Does Low Heart Rate Really Indicate A Problem

Discussion in 'Heart, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure' started by marsaday, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. marsaday

    marsaday Member

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    I have just read someones comment that peating is all about raising metabolism. So the temp and heart rate are indicators of this raised metabolism.

    I take thyroid meds - 125 T4 and occasional T3 (5mcg once every few days). Generally my health is good, but i do have off days and can be quite tired and low in mood at least once per week. So i suppose i still have some metabolism issues. I also use progestE which i find very useful.

    Now my temp is always pretty good. 36.5C when i wake and 37C in the daytime.

    One thing i just cannot change is a very low heart rate. It runs at 40-44 beats usually when i am in bed watching Tv. So i imagine it goes into the 30's when asleep. Generally if i take my HR in the day and sit down for a minute it will be high 40's. I play sport and have seen my HR go to 180 when in a proper game of squash. So it can go pretty high.

    So what do people think about a low HR. Does it indicate i have low metabolic problems or is it just one of those things i have. Prior to reading about metabolic issues i always thought a low HR was good for someone.
     
  2. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    40s seems quite low. Have you measured your temperature and pulse before breakfast and 1-2
    hours after breakfast? If pulse fall after breakfast that would mean stress hormones were keeping
    pulse up. In a healthy person carbohydrate in breakfast should raise T3 and pulse.
    You can experiment with measuring your pulse and temperature after taking small dose
    of T3. If T3 increases pulse and temp then that would indicate low T3 production.
    I think 124 mcg of T4 with weekly T3 dose can be problematic. You can take temperature
    of toes, fingers or tip of nose to get a better idea about body temperature.
    Stress hormones can keep oral temperature normal but extremities cold.
     
  3. OP
    marsaday

    marsaday Member

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    Well i dont over exercise. I play sport because of the enjoyment aspect, not so much the physical side.

    My pulse has always been low. I think i became aware of it in my teens. It was always 48 beats in bed.

    I will look at doing the before / after breakfast measurements. If T3 increases the pulse it is only going to be by a small amount. In the past i have been on quite a bit of T3 and pulse was always similar.

    Why do you think T4 on a daily basis and a little T3 thrown in per week is a problem. That doesnt make sense to me?
     
  4. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    RP cites a study where 40 minutes of brisk walking ,where HR did not go over 120 beat per minute,
    reduced T3 to zero. He mentioned in another place body can use up T3 very quickly under stress.
    If you are in stressed condition due to exercise or internal hormonal stress then small amount of
    T3 might not do much.

    Thyroid gland secretes T4 and T3 in about 4:1 to 3:1 ratio. People who take T4 only
    their thyroid gland stops secreting T4 and T3 and rely on liver and tissues to convert
    T4 to T3 and usually their T4 to T3 ratio in blood is quite high compared to
    healthy people or people who take both T4 and T3 in physiological ratio.
    Excess T4 can block conversion of T4 to T3. Many factors including sluggish liver,
    high estrgen, high cortisol etc can do the same.

    T3 has a short half life,which is up to 24 hours and in time of stress is much lower.
    You can increase the intake T3 to improve the ratio or you can spread that 5 mcg
    dose over 1 mcg per day. That would give you a even distribution of T3 .
    RP has mentioned that 1 mcg of T3 can give noticeable benefit, but it is short lived.
     
  5. pboy

    pboy Member

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    its a symptom more than the root of problem...heart rate and strength has a HUGE part to do with dopamine, which is...im realizing more and more about it as lfie goes on, its actually a spiritual molecule also. Your heart only is at 100%...and also happiness is directly related to your heart...rate and strength , but also stability...not like a nervous cortisol or drug induced rapidity, but heart is only 100% when you are in the flow...of doing something with love and growth, helping yourself and other worthy people on a higher level. Not doing that, not on a respectable mission, your heart is effed. And when you are, and your heart is firing, love is the output, and feeling inside, and you feel a higher connection. You have to have a clean diet and clean intestines, bowel, as a prerequisite, and be able to breath decent clean air
     
  6. Suikerbuik

    Suikerbuik Member

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    Man I love your posts pboy!
     
