Heart Disease Expert Forum
Blood pressure drop during exercise
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Blood pressure drop during exercise

Two and a half years ago, I got out of bed and had a hard time breathing.  I've been having the same symptoms since then.  I have seen numerous doctors and nobody can figure out what is wrong with me.  I get lightheaded and short of breath on exertion.  The only test that has come back positive is the CPET (cardiopulmonary exercise test).  My blood pressure (which is normally great), dropped significantly (both diastolic and systolic), and my oxygen dropped.  The docs have said that I am using only 50% of my reserve oxygen.  I was in excellent physical shape before this happened, and weighed only 120 pounds.  I was very physically active.  Now, I can barely walk through my house with having a hard time breathing.  I have had a full cardiac workup numerous times by different cardiologists and they have found nothing.  I've seen pulmonologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, etc.  I can't think of a test that hasn't been done.  The only suspected condition was pulmonary hypertension, but I've had a cardiac cath that was normal.

I am only 28 years old (26 when it started).  I have never smoked, used recreational drugs, or done anything else that would be harmful to my body.  Besides migraines, I have no other health problems.  Any ideas or suggestions?  What else can I do, who else can I see?
1495448_tn?1326846430
Sorry to hear you're having so much trouble.  These symptoms must be distressing to you.  It sounds like you are seeing the right people and having the proper tests done.  I'm sure it's frustrating that you haven't found an answer yet.  It might be worth doing an endocrine workup, looking specifically at the adrenal and thyroid hormones.  If you haven't seen an endocrinologist that might be the next step.  Otherwise, as much as I don't like to attribute people's symptoms to something non-physical, depression can cause some of these symptoms.  Maybe there was a traumatic event that triggered this and you have not had the proper opportunity to deal with it yet.  If the physical workup does not reveal an answer, perhaps discussion with a psychiatrist is in order.  Best of luck to you.  
4 Comments
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
It might be something as simple as dehydration.  When you are dehydrated there is less fluid in the blood thereby dropping BP lower.  Try hydrating more during exertion.  If that doesn't work look into the adrenal glands.  They can wreak all kinds of havoc.  I had similar issues this year.  You might have some success with an alternative or naturopathic doctor diagnosing adrenal issues.  Another alternative might be an endocrinologist.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I agree with wh2399,, It can be something as simple as dehydration.  However, if you are drinking plenty of water (coke, tea, coffee don't count!!!!) and your still having this problem then it could be Orthostatic Hypotention.

I have Orthostatic Hypotention with POTTs.  This is blood pressure that drops all of a sudden, and in my case with positional changes such as standing up or sitting up from a laying down position.  Although I also have asthma, I woke several times during the night with difficulty breathing.  It WASNT' asthma!  3 times it has lead to complete closure of my windpipe and had someone not been there to to cpr I would not be here today.  I don't want to frighten you but breathing issues need to be addressed.

A few things that can lead to blood pressure drops or these breathing attacks are
Dehydration
Sugar
Infection
Stress

As blood pressure drops many people get panic attacks, but by the time you get to the er your bp is high!  Get a home monitor and check it at the beginning and end of the attack.

If your bp does drop lay down on the floor asap and put your legs up on the wall.  This moves the blood out of your legs and back into your brain were it is needed the most.

Ask your doctor to check for dehydration and a Tilt table test.  Dehydration can cause blood pressure to drop but people with Orthostatic hypotention can have problems staying hydrated even though they drink more than enough!  People with Orthostatic Hypotention are often told to eat more salt, like a teaspoon to a tablespoon a day.  This causes them to retain more fluid.  However, salt can also exsaserbate asthma so sometimes you have to find the sweet spot!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have had two Tilt Table tests, both negative.  They have tested me for and ruled out orthostatic hypertension.  My blood pressure does not go up, ever, it goes down.  I will admit that in the beginning, when I would have these episodes, I WOULD have a panic attack, because I couldn't breathe!  I know how to handle it, now, so I know not to panic.  Panicing does make it worse.  But again, my blood pressure still goes down.  My blood sugar has been checked numerous times and is always just fine.  I know it isn't dehydration causing it.  I don't have asthma, and for a while I did have a high sodium diet (per the cardiologists).  Absolutely nothing has helped.

I haven't seen an endocrinologist, but did have my pulmonologist consult with one, and neither could come up with any new ideas.  I really appreciate the suggestions.  You obviously know what you are talking about!  However, it has all been done, tried, tested, and ruled out.  

Any more suggestions??  LOL
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank