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Blood Pressure Readings

(66 Posts)
AngBrew Fri 21-Jan-22 18:26:39

Hi. Whenever I have to have my blood pressure checked or when I take it at home my heart rate immediately rises and I get really stressed which naturally gives a false reading.

Anyone got any answers to this problem or even have the same problem?

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 21-Jan-22 18:28:53

I’m the same, I’m doing a weeks worth of BP readings , take one reading - then 5 mins later do another, after a couple of days you should have calmed down and BP readings should have gone back to whatever is your ‘normal’.
I’m doing it morning and night, but wait for 30 minutes after having a hot drink.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 21-Jan-22 18:30:02

PS I had a BP contraption that I had to wear for 24 hours from my GP.
I was then put on BP pills, now I am doing readings to see if the pills are working.

ElaineI Fri 21-Jan-22 18:34:57

You are meant to do 2 as the second is more accurate. Practice. Nurses do 3 and take the lowest of the 3. The heart rate is not really relevant unless it is very fast.

Grandmajean Fri 21-Jan-22 19:06:00

I get horrific readings at surgery.
I have my own monitor. The first one I do after a few weeks' break is never good Second and subsequent excellent. Never believe the first reading . I monitor my own BP now as Doc appreciates readings at surgery will never be realistic

Kate1949 Fri 21-Jan-22 19:12:59

I'm terrified if that machine! As soon as I see it, I go to pieces and my BP shoots through the roof, even when I take it myself. So I take my medication and hope for the best.

Baggs Fri 21-Jan-22 19:13:10

Readings should always be done when you have relaxed for about ten minutes or so first. Then it often makes sense to do several readings and average them.

I'm not sure one's heart rate (pulse) matters once you are rested, so long as it's within a normal range, which I think is quite large.

Sara1954 Fri 21-Jan-22 19:17:23

I could have written that myself, I really don’t know what the answer is, even getting the damn thing out of the cupboard, even thinking about getting it out of the cupboard sends me into panic mode.

Blossoming Fri 21-Jan-22 19:20:17

Whatever you do, don’t hold your breath. A surprising number do and it pushes up the reading. Rest your arm on a cushion and relax the muscles. Breath in through your nose to a count of 6 and out through your mouth to a count of 6.

I’ve been having my blood pressure checked regularly for over 20 years, I do it at home every Friday morning and record it on the MyGP app now.

Hetty58 Fri 21-Jan-22 19:26:14

I get ridiculous readings. They are better with the old-fashioned, hand pumped contraptions - and pretty normal when I've had the 24hr monitoring.

Being claustrophobic, I go into panic mode when my arm is squeezed. Taking more readings tends to increase, rather than reduce them. The 'normal' advice doesn't work for me. The longer I sit quietly, trying to relax - the higher it goes!

Hetty58 Fri 21-Jan-22 19:30:51


'when you have relaxed for about ten minutes or so'

That's what I can't do!

BlueSky Fri 21-Jan-22 19:43:32

Same here Hetty! Ridiculous readings at the surgery, better at home, and acceptable 24hr monitor. When I’m particularly nervous I don’t take it for weeks on end.

Kate1949 Fri 21-Jan-22 20:11:01

I wish we'd never got the blooming machine. I took it regularly and it was fine. Then one day I took it and it was a bit higher than usual and I flew into a panic. Then it was going through the roof constantly. I don't take it now.

BlueSky Fri 21-Jan-22 20:18:15

Kate something similar happened to me and it took a long time before I was able to check it again at home. Now I just take it randomly when I’m not too worried about it.

Sara1954 Fri 21-Jan-22 20:18:47

Kate, I’m like you, I just avoid it, if I take it, it will be high, I’ll panic, it’ll be higher.
No way out.

Kate1949 Fri 21-Jan-22 20:21:21

Exactly. I'm very reassured that it's not just me!

Jaxjacky Fri 21-Jan-22 20:35:18

I do mine for a week before yearly older person checkup, advice is take three then average them, am and pm, I hate it, so the first time I disregard, then start again.

Oldbat1 Fri 21-Jan-22 20:40:04

I had some bloods taken only this afternoon and nurse also did a bp check and needless to say it went sky high! I just hate the constriction feeling. Upshot is I have to take it twice a day for a week. I am a “white coat = raised bp person”

NanaPlenty Fri 21-Jan-22 20:43:15

I’ve found the answer is before the reading is taken spend five minutes sitting doing some deep breathing, in for six, hold for hold for four, out for six or more if you can. It’s amazing what this does.

shysal Fri 21-Jan-22 21:28:37

The only way I can get a low reading is to don the monitor then sit in a chair with the sun on my face. When I feel myself nodding off I press the button quickly to catch it unawares!

GrandmaSeaDragon Fri 21-Jan-22 21:42:42

I’ve had “white coat syndrome” since attending the hospital booking clinic for 1st baby, 45 years ago. Been taking tablets to lower blood pressure since heart attack 9 years ago. My blood pressure is always high when attending any medical premises, but recently when I went for a shingles jab, it was sky high shock and I couldn’t have the injection then. The Practice Nurse prescribed additional BP tablets and I have to report twice daily readings to her every month. I have printed the sheet from BHS (British hypertension society) to note my recordings and that says “ … take a minimum of two readings, leaving at least a minute between each. If the first two readings are very different, take 2 or 3 further readings”. It also says “you do not need to record your pulse/heart rate”. That seems to work for me, my BP is now down to the target level I was set after the heart attack, but like others say, it is difficult to “relax” before taking readings. Someone once said that your blood pressure goes up when your bladder is full (but I can’t verify that personally or medically) I find that’s a consequence of being anxious anyway.

Teacheranne Fri 21-Jan-22 21:43:59

I cannot fit the upper arm cuff correctly on my own, the damn thing twists and creases so I need to use my teeth to help pull it into position! I then bought a wrist cuff which is a doddle to use.

Someone told me that they were not as accurate so I took mine with me for a bp check by the nurse. She used the regular cuff then immediately afterwards, I used my wrist one. Mine did give slightly lower readings but the nurse said it was close enough to be useful and will indicate an upward trend.

This thread has reminded me that I need to do another 8 days of readings, two readings morning and evening for 8 days then average them out. I was put on blood thinners, statins and one of my bp tablets increased in strength following a TIA so I’d like to know if it is now lower.

User7777 Fri 21-Jan-22 21:51:45

I am hypertensive. So BP is 48 over 30 quite a lot. Nearly half dead by time ambulance arrives. Seeing cardiology a lot, wish mine was higher. Not so many hosp admissions

User7777 Fri 21-Jan-22 21:52:17

Hypotensive I meant

Puzzled Fri 21-Jan-22 22:06:24

Whenever mine is checked at the surgery the systolic id high.
Taking readings at home, using the same make of machine, after at least 10 minutes relation always gives lower readings.
A few weeks ago asked to keep a diary over 7 days of morning and night readings, and then to average.
RESULT Averages were much lower than those at the surgery SLIGHTLY higher diastolic than the o"one size fits all" limits. (Had either just woken or rested for 10 minutes rather than jumping up and walking into the consulting room! ) Have heard no more on that front
AND this is at least two years after I stopped taking the third lot of medicine that caused horrendous side effects!
But being over 70 MUST have something the matter with me that needs treating; in the eyes of the surgery.