  7. aguilaroja

    aguilaroja Member

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    To clarify, a baseline heart rate considerably below 60 beats per minute is bradycardia.

    It is concerning both in usual medical terms, as well as in a Ray Peat influenced view of metabolism. This is technically a cardiac arrhythmia. Fatigue, weakness, dizziness are recognized signs of bradycardia. It is strongly advisable to get this checked out and get a conventional assessment, in addition to any view through a Peat-influenced lens.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Bradycardia

    I share Dr. Peat's view that for most adults, heart rate in the range near 80 than near 60 beats per minute usual matches a more resilient metabolism. It is certainly useful to include pulse together with symptoms, physical findings, and lab tests in determining better metabolism supports. And Mittir's points about T4/T3 proportion when thyroid support is needed are important. But regular pulse in the 40's is viewed by orthodox health care as potentially very concerning.

    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/hy ... dism.shtml

    "The combination of pulse rate and temperature is much better than either one alone. I happened to see two people whose resting pulse rates were chronically extremely high, despite their hypothyroid symptoms. When they took a thyroid supplement, their pulse rates came down to normal. (Healthy and intelligent groups of people have been found to have an average resting pulse rate of 85/minute, while less healthy groups average close to 70/minute.)"
     
  8. OP
    marsaday

    marsaday Member

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    The doctors in the UK will laugh at me for being concerned by a low HR. I have no idea who i could go to about this.

    My HR sat here late morning is 51 bpm.

    What about famous athletes. Seb Coe was an olympic 800/1500m runner in the 80's and is now a Lord in the UK. He famously had a HR of 29 bpm. He is in his 60's, very slim and very fit still.

    All very confusing.

    I never have issues with dizziness or fainting.
     
  9. tara

    tara Member

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    I think Peat has said that when metabolism improves, body temps usually come yup quite quickly, but heart rate can be a lot slower to come up? Can't remember if he said how slow.
     
  10. akgrrrl

    akgrrrl Member

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    This thread was useful for me, as I continue to ascertain the meanings of hypothyroidism and it's 500 symptoms. I have consistently maintained a resting HR of 40 and walking/working HR of 50-58 for many years. Taking 100 mcgs of L-Thyroxine (is this t-3? t-4? FREE t-3? other?) assists with some hours of vertical orientation on a daily basis, yet cessation for even a day will put me on my face with a myriad of nasty hypo symptoms. These "ranges" are set by whom? Insurance companies? Online explanations of "t-3 to t-4" or just stated lab tests of "ranges" are completely confusing for mere mortals trying to self treat where competent care is not possible. The relationship between heart rate and temp is not consistent for a hypo person, as I have months of logs taking my basal temp and HR with EMT-quality tools. In this moment, laying in bed well over the last 2 hours, my rate is 41-43 and my body is warm to flushed, with ice cold feet. I sleep most nights with a heating pad to warm them so I can get comfortable enough to sleep. That is, with help from benzos, otherwise my brain does not turn off, and I lay awake all night, and would do so for days until utter exhaustion and hallucinations. Bradycardia signals....what? I have been referred to a cardio in the city 200 miles away who immediately offered to perform surgery to insert pacemaker on Friday after a 3 minute meet and greet on Wednesday. Whats the dealio? Low heart rate bad? I managed to build my own 13 room house, haul firewood and shovel snow 6 months of the year, and maintain home and vehicles alone in the wilderness. I am thinking there are significant survival stressors that likely alter most hormone activity: 360degree awareness 24/7 for both 2 and 4 legged predators; food, transportation, and job competition; lack of social contact, lack of family or tribe community, severe touch deficit, etc. so it is difficult to determine which factors are relevant to the diagnosis. Still, why is low heart rate bad?
     
