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High & Low Blood Pressure Message Board
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Old 07-08-2006, 01:26 AM   #1
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Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

Last week I tried those blood pressure machines at the drug store. The first time I used it my bp was 123/77 then a few days after it was 117/73. I am taking two medications for high blood pressure. The last month when I went to the doctor to get it checked it was 140/96 and he was thinking about adding a third medication. I was just wondering how good those machines are? I will always go by my doctors readings but I don't want to take more medication if I don't have to. I see my doctor this coming week to get it checked again and I will tell him about the reading any way. Thanks

 
Old 07-08-2006, 05:40 AM   #2
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

Why your doctor wants to add a third medication? What are the medication you are on now?
About the machines in the drugstore, I don't trust any machine outside the doctor's office and my house. I guess it's better to get one for yourself and learn how to take your blood pressure readings.
Thanks and good luck,
Michael

 
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Old 07-08-2006, 05:48 AM   #3
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

The toss up is which is worse, the drugstore machine or the doctor's office. Hmmm.
Neither is very trustworthy.
Trust the average readings you get at home, sitting comfortably at rest.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

The machines at the store can be accurate or they may not. You might want to check with the pharmacist in the store and ask how long it has been since they have been calibrated. If you don't like the answer, perhaps you could find another store that has one and at least check to see if both give similar readings.

If you don't want to invest in your own home monitor right now, I'd suggest you see if you can borrow one from a friend or relative for a few days and test your readings in a relaxed setting at home, provided they have had their monitor checked against one in their doctor's office. Home monitors should have a cuff for the upper arm. The wrist and finger monitors tend to be less accurate.

Since you have HBP, it really would be advisable to get your own monitor. I got my Omron home monitor model HEM-711 on sale at Wal-Mart for less than $50. I think they normally run around $55. People on this board have mentioned Omron as one of the better brands several times. If you decide you do want your own, you might do a search for threads where people discussed monitors for information on other brands and models people liked or disliked.

My personal guess is that you may have a bit of "white coat syndrome" where your pressure goes up in the presence of a doctor. If you mention that to him, though, be prepared to answer his reply of "But if you get stressed at a doctor's office, where else does your blood pressure go up?"

 
Old 07-09-2006, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

I used to think the machines in the drugstores were inaccurate. I asked my Dr what she thought and she said they are accurate. It's possible you could have "white coat" symptom at a drugstore too. Because you're going into a store specifically to check that, the pharmacist is right there, or other patrons and commotion... and you're hoping it's not high... that alone could cause "white coat" even on the drugstore moniters.

I still don't have my own moniter, but I am going to get one within a month.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulltab
I used to think the machines in the drugstores were inaccurate. I asked my Dr what she thought and she said they are accurate. It's possible you could have "white coat" symptom at a drugstore too. Because you're going into a store specifically to check that, the pharmacist is right there, or other patrons and commotion... and you're hoping it's not high... that alone could cause "white coat" even on the drugstore moniters.

I still don't have my own moniter, but I am going to get one within a month.

yeh I have a problem with that too, I get to nervous on those machines, it would squeeze my arm a little and i would get more nervous and it was squeez harder. I just invested in a home monitor and my BP is low. I am just affaid thats giving me a wrong readings., I used a friends monitor and it seemed to give me the same results.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 02:29 PM   #7
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

I think if your friend's moniter results were the same as yours, then your moniter is probably accurate. I have noticed that my very first reading on the drugstore moniters is usually higher due to white coat syndrome. If I wait 3mins or more, after the initial nervousness is gone and I have relaxed and calmed down, I re-moniter myself and usually the result is about '20 points' less on the second reading than the original reading. That is why I think I have white-coat both in drugstores, and even worse at my doctor's office.

The weird thing is that one can think they are totally relaxed when they may not be. Some people just have high anxiety and are sensitive to their surroundings (I must be one of those people).

So when your doctor says "try to relax while I take your reading"...for me, that just makes it go up an additional '10 points'.

I have still never taken any readings with an 'at home moniter'... but I'm sure if i did.... It wouldn't surprise me if my readings were significantly lower than any of my readings to this day.

Problem remains...since we are constantly doing things that could be related to our hpb.....white-coat syndrome or not, it should still be acknowledged.... as generally speaking, most of our time is not spent at home where we are relaxed.
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Last edited by pulltab; 07-09-2006 at 02:35 PM.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 07:58 PM   #8
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Re: Blood Pressure Machines at the drugstore

yeah I am the same way. but the thing is, i cant ever relax at the store anymore. i used to get a reading of like 145-160/90...something, and then i would relax for 5 mins or so and re take it, it would be like 20-30 mmhg lower.
Whenever the Doc says relax, my BP goes up even higher. Now, i get as high as 170 sometimes, and i would relax and it would only go down 10-15 now.
I am also the same way, I might feel relaxed but I do sometimes will have a high reading too.

I am all nerovus about BP now, I get hot and sweaty just htinking about it.

 
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