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Very low heart rate and blood pressure - need advice


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Okay, this has been bothering me for a while.

I'm 15, 5'1", and weigh a pretty muscular 105 lbs. I've stopped growing, I don't have an ED, I'm not trying to lose weight any more, so before anybody jumps on me for that (as seems to be the tendency around here these days) - I'm just really short and small. Anyway. Both my parents have low blood pressure - to the point where they get headaches as soon as the barometer needle so much as twitches towards zero - and mine is even lower than theirs. Now, out of curiousity, I've been researching on the internet for a little more about this, and while the symptoms are the same (lightheadedness, fatigue, etc.), it doesn't list air pressure as something that would aggravate those symptoms, but I can definitely say that it does.

Apparently the definition of 'low' blood pressure is 90/60. Mine's more like 100/50. So what does that mean - if the systolic is in a healthy range but the diastolic isn't? And if I'm athletic - which I am, since I'm training for a triathlon and most of these numbers are for sedentary people, not athletes - is this normal? One site I read listed a low heart rate as anything below 60, and sitting here right now, after two cups of coffee and with a severe thunderstorm moving in, it's at 48-52 bpm, while my blood pressure's running at 105/57. Other sites say that heart rates that low are perfectly normal for athletes, but mention nothing about blood pressure.

I've been lightheaded and kind of out of it for the past few days, and I'm posting here because I'm a certified endorphin junkie and I need to get out there and pound a little pavement. It's kind of hard to get motivated to do anything when your head is pounding and gravity's not entirely where it should be, though, if you know what I mean.

So, does anybody know what's going on? Or have some advice? Or maybe just want to commiserate? I'm not a hypochondriac, but it is getting on my nerves and I'd really like to get some sort of input.


Edited Mar 01 2014 14:58 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie bumps
16 Replies (last)
I'm not sure about all your questions (athlete blood pressure, etc), but I can try and address your low blood pressure issue.  I have low BP too, and I find it (the lightheadedness/headache) gets worse when I drink too much water.  Weird, I know.  What helps?  Eating more salt.  Seriously.  Choose foods with a bit more sodium, and make sure you're hitting between 1,500 and 3,000 a day.  I find if I get less than 1,500, I get lightheaded, headachy, and fatigued too.
I have low blood pressure and I also find that, if I drink a lot of water, I must increase my sodium intake.  I also get what I call "weather headaches" - I'm always the first one to know when a high or low pressure cell is on its way.
Huh. It's funny that you say that, actually, because I do drink an insane amount of water. Well, actually, tea - mostly herbal tea. I have this thing that I can't sit at the computer without having a full mug of steaming hot tea - and my mug's about 700mL. On the other hand, I do hit around 2500mg-3100mg of salt (mmm... pickles), so I'm not entirely sure if that's it. But I'll try to cut back on the tea-chugging and see if it works.
There to many causes of low blood pressure for us to make any guesses.  You need to consult a doctor to find out the cause.

For instance, I have extreme low blood pressure because I have a congenital heart defect and irregular heartbeats.  That's only one, rare cause. 
Actually, I did ask my doctor. He told me that I should be happy that the numbers are so low, that it wasn't a concern, and that essentially I was being whiny.  :P I guess he's right to some extent (especially about the whininess), but on the other hand it does bother me - and I'm not sure I agree that light-headedness and headaches are a sign of good health, you know?
Well are you feeling really bad? Like I have a friend who faints every now and then because she has low bloodpreassure.  She usually puts a couple of tsp of honey in her coffee, she says that helps against being light headed.
Yeah, I am. I don't have low blood sugar, though, and I don't faint - I'm guessing the honey is to elevate blood sugar quickly, which is what hypoglycemics often need. So I'm a little puzzled as to what to do.

Right now it's easing up - the system of thunderstorms hovering over our area has gone, so it's not as bad as it was. Whatever I was feeling before is gone for the most part, but the numbers haven't changed (if anything, they're even lower).

Weird.
I have similar problems. I have hypotension. abnorm. low blood pressure. Maybe that is what you have. Ask a doctor about it, if it is hypotension it can be treated by them.
I'm 5'0" tall, and probably weighed 97 when I was your age, I was 103 when I graduated high school. I have always had low blood pressure in the 90/50 to 100/60 range. Because of my short stature, my doctors have all assured me this is perfectly normal for me, and nothing to be concerned about .. unless I was taller.

