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Old 07-10-2009, 01:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 1
orlamh HB User
Low blood pressure with high cortisol?

Hi everyone, I'm just trying my luck here because I'm running out of ideas.

For the last 4-6 weeks, my BPs been really low, down to 80s/40s (my normal should be about 110/70). I get dizzy a lot, but can usually stop myself fainting. My doc initially thought vasovagal syncope, but my dizzyness gets worse in the evening, and in particular when I'm training. In fact, I haven't made it through a full (outdoor) training session in weeks, even though I've been on midodrine for almost two weeks. I should mention that training outdoors causes me the most trouble, and I'm wondering if the heat & humidity has anything to do with it, though I've also increased my salt intake massively and that hasn't seemed to help. I started P90X this week, and am just about managing to get through most sessions, though the cardio ones do make me quite dizzy. My HR doesn't get as high for P90X (150bpm in cardio) as it does for my outdoor training though (>170bpm).

My doc referred me to a cardiologist for the low BP and also really low resting pulse (>40 bpm in the morning). EKGs were normal (slightly short P-R interval that he was not concerned about), and he gave me a cardiac event monitor to see if I could record a fainting spell. Of course, the next time I trained, I fainted, and I sent in the results. He said my heart rate was surprisingly high during the syncopy (around 185bpm I think), but the EKG pattern itself looked normal. They also did an echo which was normal. He put me on midodrine to get my BP up, and it's working ok for day-to-day activities, but I still can't train through a full session.

My regular doc ran bloods for me, and I'm the picture of health in everything (renal, liver (she actually thought I was a non-drinker ), thyroid), except my cortisol was high. Does anyone know what this might mean, or how it would relate to having low BP, because I was expecting my cortisol to be down... She has ruled out Cushings because I don't have abdominal weight gain (though my hair has been falling out wayyyy more than normal lately), and thinks the whole thing may just be stress. But should that not raise my BP rather than lower it?

If anyone has any ideas, I'd really appreciate it. I'm getting very frustrated about feeling so tired and dizzy all the time, unable to concentrate at work etc. Sometimes it's so bad, I feel like I can't drive, cos I'm afraid I'll pass out at the wheel, or at the very least I know my reactions are majorly slowed when I'm like this.


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