Hubby, Hypertension, and Dr. Dimples

As I said in my previous posts (click here and here), my runner-hubby has just been diagnosed to be hypertensive.

This morning, he had his first check up with a cardiologist, Dr. N. G.  Thankfully, he was very knowledgeable about hypertension in athletes.

Also, he had the cutest dimples. Too bad I was too shy to ask him to pose for my camera. I should have explained that it was for this post.  After the check up, I asked hubby if he thought the dimples were cute.  He said he didn’t notice. Haha!

Hubby’s cardiologist’s dimples look like these! Really!
Photo credit: zimbio.com

Anyway, hubby’s ECG, Stress Test and Laboratory Tests are all within normal except for a slightly elevated Creatinine (See below).

Diligently, hubby came prepared with his five questions:

1. Why did I develop hypertension despite the fact that I exercise regularly?

Genes, age, diet, excess weight, stress.

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

Dr. Dimples prescribed Telmisartan.

  • Its side effect profile is favorable for athletes
  • rarely, can cause a sudden decrease in BP after exercise potentially leading to dizziness or fainting (so a cool down is imperative)
  • effect can be decreased by Ibuprofen (hubby’s favorite medication for his muscle pain)

3. Can I still run? 

  • for the next 3 weeks, closely observe your BP response to the medication
  • if hypertension is controlled, you can run as before. (This made hubby very happy!)
Hubby got one of these on his first marathon. He wants to add a second before the year ends.

4. What should I do about nutrition? Hydration?

Follow the DASH Diet

  • more vegetables, fruits, whole grains,nuts,  fish, chicken
  • no or very little red meat, sweets, added sugar, sugary-drinks
  • maximum of four egg yolks a week
  • low salt (sodium not to exceed 1,500 mg/day). Refer to pages 22-26/64 of the DASH Diet booklet.

Note: The lower your salt intake is, the lower will be your BP.

For hydration:

  • Water, Sports drinks okay
  • Do not take potassium supplements  or salt substitutes containing potassium (Telmisartan already increases potassium in the body)

5. Will I ever be cured of this?

  • We hope so.
  • However, studies are not on your side: Because of the hardening of tje arteries due to aging, patients in their 50’s usually have to take meds for life.  (Hubby is 49).

Addendum:

Creatinine is slightly elevated.

Creatinine

  • a chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism.
  • produced from creatine (a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles)
  • transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys
  • filtered out in the kidneys
  • disposed in urine
  • increased levels may be an indication of impaired kidney function.
  • impaired kidney function can cause hypertension

  • slightly high Creatinine may just be because hubby is an athlete.  (Runner’s World has an interesting forum discussion on this . Click here.)
  • monitoring is necessary

Dr. Dimples also ordered an Echocardiogram  to check for heart enlargement.

Okay, that’s it. Hubby is hopeful that he will overcome his hypertension.

Let’s see what happens in about 3 weeks when hubby visits Dr. Dimples again.

P.S. Lest you think wrongly about this, I still think hubby is cuter than him. 🙂

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