Beta Blockers

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lune ranger
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Beta Blockers

Post by lune ranger » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:29 pm

I was wondering if anyone on here is taking beta blockers as prescribed by a doctor and how it’s affecting your performance on the bike.
To put things in context I started taking quite high doses of beta blockers about 6 weeks ago. My heart is absolutely fine. They are prescribed for vertigo (dizziness with visual disturbance NOT fear of heights) that I have as result of a head injury I sustained in Afghan. The blockers are p1ssing all over my athletic performance. I was never a top performer but I did ok. At the moment it feels like the brakes are on and I have no ability to give a bit of extra welly when needed. Everything is sluggish. I was a massive pile of poor show on the recent SW winter bivi. The whole thing was pretty embarrassing.
Reading articles on the wider net isn’t very inspiring tbh.
The one good thing about it is that I can expect my ultimate endurance to be unaffected, I should be able to plod on for ages, just not very fast.
Anyone got any experience of this or wisdom to impart in terms of eeking out performance from a healthy but slow beating heart?

middleagedmadness
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by middleagedmadness » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:00 am

Not on beta blockers but on a shed load of blood pressure tablets , have a healthy heart according to my numerous ecg’s and a resting heart rate of 55 , I find that with everything I do it’s all a bit slower , noticed it first at work that jobs were taking me longer than a couple of years ago and then with exercise , as you say I can plod along all day but started to struggle to keep up with people on the bike, I’ve just learned to accept it , took a bit of getting used to but I ride with considerate lads off here who don’t mind waiting or I just tell them to crack on and I’ll meet them at the pub or wherever we’re going , after a couple of years of it I quite enjoy taking in the ride , taking photos etc instead of trying to bust my balls and keep up , I’ve looked at it as another chapter in my life and if the pills keep me alive then I just accept what could be called the downside to them (sorry for the waffle just my experience being stuck on prescription meds ) :-bd

lune ranger
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by lune ranger » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:53 am

Thanks MaM sage advice I suppose but not sure i’m ready to just accept it just yet. There’s a lot i’ve had to just accept about my injury already and maybe i’ve reached tipping point on that already. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to be alive and not have limbs missing or my picture taken with Prince Bloody Harry.
I may have to start running, yuk :o in order to teach my heart to pick up the pace sometimes. Warming up longer is supposed to help but I don’t think that’s relevant on a 24hr ITT :lol:
Also my HR is way lower than it ought to be so I could maybe get my dose titrated down.I was at 42bpm yesterday evening whilst walking about at work! God knows how low I get whilst sleeping :???:

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sean_iow
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by sean_iow » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:51 am

lune ranger wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:29 pm
Everything is sluggish. I was a massive pile of poor show on the recent SW winter bivi.
Firstly, you weren't that slow, just riding with exceptional riders :wink: And at least your chain didn't snap :oops:

I've no direct experience, but the secretary at work used to take them to control her pulse, she would sometimes get a very high pulse for no reason and it could last for over a day. But they did have to adjust the dose from time to time as when it was too high she would have no energy and find even the stairs in the office very hard going. So I'd suggest you get your doctor to review the dosage as it sounds like they are slowing your pulse too much?
Adventure without risk is Disneyland - Bikemonger

redefined_cycles
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:23 am

lune ranger wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:53 am
Thanks MaM sage advice I suppose but not sure i’m ready to just accept it just yet. There’s a lot i’ve had to just accept about my injury already and maybe i’ve reached tipping point on that already. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to be alive and not have limbs missing or my picture taken with Prince Bloody Harry.
I may have to start running, yuk :o in order to teach my heart to pick up the pace sometimes. Warming up longer is supposed to help but I don’t think that’s relevant on a 24hr ITT :lol:
Also my HR is way lower than it ought to be so I could maybe get my dose titrated down.I was at 42bpm yesterday evening whilst walking about at work! God knows how low I get whilst sleeping :???:
When i had my perimyocarditis* (Trop up to 2000 with 15ish hours) my HR on the CCU got recorded as down to 30 AFAIR....

Upon discharge I slept with my HRM and Wahoo running to check back in the mornings as to how low it'd dipped. I did briefly feel I was like Eddy Merckx (resting HR 25ish)...

I know none of that might not be any help but if you'd like to borrow a HRM to connect to your device then just say. At least you have solid numbers to go back to the doctors with!

*Caused IME by the straight to lung vaping which had helped me off the other nocotine giving articles... tried both a few times post discharge and over the next year or 2. Each time was extremely SOB so eventually saw sense :smile: (Alhamdulillah.... or if anyone gonna be offended by that then, what I meant to say is Thanks to God :smile: )..

Lemme know Luke and i can get it out asap to ya..

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Richard G
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by Richard G » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:36 am

I was on them a short while for anxiety and despite being told by the doctor that they wouldn't affect my training... they massively affected my training. I don't remember the exact number, but I couldn't get my heart rate above something like 150, which made doing intervals (or hills), basically impossible.

I decided that not being able to ride would make me even more anxious, so I stopped them shortly after. Obviously my situation in that regard was very different though.

I do know a number of riders on beta blockers though... they have largely just accepted that they're now long haul diesel engines and ride appropriately.

