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Blood pressure drop after meals and PD

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Old 05-06-2007, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default Blood pressure drop after meals and PD

We have talked previously about how our eating habits affect us and about our blood sugar suspicions and so on. And it did seem to have a rather strong effect on some of us, myself included. Eat, blood sugar gets screwy, then we do too. Simple, right? Oh, you know better by now

Meet "postprandial hypotension" (PPH) and it may be a big deal for you, if not now then in the future. Short and simple- when one eats a normal system shunts blood to the GI tract and compensates by adjusting the blood pressure. But in PD a lot of us have damaged control circuits that result in a dip in BP as blood flows to the GI tract after a meal. The drop is not much (10 to 20 systolic) but the impact on PD symptoms is dramatic. In my own case (and for once this seems fairly typical) it brings on bloating, brain fog, gait problems/freezing, danger of falling, etc. It is more likely to happen if you are HYPERtensive than if you are normal. Not clear what it does if you are HYPOtensive.

Just as it mimics blood sugar problems, the proper dietary change is to eat small, frequent, high protein meals. So, if you are freezing or careening around the room, try looking at your eating patterns.

This is not a small matter. Some research indicates that PPH is THE single best indicator in nursing homes of how long individuals are likely to live. It is also a big factor in some of PD's nastier cousins like MSA.
Born in 1953, 1st symptoms and misdiagnosed as essential tremor in 1992. Dx with PD in 2000.
Currently (2011) taking 200/50 Sinemet CR 8 times a day + 10/100 Sinemet 3 times a day. Functional 90% of waking day but fragile. Failure at exercise but still trying. Constantly experimenting. Beta blocker and ACE inhibitor at present. Currently (01/2013) taking ldopa/carbadopa 200/50 CR six times a day + 10/100 form 3 times daily. Functional 90% of day. Update 04/2013: L/C 200/50 8x; Beta Blocker; ACE Inhib; Ginger; Turmeric; Creatine; Magnesium; Potassium. Doing well.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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You are so right concerning the BP drop. For my husb.even eating small meals can trigger this. His eyes would glaze over and he would lose con. For months the drs thought he was having small strokes until he was dx with MSA. Now he is on BP meds and doing much better. It is still some noticable after breakfast and if he drinks a large glass of milk. So with his meals, he has coffee, 2 glasses of water and finishes with some milk.

And the falls....well that is another issue. Last fall he fell and broke his neck. That mended and in March he fell 6 times and on the last one he broke his hip, so... if he is not in WC, someone has to hold onto him and walk every step with him.

Thanks for the reminder, that if you are feeling "funny" it is probably normal for the PD/MSA.

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Old 05-07-2007, 10:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for this, Rick. I hadn't heard of PPH before. Seems very important!

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