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    Old 10-18-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
    debra689's Avatar
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    Question high systolic reading

    I check my blood pressure several times a week. I will usually get a reading of 140 - 150 over anywhere from 70 - 80. If I check again in say 5 or 10 minutes the systolic will go down about 20 points and the diastolic about 5 points. Is this because I recheck too soon, and why would I have a good diastolic but high systolic???

    Last edited by debra689; 10-18-2008 at 05:03 PM.

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    Old 10-21-2008, 10:48 AM   #2
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    Re: high systolic reading

    My BP is very much like yours. The systolic is highly reactive to any kind of movement, talking, stress, etc. If I just walk around the house a bit, then sit down and take my pressure, the systolic will typically be about 20 points higher than if I sit quietly for at least five minutes. The same thing is true at the doctor's office. Merely walking from the waiting room to the location where the nurse takes my BP raises the systolic, and the nurse insists on taking my pressure immediately when I sit down. Therefore my systolic is always at least 10 points higher and usually 20 points higher than a "true" resting pressure. I've finally convinced my doctor to go by my home readings instead of the office readings, since my pressure is so very volatile.

    To show just how volatile, a few weeks ago I took my pressure at home. I can't remember what the systolic was, somewhere from 110 to 122, I believe, but the diastolic was 57. Because I'd been getting a lot of high readings and was considering asking my doctor to increase my dosage of BP meds, I decided that with that low a diastolic I had better have my BP monitor checked against an official one. So I took it down to the local fire department and had an EMT check my BP. They got 204/96 on the first check and that was only about an hour after my extra-low reading at home! On another reading they got a systolic of 212! The readings on my own monitor were very close to their monitor, so it wasn't that my monitor was off. My BP is just that volatile. Walking into the station from the car, then engaging in animated conversation with the men there just got my pressure up. A few hours later back at home alone my pressure was back down to normal.

    I'd suggest that you take your pressure shortly after various activities and see what your pressure reacts to. Things that increase pressure for one person may hardly affect the pressure of another individual. Also check before and 30-60 minutes after a meal, as that affects a lot of older people, but not too often with younger ones.

    With regard to having a good diastolic but a high systolic, that is very common with older people as the blood vessels lose elasticity. That's what can make finding the right BP med dosage for the elderly difficult, as medicating to get the systolic down can sometimes get the diastolic too low, causing dizziness, falls, etc.

    If you are younger and have that problem, though, I'd definitely discuss it with your doctor.

    Old 10-21-2008, 02:30 PM   #3
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    Re: high systolic reading

    From my own experience and from everything I read----it is important to be consistent in taking your bp, plus sitting down for at least 5 minutes, maybe more quietly before
    taking the bp. Sitting up with your feet on the floor, resting your arm on a table--
    I always do it at my kitchen table---
    and I am right there with you---if I rushed in and sat only a minute my bp would be up------
    and I may take my bp and it is 135/82 and then 3 or 4 minutes later it is 117/76----
    who knows----

    I am changing from one bp med to another---so trying to find the lowest dose possible of lisinopril so I have the fewest side effects----which I definitely get from it----diarrhea, nausea, headache, anxiety----arrrrrggghhhh
    The less the better---
    but you are right about how much it can vary---
    and you KNOW what they call the "white coat syndrome" where it seems it is always up in the doctor's office!!

    Old 10-22-2008, 07:42 AM   #4
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    Re: high systolic reading

    Originally Posted by debra689 View Post
    I check my blood pressure several times a week. I will usually get a reading of 140 - 150 over anywhere from 70 - 80. If I check again in say 5 or 10 minutes the systolic will go down about 20 points and the diastolic about 5 points..
    I need to start checking on a regular basis-- after reading your post, I took several readings, seconds and then minutes apart. My first reading was 160/84; immediately after that, 148/81 and 147/79. Then I waited about 10 minutes and it came out 139/74 and a followup at 130/73. So I'm consfused.

    I'll start to document results over several days at different times each day and will bring these to my next dr. appointment. I've been on 40 mg of lisinopril for about a year-- the dose had been 20 mg prior to that. I have no noticeable side effects from the drug.

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