AF Association
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Blood Pressure

Getting concerned about my BP and wondering if anyone else has the same problems as my dr just puts it down to my AF . I only take it when I’m feeling poorly and dizzy as I don’t want to sound obsessed . Yesterday evening it went up to 178/87 and now it’s 91/53 and it keeps rising and falling . Tried talking to my dr but he puts everything down to my AF so I thought I would ask you lovely people with experience for advise xx

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Accurate BP readings for folk with AF has always been problematic. Some professional medics say that accurate readings are only possible with the old fashioned glass tube/rubber bulb device (can never remember the name). Others say that these are no longer used due to the mercury content. Some say that more modern digital monitors work better, but it’s not helpful when readings fluctuate. I know this isn’t overly helpful Janshep, but it might explain the changes in your BP.

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Thank you , keep trying to convince myself the same but still worrying me which makes it even worse lol xx

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Mine goes up & down like that too & I am used to it but does more down than up! I go to 60/40 sometimes but generally as long as it is above 90 systolic & generally under 170 ish then the docs don’t seem concerned & it is due to the AF.

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Thank you , do you get the dizziness too ?

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When in AF - yes. I also have POTS which compounds it along with hyper mobility which also means my blood vessels are too stretchy. I used to faint sometimes.

What is your average, normal BP when not in AF?

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It’s hard to say because it varies so much but generally really good at around 120/64

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That’s really good - text book!

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Yes it is that’s why I get concerned when it suddenly drops low or rises so high so suddenly xxx

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I could never get a proper reading from my old Omron when I was in AF - it just gave me the broken heart icon.

Have you tried to establish your normal BP reading when not in AF? If all is OK, then it is either your AF doing it, or your BP monitor getting confused by your fluctuating heartbeat.

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It’s never the same twice so your probably right . Was advised by the dr to take it 3 times and take the average but it doesn’t stop it being very high or very low xx

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I am in permanent AF and my BP readings are all over the place. I have for sometime now taken 3/4 readings over a period of 10 mins and find it normally settles to a reasonable level. I do not take it all that often, about once a week and keep a note of it for doctor as I am one of those that when taken at the surgery it is nearly always high. It often amuses me that when I go to the Cardiac outpatients for a check up, the cardiac department is at the far end of the hospital (it's a very long walk) always a hassle parking, find a seat, immediately called in for blood pressure check and nurse says - of thats high or we cann't get a reading, they never try again, get to the Doctor and he says the same thing. The number of times I have said if you tried again when I've had time calm down it would be different.

Cassie

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Sounds familiar Cassie Even having a bp check with the nurse at my surgery is up a flight of stairs and I can’t breath time I get up there lol xx

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Sounds familiar and I have an appointment to discuss BP meds, which I am not keen to take on top of everything else.

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It’s good to know I’m not on my own Hope you get it sorted

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My first reading when I take my blood pressure myself is high, never mind the level it reaches when I have it taken at the hospital!

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Same here. I take it three times in a row and ignore the first two!

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Yes, dumb, huh? Same story here. The nurse trucks it down the halls with you following, sit you down to take B/P along with questions. Mine is always up. Lol

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Hi

I was in A&E 2 weeks ago with Af lasting 12 hrs BPM 180-200 and BP at 60/40

Some Drs I’m afraid are not qualified enough in this area on why it happens and didn’t seem to concerned .

Which doesn’t help us does it, as at times it can not only be frightening but worrying too. Which again doesn’t help the AF.?

Good luck xx

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I just find it strange that the Drs are not more clued up on it because it’s not uncommon

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I have been recently concerned as my bp is fluctuating from 195/99 to 80/40 feeling very ill when it drops so low, but unaware when it goes high. I visited gp who wasn't overly concerned but asked me to record it 3 times a day for a month and return for another appt (next Tues). I am sure that these big fluctuations cannot be right or good for you, but if my beta blocker is increased I get too low, dizzy & faint, go into af & end up in hosp (also have postural hypotension which doesnt help!)Misery & anxiety either way!

