5 Questions Hypertensive Athletes Should Ask Their Doctors

Hubby, an avid runner and newbie biker has just been diagnosed to be hypertensive, as I told in my previous post.

He already had his laboratory tests. Tomorrow, he’ll see his cardiologist and will be asking the doctor these important questions:

  1. Why did I develop hypertension despite all my running?

Somehow, we already know the answer this.

Although hubby runs regularly and doesn’t smoke nor drink, his age and genetics are against him. He is 49 and the risk for hypertension increases with age. His mother is hypertensive.

The rest is related to his lifestyle.  Although he lost more than 15 pounds over the last year, he is still overweight. Why? Because of his diet.

Although he does not always eat like this, look at what he had after his biking session last week:

Hypertension on a plate: High calorie. High fat. High salt.

We should really take this seriously now: Exercise cannot be taken as a passport to eating anything and everything you want.

 2.   Can I still run? How much exertion is safe? What precautions do I need to take?

Regular exercise will surely help control his hypertension. But how much and how often is safe?

 3.   If  I have to take medications, will they affect my running?

Some medications affect sports performance and some may even dangerous . Some affect the body’s electrolytes. Some slow down the heart rate leading to post-exercise dizziness in some athletes.

 4.   What should I do about nutrition and hydration?

 5.   Will I ever be cured of this hypertension, or is this for life?

Many questions that require careful answers.

Are we over-reacting?

I don’t think so.

Hypertension, when uncontrolled ups the chances of heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.  We don’t like that.

What we need is a lifestyle makeover.

We want to be able to run for many more years.

We want more of these:

Happy after finishing a  half marathon earlier this year

How about you? Are you hypertensive? Have you been checked within the last year?

Most of the available information I found on the web deal with hypertension on people who are sedentary. I found one for those who are already physically active but still have high blood pressure.  Although it’s dated 2002, I think it’s still useful. Click here.

For us who are doctors, we can refer to these:

Managing Hypertension in Athletes and Physically Active Patients by the American Association of Family Physicians, 2002.  Click here.

Hypertension in Competitive Athletes by American College of Cardiology, 2005. Click here.

Position Statement on Exercise and Hypertension by the Sports Medicine Association, 2011. Click here.

I am a pediatrician and hypertension is not in my line of expertise. Please tell me if there are newer and more appropriate recommendations. Please. Thank you.

Related Posts:

Despite All my Running, I’m Still Hypertensive

Hubby, Hypertension, and Dr. Dimples

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