Gasman
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by Gasman » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:05 pm

Hi,
Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. Not a neurologist, but beta blockers are a pretty unusual choice for the treatment of vestibular issues/ menieres. Anti cholenergics/ benzodiazepines/ antihistamines more usual with other atypicals if those fail. To work a beta blocker would have to be of the type that cross the blood brain barrier- such as propranolol. These are notorious for causing patients to feel very tired.
If they are not suiting you, I would advocate returning to GP for a change. Not tolerating beta blockers is very common. They are a bit of a sledge hammer.
If not seen already, maybe some advice from a neurologist?

lune ranger
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by lune ranger » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:39 pm

Richard G wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:36 am
I do know a number of riders on beta blockers though... they have largely just accepted that they're now long haul diesel engines and ride appropriately.
That was me at peak condition! Kind of like a steam engine now :grin:

Thanks all.
Sean that’s generous but I’m well aware Moff was going hypothermic waiting for me, oops :???:
Shaf . Thanks but i’ve dusted down my old strap and gave it working. 40-43bpm wandering around the house.
Gasman. Thanks. Yes propranolol. Yes neurologist. This is not first line treatment. I’m not going anywhere near benzo’s having already had a bit of a cliched ex-serviceman’s relationship with the bottle :wink:

Pickers
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by Pickers » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:10 pm

Hi LR, I'm another one on beta blockers but a relatively low dose for a year now.
I've found that while my RHR is fairly unchanged at mid to high 40s, max HR has dropped from 175-180 down to about 145 or so. I was a bit of a diesel before so that's not changed too much either, it's not so big a deal for me.
As others have said here you grow to accept (and even enjoy) the limitations and live with it, it's pretty much always better than the alternatives.

lune ranger
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by lune ranger » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:37 pm

Pickers wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:10 pm
Hi LR, I'm another one on beta blockers but a relatively low dose for a year now.
I've found that while my RHR is fairly unchanged at mid to high 40s, max HR has dropped from 175-180 down to about 145 or so. I was a bit of a diesel before so that's not changed too much either, it's not so big a deal for me.
As others have said here you grow to accept (and even enjoy) the limitations and live with it, it's pretty much always better than the alternatives.
Reassuring. Thanks

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Moder-dye
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by Moder-dye » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:48 pm

I was in beta blockers during cardiac investigations last December to April and really really had a rough time. Tried different ones and doses but had shortness of breath, struggled even walking to the shop and generally felt so ill. I stopped them once CAD was ruled out through various tests.

I'm worried I might have to try them again. I finally have a cardiac mri next week which I think is looking for some form of carditis. Time will tell...

Best of luck

ton
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by ton » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:04 pm

I was on beta blockers for 4 years whilst stuck in permanent AF.
everything was hard. walking, using stairs, even trying to paint a ceiling did me in, whilst holding my arms up.
trying to ride the bike was like riding in deep mud all the time, and the beta blockers acted like a pressure cooker with the lid on.
once the pressure had built up, I started going dizzy, and passed out a couple of times whilst riding.
not a nice thing.

hope you get sorted mate.

Moff
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by Moff » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:11 pm

LR, I hope the BB's and side effects are only temporary!?

Sorry I had to pedal off up to the pub, it was mostly my fault I didn't eat enough and that let me get chilled. Then I my second mistake was bringing the singlespeed, needed to keep the cadence up to turn the pedals over.

Keep on getting out when you can, even a slow plod is better than nothing.

lune ranger
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by lune ranger » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:29 pm

Moff wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:11 pm
LR, I hope the BB's and side effects are only temporary!?

Sorry I had to pedal off up to the pub, it was mostly my fault I didn't eat enough and that let me get chilled. Then I my second mistake was bringing the singlespeed, needed to keep the cadence up to turn the pedals over.

Keep on getting out when you can, even a slow plod is better than nothing.
No need to apologise. 3 degrees with horizontal rain isn’t exactly conducive to social riding anyway!

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BigdummySteve
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by BigdummySteve » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:18 pm

Pickers wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:10 pm
I was a bit of a diesel before so that's not changed too much either, it's not so big a deal for me.
Diesel? More like the terminator, chunk, chunk,chunk, no change in cadence or perceived effort despite gradient, only got worse with the beta blockers and Ebike, glad that nonsense is over :-bd
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lune ranger
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by lune ranger » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:21 am

OK. Feeling a bit more upbeat on this just now having just ridden home from my night shift.
The ride includes a few climbs including a 1km 10% average slog. I pushed on said climb just to see what happened. I maxed out my effort pretty quickly and couldn’t select any high gears, standing out of the saddle felt oddly flat but I went up well enough. The silver lining here though is I was hardly breathing hard over the top. Normally if I made a hard effort on that hill I would be gulping air like a guppy by the time I topped out. In pure endurance terms this must a a good thing - an automatic limiter to prevent you burning matches and going in the red on long rides.
My plans for the year consist purely of targets that are fully compatible with riding like that so all should be good. In reality I haven’t ‘raced’ in ages anyway so I don’t have much to loose.

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Richard G
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Re: Beta Blockers

Post by Richard G » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:57 am

That actually works really well for monster rides. I've lost count of the times I've seen people blow themselves apart in the first few hours because they're feeling fresh.

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