Problems eating carbohydrates / Increased blood pressure

Posted by easygoingone @easygoingone, Nov 6, 2020

I have a problem eating basic carbohydrates. Rice, oats, potatoes, etc. When I eat rice my blood pressure will elevate a bit from normal, increasing 30-50 points systolic and 10-15 points diastolic. Along with this comes a feeling of tightness and discomfort in my chest and an increase of heart rate. The feeling is bad enough that I go to ER and get checked out. EKG etc & cardiologist says there is no problem with my heart. All of this goes away 3-5 days later. Oats cause the same effect. Wheat causes symptoms of celiac disease.

Typical scenario: eat a small amount of rice and in a few hours blood pressure will elevate with increased heart rate. I will get a tightness in my chest but not angina or heart attack pain. for the duration, I will also have a feeling in my body like there is something wrong. I just do not feel good and this feeling lasts for the duration. After 12-24 hours I will have controllable loose stools during my normal poop schedule. Then 1-2 days of higher than normal BP and HR. On the last day, I will urinate a lot more frequently for a couple of hours. The next day I feel fine.

Potatoes increase BP & heart rate a little bit but not like rice & oats do. With potatoes, I get an irregular heartbeat once in a while. Maybe a couple every hour or so.

This situation has been getting worse over 6-7 years. I’ve asked several Drs along the way but the only response has been the wheat is probably celiac disease. I’ve not had a biopsy to confirm celiac. I just stopped eating wheat. Rice allergy test is negative. Blood sugar is OK. What specialty should I see to understand this better?

I am 65 yo male. 5′-8″ and 160lbs. I have heart disease. Previous stents. Meds are statins, asprin 81, losartan, and metaprolol (off and on as I have difficulty with this). My normal resting heart rate is usually around 60-65 without beta-blockers. Blood pressure is usually around 115/70 first thing in the morning. I exercise 2-3 times a week on a treadmill or elliptical and some weights, etc. I walk a lot and usually choose stairs over the elevator in my building.

I don’t feel this is a heart issue. I think it is the processing of the food triggering the heart and digestive issues. Maybe I’m short on some enzyme needed or something. I don’t have a lot of options for complex carbohydrates. What specialty should I see to understand this better? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

Hi @easygoingone, Thanks for posting your first discussion and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You pose some good questions. I read an article recently and thought you might be interested to read it. It's called
– WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CARBS AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: https://paleoleap.com/carbs-heart-cardiovascular-health/
It explains the relation between carbs and your Endothelial function. Your endothelium can constrict blood vessels with the ingestion of too may carbs which can raise blood pressure.

You will notice that I modified your title just slightly to give a little more information at a glance. I also added your conversation to the Heart and Blood Health Group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/heart-blood-vessel-conditions/

I'd like to invite @pines, @riflemanz64, @ken82, @airey2, and @astaingegerdm who have all experienced digestive issues.

@easygoingone, Celiac disease and be diagnosed with a blood test. Have they perform a blood test yet?

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An endocrinologist knows the most about metabolism, hormones, and what makes your body run well. It could be the beginning of an insulin problem. I know nothing about celiac disease but know that if I omit grains I don't get the needed B vitamins and feel bad. So I strive for one serving of grains a day.
I had low blood sugar before I had high blood sugar and had problems with racing heart rate and almost passing out. It was stress related for some years.
It was after I cured that problem with eating changes and exercise that I began the diabetes but didn't notice there was a problem. I have high blood pressure and the pills don't seem to cure anything. So I continue to work of weight loss and the doctor says my heart is o.k. Dorisena

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@easygoingone My first thought would be gluten intolerance which is not the same as celiac, but it seems odd that you have the symptoms from other carbs also. I definitely agree with @dorisena, that an endocrinologist would know the most and be the best type of doctor to consult with. Just do a lot of research and go to a good one.

It's so frustrating to have something and not have a diagnosis. If you live close enough to a major medical center that would probably be the best place to go since your symptoms seem rather odd. Not only do they generally have great doctors, but they also have usually seen more than local doctors have. I had a problem that was not diagnosed for almost a year and a half locally. After being diagnosed I discovered that my symptoms should have made things pretty obvious. I am sure I would have been diagnosed much more quickly at a major medical center/teaching hospital.
JK

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@easygoingone You mentioned that you have problems taking metoprolol. I was wondering what kind of difficulty do you have with this RX? I take it twice a day.

