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Raising Arms Overhead

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Valentijn, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    This is something that really sucks for many of us, so I did a quick experiment with pulse oximeter.

    I wore the oximeter on my right hand, and raised my left arm overhead for several minutes. Heart rate quickly dropped, followed by an oxygen drop. Same thing if I wear the pulse oximeter on my right hand and raise my right arm.

    So in my case, at least, raising an arm above my head somehow triggers my heart rate to slow down, which leads to decreased oxygen saturation. And then the heart rate stays somewhat low instead of rising in reaction to the decreased oxygen.
     
  2. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    well done for proving that something does happen when we do that movement (which affects a lot of us) now you just need to figure out why:D
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I might even try bending over when I recover from the arm-raising!
     
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  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Ooer, found an easy article on it (for normals): http://www.livestrong.com/article/315286-why-does-my-heart-rate-drop-when-i-raise-my-arms-up/

    So heart rate naturally drops due to increased blood flowing to the heart, which should result in greater stroke volume (higher pulse pressure). But my pulse pressure doesn't seem to increase like it should. So instead of stroke volume increasing to compensate for the extra blood sent to the heart, stroke volume remains the same while heart rate drops.

    And with stroke volume staying the same while heart rate drops, cardiac output also drops, which means less blood and oxygen getting distributed.
     
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    so how do you measure increase/decrease in stroke volume?
     
  6. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Good detective work. Keeping my arms above my head is one of the things that can actually crash me. Will have to try that next time I'm at the doc's and they have a pulsometer on me. Of course, they won't have any explanation - maybe they'll say if it keeps bothering you, try raising your other arm, instead. :rolleyes:
     
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  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    "Pulse pressure" should give an indication. That's the number you get when you check your blood pressure and subtract the diastolic (bottom) value from the systolic (top) value.

    A normal blood pressure reading might be 120/80, which means a pulse pressure of 40. But in my case I end up with something like 115/95, indicating a pulse pressure of 20.

    30-50 is considered normal pulse pressure, but 40+ feels a helluva lot better than 30-35. 25 and under is considered very low. Mine would frequently hit 20 and under prior to starting on Strattera - the blood pressure monitor will often give errors when getting this low, due to pulse being too weak to detect regularly.
     
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  8. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Thanks for that - I never knew what the numbers meant. Its better than going to school coming on here:)
     
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  9. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Yep, that arms above the head (or shoulders? or heart?) thing is a bi...er...problem, alright. I'll have to try your experiments and see if I get similar results.

    I read somewhere that a PP (pulse pressure) less than 25% of systolic is a good sign of low blood volume.

    Valentijn: I'm puzzled about how Strattera helps PP. I thought high norepinephrine can cause OI and Strattera should increase norepinephrine, right? Seems like the wrong way round. :confused:

    BTW, for those keeping BP and HR data, there's a nice app called iBP that will graph, do simple stats, and calculate PP and MAP (mean arterial pressure). If you have the right BP monitor, it will also record data directly from the monitor.
     
  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    It probably can cause issues for people who already have plenty of norepinephrine ... but mine is quite low. It is used to treat hypotension, as discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norepinephrine#Hypotension . Basically it causes vasoconstriction.
     
  11. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Ah, that makes sense. The old Goldilocks effect. I'm probably thinking of hyperadrenergic POTS with the excess of norepinephrine.
     
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  12. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    That's a good idea, why didn't I think of that. I've done that experiment where I lift both arms over my head - but then my oximeter just blanks out, can't give me any data.
     

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