  11. Luckytype

    Luckytype Member

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    Considering your cold feet, your body is still trying to conserve heat.

    You have to examine your food intake, kcals etc to get an idea. If you are otherwise chronically stressed you may be dealing with a transient conversion issue with your t4. It may be a major player to why you lie awake, low levels stress hormones can keep people up.

    Temps are a function of your oxygen consumption on mitochondrial levels. What are your actual temps amidst all this?

    By the way, the business of surgeons/cardio/ortho wtc etc is to sell their services. MD sure, but they dont make it big with just office visits.
     
  12. akgrrrl

    akgrrrl Member

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    Gosh, thanks for replying to my mini rant. My temps before rising in the a.m. range between 95-97 . I take my thyroid med immed and putz around with chores for an hour. After an OJ cocktail of C,Lysine,Proline (Linus Pauling protocol) and then some good organic med roast high altitude coffee, I put on small ankle weights to increase circulation to my legs/feet. My temp goes up no prob. When I hit age 53, was bodybuilding and superstrong (6ft with arms longer than tall) my feet started numbing bi-lateral and uneven. Sometimes random and then noticeable neural signal failure at left leg while trying to do lunges for balance and continued lower body strength. Drank the red KoolAid at least 6 times over the last 5 years and NOT diabetic or pre, BUT had familial history my grandfather was diabetic and did not survive amputation of both legs just below the knee. Thats a constant freakout as the numb feet progressed to ankle and calf pain plus weird neural waves from feet upwards. I put in hundreds of reading hours in neuro researchpapers and settled on a daily protocol to include: B-12 (not cyanocobalamin) B-50, folic, C, E, about 15,000 IUof D for the long dark winters here, L-Carnitine, ALA, DHEA, Sam-E, a Cal-Mag liquid, CoQ10 all washed down with daily Kombucha and a nighttime melatonin. My diet is pretty clean, avocados, oranges, carrot/pineapple shred, potatoes of all varieties, and local eggs every day, local chicken, moose and some salmon but not a lot. I do eat walnuts and almonds, and the high protein red rice and black "forbidden" rice from other countries. Bone broth garlic soups, squash, and hot teas. Every day I have at least one large hot drink made from turmeric/ginger/cinnamon and solid coconut cream with the oil on top. If I stop moving, or take the leg weights off, my feet go completely white and cold, no capillary refill, and a hot bath is required to stop what feels like frostbite. Quite painful, actually. My oxygen is always at 99% if the oximeter is correct, yet nowadays even my hands will get cold if I fail to warm up the feet. back to bed @horizontal brings back circulation also.
    Its such a puzzle. I can barely walk if my feet get white cold, and my gait impaired considerable. After a hot bath, its all good but only for a short time. My environs is super warm...I have a high-tech woodstove, and a gas fireplace in my bedroom . I sleep with fresh air at my head always, and have acquired a Cpap which I use to inhale the most potent aromatic botanicals on the planet. The terpenes, sequiterpenes, alpha pinenes, etc are used every night at brainstem, feet bottoms and then inhaled thru the cpap. I circulate between about 35 formulations in that modality for cellular level optimization of nutrients and supps.
    I just don't understand the thyroid. TSH, t-3 t4, the free thing...it just doesn't gel with me, I don't understand it, and wish there was something visual for me to grasp the function of this butterfly gland that seems to rule everything in my body!
     
  13. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I don't know how to make of this statement. Ray says that the healthy and intelligent groups of people have a higher pulse rate (at average 85 bpm) than less healthy groups (at average 70 bpm), but also says that "the combination of pulse rate and temperature is much better than either one alone.

    It would be reasonable then to assume that Ray meant to say that the healthy and intelligent groups of people have a higher pulse rate (85 bpm) than less healthy groups (70 bpm), [given the same body temperature].

    If this is what he meant, why would a higher pulse rate confer or be associated with better health?

