Phil's Rambling Rants
Had my allergy shot today, and stopped at the automated BP machine. It weighed me at 235, continuing the downward trend. The BP reading was 141/78, which seemed awfully high (though I had just hurried down the stairs from the 5th floor), so I hit the button to retest, and the second reading was 116/74, less than a minute after the first one. I begin to wonder if the machine actually works.
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Tags: health, lj
|Date:||November 21st, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)|| |
I've had decreases that great just from having sat still for a minute - similar situation, having high reading after using stairs, then a much lower reading immediately after.
|Date:||November 21st, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)|| |
I expect a decrease, but 116 is a lower systole reading than I can ever remember getting. When I saw Dr. K a week ago I went from 140/85 while I was still breathing hard from going up the stairs to a quick systole reading of roughly 120, but that was a much longer delay, 2-3 minutes at least.
|Date:||November 21st, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)|| |
From someone who has had their BP checked a lot the last year or so, that is pretty typical. Usually trust the 2nd test
|Date:||November 22nd, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)|| |
indeed. the only way to get really reliable and true readings is to be in the hospital and have them done with an invasive method.
and even if the external-cuff machine is properly calibrated and everything is correctly measured, blood pressure still varies a lot, and can indeed move from 140 to 110 in the systole over a minute.
taking a single reading on some random machine, even in your doctor's office, is basically a crapshoot; to get a halfway decent picture of your blood pressure you need to monitor it over some weeks several times a day with the same machine, with yourself and your arm relaxed and in the same position.
since the ticker problems got serious i've been measuring mine 5-6 times a day for a couple of weeks now, and it varies during the day from 150 to 126 even when i am not coming down from vigorous activity (as expected, it is generally too high). it's really interesting to see how things affect it, like a full bladder, or frustration. i think home monitoring is brilliant; very educational.
something similar goes for weight, which is why for a weight loss regimen it actually makes much more sense to forget about the scale and use circumference measurements in several places on your body instead (or at least in addition). when we were doing the low carb experiment, i'd weigh myself several times a day, and i learned a lot about how much weight actually fluctuates all by itself. water weighs much more than one might think, and the body expels much more water under certain conditions than one might think.
people too easily become slaves to numbers that don't necessarily mean much.