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Increasing BP during exercise correlated to exacerbating metabolic syndrome?
Apr 16, 2013

Hi Dr. Henry. I am currently on a PI based regime which has contributed to fat mal-distribution and metabolic syndrome symptoms (increased cholesterol, fat around stomach, pre-hypertension.) I have noticed that when I begin an exercise regime, the metabolic syndrome symptoms increase. My BP stays elevated, the fat around my stomach increases and my weight increases. When I stop exercising, all of these symptoms improve, my weight decreases, BP decreases and my stomach fat decreases. I am correlating the increase/spike in BP from exercise, to the exacerbation of the metabolic syndrome. When I keep my BP stable by not exercising, everything is fine. Of course my doctors are still encouraging me to exercise. I believe they are wrong and I have discontinued it. Could spiking my BP through exercise cause an aggravation of the metabolic syndrome? My cortisol and thyroid studies are normal. I am at a lose of what to do. It's not a very good situation if exercise is exacerbating my problems. Thank you for your assistance.

Response from Dr. Henry

Interesting scenario-sounds like a challenge. Perhaps you could discuss use of an alternative regimen with lower risk for fat/metabolic problems (ie a raltegravir based regimen) if you have no history of drug resistance. The fact that exercise worsens the situation is paradoxical so looking for unusual endocrine/neurologic conditions such as autonomic nerve dysfunction or pheochrocytomas or renal artery stenosis may worthwhile. Metabolic syndrome has been linked to exercise hypertension so the discussion of switching to alternative HIV regimen seems relevant as well. If any reader has personal experience with this in setting of treated HIV infection please post! KH

weak but desiring
two years into Atripla

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