    If your heart uses less effort to achieve the same body temperature through a lower heart rate, why would this be considered less healthy? Note that I'm confining the question to heart rates that are considered to be normal (from 60 - 100), as this would not touch on brachycardia and tachycardia, where the pulse rate if beyond normal range.
     
  14. aguilaroja

    aguilaroja Member

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    Children and adolescents have faster resting heart rates, suggesting it is one marker of youthful function. Resting heart rate is one rough approximation of metabolic rate. It might be useful to review of Dr. Peat’s writings on metabolic rate. I read Dr. Peat’s books and articles for study, but do not represent his views.

    “Generative Energy”, 1994, by Dr. Peat, pp. 112-113
    “There are now many people who argue that a low metabolic rate, a low body temperature and slow heart beat indicate that you should live a long time: "your heart can beat only so many times." Most of these people also advocate "conditioning exercise," and they point out that trained runners tend to have a slow heart rate. (Incidentally, running elevates adrenalin, which causes increased clumping of platelets and accelerated blood clotting. Hypothyroidism--whether pre-existing or induced by running--slows the heart, raises the production of adrenalin, and is strongly associated with heart disease, as well as with high cholesterol.)

    “Generative Energy”, pp. 116-117:
    “Besides the observation of greater oxygen consumption in the low fat animals, and high protein turn-over in calorie restricted animals, there are observations in a variety of organisms associating a higher metabolic rate with greater longevity. While most longevity studies of flies involved altering the temperature of their environment, studies of differences of metabolic rate at a given temperature have in several cases found greater longevity in the high metabolizers. A study of 18 strains of mice found a clear association between a higher metabolic rate and greater longevity. Recent studies (e.g., Joseph Graves') are showing similar associations in insects.

    “Sacher popularized the idea that a larger brain is associated with a longer life span, and others more recently have refined the idea in connection with body size, index of cephalization, and metabolic rate. For example, M. A. Hoffman ("Energy metabolism, brain size, and longevity in mammals," Guar. Rev. Biol. 58(4), 495-512) said "...it has been shown that the ratio of cortex-to-brain metabolic rates is independent of body size, and increases with the evolutionary level of brain development." (Figure 1) It is interesting to consider that birds generally live longer than mammals of the same weight, though their brains are usually smaller, and their body temperature is several degrees warmer. Among birds, parrots and other relatively large-brained birds have an extremely long life span, compared with mammals of the same body size. For example, a rat lives about 2 years, at 98 degrees F., and a medium sized parrot lives about 70 years, at 104 degrees. According to H. Rahn ("Time, energy, and body size," chapter 16 in Environmental Physiology, editors C. V. Pagenelli and L. E. Farki, Springer-Verlag, 1988), the total energy per gram of tissue per life span is about four times higher in passerine birds than in mammals.”
     
  15. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    Yes, children have faster resting heart rates. But isn't this because there is a lot of growing and building being done? When the growth phase is over, the demand for energy for growth wanes, and the demand for preservation (healing, repair) is less, and the energy needed may be lessened, as reflected is a slower heart rate.

    There are also other factors that would increase the heart rate. One is mineral imbalance that would affect the relaxation and contraction of the heart muscle. A person that suffers from mineral imbalances may require more effort in circulating blood, as reflected in a higher heart rate. So a higher heart rate is not necessarily better.

    I suppose metabolic rate would be a better metric rather than the combination of body temperature and heart rate to gauge metabolism. It is not an easy nor cheap test though. I was just hoping that there would be a more practical way. If I find two people have the same optimal body temperature, and see one has a higher heart rate, say one is at 85 and the other is at 70, why would the person with a higher heart rate be more healthy?

    Is it because a higher heart rate is a sign of higher metabolic activity, even if body temperature is the same, and the higher energy is used towards more healing and building and regenerative activities? Maybe that there is surplus such that even after accounting for the needs of the internal organs, there is surplus left that can used to grown hair and to firm up the skin? That while their body temperature is the same, there are other metrics that are not being measured as a proxy for health?
     
