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Old 04-29-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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I know this isn't a medical advice forum, but I'm hoping some of you who have dealt with this issue could provide some advice.

I have never been one to visit a doctor regularly, so I've only had blood pressure checked sporadically.

About a year ago, nurse measured on forearm with normal sized cuff reported 130/60.

When I was in hospital after ankle surgery those auto monitors showed around 140 - 150/100 about 4 years ago. Had pressure taken on upper arm with normal cuff by random doc about ten years ago reported "that's pretty high" didn't give me a number.....advised check it at the store (which I can't do cuz of arm size) and come back if still high.....never went back.

Visited a new doctor because of back pain this past week. Nurse took pressure on upper arm with what seemed a larger than normal cuff, but is the cuff they seem to use on everyone reported 180/100.

Doctor used same cuff in same location reported 150/100. Both times the cuff got extremely tight and painful and my arm was bruised and sore for several days after.

My arm measures about 18 inches, which would be above the upper limit for most large cuffs. Doctor acknowledged cuff may be too small, but couldn't be arsed to get a larger one.

On my doctor's advice I bought a monitor for at home, but got a wrist model due to the store not having an arm model the correct size. The reviews indicate the model has a reputation for accuracy, but I'm getting readings of 120/60-80. Which is vastly different from my doctor's.

So.....now I'm a bit leery of taking the BP meds they prescribed. I have a follow up appointment in one month, so I'm considering taking my monitor in and requesting they use a "thigh cuff" to check accuracy before I take any meds.

However, given that they seemed not terribly concerned about making sure they used a correct cuff before giving me meds and that if correct those readings are pretty high.....not sure if waiting is the right course or if I should consider another doctor entirely....tho it would likely be a month to get in to a new one.

I do have mild edema....I'm not sure if "water pills" would be beneficial even if my BP is ok or if the side effects would outweigh benefits or if the side effects are mild enough that I should just take it and see what happens.

The med is hydrochlorothiazide 25mg.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:24 PM   #2
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You need to know that not taking blood pressure pills when needed and advised can cause dementia. It happened to a friend of ours. You can look it up or ask a health professional yourself.

I don't think you can't afford to doubt the doctors. If you have doubts or concerns, you must speak up at the time.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Just my opinion...
Get a second opinion. Soon.
Check around to see if some place else can take your blood pressure. I can go into my doctors office anytime and the nurse will take my BP during a free minute.
BP can go up when you are nervous at the doctor.
Not taking BP meds is dangerous.
Taking BP meds when you don't need them can also be dangerous.
I would also ask about the edema.
Good Luck!
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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After researching a bit, it seems the numbers my monitor indicates are on the borderline of "pre-hypertension", so seems taking the Meds should be ok whether the doc's numbers are too high or not as my BP is higher than optimal either way, so I think I'm going to start the meds and just insist they get the correct cuff when I go back so I can get a better picture and hopefully have less discomfort.

Ideally, I'd love to find a doctor who specialized in obesity issues, since the weight is my largest health concern right now, but haven't had any luck in this area thus far. There is a university nearby with a weight loss program, but my insurance does not cover anything related to weight management unfortunately. The doc recommended surgery, but aside from my concerns about complications my insurance would not cover it, so not really an option.

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:53 PM   #5
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I used to have high BP. With weight loss, this has gone and I am off the meds.

If I were you I would do as you suggest. Take the BP meds for now but insist on being tested with a large cuff. I, too, was tested a few times with a cuff that was too small and I was getting crazy high readings (over 200/100) even though I still had high BP (about 140/90 at the time). The small cuff would sometimes split open along the velcro. You know there is a problem with the cuff size when that happens!
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:41 AM   #6
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I always asked for a large cuff as I knew the normal size one gives the wrong results. I have a wrist monitor at home and it always shows under what the doctors office does.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattience View Post
You need to know that not taking blood pressure pills when needed and advised can cause dementia. It happened to a friend of ours. You can look it up or ask a health professional yourself.

I don't think you can't afford to doubt the doctors. If you have doubts or concerns, you must speak up at the time.
Ugh.... YES she should doubt her doctors if they don't even both to use the right size cuff!!!! She could get very ill or pass out and kil someone while driving if she passes out from too low blood pressure!
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #8
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I would check your wrist monitor against their large cuff monitor when you go in. My MIL has done that with her monitors.

But monitor how you feel with the BP. Like are you feeling light headed? If you do get your bp checked immediately and see if you shoudl stop the meds.

Did he do any heart work? The edema could be from your heart.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:31 AM   #9
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As suggested above, do compare your wrist monitor with the doctor's cuffs the next time you go in. Also, check your blood pressure with your wrist cuff at different times of the day, both standing and sitting, and after activity but check most frequently while at rest. It's a good idea to stop by your doctor's office often and have your bp checked by the nurses there too. Keep a record of your numbers to show the doctor. Blood pressure can fluctuate quite a bit and it would be good to see what your average is.

Your blood pressure might not normally be as high as it appears to be when taken at the doctor's office. Some people get "white coat syndrome" and have increased bp due to a bit of anxiety over being at the doctor's office.

If you do indeed have high blood pressure you should consider taking meds (and of course losing weight and watching sodium intake helps too). The med prescribed you is one of the older ones which means it has been well tested over a long period which would give me some peace of mind if I had to take it.
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