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  • Question about low blood pressure?

    So I've been having a number of problems with my legs lately. At first I thought it was severe overtraining coupled with undereating, but after taking time off, the symptoms are still presenting themselves.

    A friend mentioned looking into Venous Insufficiency, so I started reading about that and it seems to fit me 100% with the symptoms I have, except I don't have varicose veins or even spider veins really.

    My symptoms are:
    -feelings of achyness/fatigue when walking or standing (worse when standing)
    -swelling in the legs
    -symptoms get better if I lie on my back with my feet up or first thing in the morning
    -at times, if I ever try to run (which I don't any more), I get a very, very bad itching sensation that makes it too painful to continue

    Oh and on a rare occasion I take ephedrine for an energy boost for my workout and I find that on those days, most of these symptoms are gone as well.

    I've been to the doctors and they kind of just brush me off saying I'm not overweight or old enough to have venous insufficiency. I am however going for ultra sound testing in February just to be sure... (I was adamant I wanted to check with them).

    But something else that's crossed my mind, when I was at the doctor, my blood pressure came out to be very, very low.

    Could this possibly cause the above symptoms?

    I do notice that at times I feel very light headed upon standing or feel faint, especially immediately after eating and often experience a general sense of weakness or being almost 'fuzzy brained' as I go about my day.

    I always just attributed it to being tired or something, but now this whole thing really has me wondering.

  • #2
    What's very very low? Need a number. It's also not a good idea to self-diagnose. I can usually find 5-10 diseases that fits whatever ails me that day if I find myself browsing online long enough. Get a second opinion.

    Also, blood pressure ranges can vary widely. Some people feel like they'll faint when they dip below 110/90 or something. Me, my normal bp is 90/60 and has been for years.

    For the love of jebus stop taking the ephedra.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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    • #3
      The feeling dizzy when you stand could be due to low blood pressure. Do you have any issues with a fast heartbeat when you stand/change position? If so, you might want to look into POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), which is something my previous partner had.

      If you don't have any tachycardia issues, then the dizzyness is likely due to low blood pressure. Do you have a home BP monitor? If not, I suggest you get one (you can get them for about $30 at most pharmacies) and check your BP throughout the day to get a clearer picture of your BP. BP can change drastically throughout the day (even from minute to minute) and getting it checked at a doctor's office is notoriously inaccurate since it's an artificial setting.

      Once you know whether low BP is your issue or not, you can figure out the next step.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Damiana View Post
        What's very very low? Need a number. It's also not a good idea to self-diagnose. I can usually find 5-10 diseases that fits whatever ails me that day if I find myself browsing online long enough. Get a second opinion.

        Also, blood pressure ranges can vary widely. Some people feel like they'll faint when they dip below 110/90 or something. Me, my normal bp is 90/60 and has been for years.

        For the love of jebus stop taking the ephedra.
        The OP made it clear that the symptoms are a problem, not the number.
        F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
          The OP made it clear that the symptoms are a problem, not the number.
          Yah, this is the thing. And it's not even dizziness that's the main concern. It's there, but I can deal with it.

          It's the leg issues that are really troubling me to no end. I've been to a couple of doctors now and they just brush me off and say I look fine...and send me on my way.

          But I'm not fine and I pretty much can't tolerate much physical activity at all - even walking, so it's really just starting to get me down.

          I guess I'm just trying to evaluate what all could be causing this and I thought perhaps the LBP could have been it (and I believe the numbers they gave me at the check-up were 58 and 87). My heart rate is fine though, so on concerns there.

          I finally convinced a doctor to send me for an ultra sound screening to check my veins, but it's not until Mid-Feb, so that's too bad. But I guess that will rule out any vein related issues. If that's not it though, I have no idea what to do then.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Michelle83 View Post
            Yah, this is the thing. And it's not even dizziness that's the main concern. It's there, but I can deal with it.

            It's the leg issues that are really troubling me to no end. I've been to a couple of doctors now and they just brush me off and say I look fine...and send me on my way.

