer.

          Nothing wrong with your BP or heart rate in and of themselves. The 'normal' range for heart rate is 60-100 and a rate slower than that is not a problem unless it is CAUSING a problem typically. (although if it is significantly low it COULD be indicative of an issue.)

          Your BP is again fine in and of itself but it sounds like it MIGHT be running a bit low for YOU. It might be time to adjust your medications. Also exercise will help with the 'stand up, get dizzy' situation because when you exercise it tones your cardiovascular system meaning your heart will change rate easier, your vessels will constrict (to keep the blood from all falling to your feet!) quicker, etc.

          The other thing to do is make sure you are staying hydrated, especially if you notice a lower BP and a higher pulse rate. And when you stand up, tuck your chin in tight to your chest and then stand up slowly. This puts pressure on the veins that drain the blood from your head, slowing the draining slightly to give your heart and vessels a little longer to catch up.

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          • #6
            Thanks.

            I don't think I have a "low" heart rate as much as I know I have a "lower" HR than before and I didn't give it much thought until my pal planted the dizzy seed in my head.

            Edit: I typed this ^ before I read Noc's response.

            Thanks Noc!!
            Started my journey on May 22, 2010:

            Beginning weight ~180
            Current weight ~145

            Nov. 9, 2009........Nov. 9, 2010.....Jun. 17, 2011
            LDL 155...............LDL 176............LDL 139
            HDL 39................HDL 66..............HDL 95
            TGL 154..............TGL 77..............TGL 49

            Comment


            • #7
              Those numbers look really good, but maybe you have something like orthostatic hypotension. Try taking your blood pressure sitting and then stand and take it and see if it dips significantly.

              I was on another low carb regimen a few years back that was also very low salt in the first phase. I started to find that my blood pressure would dip very low when I would stand up or do yoga or even when I would get a little stressed or excited. My heart would start beating furiously during these episodes and my bp reading would be lower than normal. I've never had this formally diagnosed but I think that my old crappy diet was masking orthostatic hypotension. It would be interesting to check your blood pressure right after you stand. I checked mine one time when I was particularly faint after doing yoga poses and rising from sitting to standing. My bp machine read "E" which meant error. It was so low it was not producing a reading. I probably should have this medically diagnosed but I have a natural distrust of the medical profession, so I eat a fair amount of sea salt and try to get enough minerals and I feel pretty good when I do that.


              If anyone knows anything about this I would be interested to hear it. On the forum for the other diet, I posted about this just sure others had experienced the same thing and they had no idea what i was talking about. No one else had experienced it.
              True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
              The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

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              • #8
                Orthostatic variations are normal to a certain extent. Typically it isn't considered true orthostatic hypotension unless it persists. It takes a moment for the body to equilibrate after you stand up. If you stand, wait for ~ a minute and then measure it and it is still low, THEN you have more of an issue. If you stand, get slightly dizzy and then it gets better (and you could check numbers too if thats your thing) then that is just your body compensating. That being said if your heart rate has to jump up more than 10-15 points and especially if it stays there that indicates some dehydration or a lack of vasoconstriction occurring which could have a myriad of causes (including BP meds!)

                Since the OP IS on a BP med I would recommend chatting with a doc because they may well need to adjust the dose or get off the med entirely.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Noctiluca View Post
                  That being said if your heart rate has to jump up more than 10-15 points and especially if it stays there that indicates some dehydration or a lack of vasoconstriction occurring which could have a myriad of causes (including BP meds!)
                  This reminds me, I had an ECG and ultrasound done because I complained to my doc that my heart would pound for no reason (in my opinion). It would do it even if I was just shifting my weight in bed. Hmmm. I would be almost motionless and could stand up or simply switched the way my legs would cross and it would start pounding away.

                  Originally posted by Noctiluca View Post
                  Since the OP IS on a BP med I would recommend chatting with a doc because they may well need to adjust the dose or get off the med entirely.
                  In November, my doc did recommend cutting my pills in half since my BP had improved (I did tell him about my eating style and the weight loss was evident), but I'm yet to do it. Now seems like a good time to start.
                  Started my journey on May 22, 2010:

                  Beginning weight ~180
                  Current weight ~145

                  Nov. 9, 2009........Nov. 9, 2010.....Jun. 17, 2011
                  LDL 155...............LDL 176............LDL 139
                  HDL 39................HDL 66..............HDL 95
                  TGL 154..............TGL 77..............TGL 49

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bugger, I was hoping for advice on bradycardia.. my resting pulse rate is sometimes as low as 45bpm! I can't believe that I'm that fit!
                    My Journal

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                    • #11
                      if its any consolation, my resting HR is sometimes under 40bpm - I exercise and am fairly fit, but I'm no Lance Armstrong (unless he's become a bit chubby - and female- recently). It has caused medical professionals a bit of concern (like when I was having a colonoscopy and they all went into a huddle and "murmured" before asking me if I exercised regularly and putting the low rate down to that.) It doesn't seem a problem - though i do wonder if it is linked to a low metabolism and so contributes to my weight issues?

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                      • #12
                        I also reduced my BP meds to 1/4 of what they where and am planning on getting off of them. You are fine, but you might want to up salt if you feel faint.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NourishedEm View Post
                          Bugger, I was hoping for advice on bradycardia.. my resting pulse rate is sometimes as low as 45bpm! I can't believe that I'm that fit!
                          Well other than causing concern to medical professionals (myself included if you showed up on my ambulance!) there isn't anything wrong with a bradycardic rhythm in and of itself. As long as your blood pressure stays in an acceptable range and you are able to complete your daily activities there is nothing wrong with a slower heart rate.

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                          • #14
                            I'd like to point out that bradycardia (with normal BP) can be a sign of hypothyroid--the low thyroid hormones actually raise BP and slow heart rate.

                            If you're concerned, get your thyroid checked.

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