So a little background first... I am 25 years old, 5'2, 170 pounds. I saw my doctor for my annual physical in August and my blood pressure reading was 135/93. She told me to come back in 3 months to monitor it. My reading at the MD office today was 146/94 on their blood pressure monitor. My doctor didn't put me on any medications, because I'm hoping that I can lower it on my own. I bought a home blood pressure monitor and brought it to the office so they could show me how to use it properly. My reading in the office on my own machine today was 156/93. My doctor also did a manual blood pressure check and it was in the 140s. She said that if it's a few points off from their reading that's fine. She want me to write down my readings for one month, morning and evening if possible. I'm here at home now; I've tested the machine 4 times. I've gotten 120/80, 119/81, 121/83, 129/81. I don't understand how the readings could be so different from this morning. My doctor mentioned white coat syndrome could elevate my blood pressure a little as I was pretty nervous going back in to get it checked, but can the readings differ that much? I don't know if it's because I'm not using the monitor correctly or if I should buy a different monitor. Thanks for your time.
Our blood pressure is constantly changing, and you will likely never get two readings that are exactly the same. Variations will appear on every reading and that is normal.
It is the average that the doctors are looking for, and anything within 5 points or so is close enough.
When doing your daily BP readings, try to do them at the same time of day, while at rest, calm and with your feet flat on the ground (not crossed), and elbow supported on the cuff arm. Typically use the left arm as it is the closest to your heart, and have the tube that comes out of the cuff resting on the vein on the inner elbow;.
Your doctor can use these readings to determine if your pressures are best in the morning, evening, and make a determination about proper medications or therapies.
Keeping yourself calm and stress free go a long way to keeping your BP even and stable. A low salt diet and heart healthy diet add to your bodies ability to manage your BP.
Please feel free to ask any more questions about your BP. We are happy to help!
To echo the previous post ..... you are fine. If it continues with your normal readings you should then just take a reading once or twice a month and only increase taking readings if it rises radically.
You may also be interested to hear that a growing body of dissent from amongst the specialists are starting to say that there are no improvements in longevity by treating otherwise normally healthy people ie with no other risk factors with normal BP below 160/100. These voices are quiter because they are from specialists who are independent than much of the noisier more traditional 140/90 mantra which emnates from largely pharmaceutical sponsored studies - which is a completely different topic .....
I dont mean to argue, but there is a huge body of data that strongly opposes what you have written above. A pressure of 160/100 is associated with about a 4-fold increased risk of stroke, and a markedly increased risk of left ventricular dysfunction, kidney disease, coronary disease, among others, according to mainstream data, accrued over decades.
I understand that people harbor negative sentiment about the pharmaceutical companies, but such a scheme to exaggerate the health risks associated with hypertension, as you insinuate, without raising the ire of thousands of researchers and clinicians that see firsthand effects of uncontrolled hypertension, would be implausible in my opinion.
I am interested to see the evidence you refer to and would appreciate a reference to it.
The Following User Says Thank You to atengnr For This Useful Post: Machaon (11-15-2012)
In my own experience with my own blood pressure, the lower my blood pressure, the better my health. When my blood pressure averaged 150/95, I was very sick and my heart failure was getting worse.
My blood pressure currently runs around 122/70 all day long, and I feel better at age 70 than I did ten years ago when my blood pressure was higher.
In the past, anytime that my diastolic blood pressure "average" got above 80, or my systolic blood pressure "average" got above 130, my health worsened. The higher the blood pressure, the unhealthier I felt.
If a nice low blood pressure results in such good health for an old guy like me, with heart failure, permanent atrial fibrillation and insulin resistance, then imagine what a nice, low, healthy blood pressure can do, over time, for someone much younger than me and in much better health!
I think your BP is probably fine. Your doctor mentioned White Coat Syndrome and it seems that may be your issue. I don't think there's anything wrong with your monitor. You checked it at the Dr's office. It's just that you are more anxious at the doctor's office than you are at home. I'm the same way so I don't worry about the readings at the doctor's office. It seems you have a very good doctor that realizes this could be the issue and isn't in a hurry to put you on meds if you don't really need them.