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measuring left vs. right arm - how important?

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Old 05-24-2001, 10:04 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Brookline MA USA
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diogenes HB User
measuring left vs. right arm - how important?

I've never heard about high BP until I took a mini stress test at the gym. After 12 minutes at a pretty serious load, I hit 210/114 and they stopped the test (note: pulse was a very nice 120)

I got very worried, bought an Omram unit and found that my right side is consistently higher than my left. Everything I've read says to measure using the left arm, yet when I "failed" at the gym they were measuring my right arm.

In two days I have not yet seen a number on my left side above 125/88 and plenty below - as low as 118/67. Yet that reading of 125/88 on my left arm read 140/95 on my right!

I've looked all over this forum for some mention of left vs right and found nothing - should I be concerned or not? At the gym they told me it should not matter, yet agreed the convention was to measure the left arm!

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Old 05-24-2001, 11:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wheaton, IL DuPage
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Ken HB User
Re: measuring left vs. right arm - how important?

You can use either arm, but only one side should be used to get a consistant handle on your BP. The left arm is usually preferred.
You should be sitting down and as relaxed as possible. Take serveral readings during this time, and use the lowest reading you get for that session.

If you don't get much exercise, your BP will be much higher when you exercise than a person who gets a reasonable amount of exercise.

It's your resting BP that tells the tale.



Old 05-24-2001, 11:58 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Brookline MA USA
Posts: 3
diogenes HB User
Re: measuring left vs. right arm - how important?

Since I'm getting a lower w/my left, I'll use that. Is the difference I'm getting typical?

For the record, I can't think of a thing I can change to get better stats. I've been a vegetarian and lo-carb, no added sugar salt, mostly home prepared meals because I follow food combining pretty seriously FOR 12 YEARS! I do an hour of aerobics 2x a week and swim a mile 2-3x a week. I'm in the best shape of my life, less than 15% body fat. I haven't had more than a cup of coffee a week in a few years and I've taken the summer off, so work stress isn't an issue. In addition, the kids and the rest of my life is great!

The only variable I've got to toss into the mix is I had laproscopic surgery for a hernia a month ago. It's pretty non-invasive, was back in the pool five days later.<p>[This message has been edited by diogenes (edited 05-25-2001).]

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