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    Old 10-02-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
    Maui222
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    Cuff anxiety

    Is there any way to get over this? I feel like my readings are being skewed by this. I can actually FEEL myself tense up, feel my anxiety level go up, etc, when I put my BP cuff on. I feel like this is upping my readings lately. Either that or I've developed much higher b/p the past few days.

    Long story short, when they said to monitor my b/p, the first few days it was high, then I got sort of used to it and it dropped (but I usually took my b/p say 3 times before I'd relax enough). But now they said to only take it once a week (even though I need to lay off, I've been doing it once a day) and doing it one time a day I'm not used to it so I get anxious, so I get a high reading so I get more anxious and next time I'm anxious, etc, etc.

    Is there any way I can get over this??? Or do you think my b/p is really getting higher? This week my diastolic is always in the low 90's. The weeks before it was in the 80's. It's SO STUPID. It's ONLY a dumb cuff, why do I always get that creepy feeling when I put it on????

    How did you all overcome it to get an accurate reading? I really feel as if I'm not b/c I can literally feel myself freak out.

    Linda

     
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    Old 10-02-2007, 11:10 AM   #2
    tamu45
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    This has pretty much been my last 6 months. My doctor wants to put me on meds because my anxiety readings seem high enough to him to justify it. I have tried almost everything I know like various supplements to quell adrenalin, xanax, and advice from people on this board such as trying to distract myself. Nothing worked. My last resort which I am about to begin is biofeedback. I will certainly let you know if it works.

    Try and hang in there and not worry too much, as hard as that is. Cuff anxiety is real, and its a tough nut to crack. But don't give up hope!

    tamuprof45

     
    Old 10-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
    Maui222
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    Thanks! I was reading your post and I thought hmm...that's me!

    It has to be. B/c it's so wierd. First thing in the morning before I can work myself up, normal reading 120/80. Rocking my 4 month old (If I remember to bring it in) totally relaxed and smelling her, but thinking of it a little bit 124/84 or so. Just randomly taking it? 138/93!!!!! RIDICULOUS!

    You'll definetly have to keep my posted on the biofeedback!

    Linda

     
    Old 10-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
    tamu45
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    [QUOTE=Maui222;3237808]Is there any way to get over this? I feel like my readings are being skewed by this. I can actually FEEL myself tense up, feel my anxiety level go up, etc, when I put my BP cuff on. I feel like this is upping my readings lately. Either that or I've developed much higher b/p the past few days.

    Long story short, when they said to monitor my b/p, the first few days it was high, then I got sort of used to it and it dropped (but I usually took my b/p say 3 times before I'd relax enough). But now they said to only take it once a week (even though I need to lay off, I've been doing it once a day) and doing it one time a day I'm not used to it so I get anxious, so I get a high reading so I get more anxious and next time I'm anxious, etc, etc.

    Is there any way I can get over this??? Or do you think my b/p is really getting higher? This week my diastolic is always in the low 90's. The weeks before it was in the 80's. It's SO STUPID. It's ONLY a dumb cuff, why do I always get that creepy feeling when I put it on????

    How did you all overcome it to get an accurate reading? I really feel as if I'm not b/c I can literally feel myself freak out.

    Linda[/QUOTE


    What you need to do is take your BP once a day only, at the same time, for about a month. That will tell you if your BP is going up and staying up, or is fluctuating.

    With anxiety, it will fluctuate. You will have "good days" and "bad days," but it will always go up and down. Remember that the anxiety is taking place at a subconscious level too, so you may sit down and feel fine and calm, and get hit with a high reading. Or you may feel stressed and get a good reading. Its that weird.

    tamuprof45

     
    Old 10-04-2007, 05:55 PM   #5
    tawyna
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    hi
    i just started stressing so bad about my blood pressure being took. it started when my bp med was switched from toprol to atenolol. it made it low when i would check it at home but at the doctors office it was quite a bit higher. i got switched back to toprol but still get sick at the thought of my bp being took.