I do from time to time get problems such as when standing up too fast from a lying-down position. I will get light-headed and feel faint. But it's rare enough it's not really an issue.

I also have a low resting heart rate - in the morning when I first wake up, it's around 40 bpm. It's been this way even when I have not been exercising. Low heart rates are typically the sign of an athlete (which I'm not, really - I think mine is just good genes!). It is a very good thing and it means you are very conditioned, and have a larger zone in which to recover from exercise. This probably means you also don't fit into the usual 220 minus your age formula (but then again, 60% of us don't).

As for the barometric changes, I don't think that has anything to do with BP or HR, but who knows?? I can say that when a low front pushes through, I don't get headaches but I feel really yuckky and down. My mood just takes a dive. Yes, I can tell when the barometer is changing, just by my mood swings.

Lightheadedness may be due to your BP, or it could be due to needing a bit more calories. Hunger headaches are common. I know you don't want a lecture, but keep in mind that you need higher calories than this site says, because you are a teen. Does it tend to happen when you are between meals?

Headaches could also be hormonal, or exercise-induced.

I might suggest you track this in a diary - how many calories you ate, and when, and what, when you exercised, and when the headaches and lightheadedness occurred. There may be a correlation and a pattern  (I suspect there is).

Finally - interesting about the sodium!! I've noted recently that I intuitively crave and eat more salt on days I drink more water. I guess I know now why I do that!!!!
athletes tend to have lower heart rates when resting as opposed to non-athletes.

as for the low blood pressure...i wouldn't worry too much. it doesn't seem real out of whack, and hey, it's better then high blood pressure! lol
Having very low blood pressure is not fun I had very low blood pressure and a  very slow heart rate due to some thyroid issues and low adreanal output. It sounds great to people with high blood pressure but for me it was extremily disabaling. My blood pressure would drop when I stood up and the longer I stood the more it dropped untill I became pale and could not not think due to not enough blood making it to my brain. For years I lived like this and doctors told me I was LUCKY!!!! because I had low blood pressure.

I finally found a doctor who listened to me.

Taking Thryoid hormone and something for my adreanals helped. I also took 1-2 tsp of salt every morning and drank no less than 1 gallon of water a day. These steps did help. I finally discoved the source and am almost completly better but I did get very, very tired of people telling me how lucky I was even when I told them the symptoms so I can empithize with you.

Try 1/4 tsp. of salt in water in the morning and then increase it if it helps and as your body grows accostommed to it. If you up your salt too fast it can make you very puffy lol ( I get a puffy face) Only increase your water if you increase your salt however increasing both is best. This increases the amount of fluid your body retains and can help raise blood pressure.

Good luck and sorry about my poor spelling.

Bumping up this thread again because my BP's still(!) getting lower.

 

I got a reading of 86/57 in biology class the other day. That really doesn't sound good to me.

low bp isn really that big a prb.....your heart rate is fine.....iv seen my in the low 30's, lowesst ever for me was 28 and that wasn during ed. so relax. the stress alone will raise your bp
You are wrong fdget84. Low BP can be a big problem!! It can be caused by low thyroid and or low adrenal output or heart problems. Exersise did not raise my blood pressure and thats the problem. When you stand up and start walkng or jogging your blood pressure should go up if it doesn't it causes dizzyness, fatigue, light headedness, exercises intolerance, and feeling more tired after you work out then before.

 If your BP is low enough to be causeing these symptoms you need to find a doc who will listen. I spent years suffering because people told me I was luckt to have a low BP! if you don't have symptoms good for you but some people do.
#15  
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fidget84 I agree with suldrun. low BP and Heart rate can be a HUGE problem. Mine both run low due to ED. there is no way that your HR was only 28 and you were fine. any body would know better. so if yurs is that low u should b in the hospital. my dr is concerned bc mine was 87/53 and 56. yes very concrned esp bc of my Ed which you must have too if yours is that low. things like his ae not joking matters or something to lie about

 

#16  
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That is a very low blood pressure, and you definitely need to get to a doctor who will listen to you ASAP. Could you make an appointment with an endocrinologist? They specialize in this type of stuff. Especially since your parents also have low bp, it could easily be an autoimmune issue with your thyroid or adrenals that needs to be on constant medication to be treated.

My other, immediate thought: are you still the same height/weight/age/activity level as when you first posted this topic? How much do you eat each day? Undereating or weighing too little for your personal body frame and genetics could also compound problems like low bp, and yes, it is very serious.
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