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I Thought Exercise Would Expand My Blood Volume!


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The tales from Pilates continues...

I had an evening session with my PT last night. It did not go any better than the afternoon sessions, with one exception---the vein that pops out across my forehead when I do my exercises did not pop out and I did not turn as many shades of red and purple. I did take my BP cuff with me (at the PT's request) and took my BP just after the session was over: 114/95. Um, I thought that exercise was supposed to increase my blood volume and those numbers would get farther apart, like they are supposed to. Honestly, I feel more symptomatic since I've been exercising. I feel stronger and better about the way I look, but it has not really helped the way I feel. :)

She's still trying to kill me...

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The tales from Pilates continues...

I had an evening session with my PT last night. It did not go any better than the afternoon sessions, with one exception---the vein that pops out across my forehead when I do my exercises did not pop out and I did not turn as many shades of red and purple. I did take my BP cuff with me (at the PT's request) and took my BP just after the session was over: 114/95. Um, I thought that exercise was supposed to increase my blood volume and those numbers would get farther apart, like they are supposed to. Honestly, I feel more symptomatic since I've been exercising. I feel stronger and better about the way I look, but it has not really helped the way I feel. :(

She's still trying to kill me...

Well. At least you didn't turn into an eggplant?

I need to start exercising and boy, am I not looking forward to it but it has to be done.

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Exercise training has been shown to increase blood volume - but I don' tthink it happens immediately - at least nt while you are exercising. Here's a more in depth explanation...

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMis...&ItemId=329

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Exercise training has been shown to increase blood volume - but I don' tthink it happens immediately - at least nt while you are exercising. Here's a more in depth explanation...

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMis...&ItemId=329

Thanks for the article!

Unfortunately, I've been "in training" now since mid-December, so it has been long enough. One thing that bothers me from that article is that is states that exercise increased red blood cell mass, something I do not need, since mine is already above normal. :( No body has explained that one yet. I fear my neurologist is actually right on this one and that "conditioning" does not effect the ANS. That whole DI thing is still lurking and I think I might need to get "grumpy" with one of my endos and demand that water deprivation test so that we KNOW for sure. Ah well, I may feel like duck doo, but I'll look better in a bikini. ;)

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My Blood pressure numbers are always close together with the bottom being high. What does this mean?

Thanks,

Mandi

From what I have read, it is suggestive of hypovolemia (low total plasma/blood volume) You'll find most of the articles on it are on hypovolemic shock, usually due to extreme blood loss. However, many of us lucky dysautonomiacs actually have idiopathic hypovolemia (unexplained low blood volume) usually theorized through the Renin-Aldosterone Paradox (google it with Dr. Raj.)

What it means physiologically is that your systolic BP (the top number=how hard the heart squeezes) is fine and that the diastolic BP (the bottom number=the pressure in your arteries when the heart relaxes) is too high. The most common reason is low blood volume. The difference in the two numbers is called pulse pressure. Normally it is 40ish mm/hg. Anything under 18 mm/hg is NOT normal. Mine has been as little as 7mm/hg apart (feels awful!) my BP was 87/80. Unfortunately it seems to be fairly common with POTS and ANS dysfunction. Sorry :( . I guzzle anything and everything when I get readings like that, it usually helps...until I go to the bathroom 20 minutes later. <_<

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Yeah i used to exercise hard with POTS. Now im wondering whether it actually helped at all. I havent exercised at all in two weeks other than small walks and i feel better.

The problem is that in a normal body, exercise does wonderful things - but in a POTS body our cardiac output does not increase when we exercise, so our body relies on peripheral aterial resistance and sympathetic overactivity to increase blood flow. Increased symp-excitation is connected with reduced blood volume. So its a vicious circle - more exercise may not increase your blood volume.

If you can tolerate it id do it, but im starting to wonder whether its a healthy idea for me to do it - in the past i used to run 3kms with POTS - who knows what strain i might be putting on the old bod though.

This may be of interest:

http://www.nymc.edu/fhp/centers/syncope/ex...ssor_reflex.htm

Our bodies operate like people with conjestive heart failure when we exercise.

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The only thing that expands when I exercise are my symptoms. I mean it, I go down faster than a rock in water when I exercise. Even just going up on my toes several times will take me out. I think I belong in the Guiness book of records for being intolerant to it, which really helps with the ever expanding buttocks. <_<

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I'm sorry your not seeing better results from all your hard work in Pilates. You have been doing it since December, and that is really an accomplishment! Unfortunately, every time I try I get a virus or something that sets my POTS backwards.

I feel guilty sometimes, but there really has been a lot going on in my life, and adding an exercise program would be too hard right now.

My plan is to get back into the pool, but that is also very difficult as most of the PT pools are too warm, and cause my vessels to dilate more, and it's especially difficult to GET OUT of the pool. Once I could literally feel the blood DUMP, and my heart just fluttered like a little fish flopping around, and as soon as I squatted to the floor everything went back to normal, but I was wiped out. I would have loved to see what my BP was then. I think it's a great idea you have your BP cuff with you. I have not had that happen since, but I have to crawl out of the pool, and go really slow. Otherwise, I'll get that thousand pound feeling and instant blood pooling again.

Soon after my neck surgery in 2002 I was doing pretty well with exercise, and I was even walking up to a mile and a half a day. I'm sure the large doses of steroids given during and after surgery helped--- :ph34r:

It's already difficult for us to function on daily activities. Heck, climbing a flight of stairs is like climbing a mountain for us. Everything we do takes us a lot more effort then it does for the average person.

