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Old 07-27-2007, 07:44 PM   #1
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Question Huge difference in BP between arms

Well, I went to my PC today, expecting the same ol' same ol' from him... a quick check of the BP, alot of 'mmmhmmm's and a recomendation to come back in 3 months.

He took my BP on my left arm (the large cuff barely fit around it today... my left arm is much bigger than my right) and he got a reading of 211/121... yep, the BP is spiking was my answer to his dazed look. He then took it on the right arm (the cuff was almost too big and all of a sudden he believed me that my arms are two different sizes... ammmmaaaaazing) and the reading was 160/100. He then did the left again... 225/125 and was ready to ship me to the ER when I calmed him down and told him to take it again in 15 minutes... when he did it was 177/110 in the left arm and 140/83 in the right.

All of a sudden he believes me when I say I have wild fluctuations (something my Cardio already knew) and has made notes to set alot of tests in the coming weeks... dopplar and vascular studies, surgical consult (for a lump that did not show up on a CT but can be felt) and about a gallon of blood tests.

He, of course, said diddly squat about what the vast difference in BP between my arms might mean (I is jus' a ignorant woman an big words might give me vapors) but what I see online about it gives me chills and I wonder if I should have been sent home or sent straight to the Hospital for observation and testing... Aortic dissection is a huge huge huge cause for this... now I don't know if I should just go to bed or call my Cardio's emergancy line and ask them... sighs.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: Huge difference in BP between arms

Hi Peny,

The Merck Manual which many Dr's use as a reference says that Aortic dissection causes severe pain (tearing, ripping pain in the heart area or upper back). This is the main symptom so I assume you are not having that or you would be in the ER. Did the Dr. check your pulses in your groin area & other places?

Have you had this difference before? Usually more than 10 mm difference in the systolic is a cause for concern. Have you had this difference before? I wonder if the difference has anything to do with the fact that one arm was larger than usual when you saw the Dr.? I've read that it is best to take one's b/p in the arm that has the highest b/p. On the other hand, one is supposed to avoid taking a b/p is a arm that is swollen such as someone who has had a breast removed & lymph node removal with long term swelling.

If this b/p difference in arms is a new finding or you have pain (severe pain), I would call your Cardio Doc.

BTW have the Dr's taken your arterial b/p with a needle directly in the artery to make sure you are getting a true reading & not the pseudohypertension?

Let us know how you are doing. Fam

 
Old 07-27-2007, 10:32 PM   #3
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Re: Huge difference in BP between arms

Penny,

you mention that the cuff WAS NOT A GOOD FIT.
There's your answer.


My BP specialist always has cuffs of different sizes and measures the circumference of the arm to ensure it's a proper fit.

FG

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-27-2007 at 10:36 PM.

 
Old 07-28-2007, 06:20 AM   #4
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Re: Huge difference in BP between arms

I think there might be a compromised blood flow to the larger arm. The vascular doppler scan will detect any blockage.
The problem could also be from lymph flow being obstructed in your left arm.

Both conditions can cause your vessels to leak fluid and swell the arm...and raise it's apparent BP.

Something IS wrong with the in and out flow to your left arm.

What does a diuretic do for you?

Last edited by Lenin; 07-28-2007 at 06:22 AM.

 
Old 07-28-2007, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: Huge difference in BP between arms

Peny,

I was tired when I read your post last night with many things on my mind and not paying attention. I just re-read it now and it sounded like you had a medical emergency. I hope your received the care that you needed and that you have a doctor you can trust.

Flowergirl

 
Old 07-28-2007, 11:11 PM   #6
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Re: Huge difference in BP between arms

Hi there everyone and thanks for the responses...

I think a little clarification might be needed...

My arms have been different sizes for years now (my Dr ignoring me when I tell him something is up with my arms, ect, until Friday)

This is one reason I use a wrist style BP monitor... and I have always checked the BP in both arms (wrists) at least once a day at the same time along with my regular readings... I have had variations (this is normal for everyone) but rarely more than 5-9 points of difference.

My poor Dr and Cardio have me as a problem child... I have nerve damage in both arms causing weakness and loss of sensation, have a severe ankle injury (injured it 9 years ago and after 19 surgeries they are finally going to amputate soon) so balance and gait are hard to determine, Bells Palsey on the left side of my face, occular migraines, ringing ears and chronic dizzyness (probably from periodic sinus rythm tachycardia of 130-160bpm) so they don't know when to tell me to go to the ER... stroke symptoms are hard for me to determine because I always have them... lol. That and my BP fluctuates wildly... it can change more than 50 points in 10 minutes for no reason. (Being tested for various conditions that can cause this)

My left arm and hand do not go cold or blue at any time and the pulse seems to be the same between the two wrsits... it is probably just lymphedema.

Fam- The Dr did not check my pulse anywhere but my wrists, but hopefully it will not be a long wait for the testing that is supposed to be scheduled. Thanks for reminding me on what to look out for... no tearing pains or anything like that (and I obviously made it through the night... lol) so I am probably going to be fine.
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Last edited by penybobeny; 07-28-2007 at 11:12 PM. Reason: I can't spell

 
Old 07-29-2007, 08:33 AM   #7
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Re: Huge difference in BP between arms

Hi Peny,

So sorry to hear about your numerous medical issues. Good to see your optimism - keep it up! That's what I am learning to do also. I guess it takes time, just like everything else. I am glad the fluctuating blood pressure in the arms is not such an issue anymore. If your BP fluctuactions in your arms become a frequent occurence, try to get to the bottom of the problem and find out what's causing them . It sounds as if you and your doctors make a great team and you can let yourself trust them without any reservations. That's the way it should be. Good luck.

P.S. What I mentioned in an earlier post still holds - if a BP cuff of the wrong size is used, it will result in an incorrect reading. Some doctor's offices (including mine) use one cuff for all patients. Not good.

Flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-29-2007 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Adding P.S.

 
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