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Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!

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Old 11-29-2004, 08:59 PM   #1
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Scout- HB User
Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!

For the past 5 or 6 weeks I've been working on getting my BP down and it has been a major success well, it was...but for some reason over the last week my numbers have shot up.

My weekly averages were as follows:

Duration Left Arm Right Arm Week Avg.

5 weeks ago: 133/93 137/92 135/92.5

4 weeks ago: 133/92 134/91 134/91

3 weeks ago: 129/89 129/86.5 129/88

2 weeks ago: 128/86 130/83 129/84.5

1 week ago: 122/80 118/74 120/77

last week: 131/92 135/88 133/90

As you can see there was a progressive drop all the way thru to optimal numbers and then last week my numbers went high which has left me dismayed Since Sunday my BP readings on my left arm in particular have been really high..I've had:

Sunday 4am


Monday 3am


I'm showing these results because for the last 2days I've been waking up with a headache and then can't get back to sleep so I thought I'd check to see what my BP was doing and have been alarmed by these numbers (I'm often awake in the middle of the night and previously when I've checked my BP at these times I'll get abnormally low numbers for me like 110/6x so these numbers are even more horrifying)

My left arm, daytime number has been 'high normal' or bordeline like 134/87 or 12x/90..That has increased greatly from what I have been getting recently also. I ask about my left arm because my right arm numbers are considerably lower..with a diastolic of between 80-85 and systolic in the 120's.

I've been experiencing chest pains on my left side for the past 6days.when I lean at an angle over 30degrees I'm getting a shooting pain up from my lower abdomen that hits where I feel my heart is. I immediately sit upright again and generally feel freaked out. If you guys remember, I've got an atrocious doctor who I don't trust and am already getting quite anxious at the thought I might have to go see him about these new happenings. I'm not sure if they are linked or if one is a by-product of the other... (i'm very nervous now and thinking and overthinking this issue throughout the day and then having it compounded when I see my next set of sky high left arm numbers)

Generally I am relaxed until the BP numbers give me that first readout (which was 149/101 and 142/97 the last 2days) and then I get worried and do not relax sufficiently to probably get optimal readouts for the rest of the readings. I feel I am stuck in a loop which I hoped I'd avoided for good when I saw my numbers go right down to optimal range only 8days ago..

I'm here, a bit lost and asking for peoples thoughts and advice on this. I'm not on any meds although my quack doc tried to dump me on them almost immediately I'm 27 overweight but trying hard to lose. Have begun walking about 25miles a week (I stopped over the last 8days) and have been eating a healthy diet. All thoughts are welcomed. I'm perplexed and am worried I'm going to regress and lose the confidence I've worked hard on gaining over my general state of health over this last month or so.

What is going on and what should I do? Also what's with the left - right arm discrepency?

Thanks for your time.


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Old 11-30-2004, 06:40 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Palamedes HB User
Re: Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!

I really don't see any alarming differences between your left or right arm. In fact, most of the differences look like they are within the accuracy of the typical home BP monitor (+/-3). Also, I don't really see anything major going on with your numbers. The numbers from 1 week ago look a little lower than normal for you. But, your "last week" numbers look about average comparing to the other weeks.

As far as your pain is concerned, this you should get checked out. If you don't like your doctor, why not switch?


Old 11-30-2004, 07:00 AM   #3
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Random2 HB User
Re: Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!


I'm 34. I hadn't been to a doctor in 12 years, because I didn't feel that horrible (unless I drank too much the night before). I went, because I my B/P was like 190/100 after a 4 day drinking binge almost 2 years ago. I have stopped drinking entirely (except for a couple on the weekends). I have measured my B/P like you do for the past 22 months or so. I have also been obsessed with my health for the past 2 years. All of my tests have been fine, but I wake up from time to time with stomach upset+. I'm sure that I would have higher B/P readings than my normal 116/66. My 1st reading will be 128/75 at times. When I am anxious or nervous about my health, my #'s will spike as well.

#1 Get a New Doctor (I have done this 3 times & it doesn't seem to work.

#2 Meds. can cause all kinds of side-effects. I have had to come to grips with this.

#3 Don't worry about your health so much. There are days that I feel great. There are days when I feel lousy due to the side-effects.

#4 Don't take your B/P so often. It gets to be a bad obsession. I take mine now every couple of weeks. I have enough readings to wean off some of the meds. imo.

#5 You may need to be on an anxiety med. It will help you relax. Focus on other things. Life is too short. Don't let your B/P measurements control you.

When I am relaxed my B/P is always lower. When I am anxious or nervous, the opposite is true.

Old 11-30-2004, 07:36 AM   #4
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mgraylorn HB User
Re: Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!

I agree with Palamedes, you need to switch doctors to someone you feel more confident about. Ask people you know if they have a doctor they like and make an appointment with one of their suggestions. I also agree that you should get the pain checked out. There are lots of things it might be, not necessarily related to your heart.

Old 11-30-2004, 08:22 AM   #5
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Re: Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!

I concur that you should get those pains checked out, just in case they are heart related or of other serious consequence. Your numbers don't look bad. IMHO, taking readings often for a period, as you apparently are, can be quite helpful, as long as you are doing it to learn something from them and that it doesn't just make you more anxious. A good record taken with you to your doctor appointment can help you discuss the situation with your doctor, especially if the reading in the office is much different than your usual home readings. I'd suggest that, if you aren't already doing so, you add some additional columns on your blood pressure chart: time and "notes." Under notes add anything special about stress or diet that might have influenced the reading. "Just woke up with nightmare," "got speeding ticket this afternoon," "feel fatigued today for no reason," "had a margarita (with salted glass) this evening."

Stress can definitely affect blood pressure. I'm a prime example. Up until my late husband had a stroke in 1999, my readings were typically 120/80 or thereabouts. Within a couple of months after I began caring for him 24/7, my readings were more like 165/95. With my own record I brought from home, my doctor put me on 10 mg. Lisinopril immediately. That kept things under control for only a few months, when the pressure was high enough that the Lisinopril was increased to 30 mg. I kept my pressure to about 140/85 for four years that way. A few months after my husband's death when I'd begin to calm down, I again kept regular records. I was able to reduce my BP med to 10 mg. again. The only difference was stress.

Old 11-30-2004, 10:35 AM   #6
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Random2 HB User
Re: Left arm readings are higher than right. BP gone high over last week. Help!!

I still say stress & anxiety. Don't become obsessed with taking your B/P. Relax. I was doing the same things as you. No sense doing that. Once you know what your range is, take it once every couple of weeks or so... that is enough.

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