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  • Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

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    Old 05-27-2008, 04:36 PM   #1
    noty
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    Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

    I'm a 20yrld male, 5'8, around 135lbs. I walk or bike ride at least 8 miles everyday, because I have no car, and I've been doing so for the last 10 years of my life. I can easily run a sub-6 minute mile, etc. So the weird thing is that I have very nice diastolic blood pressure, around 65, but my systolic pressure keeps coming up at around the high 120's or low 130's. I know that this is not very bad at all compared to some people, but the way I look at it, I consider myself to be a very fit and healthy 20yrld, so I would expect my blood pressure to be one of the best, not merely "not the worst."

    Now, I really dislike having my blood pressure taken. This is not a case of "white coat hypertension;" I simply hate the feeling of pressure on my arm and my pulse throbbing underneath, whether a doctor is in the vicinity or not. This is not something that makes me panic or have great anxiety, it's just a big dislike that causes me to tense and want to squirm. So is it at all possible that my elevated systolic is the result of this tension that is present whenever I feel the cuff tighten on my arm? Would the systolic be more affected by such a thing than the diastolic?

     
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    Old 05-28-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
    flowergirl2day
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    Re: Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

    Hi,

    I'd say your mild blood pressure elevations are from anxiety (dislike, whatever you want to call it), associated with having your blood pressure taken.
    Our blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day. You have to take that into account when trying to decide what is an acceptable level of blood pressure for you. It does not remain constant. The fluctuation in some people can be as high as 40mmHg and still considered normal for those individuals. Eventually, the blood pressure returns to its normal levels.

    Because of your age and a level of physical fitness, I'd say you have nothing to worry about, especially if there is no history of high blood pressure in your family.

    When taking your blood pressure readings (if you take them yourself), be consistent. Take them at the same time each day under the same circumstances (e.g. when you get up, after exercise, etc.). A pattern should emerge after a while which will reflect your normal blood pressure (normal for you). If any concerns, consult a physician if you deem it necessary.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 05-28-2008, 08:28 PM   #3
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    Re: Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

    Yes, the systolic is more likely to go up as opposed to the diastolic. Sounds like you have classical conditioning like Pavlov's dog who drooled when he heard the sound of the bell. Your systolic I would bet is probably only 110 at best. Don't let yourself get into the trap of elevated b/p just because you take it too much & get Dr's alarmed perhaps. Part of my high reading were just because of that kind of conditioning. Congratulations for having the insight to take care of your body at such a young age!!! Fam

     
    Old 05-29-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
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    Re: Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noty View Post
    Now, I really dislike having my blood pressure taken. This is not a case of "white coat hypertension;" I simply hate the feeling of pressure on my arm and my pulse throbbing underneath, whether a doctor is in the vicinity or not. This is not something that makes me panic or have great anxiety, it's just a big dislike that causes me to tense and want to squirm. So is it at all possible that my elevated systolic is the result of this tension that is present whenever I feel the cuff tighten on my arm? Would the systolic be more affected by such a thing than the diastolic?
    I think you are in a bit of denial. It sounds exactly like "white coat hypertension". Why do I know this? Because I was exactly like you about two years ago. I was only 32 yrs old. 6' 180 pounds and I worked out numerous times a week, I ate a very good diet and my cholesterol levels were mint. There was no reason in the world my BPs should be going through the roof in the doc's office and nowhere else. But it was true. The doc wanted me on meds right away and I said no way. About a year goes by and my pressures in the office went from 150s/70s up to 170s/70s.

    I was like I would still have a normal 120/70 outside the office. The doc explained to me that even if I think it's only happening in the doc's office, it's more than likely not because life has so many other stressful situations that cause the spiking of BP and it's during those times that you will be doing damage to your vessels and heart over the course of years/decades which leads to heart disease.

    Trust me. I am as stubborn as you appear to be on the surface. I started taking meds after that talk and haven't looked back. Genetics play such a huge roll with BP issues that no matter what you do to prevent it, it can happen to anyone. Don't let this slide. Pay attention to the warning signs. Follow your doc's instructions. I'm on the lowest dosage of Toprol (beta blocker) now and my bps are perfecto at home or in the doc's office.

    Last edited by Sofa King; 05-29-2008 at 09:47 AM.

     
    Old 05-29-2008, 01:36 PM   #5
    noty
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    Re: Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

    Thanks for all the responses, especially confirming my suspicion that systolic is more variable than diastolic.

    To reply to the last post, I am not in denial. And I know that this is not "white coat hypertension." I did go to the doctor to get my blood pressure tested, and I went because my HOME readings were high. The readings in the doctor's office were exactly the same as the ones at home. The reason for that is because I have no fear of doctors <removed>. What I do hate however is the feeling of a pressure cuff around my arm and my pulse throbbing underneath. Irrational maybe but hey, everyone is different. Some people hate having their blood drawn. I hate having my pressure taken. Whatever. Now I'm not saying that I don't have high blood pressure, I don't know. On the one hand my systolic is showing up high, on the other hand I can feel myself tensing whenever the machine is turned on and can well imagine that my blood pressure is going up as a result from what it really is when I am not being tested. Who knows.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 05-29-2008 at 10:41 PM. Reason: peer sharing only

     
    Old 05-29-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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    Re: Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noty View Post
    ... confirming my suspicion that systolic is more variable than diastolic.
    Your theory of systolic being more variable than diastolic interested me, so I looked back at my 25,000 readings Blood Pressure Database, covering 1998 through today, to look at the variability of my readings.

    During 1998, my worst year for blood pressure, my average Systolic blood pressure for the year, based on 1000 readings was 152.2 with a standard deviation of 15.3; while my average Diastolic blood pressure for the year was 97.4 with a standard deviation of 9.3.

    That means that, for 1998, my Systolic's normalized range was 136.9-167.5; while my Diastolic's normalized range was 88.1-106.7

    During 2007 my average Systolic blood pressure for the year, based on 2700 readings was 125.8 with a standard deviation of 11.8; while my average Diastolic blood pressure for the year was 73.7 with a standard deviation of 7.5.

    That means that, last year, my Systolic's normalized range was 114.0-137.6; while my Diastolic's normalized range was 66.2-81.2

    In summary:
    • 1998 --- 136.9 thru 167.5 / 88.1 thru 106.7 (based on 1000 readings)
    • 2003 --- 137.8 thru 164.6 / 87.4 thru 104 (based on 1030 readings)
    • 2007 --- 114.0 thru 137.6 / 66.2 thru 81.2 (based on 2720 readings)
      • 2008 --- 109.9 thru 134.7 / 64.4 thru 79.4 (based on 1500 readings)
        • During 2008, Blood Pressure and health continue to improve as I continue making changes.

      I'll leave it to the statisticians to figure out the question of variability.
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      Last edited by Machaon; 05-30-2008 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Added info on years 2003 and 2008

       
      Old 05-30-2008, 06:32 AM   #7
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      Re: Fit 20yrld:Can my systolic be high simply because I hate the process of testing?

      Okay...for the sake of semantics, I'll agree that you don't have the classical definition of "white coat syndrome" then. You do however, have BP related anxiety going on. Is there a difference? They both affect your BP in a negative way and perhaps your situation is even more touchy because it's happening at home and at the doc's office. The point being is that it will more then likely get worse before it gets better so keep an eye on it. You should be commended on the fact that you are paying attention at such an early age. Just don't sweep it under the rug.

      Last edited by Sofa King; 05-30-2008 at 06:33 AM.

       
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