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Old 08-29-2007, 08:02 PM  
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Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Folks,

I have been puzzled by something. In the 6 months I've been taking home BP measurements, the pulse reading on my Omron machine is always high, regardless of what the BP reading is. It typically ranges from 90 to 110, about 95% of the time.

My normal heart rate is 65, and my doctor confirmed this during my last visit, taking my pulse before he took my BP.

The machine is relatively new, so could this be an error, or can anxiety produce an elevated pulse ALL the time during readings? I can usually feel my pulse go up just before taking the readings, but it seems bizarre to me that it is that high during all the times I take it.

Does anyone else, esp. with cuff anxiety, have a high pulse almost all the time they take their BP, esp. one that differs from their normal resting pulse?

acp

 
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:24 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Hi ACP,

I have worse cuff anxiety than you it seems & my pulse has never been higher than 78 I believe. Mine is usually in the 50-60's. But then I am on 1800mg of Lebetalol (alpha/beta blocker).

Just take your pulse at different times of the day & you will have your answer. Taking your pulse is easy in case you haven't done it before.
Just put your index & middle fingers (the pads) on the opposite wrist below the thumb & find your pulse. Then count the number of beats for a 1/2 min. Multiple this number by two.

Have you mentioned your high pulse rates on your machine to your Dr.?

Fam

 
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:40 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Quote:
Originally Posted by famnd View Post
Hi ACP,

I have worse cuff anxiety than you it seems & my pulse has never been higher than 78 I believe. Mine is usually in the 50-60's. But then I am on 1800mg of Lebetalol (alpha/beta blocker).

Just take your pulse at different times of the day & you will have your answer. Taking your pulse is easy in case you haven't done it before.
Just put your index & middle fingers (the pads) on the opposite wrist below the thumb & find your pulse. Then count the number of beats for a 1/2 min. Multiple this number by two.

Have you mentioned your high pulse rates on your machine to your Dr.?

Fam

Yes, and he is puzzled too. As I said, its almost always 65 when I take it using two fingers on my neck, and he took it using a stethoscope. Sometimes it goes up to 80 after I eat, or have some wine. I run it up to 160 on the cardio machines at the gym.

It could be the machine is simply screwed up I suppose. Which of course calls all my BP readings into question now. OTOH, it very accurately picks up my PVCs with the "irregualr heartbeat" detector 100% of the time.

 
Old 08-29-2007, 09:11 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

I think you should try to take your pulse on your wrist. Also, you should call customer service. Omiron has excellent customer service. It does call your b/p readings into question. Fam

 
Old 08-29-2007, 09:55 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

I just did, and its the same at the wrist as at the neck, which is good I suppose.

I am not on medications, so I can well believe that anxiety is jumping my pulse up that high. Just seems strange all the time. Then again, I am always anxious when I take my BP...always, without fail.

I do have a 2nd Omron, so tomorrow I'll start using that one, with new batteries to be safe.

acp

 
Old 08-30-2007, 12:28 AM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

acp44,

Can you do the finger-on-the-neck-pulse test at the same time you are letting your Omicron do its magic electronic testing? Or have someone check your wrist pulse rate for you at the same time? That way you can see whether your pulse rate is measured acurately by the Omicron. It may indeed be that you get nervous every time you put the cuff on at home, but then again, it may be that the cuff is "inflating" (sorry) the pulse numbers.

--Rheanna

 
Old 08-30-2007, 06:58 AM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rheanna View Post
acp44,

Can you do the finger-on-the-neck-pulse test at the same time you are letting your Omicron do its magic electronic testing? Or have someone check your wrist pulse rate for you at the same time? That way you can see whether your pulse rate is measured acurately by the Omicron. It may indeed be that you get nervous every time you put the cuff on at home, but then again, it may be that the cuff is "inflating" (sorry) the pulse numbers.

--Rheanna
I can do that. Hopefully the cuff is inflating the BP numbers too, but I doubt I'm that lucky!

 
Old 08-30-2007, 08:07 AM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Just wanted to mention that I watched a video showing how to properly use home monitors. I figured what the heck. Might learn something new.
I this video, a person is shown demonstrating the use of all types of home monitors, and explaining the process step by step. Interestingly, the recommended wait between re-takes for all is only one minute, NOT five or more. This video is by a famous and very respectable clinic.

