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  • inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation

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    Old 12-21-2006, 07:24 PM   #1
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    inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation

    ever since i was a young kid i would always get more worried about going to the doctor or contracting sicknesses or having problems than most people. i would get really anxious and it would affect me negatively and sometimes get me sick. i'm 23 and i still have not grown out of this (i'm a male).

    recently i was in a wreck and had some torn cartilage in my chest, but before i knew that, i didn't know what it was. i went to a doctor, had an xray, ekg, etc and everything was normal EXCEPT my blood pressure. it was high (i don't remember exactly). i was very, very nervous going to the doctor initially because i thought the wreck could have really hurt me, so my pulse was pounding (over 90).

    anyway, of course the doctor indicated concern about my BP and told me to go to walmart and do the tests up there a few times over the next few weeks and see if it goes down. so right away i was worried about it, and everytime i went to get my BP tested i would get nervous and the BP was high, sometimes very high. pulse rate was always very high.

    one night i sat around walmart for a few minutes and did the test several times and i got calmer after each time i did it. my pulse stayed around 85-90, but my BP got to 116/78 and the highest was like 136/86, but mostly it stayed around 120/80. pulse rate was always high. i just assumed i was normal then and forgot about it till recently.

    i went into the dentist's office recently and they took my BP. i was very nervous going to the dentist, as i had not been in 6 years! i was certain i would have cavities, and i was soaking wet from the rain so i was very cold, shivering, and my heart was pounding. as soon as the BP machine came out, i got anxious and nervous, knowing my previous problems with having my BP taken (white coat syndrome). all this factored into a 140/100 BP with a 92 pulse rate. the hygenist took BP again after the cleaning (no cavities!) and i got really nervous the 2nd time and i had 155/100; 90+ pulse.

    of course the hygenist got concerned, and so i got more worried about this and decided to post about it to see what anyone here thinks. i have checked my pulse several times over the last few days and it has never read over 72 beats per minute, which leads me to believe i was getting VERY nervous when my BP was tested before. it dropped over 20 bpm, and everytime i did it i got 72 exactly. i don't know if there is a direct correlation in pulse rate and BP, but is it possible that my BP is actually very normal and i just have severe white coat syndrome?

    i am afraid of going to a doctor since i will get nervous, my BP will show high and then i'll get on some medicine that may be totally unnecessary. and i think no matter what, if i'm in a doc's office, i will be nervous about it.

    i have thought about buying one of those small BP machines and just using it occassionally around my house (where i know i am comfortable and relaxed, sort of like the time i got normal readings while at walmart) and see what the results are. i would like some sort of peace though about this, as i really think my BP is usually normal, just the "white coat" thing hits me hard.

    what do you guys think? i have read white coat can affect the first number by 20-50 and the 2nd number by 10-30. if pulse rate affects BP numbers always, then it's safe to say my BP is normally much lower, as i've never had a BP reading with under 90 no the pulse rate, although while relaxed, i consistently get a pulse rate of actually 72 bpm. thoughts?

    Last edited by wowzers; 12-21-2006 at 07:45 PM.

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    Old 12-22-2006, 06:03 AM   #2
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    Re: inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation

    DO buy a BP tester and test yourself regularly over a month or two; don't trust grocery store machines.
    Your average of many at-home, relaxed readings is your TRUE blood pressure.

    Yes, it sounds like you have white coat syndrome BIG should see MY readings at the dentist...YOI!

    Last edited by Lenin; 12-23-2006 at 03:52 AM.

    Old 12-22-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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    Re: inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation

    yeah, i bought one. turns out i am getting consistent readings less than 120/80 every time. they are all between 110/75 to 120/80, but none over that. i guess that proves my point that i have severe white coat. pulse between 70-80 every time.

    thanks so much for the suggestion!

    Last edited by wowzers; 12-22-2006 at 01:26 PM.

    Old 12-25-2006, 01:06 PM   #4
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    Re: inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation

    During home and stores, your blood pressure is normal which is good. It just seems that where places where you anxious and nervous such as the dentist office is shoots up, most likely because you haven't been there in 6 years. Continue to monitor your blood pressure under different circumstances such as exercising, doing chores, etc... If it gets high a lot during several circumstances then you might have whitecoat high blood pressure. That's still a concern and needs to be treated.

    But its a good possibility that you only get high blood pressure when your anxious and real nervous. And that can happen to anyone and in that case theres nothing to worry about.

    Your blood pressure even the high readings of 155/100 when you were under very nerve wrecking conditions is not as high as some people's blood pressure at rest. I know someone whose top number is 185.

    Just keep an eye out and remember if you are getting high readings consult your doctor,exercise, and eat a low sodium diet. Next step after that phase is medication.

    Blood pressure is often called the "silent killer" because it doesn't usually have any symptoms. It's excellent to hear that your taking control of your health and monitoring your blood pressure. It's a good habit to start at a young age, and it will be one you will be glad you have when you get older.

    Best wishes and happy holidays! Stay Safe

    Last edited by pantherwrestler; 12-25-2006 at 01:08 PM.

    Old 12-26-2006, 07:33 PM   #5
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    Re: inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation

    I have the same problem. I too am very nervous everytime I get my bloodpressure is taken and I believe it reads high as a result. I actually just went to the doctors today and the doctor told me something that made perfect sense. She says to me... if you have high blood pressure everytime you get nervous then you still have high blood pressure. I guess you need to be honest with yourself and say how often you are nervous and go from there if you feel you need to further discuss this with your doctor. I have an anxiety disorder so I tend to be anxious all the time so it might be worth it for me to go on bp meds. I think though that if your bp is high only when going to the doctors then you probably don't need meds, but it is good to keep an eye on it.

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