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Anyone know anything about blood pressure?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Greenteaaddict, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Last year my blood pressure was high at the docs. She told me to buy a monitor and do it at home. I have been checking probably monthly and it was much lower than at the doctors...ranges from about 130/80 to 145/90. Anyway she wasn't too concerned. Suddenly yesterday I checked it and it is down to 110/69 which I think is normalish. Why would it suddenly drop like that? I have been taking Omega 3 and also visiting an osteopath for my back problems. Could these things have actually lowered my blood pressure?
  2. Last year my blood pressure was high at the docs. She told me to buy a monitor and do it at home. I have been checking probably monthly and it was much lower than at the doctors...ranges from about 130/80 to 145/90. Anyway she wasn't too concerned. Suddenly yesterday I checked it and it is down to 110/69 which I think is normalish. Why would it suddenly drop like that? I have been taking Omega 3 and also visiting an osteopath for my back problems. Could these things have actually lowered my blood pressure?
  3. No, but if you were generally given 'the frighteners' last year, have you changed anything else? Walk more, cycle a bit, eat less fatty food, generally a bit fitter, all of those things would drop your blood pressure.
    Blood pressure is also a strange beast. If you are told it's too high, that is generally accompanied by dire warnings of heart attacks and strokes, the shock of which does what? That's right it raises your blood pressure. Other things proven to raise your blood pressure include, seeing a doctor, having your blood pressure taken, worrying about having your blood pressure taken, worrying about the effects of high blood pressure and the stress of having to go back to the doctor with a lower blood pressure.
    Honestly, it could be simply that your BP is normally that level, and because you have forgotten about it, it's back where it should be.
    Now forget all about it and have a nice glass of wine and watch X-Factor, that should put it back up again!
  4. I'd take the machine back for recalibration. I had the opposite thing - my blood pressure is normally low. They did it before an endoscopy and it was 130/89. I wasn't particularly stressed about the procedure (fool!) and was quite alarmed so I had my GP check it later. It was its usual 110/70. He said that electric monitors are only reliable if they are recalibrated every so often, and hospital ones hardly ever are.
  5. Have you actually done that, Lil? Mine was from Boots yonks ago - would I just take it in and demand they do it? In the tiny Boots in the village they look at you in some trepidation if you take a prescription in - I don't know if they could cope.
  6. Hi, it can just be that your blood pressure changes throughout the day. My blood pressure can drop 20 or 30 points on the top line in 2 minutes for no known reason. It's done this in the doctor's surgery (which was good because the g.p. definitely didn't believe this). Also if you are in menopause this can cause fluctuations in line with your hormones rising and falling. Any high blood pressure needs to be taken seriously. Also, I take my bp monitor to the g.p.'s occasionally and I do one arm whilst he does the other, that way we are testing at the same time and can tell if its the monitor or me that has the problem.
  7. I am definitely perimenopausal, periods very hit and miss now. Just had a period after 5 months so maybe that could be a reason. Wasn't thinking of that. I have been a bit more active due to the osteopath helping me with my back. I am walking more than I have done for a long time, also eating healthier and trying to lose weight. Might check it with my mums monitor tomorrow and see if hers is the same.
  8. Ignore it, stop trying to check it. Re-calibrating a sphyg, especially an electronic one is not really a DIY job. You'll give yourself high blood pressure with the stress of it all, then you will wind up not believing any machine, it'll be like bathroom scales when you are weighing yourself "Oh, I always the ones in the bathroom, but you have to take 2lbs off, unless you have shoes on, then remember to add 4ozs"
    If you really are that concerned, which I wouldn't be if I were you, go to your GP and ask her/him for a 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure test. You will wear the cuff all day and night, and the data is recorded on a little box, about the size of a fag packet, on your belt. It will take a reading every 20-30 minutes, even when you are asleep. Then the data is analysed, and it will give a much truer reading. Take your Boots one and try to get a few quid for it at the car boot sale tomorrow.
  9. Sorry galaxy, that's not particularly good advice. Four years ago aged 52 I had the same sort of advice given. I had the 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure check and it averaged out o.k., only slightly high. What wasn't recognised was the high blood pressure 'spikes' of short duration. My g.p. said 'the jury is out' on whether this is important and so I tried to ignore it, took more excersise and ultimately had a massive heart attack. At the time I was peri menopausal, slim, didn't drink and had never smoked, my only symptom was the blood pressure. I know it's unlikely to happen to many people but I wish I'd taken beta blockers and kept the blood pressure under control.
  10. gilldyson, you are scaremongering I'm afraid. "My blood pressure was OK, but it was high" does not make much sense.
    The only accurate way is to do a 24hr ABPM. If it came out with random high spikes, then your GP was right. If you had a heart attack subseqently, well I'm glad you're OK now, but are you seriously suggesting that the hundreds of thousands of ABPMs that take place every year are ditched and replaced with a machine from the chemist?
    Some kids are able to do GCSE maths at 4, that is not a good enough reason to stop teaching kids maths at 5 is it?
  11. You don't understand how either a 24 hour BP works, BP is not averaged out, a trend is created but the spikes are there and highlighted or the mechanism for a heart attack.
    A heart attack is caused by the occlusion of a coronary artery, beta blockers do not stop plaque forming on your arteries, once the plaque is there, the only way to remove it is angioplasty or a stent.
    The plaque was building up, beta blockers would lower your heart rate and subsequently your BP but not stop the MI.