P.S. Thank goodness for automatic blood pressure monitors!!!!!! I hope I never have to use one of the mechanical ones.

flowergirl

 
Old 08-30-2007, 03:45 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

I finally talked to an Omron person who was very nice, and said yes, its quite possible for the machine to pick up anxiety increased pulse rates as high, if you are anxious everytime you take your BP. Since I am, and am not on meds, I guess I can accept that. Today's reading was 125/69 with a pulse of 103. Can stress elevate a heart rate but NOT BP at the same time? The mystery continues.

acp

 
Old 08-30-2007, 11:49 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

I am taking a look at the new 2007 European guidelines (83pgs) for treating hypertension to see how they compare to our Canadian (updated yearly every fall) and the US guidelines. If I come across anything interesting, I'll post it.

A couple of tidbits:

According to the new guidelines for doctors, two BP measurements should be taken ONE or two minutes apart.
A self-measurement of blood pressure should be discouraged if it causes anxiety to the patient. (Interesting!)

There's no explanation as to why. Perhaps because of the resulting inaccurate readings?

 
Old 08-31-2007, 07:43 AM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

I'm guessing a reading is only inaccurate if the machine is malfunctioning or someone is taking the reading incorrectly. As someone posted, a BP reading is what it is...a snapshot of your BP when you take it. I think an "anxiety reading" has value (as frightening and depressing as it is) in that it shows how much your BP spikes due to stress.

Its also curious that self-measurement is discouraged as anxiety-provoking, when having the nurse/doctor do it causes twice as much anxiety!

acp

 
Old 08-31-2007, 10:55 AM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Quote:
A self-measurement of blood pressure should be discouraged if it causes anxiety to the patient. (Interesting!)
I've given this some thought. The most logical reason for this recommendation also seems the most likely to me. Anxiety leads to stress, which affects the blood pressure negatively. The more frequent the blood pressure readings, the more anxiety/stress they generate. A direct consequence of a release of adrenalin into bloodstream is an increase in blood pressure. These stressful episodes result in increases in blood pressure and could lead to a permanent increase, for all I know. Just guessing here. I think it makes sense.

I think an individual may be able to get very accurate readings regardless of the level of anxiety. I know that when I get high blood pressure (I feel it), I become anxious about how high it's going to get. I then go & measure it. I usually do both arms and believe the readings to be accurate, in spite of my anxiety. It's probably the same for others.

 
Old 08-31-2007, 11:00 AM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
I've given this some thought. The most logical reason for this recommendation also seems the most likely to me. Anxiety leads to stress, which affects the blood pressure negatively. The more frequent the blood pressure readings, the more anxiety/stress they generate. A direct consequence of a release of adrenalin into bloodstream is an increase in blood pressure. These stressful episodes result in increases in blood pressure and could lead to a permanent increase, for all I know. Just guessing here. I think it makes sense.

I think an individual may be able to get very accurate readings regardless of the level of anxiety. I know that when I get high blood pressure (I feel it), I become anxious about how high it's going to get. I then go & measure it. I usually do both arms and believe the readings to be accurate, in spite of my anxiety. It's probably the same for others.
That raises the question: how does one monitor one's blood pressure when someone is prone to cuff anxiety all the time? Just take fewer readings?

 
Old 08-31-2007, 01:33 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Good discussion. I think the BP is accurate but it is not the "resting b/p" that we are after & the BP numbers that hypertension is based on.

Acp, your b/p numbers are very good if you consider that this is as high as they get when you are really stressed!!! How is getting stressed when taking one's b/p any different than when we are exercising & the numbers go up. Why is one bad & the other not?

You need to find someway to manage your cuff anxiety before going to any med. I know in my case the meds aren't able to handle the cuff anxiety unless I take extra before as in going to the Dr's office. I'm on a large dose of Lebetalol too. It just doesn't make sense to be loaded down with meds all the time just for a few times one takes one's b/p. You wouldn't take a whole bunch of meds when you go to exercise would you? No.

Have you done the 24 hr monitor? I just don't see how a person with extreme CA can get through that but I'm told it is possible to ignore the cuff inflating all the time.

Somehow you need to find your resting b/p or figure it out based on probably figures. I'll check Dr. G's book again & tell you what she said about this.

Fam

 
Old 08-31-2007, 02:00 PM  
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Re: Home monitors and pulse reading...error?

Boy, I guess then I don't really know what my real resting BP is then! I have to think that somewhere in 7 months of readings its lurking though.

It is also possible that these are my real numbers, since I have suffered bad anxiety disorders on and off. The times I use xanax, it doesn't really register on the BP readings though...I just worry less about the results.

The sad thing is, I'd be anxious if I DIDN'T take readings, because then I'd worry obesseeivly about what my BP was!

If the numbers are in fact all "anxiety numbers" then I am in good shape I suppose. My REAL goal is to get the numbers the nurse and the doctor take below the constant 145/82 (nurse) and 130/80 (doctor).

acp

 
 

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