Liked by Leonard

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Thanks for the replies. I will look into these suggestions.

Liked by Leonard

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@pines

@easygoingone You mentioned that you have problems taking metoprolol. I was wondering what kind of difficulty do you have with this RX? I take it twice a day.

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My problem with metaprolol (or other beta-blockers) has always been I have a low heart rate to begin with. My resting heart rate is oftentimes below 60. When I take a beta-blocker the HR goes even lower. My resting heart rate might be 53 or 58. Couple this with low intake of complex carbohydrates and I'm pretty much tired all day.

Edit: When I do take metaprolol I take only 25mg per day.

Liked by Leonard, pines

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@amandaburnett

Hi @easygoingone, Thanks for posting your first discussion and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You pose some good questions. I read an article recently and thought you might be interested to read it. It's called
– WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CARBS AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: https://paleoleap.com/carbs-heart-cardiovascular-health/
It explains the relation between carbs and your Endothelial function. Your endothelium can constrict blood vessels with the ingestion of too may carbs which can raise blood pressure.

You will notice that I modified your title just slightly to give a little more information at a glance. I also added your conversation to the Heart and Blood Health Group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/heart-blood-vessel-conditions/

I'd like to invite @pines, @riflemanz64, @ken82, @airey2, and @astaingegerdm who have all experienced digestive issues.

@easygoingone, Celiac disease and be diagnosed with a blood test. Have they perform a blood test yet?

Jump to this post

Thanks for the link. I have almost completely cut carbs from my diet. Of the simple carbs I don't drink soda, no candy bars and no ice cream, etc. Complex carbs I don't eat either as the first post suggests. I'm guessing for the last 3 months I have had a big carbohyrate deficiency.

No I have not had a blood test for celiac disease. My 'scientific approach' was to simply stop eating wheat for a while and then try again. I did this twice and with the same results so I just quit eating wheat based foods.

The celiac blood tests require me to eat some wheat based products for 6-8 weeks and I'm not sure that would be much fun. But …. maybe I will!!

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easygoingone, magnesium is a co-factor required to change vitamin B1 (thiamine) into it's active form. As you open the links below the role of thiamine and magnesium in body functions will offer an increased awareness of their importance. Of course professionals in nutrition and in GI issues must be your first go to.
https://www.hormonesmatter.com/thiamine-insufficiency-carbohydrate-consumption/
https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/vitamin-b1-deficiency-gluten-consumption/
https://www.krispin.com/magnes.html
https://www.objectivenutrients.com/insights/when-sibo-ibs-constipation-are-unrecognized
Search on: "Is Thiamine Deficiency Destroying Your Digestive Health? Why B1 Is ESSENTIAL For Gut Function"
Search on "The BEST form of Thiamine (Vitamin B1) to Supplement? Detailed Version"

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@dorisena

An endocrinologist knows the most about metabolism, hormones, and what makes your body run well. It could be the beginning of an insulin problem. I know nothing about celiac disease but know that if I omit grains I don't get the needed B vitamins and feel bad. So I strive for one serving of grains a day.
I had low blood sugar before I had high blood sugar and had problems with racing heart rate and almost passing out. It was stress related for some years.
It was after I cured that problem with eating changes and exercise that I began the diabetes but didn't notice there was a problem. I have high blood pressure and the pills don't seem to cure anything. So I continue to work of weight loss and the doctor says my heart is o.k. Dorisena

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I have the same problem with heart racing what did you do?

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@yaramarthe

I have the same problem with heart racing what did you do?

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As for racing, heart, I have never done anything, really, because I never got any response from any doctors about what to do. They said I didn't have a problem. So I assume it has to do with adrenaline which kicks up mostly when you get excited or have a novacane shot at the dentist. I avoided those shots. My heart raced when I went to bed and relaxed. It hasn't been doing that since I have changed blood pressure medicine. My new medicine makes me sleepy or not wanting to get out of a chair. I am getting depressed in this isolation period where I am not being supported and encouraged by my absent friends. I wish I could physically exercise more. My daughter brought me some fresh, locally grown tomatoes and that cheered me up. Mine are gone for this year. Dorisena

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@dorisena

As for racing, heart, I have never done anything, really, because I never got any response from any doctors about what to do. They said I didn't have a problem. So I assume it has to do with adrenaline which kicks up mostly when you get excited or have a novacane shot at the dentist. I avoided those shots. My heart raced when I went to bed and relaxed. It hasn't been doing that since I have changed blood pressure medicine. My new medicine makes me sleepy or not wanting to get out of a chair. I am getting depressed in this isolation period where I am not being supported and encouraged by my absent friends. I wish I could physically exercise more. My daughter brought me some fresh, locally grown tomatoes and that cheered me up. Mine are gone for this year. Dorisena

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@dorisena I know many of us, particularly those of us who are "seniors" are really feeling this isolation and having bouts of depression. It's a very difficult time. I only get out of the house to take walks. This is one of the few times I am glad I do not live in a city because I see few people when I do walk, and no one within 6'.

