/ Orthostatic hypotension and hiking

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L Orbitolina - on 15 Nov 2017
Been running all sorts of tests over the past few weeks and figured out that I have a serious problem with low blood pressure. My blood plummets into my legs whenever I climb up stairs or the gradient of a slope becomes steeper or when I start to run, sometimes even when I walk over a speedbump! I end up with heavy legs, light-headed and out of breath. Annoyingly, this does not correct itself unless I stop moving. Few seconds later I'm fine again as if nothing happened, but as soon as I walk on the same happens again. This basically means that every hike upwards consists of up to 200 steps of walking, a short break, another few steps, another short break.

This did not appear out of nowhere. I'd say it was always there. Sudden running as a small child always resulted in shortness of breath, as did walking with my parents, or track sprints at school. Heart and lungs are healthy.

I wonder if there are other people here who experience this, and if you found any solution for this. Despite my problem I do continue hiking even if people twice my age overtake me happily chatting while I can hardly get a word out, or continue running even though I cannot run fast or uphill. Eating a lot more salt seems to help somewhat. There must be other solutions though.
SpaceCaptainTheodore on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Orbitolina:

I get something similar, though I don't have a diagnosis to confirm precisely what it is or why it happens. I've found that aggressive hydration offers a bit of respite (I tried it working on the basis that more fluid equals more blood volume and may smooth things out a bit) - when at its worst, I'd try to get a good two litres down me before I got out the car. I've also found that increasing my dietary intake of vitamin B and occassionally supplementing it if I feel I'm slipping has had a remarkable benefit.

None of this is based on medical advice - my doctor was sympathetic but pretty useless - but it seems to work and shouldn't cause any damage from trying. Good luck!
queenmargo - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Orbitolina:

Have you tried pressure stockings? Not saying it would work, but you could get compression socks for free from your GP.
matt3210 - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Orbitolina:

One GP, since retired, told me that in the UK we only worry about high BP, in Germany they think high BP is good & you & I would be in intensive care; he also said that they don't really care about high or low BP in France. He also said to take more salt with food, I understand that the body strives to maintain a constant salinity, so if you put more salt in you will retain more water & this boosts BP. Another GP told me that there are pills, but GPs prefer them to be prescribed by consultants, might be worth asking about this.
Dave the Rave on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Orbitolina:

Sounds like you need a cardiology appointment asap and avoid strenuous exercise?
I get hypotension when I stand from a crouched position. I put this down to having massive calves and the blood being unable to return to the heart.
Dauphin on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Orbitolina:

You need to know the cause of it in order to fix it, sounds like it might was chronic and stable but getting more serious with age >>> see your G.P. for referral to a cardiologist as a matter of urgency. Sure, compression stockings, salt and drinking a couple of litres before exercise may help to alleviate symptoms but with the correct identification of cause and corrective treatment you may have a whole new lease on life.

D


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