            But I'm not fine and I pretty much can't tolerate much physical activity at all - even walking, so it's really just starting to get me down.

            I guess I'm just trying to evaluate what all could be causing this and I thought perhaps the LBP could have been it (and I believe the numbers they gave me at the check-up were 58 and 87). My heart rate is fine though, so on concerns there.

            I finally convinced a doctor to send me for an ultra sound screening to check my veins, but it's not until Mid-Feb, so that's too bad. But I guess that will rule out any vein related issues. If that's not it though, I have no idea what to do then.
            I suggest you check out autoimmune disorders, also mercury poisoning if you have amalgam fillings. Also histamine intolerance. High histamine can cause low blood pressure.

            These suggestions may not give a relevant lead. But at least I tried to help you. Best of luck
            F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd look into adrenal issues as contributing to what sounds like orthostatic hypotension. I have it in the morning and have dealt with it for years, but it's been manageable.

              Try mixing a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water right when you wake up in the am. This helped me the first day I tried it and I've noticed that increasing my salt intake in general has helped even more. I used WAY too little, which seemed to be much more harmful than using too much, which is what I was trying to avoid. If your electrolytes are off, that could be one cause of the fullness you feel in your legs. Water retention and dependent edema can often easily be improved by making sure you have an adequate balance of sodium and potassium - magnesium and calcium are also important.

              Stretching in the morning and before bed might help with the weird sensation in your legs as well, as it can increase lymph flow and help with tissue congestion. Epsom salt baths before bed are another trick for that.

              I agree completely with a previous poster on ditching that ephedra right now, forever!

              Try the am salt water. It's worked like magic for many here, especially low carbers who are feeling a little draggy.
              Last edited by GoJenGo; 12-12-2012, 08:16 PM.
              Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

              - Robert Louis Stevenson

              Comment


              • #8
                Did anyone test your electrolytes?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                  I suggest you check out autoimmune disorders, also mercury poisoning if you have amalgam fillings. Also histamine intolerance. High histamine can cause low blood pressure.

                  These suggestions may not give a relevant lead. But at least I tried to help you. Best of luck
                  Thanks. Some suggestions are better than no suggestions! I'll look into these and see if it could be a possibility. I don't have many fillings, but I do eat quite a high amount of canned light tuna. I'm not sure if that would have these same effect though.


                  Originally posted by GoJenGo View Post
                  I'd look into adrenal issues as contributing to what sounds like orthostatic hypotension. I have it in the morning and have dealt with it for years, but it's been manageable.

                  Try mixing a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water right when you wake up in the am. This helped me the first day I tried it and I've noticed that increasing my salt intake in general has helped even more. I used WAY too little, which seemed to be much more harmful than using too much, which is what I was trying to avoid. If your electrolytes are off, that could be one cause of the fullness you feel in your legs. Water retention and dependent edema can often easily be improved by making sure you have an adequate balance of sodium and potassium - magnesium and calcium are also important.

                  Stretching in the morning and before bed might help with the weird sensation in your legs as well, as it can increase lymph flow and help with tissue congestion. Epsom salt baths before bed are another trick for that.

                  I agree completely with a previous poster on ditching that ephedra right now, forever!

                  Try the am salt water. It's worked like magic for many here, especially low carbers who are feeling a little draggy.
                  Thanks for this as well. My problems tend to be least in the morning though as I've slept so there is no swelling/build-up in the legs and my salt intake with my diet is pretty high, so I kind of don't think it would be low salt intake.

                  I also drink a lot of water, so fluid balance should be okay (although I use the washroom a LOT also).

                  I already am stretching morning and night right now though, so that's helping flexibility ...but not the symptoms.

                  I have tried epsom salt baths as well. They help a little and I do bath every single night...it helps...but it's not making this problem resolve.


                  Originally posted by EyeOfRound View Post
                  Did anyone test your electrolytes?
                  No, that's one thing they haven't checked, so maybe worthwhile as well. I eat a lot of vegetables and some fruits and as I said, my sodium is pretty high, so I wouldn't think these would be off, but they could be.