Firewatcher, be proud of how you have kept at it, as in reality you are really working ten times harder then someone who doesn't have ANS dysfunction. However, I know it's dissapointing to not have any significant improvement in symptoms.

I don't think I could handle pilates because of all of my spine problems, but I rememeber being active in any kind of dancing for years and years, and being the frisbee champ of the block. Yoga was another thing I was good at due to my hypermobility, but at the time didn't know I was slowly damaging myself not knowing I had hypermobility from an actual physical disorder --------------EDS--- :angry: .

Since your feeling worse after exercise, maybe there's another type you can do----------- maybe aquatic therapy.

I would hope the BP numbers would get better with any kind of exercise, but with ANS dysfunction our body doesn't respond normally to anything--- <_< .

Once my BP was 80/70, and the docs office never said a word to me about it, they just made a note of it, and this was an ANS doctor's office. I even gave a log of my BP readings for a period of six months, and I had to bring it up to my Doc, and all he/she said was, "I made a note of it". I don't think they believed those numbers were real. One reading was 68/39, and I remember feeling like a lead weight at the time. Heck, if a parametic saw this reading they would start treating me for shock. I often wonder if some doctors understand how hard it is on our bodies to walk around like this, and how much damage it does.

I hope you can get some kind of explanation on why this is affecting your BP this way.

At the very least your doctor and PT should be proud of you for all your efforts. :angry:

It seems my bikini days are over, but I used to look great in one-------especially due to my long waist. You never know though, I might get that thirty pounds off I gained from my POTS meds. i hope some day to change course in medications, and get off the wellbutrin. It is said wellbutrin causes WEIGHT LOSS, but that's not true, and I can vouch for that. Also it's proven in other studies it can cause weight GAIN, or loss. However, if I don't take it my adrenaline is pumping like crazy making me feel like climbing out of my own skin---------so I put up with the extra weight. I was pretty thin to start with, but wish to be back to my thinner self.

Maxine :0)

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Hi,

I am not sure... Right now my brain is kinda foggy! So, you were referring to that exercise should expand your blood volume OVER TIME, right? :)

Also, it has to be endurance exercise (not entirely sure what you are doing, but it probably fits). Also, not sure if you are going just once a week if that is enough?

When it does, it is increasing plasma mainly and not so much in the way of red blood cells. This would all occur to an improvement in the efficiency of blood circulation in the body... stronger heart, increased venous return from increased muscle tone etc. So, then there would be a need for a greater volume of blood. (Trying to find a way to explain how I understand it... :) )

Part of what is important is what is your BP prior to exercise? Is your diastolic going up 20 mmHg or more? If so, then exercise should be stopped by having a cool down period, and stopping.

The pulse pressure is more or less always supposed to increase with exercise, and not decrease. This seems to be more of the problem... that your systolic doesn't seem to rise and your diastolic has an increased reaction.

So, no matter what many of us have a poor reaction to exercise (in whatever way). Yours seems to show up in your BP, not sure what your HR was? Are there a lot of position changes that you are doing that could account for the "odd" BP?

Have you had a stress test done to look at your response to exercise? You may want to although I am not sure it will help anything in the long run. I know a few years ago I also had "odd" BP reactions very early in exercise. I think it was my DBP increasing over 20 mmHg way too fast.

I would not worry about it increasing your blood volume. Even if it did I am not sure that that would really "solve" anything. This doesn't mean don't exercise, but find an exercise that works for you and your body. If you are having an excessive response to an exercise, your body is not tolerating it well, and is telling you to back down a level or change what you are doing.

Not sure if that make sense or helps!?

:)

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I had moved it up to twice a week and tried to walk for twenty minutes on an "off-day" as well. This last class, I brought the BP cuff again and the PT took my BP during the exercises when she saw the veins pop out on my forehead and when I was "turning pretty colors:" 152/119. After I thought about it for a day or two, that part makes some sense. Pilates is anaerobic exercise, like weight-lifting, so that would be a BP typical response. The Diastolic is probably a bit high, but not too bad considering. I would also say that logically, my systolic is just dropping much faster than the diastolic due to continued vasodilation AFTER pilates which shows as a narrow PP, except that it shows narrow most of the time now.

The other issue I've been having is increased fatigue and neuropathy. The rest of that day, I usually workout around 1 PM, I am wiped out--put me to bed and don't ask me how to spell my name! I get super flushed (like a BAD sunburn) and my muscles just cramp up. The next day or two after, when I am dealing with the muscle soreness, my feet are numb and tingly.

After talking with my instructor, we are going to cut back down to once a week and lighter exercise on two other days.

On the upside, she told me that if ANY doctor tells me I am "deconditioned" to drag them to my next Pilates class. I may not sweat anymore, but they sure will! :)

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Ah - face pooling - i can relate...

Yes, it is especially fun when my ear canals swell up so that I cannot hear and my eyeballs feel like they will pop out onto the ground. :)

There was actually a DOCTOR who has a session after me who came in and said "I don't care what you do as long as I don't end up looking like her!" gesturing towards me.

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I think exercise increases BV mildly, not enough to help if you have really low BV related to your POTS. There are all kind of other theoretical benefits too, like having your mucles stronger to pump blood better. I think exercise helps many people here (myself included). Sometimes you have to try a bunch of different things before you figure out what works for you. You may be pushing too hard. I personally don't think it is worth killing yourself. There are a good number of people out there that exercise does't seem to help at all. You just have to figure out what's right for you.

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