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Borderline BP

My GP had me monitor my blood pressure at home for a week and I thought it was mostly fine but she said the bottom number was just about borderline, sometimes was up and other times it was fine. She has referred me to get a 24hr monitor fitted to get a definite answer.

Feeling pretty stressed about it. I'm overweight and suffer from anxiety so this thing will be on my mind constantly now. The top figure was fine she said, it was just the lower one was sometimes over 90.

Anyone else had this? I don't know how I will be able to relax knowing that thing will be going off regularly once it's attached.

11 Replies

I will just share my story. I suffer from anxiety too and used to check my blood pressure at home all the time since it was always high at the GP (white coat syndrome); the problem is that the constant checking made it an obsession which turned into a phobia and I started getting high readings at home as well and panicking each time the cuff would inflate.

I had multiple GP visits, ER visits, cardiologist visits, tests...bottom line: anxiety was the culprit of my high readings all the time and the more I measured my BP, the more anxious I became and so forth...vicious cycle. I ended up getting rid of my BP machines (because I wouldn't just trust one machine reading...I had three!) and the cardiologist advised me not to check it again until I had dealt with my anxiety/phobia.

I am now doing CBT for my anxiety in general and it helps a lot - I haven't checked my BP in over 5 months and I feel much better.

There is no point in wearing a 24hr monitor if you are going to be anxious as all of your readings will be high and affected by your anxiety. One thing I learned from multiple cardiologists that I visited is that TRUE hypertension manifests constantly, which means your average BP over multiple readings needs to be elevated or over 130/90 all the time. I suspect this isn't the case for you and you are in my boat. So wearing that monitor may give you a false average which is caused by anxiety and the GP may want to put you on meds, which would not help you in this case. BP meds don't help you with anxiety, so your strategy should be to deal with the anxiety to the point that you wouldn't be panicking anymore when taking your BP.

Hope it helps and I feel for you as I have been going through this for the past 5 years.


Thanks. Tbh my readings weren't that high. It was the bottom number that fluctuated between 83 and about 96. The top number was fine. I don't think my GP is completely sold on using medication for my blood pressure as it's just one number that is borderline. My mother is on medication for her BP but she told me when she went on it, hers was something like 180/120 so mine is nowhere near that.

I'm on medication for my anxiety and I started CBT a few weeks ago. It's going ok but based on how I reacted yesterday, I'm not out of the woods yet anxiety wise. I was so annoyed and stressed yesterday after that call and it wasn't my GPs fault, it's mine.

I was in hospital a couple of months ago as I felt like I was having heart palpitations. They did a fair few tests, ECG, chest x-ray, blood tests etc. Everything came back fine except my phosphate was low so had to go on a drip for that. They said it was anxiety and that phosphate. I'm sure my BP was up too as I was insanely stressed and panicking.


Great - looks like you are ahead of it already. I used to have spikes of 170/110 when anxious but my average BP over months is only 114/72. That’s when the constant measuring turning into phobia became a problem as I started getting really high readings at first and then normal readings once calm, so it didn’t help my overall mental state as I also used to just get frustrated and fixated onto getting normal readings. Best of luck.


hello, my diastolic went up suddenly. it was 110/65, and was always low normal, the week before the diastolic hit 100 or so. the top number wasn't very high..130 something. in my case, it turned out to be because of inappropriate sinus tachycardia. my heart rate resting was 100ish and would go up just from standing and i had shortness of breath and other symptoms because of it. looks like that was raising my diastolic number. i was also diagnosed with mild sleep apnea, of which i had no symptoms ..so couldn't have guessed it'd be a factor. it's also known to raise diastolic bp. if you haven't had a sleep study, that might be a good idea.

i am on a very small dose of a beta blocker..bisoprolol 2.5 mg. it's lowered my heart rate and my diastolic has come down to 75 and doesn't go above 85. systolic is still fine.

your bp rise could be from anxiety, but a sleep study wouldn't be a bad idea. i was going to have the 24 hr bp monitor and was a bit anxious about that, then ended up not needing it (was diagnosed with IST...btw i had many symptoms like severe fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and also have a history of thyroid problems so i knew my own bp rise wasn't from anxiety...but for many people anxiety is a real driving factor.)


Just got my appointment through today, it's in just over 2 weeks time. Will have to see what I can do between now and then to improve it.


I started on medication for BP that was high after flying home from a holiday. Medication didn't suit me so am losing weight and walking more to keep it down to reasonable levels. My GP has advised me to discard the first reading and take an average of the second two readings and only to take twice a day. This is much better as the readings drop - partly because I'm not stressed about the first reading. I'm surprised at how stress can make it higher, It had shot up when I went for an eye injection recently so I had to walk round the outside of the hospital for a while to bring it down enough to have the injection!! The same GP said the 24 hour tests are not a good indicator as we tense up whenever the cuff inflates. You could try taking at home- keep records- and discard the first reading. You'll be much more relaxed I think the muscles go into spasm with the first reading which may send the pressure up


I was taking it at home but the bottom number was a bit up and down. Not sure how this 24hr thing is going to be any better.


Try to think long term about it. You mention weight - studies show massive reductions in BP when people lose weight. Also exercise relaxes everything and brings bp down. I had to go for ten minute walks when mine was high!! Also I’ve found soothing music is helping

1 like

REiris try walking 30minutes daily or 15min twice a day or more forget about your bp monotering for 3months and see how it works rgs ed


Thanks. I'm getting the 24hr monitor this Friday, not really looking forward to it and annoyed I have to get it in the first place. Don't know how I'm supposed to relax with it on.


Tomorrow is bp monitor day. Been thinking about it all week. All sorts of thoughts going through my head, what if it's high? How can it be normal if I'm supposed to wear the thing all the time and go about my day as usual. Aren't the readings going to be high if I'm walking around, eating etc.


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