Hi everybody; I have several questions here regarding proper BP reading.. I have my own BP monitor at home. To increase accuracy of BP reading; I'll always sit still for 10-15 minutes before attempting 1st reading, and each measurement are of 1minute from each other. And the numbers are always as below
145/90; 136/85; 132/80; 129/79 130/82 130/78
155/100; 144/90; 136/88; 131/82; 132/80; 130/78
1) I don't know whether its WhiteCoat Syndrome or due to anxiety/stress, because I have rested 15mins straight before attempting the 1st reading.. should I consider the 1st reading or disregard it? (i admit i might feel nervous after pressing the button and feeling the cuff inflate)
2) I have read in BP books and even on manuals that having a tight-shoulder sleeves would in-accurately bring your BP down (because of slowdown of blood flow?)...... But would not this apply to our BP cuff which also restricts blood flow to the rest of our hand/fingers?
As such, do i need to remove the cuff and move my arm around first(stretching) before taking 2nd, 3rd or 4th reading?
3)so in this case, do i have to disregard my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th reading which would be low because i would be sitting still and not doing any movement.... what would be accurate measurement then?
I just wish there's a super BP scanning machine which would accurately measure BP just by putting my arms on it.. rather than relying on automated inflated/deflate cuff to detect the first sound beat etc.
Taking the blood pressure is never exact...it is a general idea of where you are. A more accurate blood pressure is the one they take at the doctors office or hospital because their equipment has to be calibrated often. But even a one time blood pressure in a series of 3 isn't as good of information unless you chart your blood pressure over a longer period of time. Take your blood pressure...once... at the same time in the same arm every day for a month then look at the numbers to see your average. Taking your blood pressure that many times in a row serves no purpose because our blood pressure changes quickly so you would be looking for your one time measurement over a period of weeks. Some people only take their blood pressure once a week and over time of a month or so will also give a general idea of what is happening. And your blood pressure also changes with each arm...it changes from sitting to standing. That's why taking it so many times in a row is of no value because there isn't anything precise about it and we all know that it will change so that is a given. The 'white coat syndrome' refers to an actual visit at the doctors office and it shouldn't apply to someone taking their own blood pressure in the quiet comfort of their own home. So if you are causing your own blood pressure to go up then perhaps you need to stop doing it.
... To increase accuracy of BP reading; I'll always sit still for 10-15 minutes before attempting 1st reading, and each measurement are of 1minute from each other. ...
You are taking the right approach by wanting to "accurately" monitor your blood pressure at home, in order to determine and learn about your own unique blood pressure behavior. By being proactive, you can also monitor the effect of either medication, or life style changes, on your blood pressure.
I've taken my blood pressure 26,791 times since 1998, or an average of about 7 times per day. I sit down, take three large slow breaths, and then take it only ONCE.
I have learned a lot about my blood pressure and have successfully reduced it from an average of 152/97 in 1998, based on 1,106 blood pressure readings to 122/72 for 2008, based on 2,543 blood pressure readings.
Even if my technique for taking my blood pressure isn't exactly according to Hoyle, the fact that I've been able to reduce my averages from 152/97 to 122/72, represents a significant reduction in blood pressure.
I've been battling life-threatening, debilitating diseases for over 20 years, and that is why I've gone to such extremes in monitoring my blood pressure. Plus...... as my blood pressure averages improved slowly, year over year, so did my health. The healthier I got, the more incentive I had to monitor my blood pressure, and continue to find ways to reduce it to even healthier levels.
I am now able to do up to 200 push-ups per day, an hour power walk per day, 250 weight lifts per day, and 400 steps per day , whereas, when my blood pressure was higher and my health was much worse, the slightest physical effort would case chest pain, breathing problems, fatigue, heart rhythm dysfunction, over-sweating, etc.
I'll be looking forward to finding out what techniques you decide upon, and what you learn and do about your blood pressure.
Thanks very much AnnD, your reply absolutely blew up my mind; and you got very strong points. I will now only take 2 readings and will average it out; i just took a quick one and it was 138/88, and 3 minutes later 128/88 ( and this was after dinner + heavy exercise prior to dinner ). I will take BP more consistently (following specific time of the day from now on)
2months ago, at the doc's office, my BP was 170/105, which got my doctor very worried. He immediately prescribe me beta blockers; but after 1 week of having side effects and not being able to concentrate on work; i decided to quit the meds and be more serious on changes in lifestyle. My BP was high for the past 3-6mths at the doc's office (around 140-160). And for somebody like me who is 24 years old; its very worrying, if its not controlled it'll be much worse for me when i hit 40 or 50 of age.
Thus, for the past 1 mth i have been religiously adopting stricter diet; much more vegi & fruits, cut off sodium as much as I can. Read all sorts of BP books. Aerobatics exercise 3-4times a week.Taking fishoil, calcium, coq10 supplements, eat half clove garlic for dinner, drink milk every morning and such. Thus far, my BP is averaging 132/78 ~. Immediately after i wake up in the morning would be in the 122/74 range. This is better reading compared to average of 140-150/85-90 about 2months ago.
But somehow my BP spikes all the way to 160/100 or 150/95 , but the next reading would be 140/90 ~ I just hope i dont hv to see those numbers again, and thats why I wanted to know the more accurate measurement of BP I see 130+ numbers more often these days and around 128~ as well. Thanks for ur input ppl.
Last edited by core9design; 03-06-2009 at 06:38 AM.
Thats surely too often to be worthwhile - did your GP recommend that?
Not only didn't my "GP" recommend it, he doesn't really know about it, and he has no idea what medications I am taking. He thinks that I am taking seven heart medications, but I only take three of them.
As can be seen, I am very pro-active about my health. To me, the extra effort that I am willing to invest towards having good health and surviving life-threatening illnesses, and having a very good quality of life, was well worth the effort. Others may chose to put in less effort, but that would be up to the individual.