Advice on BP reading : Hi, after some... - British Heart Fou...

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Advice on BP reading

Maisywhippet profile image

Hi, after some advice...did a quick bp check last night 144/82...have been told by doc to aim for 135/ checked this morning 127/78. Took another reading tonight 157/82, so took a further 2 readings about 3 mins apart....146/84 then it was 127/68.was taken off bp meds last year after a procedure for blockage in lad. Signed off by cardiologist and no symptoms so assume I’m fine, but just wondering if such a fluctuation in resting bp is normal???..(only on 1/2 Ivabradine twice daily)

27 Replies

First of all, what sort of machine are you using, and are you confident you know how to use it correctly? The readings seem a bit erratic really.

Hi, it’s an Omron inteli-sense. Yes I am using it correctly. Used it to send readings to surgery a couple of months ago and readings were pretty steady apart from the odd one or two which was to be expected. Doc was happy with the average overall. Yes it does seem erratic.....

Ah OK you do get people using wrist mounted ones and so on, Omron are good I had one for donkeys years before it needed replacing. I had to take mine a few weeks ago for a period of time, I was told to do it at the same time, 3 times a day, when I had been at rest, take 2 readings and pick the best. I did it just after getting up, just before lunch and then in the evening while sitting watching telly. They can vary but yours seem very up and down. Any chance of taking it along to your GP's and comparing it to their reading? I always take mine with me when I go for my annual check. Those two last readings are pretty different to say they are only 3 mins apart.

Yes, that's a good idea. And just to mention most equipment in a surgery is calibrated yearly. Also, my brother was told by his heart nurse that sometimes when the batteries are running down you can get odd readings. X

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to ITSINTHEBAG9

Morning Jane

Have to agree with the batteries couple of years ago same thing happened to us the readings went very erratic. A change of the batteries worked even though we weren’t getting a low battery sign.


I take mine to he chemist's. They take my BP wit theirs then with mine and compare the two

Yes I will take some more readings and see if it evens out...if not I may do an econsult with the docs. Thanks for advice.

Might be worth asking him what he meant by "aim" for 135/80? I don't really understand what he would have meant by that, I presume he means if it goes over that he would want you to go back on BP meds. My GP told me that he would not consider meds unless either was over 140 or 90, preferring diet/exercise option. I think there is still some debate about it.

In some ways BP is just a number, what is right for one person is not always appropriate for another. Worrying about it will make it higherand eratic too, diet and exercise is much more important than dwelling on a number, again the right exercise for you. There are some very good vids on Youtube from a guy called Dr.Gupta of York Cardiology, he is very knowledgable and articulate.

Mmmm I'm not too sure about that Dave? I think BP is a pretty universal indicator and needs to be closely monitored in everyone. I don't think some people have "naturally" high or low blood pressure? It is not called the silent killer for nothing.

Speaking as someone who has naturally low Blood Pressure, I would say you are wrong, LateGuitarist! My ‘aim’ is to keep it over 100/65 at all times (which I mostly do) and around 120/80 is a bonus (which I can normally do).

Fair comment but that is not the norm is it? Surely if people generally differed there would be no point in general guidance?

Pollypuss profile image
Pollypuss in reply to DaveSpice

Good response I also follow that cardiologist. Full of common sense and no hysterics

I have been monitoring my BP for about 25 years. The challenge, I think, is to get a proper RESTING blood pressure and it's possible that the fluctuations you see are because you are not fully rested when you are takng your measurmemts. My Omron monitor says you must not eat, drink, shower, smoke or exercise for 30 mins before a reading. For the last 5 minutes you must sit still in the place you will take the reading, and relax. I set up monitor and the arm cuff and then close my eyes for 5 minutes and completely relax. If I do this I get consistent readings + or- about 10% at all times of the day.