  12. IA heart attack is usually caused by a blockage in a coronary artery I agree but there is also another cause which is commonly known as 'broken heart syndrome' where the heart goes into spasm, no-one knows the exact cause but it is triggered by stress. This is also linked to high blood pressure. When I had an angiogram after the MI there was a crowd of doctors round the screen as I had no sign of heart disease (i.e. blocked arteries). The spikes of high blood pressure were, as I said earlier discounted by my g.p. before the attack but afterwards I was told that it would have been a contributory factor.
    As regards the 24 hour BP, yes it can monitor the high spikes but if its taken on a stress free day or the 30 minute intervals don't coincide with the spikes then they aren't seen. Also, for me, there was a link to menopause and whilst one week I'd have normal b.p., the next it could be very high e.g. 190/100. Plus the whole day is averaged out and this informs the final diagnosis of whether you have a problem or not. I've had around eight or nine of these so I do understand them.
    I really aren't scaremongering, the chances of anyone else having this are slim but my point was originally to say 'take high blood pressure seriously'. Telling people to throw the monitor away is fine if they are winding themselves up with it, but used sensibly they help us monitor our own health.
  13. gilldyson

    Make you mind up, did you have an MI or did you have Takotsubo (AKA stress) cardiomyopathy?
    The former is the death of some myocardium the latter is an enlarged heart caused by stress, the former is permenant damage the latter can be completely cured.

    The whole day is NOT averaged out. You might have had nine of them but I've analysed hundreds of them. An average is given by the machine but no one takes any notice of that.

    You are scaremongering.
    Home BP monitors are not accurate, they often don't even have you placing the sensor over the brachial artery and if you are not doing that you are not getting an acurate reading.
    A 24 hour BP is set up by an expert and will give acurate results, they cost a fortune because of this.

    Yes take blood pressure seriously, but don't think a home monitor will allow you to do this.

  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I had an MI (definitely an MI) in March and my GP recommends not getting a BP monitor at all - my blood pressure has always been low (I presented with extremely low blood pressure at A&E during the MI) and my meds - which include drugs to lower BP - have ensured that it still is (sometimes very low).
    I wish I'd thought to ask more about my blood pressure when I found out about the very low reading during my MI.
    I worry a wee bit about being on meds which reduce blood pressure because no-one has yet suggested mine is raised in any way.


  15. Why do I get the feeling you are more interested in proving me wrong than in having a sensible/interesting conversation? You obviously know a lot about this condition if you've analysed hundreds of ambulatory bp's. In my case the cause was almost certainly taketsubo but as my heart didn't take on the exact shape expected for this condition the diagnosis remained uncertain. As my heart had stopped for around 15 minutes there was scarring but the consultant said it could still have been caused by broken heart rather than MI. As treatment is the same at least initially, no firm diagnosis was ever reached.
    As to the ambulatory bp maybe my problem was the g.p. who said that overall my blood pressure averaged out o.k. so don't worry. The high spikes were noted (g.p. asked me to take it regularly at home so as to rule out white coat syndrome) but g.p. said ths may or may not cause problems. I was advised that I could probably bring the bp down by excesise and what happened next you know.
    Home monitors with an arm cuff can be very accurate, particularly when calibrated with the gp's in the surgery. For cases like mine where bp rises and falls for no known reason they can give the patient and doctor a good starting point for discussion. My consultant is more than happy with this.
  16. I'm glad you are ok.
    But... home monitors are not that accurate, as for calibrating it against your GPs machine, well how do you do that? Most GP sphygs are not calibrated from one year to the next.
    The obvious point is that you would not know to record your spikes on the home monitor, because you don't know when you are having the spikes!
    I think me and Sashh are both saying the same thing. Leave it to the pros, with the proper kit and the knowledge to know what they are reading.
  17. That's exactly what I'm saying.

    Gilly you are presenting yourself as an expert and giving advice on that basis. You are not an expert. You have only your own personal experience.

    I don't care about prooving you wrong. I do care that you are giving misleading information. From what you hacve said you have had a very unusual medical emergency, I hope you are now fully recovered and I wish you well.

  18. Strange... when I had 24 hour monitoring they took the highest reading as the true one (well apart from the one when I was still in the doctors), not the average. The fact is measuring bp is hard. My heart starts racing the second they put that blasted cuff on.

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