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    Proper way to check BP
    ekimrednif posted:
    I am finding several different recommendations for testing my BP.
    I have a home tester and my Dr. tells me to just sit down and check it. "Get your walking around pressure", she says.
    My Monitor says to sit for 5 minutes, Consumer Reports/Health says sit for 15 minutes, one sight said to empty your bladder and not to test for 30 minutes after eating. Still others say take two reading several minutes apart and average the readings.
    My pressure is usually high, in the 140/90 range if I just sit down and take a reading. If I sit for two or three minutes it falls to the the range of 135/87 and if I sit for 15 minutes and don't talk or fidgit around it will be below 130/85. If I average two readings, again I am in the 130/80 range.
    So do I have high blood pressure? What is the correct way to test.
    I have been testing like crazy, maybe seven or eight times a day.
    Just now I came in from working in the yard with a heat index of 106, I was sweating like crazy, I sat down and immediately tested 151/90, with a pulse of 87. Three minutes later the pulse was down to 72 and the pressure to 140/87, three minutes later the pulse was 69 and I was down to 128/84.
    Any thoughts
    ekimrednif responded:
    Would really like to hear from others about how you test your Blood Pressure. This morning my pressure after sitting 3 minutes 147/88 after 6 minutes 140/80 and 10 minutes 135/82. What is this telling me? Am I prehypertensive or am I hypertensive. Which of these readings do I report to my doctor etc.
    Reta32205 responded:
    Now to make it even more confusing, you should have both feet flat on the floor (no crossing your ankles), and you should not talk while taking your BP. What happens when you are having it done at the doctor's office? They want to play 20 questions.

    I would follow the instructions on the monitor, this is called a resting BP. Your walking around BP (some kind of medical term for a doctor to use!) will vary depending on the situation as you demostrated.
    Reta32205 replied to ekimrednif's response:
    Read the instruction to your meter and discuss it with your doctor. It is best if you are both on the same page.

    Your blood pressure is normally higher in the morning, which doesn't really seem logical. Follow the directions with your meter, which could be wait 5 minutes before testing. Make a note of how you test when you give your doctor your numbers.

    Your doctor will say you are hypertensive because your numbers even averaged still put you above 140/80. You are definitely right on the fence.
    ekimrednif replied to Reta32205's response:
    Thanks to all for the replies. I think I will just establish a pattern and check twice a day, morning and evening, using the instructions provided by the monitor. But I still wonder about the whole idea of testing because this afternoon I came in, again from mowing the yard sat for 5 minutes and was 131/87, three minutes later I was 151/91 without getting out of the chair. My monitor is a popular brand and cost me over 70 dollars so it should be working correctly. I just don't know about the whole thing. My pressure is usually the lowest in the morning. I get up go out and feed the livestock come in and sit for 5 minutes and, as an example, this morning I was 128/84. As the day wears on and I work harder my pressure goes up. Or so the monitor would have me believe. Ha!
    Anyway thanks again.
    Ershively replied to ekimrednif's response:
    I have similar wacky readings with my home monitor. For several days, my readings were in a nice normal range, lower than 120/80. Then I started to worry about it again. It immediately went up to 135/85, Then I checked again and it was higher than 140/90. After walking in hot weather for 30 minutes or more and checking it after 15 or 20 minutes, it usually drops into a good range again.

    For me my frame of mind is the key factor.
    ekimrednif replied to Ershively's response:
    Ershively: This is exactly what I am talking about. I have discussed this with several different people, including family members and they all report about the same thing. If you are working hard, anxious, over heated, dehydrated etc. your pressure will be elevated. But then the question becomes: was it always this way, or does the fact that my BP goes into a hypertensive range when I am working hard, overheated, dehydrated etc. mean that I have high blood pressure. If I can sit down and relax and get a good reading, then turn around and get a bad reading, do I have high blood pressure. My doctor says I do have high blood pressure because it is always high at her office, but they walk you down the hall put you on a scale walk you down another hall sit you down and slap the cuff on you and you are worried that it will be high anyway, and then low and behold it is high.
    This morning after chores, I was 122/87. I think what I am looking for is for someone to say, "look if it reads high at any time then you have high blood pressure, or conversely if you can sit relax and get a low reading once a day you probably don't have high blood pressure.
    I will keep reading and keep testing I guess.
    Ershively replied to ekimrednif's response:
    My doctor seems not to be too worried by occasional spikes in BP. When I was in his office in May, his nurse got a reading of 140/82. Then when the doctor himself took it a little while later, it was lower than 120/80. He just said "that's better." I already take medicine, and he didn't change the dosage. So if it is normal more often then it's high, he seems to think that's OK.

    Amelia_WebMD_Staff replied to Ershively's response:
    Hi Ershively,

    According to this WebMD Overview on High Blood Pressure, "For your doctor to confirm that you have high blood pressure, your blood pressure must be at least 140/90 on three or more separate occasions. It is usually measured 1 to 2 weeks apart."


    Here is also a WebMD guide to taking your blood pressure that might help you a little.


    Best of luck with your health and happiness! Hope to hear more from you in the future. :)
    Best Wishes! Amelia
    2labsforme replied to Ershively's response:
    I have the same things happen to me too. Bought the Omron Women's ultra BP monitor (high ratings) and my readings seem to be all over the place, even after taking them 1 after another. I had really good readings on the weekend but now during the week their much higher. Makes you wonder if the stress of working plays havoc with the BP?????
    Ershively replied to 2labsforme's response:
    I try to avoid getting hung up on taking my BP readings, which I was starting to do. So I don't take it so often now. Ideally, once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening, seems reasonable to me. I try to take it only when I feel fairly relaxed.

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