Some people take much longer than 5 minutes to get to a resting BP. Hearties who like a bit of data might like to look at this :

So I suggest you pay attention to getting relaxed and you may find your results are a bit more cosistent.

lateguitarist profile image
lateguitarist in reply to Mart25

Very interesting. As you say the readings will be (much) lower. It would be easy to assume this is sort of cheating, but if that is what you are supposed to do then that's fine. Obviously during usual medical checks there is not the time to do this. Do you take yours straight away on rising in the morning by any chance and if so how does that reading compare?

Mart25 profile image
Mart25 in reply to lateguitarist

Sorry to be slow to reply. I understand that resting in order to get a proper resting BP measurement feels a bit like cheating but that does seem to be the advice. If you don't do soemthing like that, then readings will be all over the place. Maisywhippet's numbers in her original post are quite typical of some occasional minor exercise/stress. Her diastolic numbers are all quite similar at 82, 78, 82, 84, 68. But the systolic numbers range from 127 to 157. So the 157 implies she did something (eg. climbed the stairs) just before taking the measurement.

I have not taken a measurement immediately after rising. I'll try and see what BP I get.

lateguitarist profile image
lateguitarist in reply to Mart25

Thanks for your reply that would be helpful, I seem to find mine are higher than normal first thing which I find a bit odd. Like you say your systolic can rise a lot with minor events, I found myself getting a bit wound up over something on the TV the other day and then took my BP, I was really surprised how it shot up. I guess this is not good, however what is the difference between that and a similar rise during exercise? When I was at Rahab one of the Nurses said they didn't really know if stress is a factor or not.

Maisywhippet profile image
Maisywhippet in reply to Mart25

Thank you, I will definitely try that.

Hi Maisywhippet, the omron you are using should connect via Bluetooth to the omron app. This has recently been updated and suggests two readings to be taken each time (morning and evening), the app will record the average between the two readings. It stores your readings in your phone and produces a graft showing the readings over a period of time.

I for one, do take my blood pressure fairly regularly and it always fluctuates, but the graft shows the general trend. If you are not using the app, I strongly recommend that you do.

Got an adaptor for my omron on Amazon for a few quid and it does away with battery fluctuations. Worth a look. A 6Volt plug in transformer for Omron.

Just take it 3 times a day for a week and send e results to your GP. That's what I've just been told to do. I sit quietly for 5 min before taking it

Yes my readings are just as erratic as yours and whenever I have it taken at a GPs it is always about 20 to 30 mmHg higher than at home, because I suffer from what is known as 'white coat syndrome' which means it goes up because I am in a medical setting, although doctors seldom wear white coats these days. I think it is important to relax not just before a reading but also when taking the reading. The best technique I have found is to do something else while taking the reading. In my case I have the TV on in the background so the noise of the monitor is less noticeable and I read something on the PC that I am interested in so I am not thinking about it and just ignore as far as possible the inflation on my arm. This generally results in a lower reading but not 100% of the time. I also find that the first reading I take is usually higher than the other two that I normally take. I have a self imposed rule that I always take the 3rd reading regardless of whether it is the lowest.

A low battery will not give erroneous readings. It works with 6,8 volts but that is for the pump. The reading is on the low voltage side of about 1,5 volts.The pump will cease to work long before the electronic side.

Do not buy no name brands of medical equipment.

Maisywhippet profile image
Maisywhippet in reply to Palpman

Thanks but it is an omron,,same one that my doc uses.

Palpman profile image
Palpman in reply to Maisywhippet

Good choice. I have worked on many measuring devices as an Mechatronic Technician.

Take 3 readings and dump the odd one. Do not cross your legs as it constricts blood vessels.

Take readings at the same time of day. Morning and night will differ.

Maisywhippet profile image
Maisywhippet in reply to Palpman

Have had it a few years, but not used overly....did I ought to send it off for re-calibration??

Palpman profile image
Palpman in reply to Maisywhippet

You should as the reading will have a slight drift over a few years. Compare it to another device rather. Ask a friend for theirs.

A difference of 5 points in consecutive readings on the same device is typical so bear this in mind.

Take 5 readings on the first device and disregard the highest and lowest then average the other 3.

Do the same on the second device and compare.

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