Your blood pressure is impressive: always low, but dang, your baseline heart rate is always fast, like in the 90’s.
“Every body is different; however, higher resting heart rates can be an indication of underlying conditions such as hyperthyroidism, dehydration, the effects of drugs/medications (like caffeine), stress and high levels of stress hormones, or even deconditioning (meaning you’re out of shape),” explains Stacy Mitchell Doyle, MD, resident physician of FoodTherapyMD and long-time advocate of plant-based nutritional protocols.
Additional Causes of Baseline Fast Pulse
• Overtraining in athletes or fitness enthusiasts
• Menopausal/postmenopausal hormonal fluctuations
Though these aforementioned causes can be treated, the issue is the effect that a chronically fast pulse has on the heart.
Low blood pressure does not cancel out this effect.
Though historically, a “normal” pulse was defined as between 60 and 100 beats per minute, that was before the studies began coming out that linked a rapid resting heart rate with several serious conditions.
“Higher heart rates mean your heart is working harder to pump blood, and over time, higher resting heart rates have been associated with higher incidence of heart disease, stroke and all-cause mortality,” says Dr. Doyle.
Yesterday’s “Normal” Is Today’s “Fast” 90’s
A study that came out in 2010 (Okin et al) found that heart rates exceeding 83 beats per minute were associated with a 55 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death and a 79 percent higher risk of all-cause mortality.
And high blood pressure, plus other cardiovascular risk factors, were adjusted for.
Thus, a chronically fast heart rate at rest is an independent risk factor for problems – even if you have consistently low blood pressure readings such as 105 over 68.
Solutions low blood pressure, 90’s
“If you find your heart rate is consistently high, but have a clean bill of health from your doctor, try more exercise and physical activity (which conditions your heart to work more effectively, meaning it pumps the same amount of blood with less beats),” urges Dr. Doyle.
Physical training will increase your heart’s ejection fraction: the amount of blood pumped out with each beat.
One of the most effective, if not the most effective, types of exercise to accomplish this, especially in people under 65, is interval training.
Dr. Doyle also says to “drink more water and stay hydrated, meditate and reduce stress, eliminate caffeine or any other stimulant, and eat those plant-based foods that supply you with phytonutrients and antioxidants that keep your heart and vessels healthy.”