I have a heart (the organ) problem
I recently got this gadget (ambulatory blood pressure monitoring device or something like that) which monitors my BP for the next 24 hours. I’ll be returning this tomorrow at 9 am at the the Medical City (I’ll hate the traffic). I’ll be there via private car which will be driven by my dad to avoid any unusual BP increase/decrease. The machine would measure my BP every 30 minutes from 0600-2200 and every hour from 2200 to 0600.
Before anything else, here are the things I am sure of myself which is backed up by recent check-ups. It’s quite a read so I’ll be thanking you as early as now if you ever gave it an effort. Skip to the bottom part if you think you have an idea about why this is happening to me.
1. I’m 21 years old. I’m 6 foot tall and I weigh +/-190 lbs (which is my best weight so far). I used to weigh 230 lbs but due to my current concern for health and vanity, I exercised and ate right almost every day. I only have rice (and some meat) in the morning (half a cup). I barely eat meat throughout the day. I don’t eat dinner. Even if I do eat dinner, it’s just oatmeal or a very light meal. I exercise on a regular basis (30-35 min. continuous at 6-8 km/h) every night thanks to my recently acquired treadmill. I used to run every morning for 20 minutes and jog/walk 5 km every Saturday and Sunday mornings (around 1.5 hrs). I have no vices.
2. I’ve had a history with high BP since I was 16 years old ( just before college). Because of this, I had a 2D echo procedure done which then informed me and my family that I had an unusually big heart (be it slight or really large, I can’t remember) on the upper left side of my chest. I didn’t really do anything about it save for sleeping enough if not sleeping on time (I really had a tendency to sleep very late, sometimes at 2 am during weekends, due to the internet, chatting and other stuff high schoolers do).
3. College life didn’t really seem a time to get fit for me. I was mainly concerned with studying and resting. So my most obese years were during my college days. I was really sedentary despite my short efforts at jogging every week. It didn’t help me either to sleep at around 11 pm everyday and 2 am at least twice a week (Friday and Saturday).
4. After graduation, I immediately looked for work. I found one in San Miguel. I was assigned in Sta. Rosa, Laguna as a QA scientist. It meant shifting in schedules as the norm. I lost 20-30 lbs there due to being a cheap btard and having to go to the gym as a hobby. I couldn’t help it: Apartment rate was high, food costs were high, vegetables and fruits were the most economically feasible to consume, and the gym was for free. Then my problem resurfaced again.
There was a week wherein my BP would be constantly 150/100 – 140/90. I had to resign short of my contract because of this and opted for a much more convenient working atmosphere which I had hoped would somehow alleviate my current problem. I ended my career at San Miguel just after 3 months (since June).
5. I exercised more aggressively for at least 2 months before I worked for a much more convenient company (URC) which only takes 20-30 minutes of driving (I live in Cainta. Work is in Rosario, Pasig). My sked would be from 0800 to 1830 for a 5-day work week. I was able to maintain my BP to at least 130/80 as recommended by my doctor. My BP was taken manually by my nurse neighbor. I’d also have 120/80 too. I’ve never felt healthier in my entire life. I’ve found eating light to be a pleasure and working out hard as a good past time. I slept better than ever before and I literally felt healthy.
My work involved developing new food concepts specially flavors. I know for a fact that I may have an increase in salt and fat intake since I literally have to eat in my line of work. I’m involved in the snacks department of URC i.e. Jack n Jill products (Piattos, Nova, V-Cut, etc.)
6. Every now and then, since December, I’d go have my BP checked at Watson’s. I always thought the results given by the Omron device was exaggerated. I mean, I’ve been exercising and controlling what I eat yet it always would give me from a rare 128/75 to an average 135/84. It would sometimes peak at 150/86, but that would be due to having my BP checked after lunch or after taking a long walk.
The results didn’t seat well with my folks, though. I then decided to use my handy-dandy Maxicare health card. I had my dad get an L.O.A. for me yesterday which informed me of the usual fasting for 10-12 hours. I went to the Medical City as early as 0715 (from Rosario, Pasig) but arrived there at 0808 due to the damn heavy traffic. I got my blood checked at around 0835 and proceeded to the cardio section. I had it equipped and it’s quite a device for first timers like me. I’ve never had any medical device attached to me before. I then went to work at 1015 and arrived at 1040.
Here’s my problem. It would be better if you read the details but you can skip all that and just read this if you think this is a common problem.
I carefully followed the do’s-and-dont’s of the machine. The results were very odd and intriguing. The results were often on the higher scales. I’d sit around just to see my resting BP and it would often be at 140/80 to 155/90. I’d walk outside to do some errands in the afternoon, it would read and give me a staggering 170/88 reading.
I think it has something to do with me feeling a bit nervous and tense though. But come on, I don’t feel anything weird although I should be throwing up or convulsing with those readings. People at work even joked about whether I was superhuman or something.
The really odd part was that my heart/pulse rate was relatively better than I expected. It would be as low as 50 HR/min-1 to 76 HR/min-1 while taking long walks outside the office in the afternoon heat while carrying something a bit heavy in one hand.
I’ve done a bit of googling and found out that athletes have lower heart rates which is a good thing. The odd thing is that I have high BP (accdg. to the machine). While I type this, I currently have a 144/88 BP with a 52 heart rate.
Can anyone explain this odd phenomenon? My family, both sides, has a history with diabetes. Could this somehow contribute to my problem? And is my unusually large heart be a factor? If so, could having a BP of 130/80 – 140/80 be NORMAL for me?
PS: Here’s someone I can relate to minus the symptoms (well, maybe a few of those light headed moments).