Blood Pressure

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by ku_alum, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Mar 29, 2009

    Anyone have high blood pressure?

    I'm 34, 5'6", 130 lbs, pretty active (could be more active, but I walk the dogs and do yoga everyday ... not to mention that teaching is far from a sedentary job). My diet is okay (could be better). I've never smoked and I have maybe 3 alcoholic beverages a year.

    Every time I go to the doc, I have high blood pressure. So, for the next couple of days I ask the school nurse or a med career student to take it ... it is always fine. So, we never do anything about it.

    Always figured I have "white coat syndrome."

    Well, on a wild hair, I purchased a blood pressure wrist monitor on Friday. I haven't calibrated it with another cuff, but it has my husband's bp right at 120 / 80 (or lower) which is what he always has.

    Mine has been high EVERY time I take it.

    I've put together a spreadsheet and a scatter plot ... I probably have 10 data points.

    My plan is to take my data to my doc this week.

    Anyone have experience with this? Will it be a "change your lifestyle" conversation or will I be given medication? Or, will there be other tests?

    [SIDE NOTE: My dad recently went to the ER for stroke-like symptoms. His bp at the ER was 210 / 111. Turns out, he didn't have a stroke. He had forgotten his bp meds 2 days in a row and spent the day bent over putting down floor tile. BUT, the doc said the bp SHOULD BE 120 / 80, not close, not a little high, BUT ONLY 120 / 80. That's what got me thinking more about my own bp.]
     
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  3. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Mar 29, 2009

    Check it at Wal-Mart too or those blood pressure machines at pharmacies. If it continues to be high take your readings to the doc. Do not ignore it. Some people have trouble with blood pressure even though they are young and not overweight.
     
  4. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    I have low blood pressure, so I've never had to worry about it, other than standing up too fast!

    But I think what you are doing is a good idea. I would try and calibrate your cuff to be sure it's giving you accurate numbers. Also, are you taking your BP after strenuous activities? Or when you get home right after driving? (Traffic can raise your BP!) I would add your current activity/stress level to your data points. You may notice more of a pattern.
     
  5. glenn

    glenn Rookie

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    Blood pressure can really change during the day. Try taking it after you have been sitting down for 10 minutes or more.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Also, this might be an idea: have the school nurse (if you have one) take it at the same time every day for a while. Get a 'baseline" reading from the same machine under more or less the same circumstances.
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Blood pressure can fluctuate and be different in either arm, but it shouldn't be ever be high. Especially if you are normal weight and active. If you were heavy and inactive then it could be explained.
    My husband has slightly high BP - he's normal weight and active. The doctor said it was probably due to heredity - thus he needed to watch it. He was told that since he is only in his early 40s that he should first try to lower it with diet changes before going on BP meds. The doc told him that it takes a few years for actual damage to happen from high BP so over the next few years he should try to lower it himself, if that doesn't work - then go on BP meds.
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    When I was in high school, I went to get a physical and my blood pressure was 160/100! The doctor was alarmed and sent me to have a bunch of tests done. So, if there seems to be no other obvious reason for you to have high blood pressure, they will probably do some blood tests. I also had a chest x-ray, an EKG, a kidney sonogram, and a 24 hour urine analysis.

    After all those tests, the nurse took my BP again. I commented that at least the cuff stayed on, because it kept popping off when my doctor took it. She was shocked - it turns out my doctor was using the child cuff, and apparently, according to the nurse, if the cuff is too small it will read high. I guess she was right - I never had a very high reading like that again. The big conclusion after all those tests was that I needed to cut back on salt, which probably was a good idea anyway.
     
  9. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    The more you think about it the higher it can get. About a month ago, my husband realized his was at 130/something. It had been at 110/80 or so with all the meds he takes. He was concerned so he kept taking it that night. It got to 175/something so he drove himself to the emergency room (he has heart issue) The doc gave him an EKG and nothing was wrong. Basically he told my husband that he worked himself into a frenzy. He was back home in 40 minutes. Next day his bp was low again.

    I know you know this but just make sure you have that cuff exactly right you are sitting and not crossing your legs.


    And you are right, the 120/80 thing is sort of old now. Docs really want it a little lower than that.
     
  10. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    Your anxiety about the reading will have a negative affect on your blood pressure as well as your pulse. Using the right cuff is absolutely essential also.
     
  11. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    DH was diagnosed with hypertension about a year and a half ago and he is about 5"11' weighing about 180 lbs. He was a stroke waiting to happen. He found out when he went to take his yearly physical and was sent home from work. When he went to the doctor the next morning, his blood pressure was something like 200/110. The doctor made him lay down and gave him medicine on the spot. They had to give him more than one pill to get it to come down. She sent us home and told him to come back the next day for them to check it. When he went the next day, it was higher than the day before. He was sent straight to the hospital and was there for five days to get his pressure under control. HBP should not be played with; my husband has suffered kidney damage because of being hypertensive and not knowing it. He has to see a kidney doctor twice a year. The nephrologist told him that his kidneys are functioning at 50%. It is like he has one kidney. If you continue to get high readings please check it out.
     
  12. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Mar 29, 2009

    I was first diagnosed with high blood pressure when I was in my early 20's. I was not overweight and was active. I was diagnosed when I tried to get birth control pills. I had not clue. Both of my parents have high BP.

    A high normal diastolic range is 85 to 89. A high systolic range 130 to 139. Usually, doctors will watch you closely without medicating.
    Continue to keep a log and take it to your visits. I would keep the log with your home cuff and take your BP whenever you see other machines at markets, or drug stores to compare.

    Many things affect my BP. Stress is a biggie. I also have white coat high BP. My pregnancies played havoc with my BP and medications.

    If you doctor choses to medicate and you don't feel well due to side effects, go back to the MD. There are many medications. You'll find something that works for you.
     

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