You mention exercise. I miss my health club terribly but I am doing lots of YouTube exercise videos. Have you tried any of them? There are many geared for older people.

My favorites are the ones with Jenny McClendon
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHufaoaq1VqjHvnv8zvg9pQ
I also like Shellea Fowler, "fabulous50s"

She has a lot of short videos that you are supposed to combine with other short videos to get a full workout but I also use them to just get a bit more exercise in the evening if I don't feel I've done enough during the day. I know it says 50s but I do them and I'm 73.

Another one, Annie Taylor Efremsky who uses dumbbells in many of her videos is
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKUpAAg8q4CozUxBjxyvDDQ
She is young but most videos expect you to customize for your ability.

This is one that I like more and more too, and there are two people exercising, one doing easier versions.
https://www.youtube.com/c/Hasfit
If you are looking for something specific you can do a search in YouTube. I have done searches for balance, posture, and core.

With all of the videos out there you can get a varied workout, that's for sure. If you have Amazon Prime I know there are exercise videos there that are free also, but I have not tried any of them.
JK

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I am not ready physically for exercise programs of any kind because I can barely manage walking out to feed the dog and pet her. Thanks for encouraging me because i think that is what I need. I massaged and stretched for 45 minutes sitting and watching football last nightl. Dorisena

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@dorisena

As for racing, heart, I have never done anything, really, because I never got any response from any doctors about what to do. They said I didn't have a problem. So I assume it has to do with adrenaline which kicks up mostly when you get excited or have a novacane shot at the dentist. I avoided those shots. My heart raced when I went to bed and relaxed. It hasn't been doing that since I have changed blood pressure medicine. My new medicine makes me sleepy or not wanting to get out of a chair. I am getting depressed in this isolation period where I am not being supported and encouraged by my absent friends. I wish I could physically exercise more. My daughter brought me some fresh, locally grown tomatoes and that cheered me up. Mine are gone for this year. Dorisena

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It is easy to feel isolated and get depressed. But knowing that you are not alone should help you feel better. When we go through major surgery and the doctor wants us to isolate to prevent us from getting any where near a hospital, our social interaction is limited. But you are on this blog with us, so not alone. We are with you. Sometimes you have to make an effort to reach out. Friends may be concerned about disturbing you when you rest. Let them know you would love to hear from them. And the best times for them to call back. Hope you get physically stronger soon and can get out to see the amazing skies we have been having since the onset of the pandemic. Each day it has been a blaze of different colors. Enjoy, relax and breathe! Sending positive vibes for your recovery!

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I am sorry I misled you. My surgery was four years ago and before that I had two knee replacements. The recovery may be as good as it gets, and the doctor said i was better than expected. I am left slightly physically handicapped in that I can't walk very far, but am not on a walker, thank God. I am not isolated by a doctor but by my loving children because of my age and diabetes. Almost all my long term friends have died, and all my relatives and family except my three children and five grandchildren. Two of them don't take time to visit me. No one calls me anymore. I moved 22 years ago and have not assimilated into this community because I go to church elsewhere. I am not of their culture. I have reached out to the community, and tutored, for free, at the school. I donated, and made my home available for a community band practice for 22 years. Not one of them calls me, although I called them and gave them plants from my greenhouse. Thanks for the positive attitude. I am planning in being more involved in my new church as the pandemic subsides.
They want me and need me, so I am grateful for that, as I am 85, but have well honed skills to offer. I am not finished yet. With this isolation, I know I will outlive the pandemic. I have plenty of work to do at home, but there is more to life than work. I am a people person and have always been involved in community and church activities and taught in the 4-H program for 41 years. The world is not accustomed to someone being 85 and ready to go, whatever project you have in mind. I will be volunteering for some years to come, but need to be in the right place. Dorisena

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