                  Thanks again for all the help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michelle83 View Post
                    I also drink a lot of water, so fluid balance should be okay (although I use the washroom a LOT also).

                    I eat a lot of vegetables and some fruits and as I said, my sodium is pretty high, so I wouldn't think these would be off, but they could be.
                    What kind of water are you drinking? Most bottled spring water and tap water (which are actually usually the same thing) are pretty low in electrolytes; either because the water source was low in electrolytes to begin with, or because much of the electrolytes get lost during the heavy duty filtering process and aren't added back.

                    So a person drinking a lot of electrolyte-low water is likely to be excessively urinating and losing the smaller amount of electrolytes they do have. You could try adding electrolytes to your water to see if it makes a difference (I use a reverse osmosis water filter at home and use ConcenTrace Minerals to add back all the good stuff that got filtered out).

                    Also, fruits and vegetables do have some sodium, but it's not much. I went through a period of time where I wasn't using any additional salt at all, and while it doesn't seem to change my BP at all, I feel significantly better now that I'm actively adding it to my food. So trying the suggestion to drink some salt water could be worth it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                      What kind of water are you drinking? Most bottled spring water and tap water (which are actually usually the same thing) are pretty low in electrolytes; either because the water source was low in electrolytes to begin with, or because much of the electrolytes get lost during the heavy duty filtering process and aren't added back.

                      So a person drinking a lot of electrolyte-low water is likely to be excessively urinating and losing the smaller amount of electrolytes they do have. You could try adding electrolytes to your water to see if it makes a difference (I use a reverse osmosis water filter at home and use ConcenTrace Minerals to add back all the good stuff that got filtered out).

                      Also, fruits and vegetables do have some sodium, but it's not much. I went through a period of time where I wasn't using any additional salt at all, and while it doesn't seem to change my BP at all, I feel significantly better now that I'm actively adding it to my food. So trying the suggestion to drink some salt water could be worth it.
                      Thanks, hmm, maybe electrolytes would be it. I drink tap water (our water here is safe), so not sure how that compares.

                      As for salt, the thing is that I use a lot (and apply very liberally) of seasonings that are not sodium free, so I just don't think that low salt would be an issue. I eat egg whites too as well as canned tuna, both of which seem to contain quite a bit of salt. If anything I would think my salt intake was too high, not too low, but mind you from everything I read increasing salt is often suggested for low BP

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                      • #12
                        Definitely sounds like Adrenal Fatigue. Ephedra is the worst thing you can take if you have it.

                        Download Dr James Wilson's book "Adrenal Fatigue" from Amazon for around $15. Every symptom you have mentioned is a symptom of Adrenal Fatigue.

                        There are other herbs and supplements you can take to support and improve your adrenal function...

                        Amazon.com: Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome (9781890572150): James Wilson, Jonathan V. Wright: Books

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rueben View Post
                          Definitely sounds like Adrenal Fatigue. Ephedra is the worst thing you can take if you have it.

                          Download Dr James Wilson's book "Adrenal Fatigue" from Amazon for around $15. Every symptom you have mentioned is a symptom of Adrenal Fatigue.

                          There are other herbs and supplements you can take to support and improve your adrenal function...

                          Amazon.com: Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome (9781890572150): James Wilson, Jonathan V. Wright: Books
                          Thanks for this - they have that at my library so I just put in on hold. It does seem this could be a possibility - I read about it briefly. It definitely makes sense given my past/personality...to a T in fact. I didn't realize that the disorder could cause these type of circulation/lower body symptoms.

                          And yes, I have definitely stopped ephedrine. While it helped with my symptoms, it created a whole new set that were just as unpleasant.

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                          • #14
                            The am salt water trick I mentioned is helpful with (and specifically recommended for) patients with sluggish adrenals and is related to issues with Aldosterone. Here's a link in which it is mentioned: (I believe Dr. Wilson, whose book was recommended to you, discusses it on his site as well)

                            Adrenal Fatigue and Blood Pressure - DrLamŽ - Body. Mind. NutritionŽ
                            Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

                            - Robert Louis Stevenson

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