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You have just described exactly how I am and feel 😞it was the same for me they tried increasing my bisoprolol when my BP was high but it dropped very low. Like you say it is scary when you feel so ill and I’m reluctant to dial 999 as advised by my dr because I would live in the hospital x

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People always have trouble taking blood pressure when you are in afib , its like trying to take your pulse! your Doctor and EP certainly will know this - and hopefully reassure youI but it is important they know its going up and down

they have always told me they need to check to make sure it is not going too low, which I sort of understand

I have afurther problem I which often causes chaos I cannot have it taken by a modern automatic machine as it causes me a total panic reaction and is grossly inaccurate even when I am well so have to hold out to have it done with a manual machine , which they usually have ( there are issues with the automatic ones) and luckily my doctor and some hospitals understand this , and these do seem to give much more accurate readings

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Yes mines the same my dr and nurse use manual bp monitors As for an EP Iv had AF for 2 years and never seen one and I am supposed to have had my 6 month appointment with my consultant in February and Iv just had the appointment through for July Sad times especially when your feeling so poorly 😞

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Sounds familiar, mine was due in March, telephoned and wad told they are 6 months behind with appts, so looks like Sept for me! This is EP follow up appt to my emergency admission last Nov at Derriford hosp following a visit to my gp who called me an emergency ambulance!

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Doesn’t help when your feeling poorly all the time does it 😞my doctor told me to ring an ambulance if I’m worried which is just ridiculous and once when I did have to go I was on a trolley in the corridor and painters were literally painting the walls over my head 😞Best not to get ill 😀

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Hi

Might sound a strange question, but are you using an arm BP device or one you use on your wrist?

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I’m using a wrist one but Iv checked it with the one my nurse uses and the ambulance one and it’s very similar each time xx

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I was given a wrist device which is also very accurate but I hadn't realised what a difference the level of the arm makes when using it. I had a terrible evening after discovering that my BP shot up when I stood up, especially after googling and discovering that I probably had something very rare and life-threatening. I was in tears! Then my husband said I should see what happens when I raise my arm in the air ... completely different (low) reading. Very relieved but I did feel a bit embarrassed lol. At least I slept that night :-D

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Oops, replied with a new comment! My social media skills are obviously as bad as my BP taking skills!

P.S. I'm new on here!

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Welcome to the forum Hilly.

Jean

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Thank you Jean. I'm finding it reassuring to be part of such a friendly and well-informed group. I was finally diagnosed with AF a few weeks ago after having intermittent episodes on/off for years (pretty sure it's vagal). This forum is invaluable x

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Morning Jan - Blood pressure will drop if you are not drinking enough fluids. So next time you notice it's low, just think about what your fluid intake was like before the episode. Just in case it's something as simple as that.

Jean

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Thanks Jean but I drink constantly as I’m always dry x

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Have you asked your doctor about this symptom? It could be diabetes or something else, which might explain the BP variation. Just a thought!

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Yes Iv had blood tests and all clear but to be honest I don’t think my dr knows much about AF which doesn’t help me much xx

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Try taking readings and not looking at them until the end of the day. I find when I do that, and I get used to not looking at it immediately, it usually drops right down. Anxiety can push your BP all over the place.

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Thanks Steve I will try anything xx Just had to stop work because I’m really dizzy again but bp is almost normal 😞 getting so fed up with myself

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You may have labile high blood pressure. It fluctuates greatly due to emotional issues. It is borderline hypertension. Nonetheless, there is a risk. You should be on some type of BP medication. Look it up! I have it.

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I am already taking lasartan but if it’s increased my bp drops dramatically x

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I am taking lasartan potassium as well. Does it bother your eyes and nose. Red eyes, dripping nose?

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No and have been taking them for about three years x

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Thanks ... l am allergic to something that l am taking. I also take sotalol sp? for afib ... a very low dosage ... l fear that may be the culprit. I have only had two episodes of afib and none since starting sotalol. I’m terrified to stop taking it.

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It’s horrible isn’t it !! Don’t think any of us can be sure what to do for the best 😞

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