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Accuracy of digital home testers?

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Old 08-18-2005, 07:26 PM   #1
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Accuracy of digital home testers?

I purchased a $60 digital BP reader from Walgreens yesterday. I of course took readings throughout the day and nighttime. My average ended up being between 127/72 - 130/80. Now whenever I used the chair in the grocery stores it was 130/80 on average, sometimes a few points lower.

I was concerned with the one I purchased though as the arrow on the cuff didnt seem to be lining up in the Index range. Today I went to purchase the Larger cuff as my upper arm muscle is around 14" or so. Well now my readings have averaged in the 124/90 to 130/80 range. However there have been a few times today that they have reached 160+/98. I realize when you do activity it changes and of course its up and down throughout the day. But is it normal for it go up somewhat high if you are moving around and doing things?. I just got back from riding in a car, and ate some a piece of chicken, came in the house and sat down for a minute to check it and it was like 190/98!!. This is confusing me badly and its a pain not knowing if im not doing something right or what the deal is, I have NEVER gotten a reading like that during all the times I have ever checked myself.

With my anxiety about health I walk around feeling like something is going to happen to me, every pain I get in my arm or anything that could be similar to a heart attack or problem sets me off. I was fine before my Doc started telling me to to take meds. I am 26, 5'10 about 200lbs but alot of muscle, i just have a little in the mid section im working on but otherwise I been getting my exercise again and eating better. I quit smoking over 5 years ago and only smoked for 5, I dont drink much AT ALL. I dont touch caffeine etc..

Something else I should note, I read this: "Sensitivities to foods, or food allergies/intolerances are a frequently undiagnosed cause of high blood pressure. "

I get some form of indigestion EVERY single day. Not always severe or painful but I usualyl get some sort of bloating and burping. I know I am allergic even if mildly to many many things. My father has lactose intolerance and many other things he cant eat. I am the same way. An example, that piece of chicken I said I ate jsut before taking my reading, had some spices on it and i have some burping and bloating right now. I also in the past year have gotten hives many times from eating certain things. I am starting to wonder if this could be greatly responsible for my BP readings.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by cujo25; 08-18-2005 at 07:43 PM.

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Old 08-20-2005, 10:44 AM   #2
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Cool Re: Accuracy of digital home testers?

When I first learned I had hypertension, I became very anxious and worried. I constantly checked my BP readings. I never had dangerously high readings but never the less, I was very concerned. I drove my pressure readings higher with all the anxiety.

I finally forced myself to put my BP machine on a high shelf in the closet and didn't take it until 1-2 weeks past. I just focused on increasing/improving my cardio and altering my diet. Again, I didn't have dangerously high BP readings and I was able to date when the hypertension began. I always go o my check-ups etc.

When I did take my readings, they were still high but better because I forced myself to calm down by not taking the readings.

The same thing can happen with weght issues and the scale. The more I weigh myself the more I tend to obsess about the numbers. I am a perfectionist with little patience. Something, I try and recognize a soon as I see it and hopefully change the path. I'm sure those ways are what helped me get into this situation to begin with.
"I am two with nature"

- Woody Allen

Old 08-20-2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: Accuracy of digital home testers?

Yes, it is possible for food sensitivities to send BP soaring. I'd suggest don't fret about it. Just take an experimental approach to it.

What I've started to do is this: Whenever I get an especially high reading within a few hours after a meal, I write down all the foods included in that meal which I don't already know are "safe." Then when I am going to eat any of those foods again, I take a reading both before the meal (after resting for at least five minutes) and again an hour or two later. If the same problem occurs a second time, then I'll try to find a time I can eat just that food alone and see what happens.

In my case, I know that my normal BP will decrease after a meal, often by about 10 points. If the meal contains a good source of calcium (like dairy) or potassium (like lots of veggies) and I hadn't had much of those nutrients earlier that day, my BP will decrease 15-30 points. So if my BP goes up after a meal at all, I suspect a problem. I understand it is more common for seniors to have BP go down a lot after food than for younger people.

After you check several times, you'll know what is normal for you so it becomes easier to pinpoint a problem.

Old 08-20-2005, 12:46 PM   #4
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Re: Accuracy of digital home testers?

Noturningback: I am already trying to cut back on the number of readings I take. I sort of knew this was going to happen after buying one. Putting it on a shelf is a good idea

I did get myself yesterday though to only take it in the morning then again at night. I have taken it many times since I got it and I know what my general status is (140s/90s) so I need to continue my new diet, with regular exercise, take my diuretic and CALM DOWN!. That is definitely the biggest issue. I was perfectly fine a few weeks ago but some how recently I have take it upon myself to freak out over it.

Uff: I will do that, keep track of my foods etc.. I will probably make a visit to a Wholistic doc I went to before to get some food testing done again.

Thanks for the replys!

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