Low BP with high pulse--any way to effect without medication?

Boilerplate about not looking for medical advice. I’m under the care of a physician, et cetera.

I’m on medication for tachycardia which has the unfortunate effect of lowering my already-low blood pressure more than it does my heart rate.

Without meds, my heart rate is 100+ and my bp is around 100/66. With meds, my heart rate is 90-100 and my bp is around 90/60. I was on an higher dose of the Bystolic, but my blood pressure was getting even lower and I was feeling awful–though it was driving my pulse down to around 60.

My doctor isn’t worried. I’ve had lots of cardiac tests and I don’t seem to be in any danger, but I can hear my pulse at night and it drives me nuts. I was diagnosed with tachycardia about a year ago and he suspected it was stress-related, but it hasn’t let up.

So, is there any sort of relaxation technique or the like that can target pulse rate? I’ve heard great things about meditation, but that seems more in line with lowering blood pressure–and mine doesn’t really need to be lower!

ETA: And tips for the difference between effect and affect would be super, too! grumble

IANADoctor, and your doctor will be better equipped to answer this question, but in my personal experience and that of many people I know, regular working out usually drops resting heart rate. My resting pulse hase dropped about 20 bpm over the course of a year of regular work outs (in my case, running.)

But, again, ask your doctor whether this might work for you or might not be such a good idea.

I regularly use my treadmill, though I haven’t for the past couple of weeks, I’ll admit. My shins give out way before I start having problems catching my breath.

I try to run 3 times a week. I don’t always hit that goal.

Sorry, I have no specific suggestions but would be curious if you ever tried having a high salt diet. That’s not advice, and certainly not medical advice. Just wondering if it’s ever been recommended and what effect, if any, it might have had.

And, if I may be nosy, when off your meds do you have symptoms other than awareness of your heart beat? (Please just ignore this if I’ve crossed any line or you just don’t feel like answering period).

Once again, from my experience, and ask your doctor before starting any training regimen, etc., etc., it takes about a month or two before you start feeling the benefits. I run 5x a week for at least 40 minutes, but from what I can find online, you can get cardiovascular benefits from 3x a week at even 20-30 minutes. When I stop working out (I got lazy this winter for two months or so), my resting pulse started creeping back up within a week or two. So, from my experience, it seems to be something you have to keep up with.

I inadvertently seem to have created two threads. I’ve reported the duplication.

I have always had low blood pressure, and one doctor did suggest increasing the salt in my diet. I never really did anything with that suggestion.

I do not have other symptoms off the meds. I originally went to the doctor because of the pounding heart in my ears sensation. He suspected anxiety (my husband had died a few months earlier). The pounding tends to happen less on the meds even when they aren’t having much impact on my heart rate. I don’t know if that means anything.

As I said, I regularly use my treadmill. I was diagnosed with tachycardia about a year ago and have had many stretches of constant use for months. It has not had any impact on my heart rate or blood pressure, though it does make me feel better in general.

Have you tried increasing your daily amount of fluid intake?
The general formula I know is: CO= HR x SV
Cardiac Output= Heart rate times Stroke Volume (usually simplified to be correlated to Blood Pressure)

So to keep your CO constant, you body compensates for decreases in one value by increasing the other- so low BP–> high heart rate, and vice versa. Perhaps increasing your fluid levels might help you to decrease your heart rate? The Exercise principle is similar- if you increase your stamina and such, your heart has to work less- the CO decreases, thus lowering the HR and SV both basically.

Just things to look into though for ideas when you’re fishing around- consider ways to modify your cardiac output (exercise, meditation, relaxation techniques), or perhaps increase your stroke volume in order to help compensate for your heart rate and bring it down?

Also, there are people who use devices to help try to modify their heart rates and such, Bio-something or other, but for the life of me, I cannot recall what that term is- where they use things like beeps, or stimuli to tell them when their HR is increased so that they’re more aware of it and can try to identify ways or situations to keep it down… I wish I could be more help there.

Again, these are just some musings or thoughts I have, obviously I am not a doctor or any such thing. Though the first thing that popped into my head was- do you have a Waterhammer Pulse? That might necessitate another visit to a doctor…

Since both threads had responses, I merged them together rather than just locking one of them.

I’ve actually started to be a little concerned that I might be overdoing the fluid intake. I get in the neighborhood of a gallon of water a day. It makes me feel better, but I’ve started to get a few more muscle cramps than before. I haven’t looked to see if that can have any impact on heart rate or blood pressure.