  16. akgrrrl

    akgrrrl Member

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    Ok, I hear the longevity thing in regard to birdtribes/mammals living longer because higher metabolic rate. But my profile would fail to fit those observations. I have outlived my family tree by 20 years...even my cousins are passed. Whats more, I'm the only one of 6 cousins, parents and their 4 siblings who have put themself thru college. Wanderlust/curiosity/creativity sent me packing to 28 countries in 20 years while entrepreneuring a niche retail enterprise. I followed that with work in widely diverse occupations in private sector, State, Fed, and City positions getting bored after mastery in each position achieved. Bodybuilding after building my own house was the best option for me in a remote and cold climate with limited opps for engaging social interaction.Outlier yes, Type A, and maybe nerdly for a very physical female with a copy of Bartletts Quotations in bedside reading material. So, that is to say I am taking issue with the "low metabolism=smaller brain development" theory, and still remain confused as to why that 40 HR is with me and bad. I can add, that even in High School during basketball and competitive swimming, physical effort would turn my face beet red and body flush. Now, decades later, I have low and slow endurance to rival any male half my age. Its so frustrating to have the neural symptoms unaccounted for, as they worsen along with sleep deprivation as I age. Those waves of neural weirdness get pretty close to crazymaking. Getting an understanding of the myriad factors that impact hormonal output and regulation seems imperative, but I've no local "professional" options. I traveled to Seattle's Minor and James Swedish Hospital complex (the largest neuro-facility in USA?) to see a Neuro after the first 5 Neuros available in AK merely tapped on my knee with a little hammer and asked me if I had tried Gabopenten or Lyrica.Only one would listen to my insistance that my cold white legs/feet (in wool socks and fur boots in a 73 degree building)would perhaps signal differently for a Peripheral Neuropathy diagnosis if 15 mins of 180 degree hot towels would warm me up first. Sure enough--only Doc ever that said "wow, I learned something today". That diagnosis got me a Doctors Release to work out in a gym as a Disabled American. (crushed/collapsed c-4 c-5 c-6 c-7 from 2 story fall with window falling across the neck , crushed left wrist rebuilt, 8 " of titanium rod ulna replace, Right wrist break with pins, bi-lateral knee meniscus and cleanup, possible head trauma from 2 story fall and then caretaker abuse during reconstructive surgeries, skin grafts etc) Would someone recommend a more robust bloodwork inquiry? Ask for what? And where to send if I can get a draw (how many?) from the local phlebotomist?
     
  17. Lilac

    Lilac Member

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    When did your accident happen, @akgrrrl? Did the cold feet and numbness start after that?
     