     
    Old 10-06-2007, 10:19 AM   #6
    tamu45
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tawyna View Post
    hi
    i just started stressing so bad about my blood pressure being took. it started when my bp med was switched from toprol to atenolol. it made it low when i would check it at home but at the doctors office it was quite a bit higher. i got switched back to toprol but still get sick at the thought of my bp being took.

    The thing about cuff anxiety that is SO pernicious, is that it masks the effect of meds. In other words, while the meds can control your BP, they cannot control your brain! So you go to the doctor and the anxiety sends BP shooting up even with the meds, and the doctor says "Hmmm...better put you on yet another med!"

    I wonder, and shudder, at how many people are over-medicated because of anxiety-driven BP. It is very frighteneing.

    tamuprof45

     
    Old 10-06-2007, 07:19 PM   #7
    tawyna
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    hi tamuprof45,
    i agree with everything you said. at home my bp is fine . as soon as they put the cuff on me up my bp goes. it is so nerve wrecking.

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 08:27 AM   #8
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    Hey Linda - I'm so claustrophobic that I feel like someone is suffocating me when they pump that collar up around my arm - and at the DRs. office (or anywhere for that matter) my BP ratings always show that (although I'm getting a little better)!

    I've found a solution for myself, perhaps it would be helpful for you also.

    I've found using wrist monitors works much better for me and seems to produce much less anxiety. I know there's a lot of different talk about using wrist monitors. I was a little skeptical about them myself so I bought two of them. I have my wife use them every now and then, she has had basically the exact same BP for thirty years and both monitors are consistant with her readings at the Drs. office, so I am confident in their accuracy.

    One thing that is important to remember is that you are your own advocate at the Drs. office. If you maintain a good log of your BP ratings at home and your confident of your readings you need to share this with your physican. In my case I run about 143/91-92 at home (reasonably mild hypertension)without meds. and generally 160-165 over 100 in his office (certainly a higher degree of hypertension). I feel that it is imortant that my physican treat me for my actual condition, not one that was artifically "pumped up" in his office. And - lucky for me I have a physican who understands this. I always bring my BP log to the office which will include at least three readings from the previous week and one from that day prior to comming to his office. I've learned to ignore the office readings and focus on my home readings for my true BP and over time I believe he has too and prescribes accordingly.

    Hope this might help you!

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 10:23 AM   #9
    tamu45
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    The problem I and others have found is that doctors don't trust home readings, and say they underestimate BP. Mine said to pretty much add 5mm to every reading I get.

    My OMRON says it is accurate to within 3 mm on either side, so to play it safe, I add 3 mm to every reading I get.

    tamuprof45

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 01:44 PM   #10
    jr2212
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    That's too bad Tamuprof - the first time I went to this Doc I use I popped the usual 160/100 in his office and I told him my BP was never that high and asked him why he thought it was, he just looked at me and "matter of factly said"- "it's cause you're at the Drs. office". He also knows my wife and that her " Steady Eddie BP (of over 30 years)" is the same on our home monitors as in his office, so he trusts our home readings.

    I am very dose sensative to most meds. and my Doc works with me - always starting on the lower end of the dosage scale and working up till I achieve control rather than throwing some whopping dose at me right off the bat - guess I'm lucky!

     
    Old 10-08-2007, 08:01 AM   #11
    tamu45
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    In my case, the doc thinks 128/80 in his office is too high, and he is adamant it stay below 120/80 consistently. He used to tell me he wouldn't even think of treating me with meds until I had 140/90 consistently on home readings. Something he read caused him to reconsider and take a much more strict attitude about how low BP needs to be.

    tamuprof45

     
    Old 10-08-2007, 10:17 AM   #12
    tamu45
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    Re: Cuff anxiety

    Now here is a curious thing: I had to have my sinuses examined this afternoon. While the nurse took my BP, I was totally distracted thinking about that burning hot prod going up my nose. The BP reading was 114/72, and this was with the mercury cuff, the "gold standard." I told her to fax that reading to my primary doctor asap. I can't chalk this up to a "low morning reading" since my morning readings at my regular doctor are as high as afternoon ones.

    My guess is, if you can distract yourself with something more stressful than your BP test, the cuff anxiety may go away!!!

    tamuprof45

     
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