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Old Yesterday, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas (Winchester)
386 posts, read 286,400 times
Reputation: 338

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I had my blood pressure taken for the first time in about 12 years recently, when I visited a doc for a pre-surgical evaluation. The first attempt read 142/85. A second attempt read 135/85.

I had always had low blood pressure, so I purchased the same brand digital monitor the doc was using and began taking my blood pressure. I was under stress as I prepared for surgery. Most of my readings were in the 115 - 130/ 70 - 80 range. After I did aerobic exercise, it was considerably lower (as expected), reading 100 - 110/ 55 - 70 range. The highest reading on my home monitor was 142 / 90. Just before I went into surgery, my blood pressure was 180 / 95. Five minutes later, it was 135 / 85.

Now that I've had the surgery and have been laying around doing nothing for two weeks, I'm getting low readings in the range of 100 - 120/ 55 - 75. Just now I got the lowest reading I ever had 92 / 54.

This makes me wonder if measuring blood pressure is so variable using traditional measures that doctors are highly likely to be prescribing medication when it isn't necessary. Given my initial readings, some docs would have wanted me to start blood pressure medications to LOWER my blood pressure. Given my current readings, it looks like I have borderline hypotension, LOW blood pressure.

How can doctors rely on blood pressure readings to prescribe medications?
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Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Central IL
14,511 posts, read 8,007,137 times
Reputation: 33966
Blood pressure IS quite variable.

However, you're not supposed to be prescribed BP meds based on a couple readings. You should have had a history of high BP as well as a period of time where you've attempted to make lifestyle changes (diet / exercise) and THEN start considering medication.

I don't think you know what a doctor would do based on your readings - lots of people will measure higher in stressful situations and yes, healthcare professionals know that.
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Old Yesterday, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Herndon, VA
1,989 posts, read 1,976,502 times
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It is not easily measured either, and the same medical provider can have vastly different results. I have had very similar experiences as you OP, but I do keep track of my BP at my desk at work. The results you have after exercise are very typical and expected. I recently had a colonoscopy and my BP was very high just before the surgery as well, and the nurse noticed my legs were crossed as I lay there. She told me to uncross my legs and it was 10 points lower on the upper and lower readings on her second attempt.

I think it's more important to keep track of trends. I actually keep a spreadsheet of my BP readings just to see those trends. I do take two herbal pills (dandelion root and CoQ10) daily to keep it lower, and they have worked to lower my trends.
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Old Yesterday, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
39,151 posts, read 46,648,797 times
Reputation: 109142
Your blood pressure varies every 2 minutes or less depending on your activities or your thought process at the time of reading. Your doctor should check you periodically for base/average reading then he/she can order BP prescription if needed.
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Old Yesterday, 02:35 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 421,819 times
Reputation: 2414
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchmiller9 View Post
I had my blood pressure taken for the first time in about 12 years recently, when I visited a doc for a pre-surgical evaluation. The first attempt read 142/85. A second attempt read 135/85.

I had always had low blood pressure, so I purchased the same brand digital monitor the doc was using and began taking my blood pressure. I was under stress as I prepared for surgery. Most of my readings were in the 115 - 130/ 70 - 80 range. After I did aerobic exercise, it was considerably lower (as expected), reading 100 - 110/ 55 - 70 range. The highest reading on my home monitor was 142 / 90. Just before I went into surgery, my blood pressure was 180 / 95. Five minutes later, it was 135 / 85.

Now that I've had the surgery and have been laying around doing nothing for two weeks, I'm getting low readings in the range of 100 - 120/ 55 - 75. Just now I got the lowest reading I ever had 92 / 54.

This makes me wonder if measuring blood pressure is so variable using traditional measures that doctors are highly likely to be prescribing medication when it isn't necessary. Given my initial readings, some docs would have wanted me to start blood pressure medications to LOWER my blood pressure. Given my current readings, it looks like I have borderline hypotension, LOW blood pressure.

How can doctors rely on blood pressure readings to prescribe medications?
It is said that people who become their own doctor have a fool for a patient.

Meaning......

That no one can treat 90% of their own problems. Heck, even doctors use other doctors to treat them.
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Old Yesterday, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Southern California
22,104 posts, read 7,481,485 times
Reputation: 14581
OP: This is a real mystery if one thinks about it long enough. And yes, so many millions on these drugs for HBP after maybe one or two readings in MD's office.

We've discussed this issue so much here and the latest is that sugars and not salts have been the culprits.
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Old Yesterday, 03:22 PM
 
1,865 posts, read 910,430 times
Reputation: 7889
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchmiller9 View Post

This makes me wonder if measuring blood pressure is so variable using traditional measures that doctors are highly likely to be prescribing medication when it isn't necessary.

How can doctors rely on blood pressure readings to prescribe medications?
They usually take 2-3 blood pressure readings each time, at 3 or more separate appointments before formally diagnosing you with high blood pressure and prescribing meds.

Plus, it varies from moment to moment during the day. It's the repeatably high readings that end up getting a prescription.

Even then, there are varying stages of hypertension: Stage 1 hypertension...systolic pressure ranging from 130-139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80-89 mm Hg. Stage 2 hypertension....systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher.
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Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Proxima Centauri
4,471 posts, read 1,847,771 times
Reputation: 4917
Have you gained weight over the last 12 years?
I saw in your profile that you had a sit down job. Are you exercising?
BP will be higher when you first sit down. Mine was. The doc said that it is a good thing when the BP goes down rapidly after exercising.


I would say that your BP just before surgery would of course be high. 160/90 is considered borderline. 210/120 is dangerous.
good luck
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Old Yesterday, 05:56 PM
 
3,750 posts, read 1,105,700 times
Reputation: 2910
My sister had extremely high blood pressure and was put on drugs. She had not been exercising at all for a couple of years. Her husband finally convinced her to start exercising again, and her blood pressure went down. Her doctor had never said anything about exercise, just gave her drugs.

The same thing happened with my mother when she was middle aged. The doctor gave her drugs, and never mentioned exercise. But that was a long time ago. Now they should know better. But it seems like they don't.
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Old Yesterday, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Southern California
22,104 posts, read 7,481,485 times
Reputation: 14581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
My sister had extremely high blood pressure and was put on drugs. She had not been exercising at all for a couple of years. Her husband finally convinced her to start exercising again, and her blood pressure went down. Her doctor had never said anything about exercise, just gave her drugs.

The same thing happened with my mother when she was middle aged. The doctor gave her drugs, and never mentioned exercise. But that was a long time ago. Now they should know better. But it seems like they don't.
I was exercising for decades and still BP rose with aging. Could be I was just consuming much of the no no foods like sugars and refined carbs, as we're now being told are the culprits.
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