  18. akgrrrl

    akgrrrl Member

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    My accident was 16 years ago. And no numbness until at least 12 years later . I often wondered if when my hands got cold if radicular nerve impaired, but symptoms have been so random. Spasms were my big crazy symptom then; I now think they were part of the oncome of the hypo. Once was with a gf at a lap swim and we watched my left big toe fully bend lefter across the top of other toes. Hand spasms often-splay of fingers into grotesque, hard as rock formations, quite painful. Full inner leg/thigh spasms would rise me up off my butt in a chair. (That was fun while in the front row of a presentation where I was being recognized...) My most recent full spine imagery was 8 years ago, when, after 8 previous years of yearly MRI by large firm of Orthos insisting each year that replacing a crushed c-5 with cadaver or hardware, with fusion to collapsed c-4/c-6 was required. I said NO for 8 years... There was a severe lack of cerebrospinal fluid flow during that time, with the other injuries layering a stress level that disallowed any sort of normal function. (enter a botched meniscus with a surgeon who failed to admit it even after 62lb weight gain and PhysTherapist writeup CONTINUED LOSS OF MOBILITY. That forced insurance to give me 2nd opinion and bilateral surgery with the Pres of Ortho Surgeon Assoc USA. He had some 16 patents for knee surgery instruments and did an awesome job. I mowed my lawn and did 200 leg lifts 7 days post surgery, age 53.The weight melted off immed.) Meantime, the c-spine musculature would fail trying to hold up a big head on a compromised spine, so limited upright as disc pressure would increase over some short hours. This portion of injury changed when I began a series of oxygenation methods of the spine at home, increased intake of nutrients and supplements, and cellular communication and repair via plant esters. During year NINE of the yearly MRI and NO to surgery, a C-spine MRI showed "extraordinary and inexplable" cerebrospinal fluid having created its own pathway where before there was none. I've been quite smug about that ever since. I was told after my wrist rebuild and ulna replace that I prob would never hold more than a gallon of milk, and not recover the use of my pinky and ring finger. Nice, how I grinned when sweating to 90#deadliftsx30 at the gym. That was 2013 and 2014. Now I am all neural and hypo, sometimes hyper and don't know which way is up. Or down.
    Since I lived in the south during my 20's, 30's where warmth was the norm, I only noticed my very slender ankles and small feet for my overall size as a likelyhood of "cool" feet in my youth. (6', only size 8-1/2 W shoe) Cold, white feet with zero capillary refill came with the hypo diagnosis along with the usual suspects for hypo: extreme fatigue, loss of outer 1/3 eyebrows, etc. Never constipated, great skin, often taken for many years younger. I can only attribute that to clean diet, lack of sun exposure, consistent skin care, good hydration, and reading Bernard Jensen in my 20's.

    The neural chills/waves up my leg, tender calves, and increasing foot numbness and ability to flex or move the toes is very disturbing. It is quickening.

    Thank you for the ask, Lilac, and sorry for the longwinded answer, but I am discovering questions like yours help me to tease out the details just by the writing.
     
  19. akgrrrl

    akgrrrl Member

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    And so...after all these comments on the thread of "low heart rate"...so WHAT if its called bradycardia and you have it? Why is it bad?
     
  20. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I've been struggling with that question, even if the heart rate is not low enough to be called bradychardia. I was asking why Ray Peat was saying that people with higher hear rates at 85 would be healthier than people with heart rates at 70.

    Since the answer is harder to come by from studies, I'm just going by reasoning it out. Let's assume we're talking about people who have equal body temperatures, so that we're not talking about a higher body temperature being the cause of faster heart rates. After all, metabolism is not only used to increase body temperature. It is used for many functions in the body. If the body is very functional, meaning all systems are go, it would have to be more active than when the body is sub-functional, where some systems are impaired and not working 100%.

    When a system is impaired, it becomes in itself a bottleneck on the larger system. The more systems are impaired, the more bottlenecks there are in the larger system. In a state where there are many bottlenecks, there would be less energy used. With less energy being used, less output results. The output we talk about here are all the things the body produces or does that makes it healthy. Like detoxifying, healing, destroying cells that have outlived their usefulness, regenerating tissues, fighting infections, killing cancer cells. If the body is healthy, it knows how to produce energy efficiently, and it can use this energy well to maintain all the processes the body needs, including helping itself produce energy efficiently and making it effective in sustaining itself.

    So, a higher heart rate is indicative of the body being self-directed in making and using energy to keep itself fully functional, with the minimum of bottlenecks in its own factory of a body.

    The key to tying heart rate to health is in knowing that the heart rate reflects a healthy demand for energy, not an unhealthy demand for energy coming from bottlenecks that make the heart work extra hard. I would say brachycardia is an unhealthy lack of demand for energy, while tachycardia is an unhealthy and inefficient use of energy by the body. Having a healthy heart rate involves the body being able to both produce and use energy effectively to keep itself at an optimal state. It is able to be full of energy, more than enough to survive and to function well, but to make itself outwardly presentable - nice skin, nice crop of hair, and a happy disposition.
     
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