I’ve never been diagnosed with anything like Water Hammer, though I have it in my house. Does that count? :smiley:
Thanks, o mod, for the thread merge!

Biofeedback is the word you’re looking for.

Ah- thanks much, that’s the word!

Thanks for the leads, all. I’m grateful. I’ll be seeing my doctor in just a couple of weeks as well.

Is there any chance you could be anemic? I had the pounding-heart-in-my-ears sensation when I was seriously anemic due to excessive menstrual bleeding. Once that was taken care of, and my hemoglobin levels were back to normal, the pounding stopped.

Has anything been done about this?

Anxiety can do all sorts of neat tricks with your heart rate, and could be contributing to the severity of the perception of the heartbeat in your ears. My wife has a similar problem, and although the doctor has told her her heart is fine, she worries more than she should about her heart rate being higher than average.

Relaxation techniques may be the way to go, but think in terms of overall stress and anxiety relief instead of looking for something targeting heart rate. Talk to your doctor in-depth about anxiety. Sometimes a person doesn’t realize just how much they’re affected by it.

If you’re getting muscle cramps, it’s usually a result of too little potassium. No doubt you’re excreting it with all that water.

I recommend getting a sports drink for when you work out. I personally prefer Cytomax, since it’s low in sugar and has no HFCS (unlike Gatorade, for example). It’s comes as a powder that you mix with water. Most likely you can mix it at a lower concentration than they recommend (it’s aimed at high performance athletes). Look for it in your local bike shops.

A sports drink may help with the high pulse problem, since it should also have sodium (you never want to consume potassium salt without some sodium salt). It’s possible part of your problem is low electrolytes.

What size of a person are you?
I wouldn’t consider your BP to be low if you’re petite . I’m a petite person and my normal BP is 95/65- just like a bungalow needs less water pressure to fill the water tank than a 5th storey apartment, small people tend to walk around with slightly lower blood pressures- the average 120/80 is based on a 70kg man.

Assuming you’ve had blood tests to rule out anaemia, electrolyte disturbances and infection and an ECG to rule out arrythmias what you are describing is a sinus tachycadia with palpitations, a benign situation. If you haven’t had those tests- have your GP arrange them, they’re all very basic (FBC, U&E, ECG)

The only appropriate medical treatment that will slow your heart rate down in this situation is Beta blockers- which will also drop your BP and make you fatigued. The treatment itself is aimed at decreasing your palpitations, and as they are distressing rather than dangerous, you wouldn’t normally be prescribed stronger cardiac drugs, which would have side effects and risks that would outweigh the benefit of their use.

Relaxation techniques and distraction in order to deal with the palpitations is probably the best course of action. Some people are simply more aware of their heartbeat, and once aware of it become anxious, which in turn increases the heart rate and makes the palpitations worse- being aware that your heart is working perfectly and taking deep breaths to slow the heart rate is sometimes enough to deal with this situation.

Obviously, your own physician willl be in a better position to advise you about what would work best for you- but sticking to a healthy diet and exercise regime and cutting down on alcohol (which can cause tachycardia and palpitations) are all sensible steps.

If you REALLY want a low heart rate and high BP a way to achieve it is with blunt force trauma to the head- raised intracranial pressure will cause those signs.

This, of course is NOT serious advice- raised intracranial pressure will lead swiftly to death!
It was, however, my first thought on reading the OP- because I am in a funny mood and spent part of last night checking the BP and pulse of a patient with a head injury while we awaited the arrival of the neurosurgeons.

I think I’ll stick with what I’ve got! :smiley:

No, I’m not petite. I’m 5’6" and definitely weigh more than I should.

I haven’t had an electrolyte test, so I will pursue that. In the meantime, I’ll add a sports drink to my diet. I bought some Powerade Zero last night.

And yes, I definitely originally went to the doctor because of the heart-in-the-ears sensation, which I found very distracting when I was trying to sleep. Because he suspected anxiety, he tried me on Cymbalta, which caused me to fall asleep all the damned time–the same reaction I have had previously to any dosage of anti-depressant/anxiety meds. He also prescribed Ativan in case I ever had trouble sleeping, but it kept me up all night. Whee.

I feel the effects of a bp this low, and if it gets any lower I really feel the effects. Right now, I’ll get lightheaded, especially when I stand, and some days I have balance and dizziness issues. They’re mild, but when it gets lower I start to feel pretty incapacitated.

Thanks again, everyone.