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Old 02-20-2005, 08:10 AM   #1
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How to get an acurate average of bp's?

Okay, because I am new to the possibility of hbp I have a lot of questions. My doctor really thinks it is white-coat due to anxiety because life right now is very stressful. Anyway, I know I have posted a lot of similar questions pertaining to this issue, but I was wondering if someone could explain how to get a accurate bp average when taking it at home. My doctor suggested to take it only once in the mornings on Mondays, but I think I would feel better if I monitored it more often. How often do I need to take it during the day and how many days a week for an accurate average? What time a day is usually best? I have been taking it once a day at different times each day and I am not sure if that is the correct way. My readings at home 98% if the time are really good readings. My highest at home has been 135/82 and that has only been once or twice. Typically my readings are anywhere between 99/69-115/72. Any help or advice is really appreciated. I just want to be sure it is white-coat and not hbp. At the doctors office it has been 150/100, but I am always extremely nervous to the point I feel really nauseous.

 
Old 02-20-2005, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

If your home readings are accurate, it sure does seem like you have classic white coat!

Given that you would like to monitor more frequently (at least for now),
Try 3 times a day. Same time(s) each day. Always wait at least a 1/2 hour before or after food, smoking or exercise.

When you take a reading, make sure your arm is supported on a table, (limp and relaxed) cuff at heart level, feet on floor, back supported. Don't even cross your legs..it can elevate your BP.

At each "session" take three readings 2-3 minutes apart. (It's simpler to always use the same arm, since BP can be different in each arm, so pick one and stick to it.)
Throw out the first reading (it is invariably higher than the subsequent 2, probably because of the initial anxiety of just having to be DOING this!) then average the 2nd and 3rd readings. Write it down, noting of course, the time of day.

Keep a log for a week or two and you'll probably see a pattern.

zuzu xx

 
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:23 PM   #3
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzu8
At each "session" take three readings 2-3 minutes apart. (It's simpler to always use the same arm, since BP can be different in each arm, so pick one and stick to it.)
Throw out the first reading (it is invariably higher than the subsequent 2, probably because of the initial anxiety of just having to be DOING this!) then average the 2nd and 3rd readings. Write it down, noting of course, the time of day.
To me this seems time consuming. And, I wouldn't trust any of the readings except for the first (which you are throwing away ). If you want to take another reading within 5 minutes, you should use the other arm. IMHO, you should just make sure you've been sitting for a few minutes and relatively relaxed, take a reading, log it, and move on. This whole process of a "session" seems rather obsessive.

Pal

 
Old 02-20-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

about 30% of the time, my first reading is very high (like 180/120), I know that isnt right - if I wait at least a minute between readings my subsequent readings, no matter how many I take, will almost always be within 2 or 3 points onf one another and be in my "normal" range of 145 - 150 / 95 - 100

So I take at least a couple more & average them, what I have been told is that the cuff sometimes "adjusts" itself the first time it pumps up & this affects the first reading (I think the velcro gives a little)

 
Old 02-20-2005, 03:22 PM   #5
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

in my own experience, the first reading is considerably higher than the
second or third. and the dropoff from first to third can be up to 30 points
systolic. maybe the first should be thrown out, maybe it's the most reliable one. but this, i think, pretty common fact makes knowing the true situation
pretty tough. (the same happens at the dr.'s office for me, at least a 20 pt.
dropoff from the first to the second taking...)

 
Old 02-20-2005, 04:27 PM   #6
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmojo
... my subsequent readings, no matter how many I take, will almost always be within 2 or 3 points onf one another and be in my "normal" range of 145 - 150 / 95 - 100
Your normal readings are kinda high, especially the diastolic. Have you had any success at getting those readings down? Are they that high all day long?

 
Old 02-20-2005, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmojo
about 30% of the time, my first reading is very high (like 180/120), I know that isnt right - if I wait at least a minute between readings my subsequent readings, no matter how many I take, will almost always be within 2 or 3 points onf one another and be in my "normal" range of 145 - 150 / 95 - 100

So I take at least a couple more & average them, what I have been told is that the cuff sometimes "adjusts" itself the first time it pumps up & this affects the first reading (I think the velcro gives a little)
If this is of a concern, then take your first reading in your right arm and ignore this reading. Then, switch to your left arm and take it. The problem you need to prevent is that your arteries get sqeezed by the cuff. And, it can take several minutes for things to settle back to normal. This, of course, results in a reduced, artificially low, reading.

Pal

 
Old 02-21-2005, 05:20 AM   #8
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Talking Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

It is weird how very conflicting peoples views are on taking BP at home. My view (and also what my doc recommended) is to take 3 readings, disregard first and average 2nd and 3rd. I think this works for me, but i can see that other people have different feelings on this subject. I wouldn't tend to swop arms either incase my BP varies between the two arms. Occasionally i check which arm gives me the greater BP reading and this is the one i use, mind you that has always been the same arm.

All all cases MY 1st BP reading is artificially high, which i put down to a form of white coat, readings 2 and 3 are usually within 5 points which tells me they are more accurate readings.

Regards
Paul

 
Old 02-21-2005, 05:27 AM   #9
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

I take 3 reading (alternating between LRL and RLR) about 2 minutes apart...this gives me 6 numbers. I throw out the high and low systolic and the high and low diastolic and, voila, record the middle numbers of each.

 
Old 02-21-2005, 06:02 AM   #10
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

For the record, today I took three readings a full five minutes apart to minimize distortion through squeezing.

Systolic results: 140, 126, 121. That's pretty typical for me, when I just do the
three one after another.

 
Old 02-21-2005, 07:36 AM   #11
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

I only just started taking my BP 2x daily. I do like Pal does & take it once in my left arm after relaxing, chart it and move on. If it's elevated, I may check it in my other arm or wait 30 minutes and take it again.

 
Old 02-21-2005, 08:09 AM   #12
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palamedes
This, of course, results in a reduced, artificially low, reading.

Pal

My Doc & every nurse in his office say the exact opposite - they tell me if you take the readings too close together the later readings will be artificially higher, because the vessels are constricted

Beerzoids - my diastolic was 90 - 95 before i was put on meds, I've been screwed up ever since, I am currently not on meds, I had gotten my BP down to low 140's / low 90's late last year and it has come back up, probably because I work outside a lot & have had a mild cold since december

That BP is the average, its sometimes lower, sometimes higher, depending on what I'm doing - my doc & I agreed not to worry about sitting "at rest" for 15 minutes first, he wanted to see what it runs under normal activity

If I'm working out or doing manual labor the highest it usually gets it 160/105, although I have seen 170/110 when I have been severely under the weather & still trying to work

Last edited by mrmojo; 02-21-2005 at 11:54 AM.

 
Old 02-21-2005, 10:55 AM   #13
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Re: How to get an acurate average of bp's?

Constricted means higher makes sense to me.

 
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