Large or small cuff; Accuracy of monitor
Hi. I am 30, male, 5'9", 180 (maybe 10 pounds over my ideal weight), eat very healthy (no trans fats and very little sodium, lots of fruits/veggies, nuts and lean meats), exercise as regularly as possible (but am really a weekend warrior when it comes to activity--darn desk job). Don't smoke, but do drink beer. I try to moderate beer, but it's definitely a vice.
Over the past few years, I was getting BP readings of 140s/90s when I would have a doctor's visit or try the drugstore machines. My doctor has not been too concerned. It's possible that there's some "white coat" anxiety going on, as I am somewhat of an anxious person.
Anyway, I finally got the Microlife 3BTO-APC BP monitor several months ago. I have read the manual thoroughly and even called the customer support on a few issues. Still, I could use some advice.
Main issue: Which cuff do I use? My arm measurement falls right in the top range for the medium cuff and at the bottom range of the large cuff. Measuring with one after the other gives drastically different results, usually about 20 points (smaller cuff is higher). Sometimes with the smaller cuff, I get a 120/80 reading, but usually its closer to 140/90. The larger cuff routinely gives me around 120/80. Sometimes I get an "err 1" with the larger cuff (failure to detect pulse?). Sometimes the larger cuff gives me the "irregular heartbeat" message, while I've never received this with the smaller cuff.
Given these inconsistencies, I have a real hard time of knowing what is my real BP at any given time. Any advice for using this machine and achieving accurate results with each measurement?