Hypertension Community
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4948466 tn?1392168046

blood pressure

I take my blood pressure using a wrist cuff "Life Source" device and my blood pressure varies considerably during the day. I try to sit down and rest a couple of minutes before taking the readings but always big swings. Occasionally 165/90 and a couple of hours later 113/71. I take 3 readings each time. I do the same at the drug store and get similar varied results. 63 years old with a history of past high cholesterol, normal now. Why the big swings?

4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, the swings could be due to the medication timing, or sometimes anxiety can also raise the levels. Try taking it first thing in the morning for a few weeks and track the numbers to determine your average. If persistently elevated consult your doctor for medication modifications. Regards.
ChattaChickExternal User
Interesting advice. If I only took my blood pressure in the morning, I wouldn't need to be on any medication, since it's quite low then (usually 105/65). By late afternoon, I'm often 135/95, even on 3 medications. Wish I could make it stabilize!
4948466 tn?1392168046
Thanks very much. I will try to ensure early morning readings for January and go from there.
Avatar universal
I, too, use a wrist cuff.  I mentioned to the nurse/assistant at my doctor's office that my readings are always lower in the office than at home.  She said wrist cuffs tend to measure higher and that I should buy an arm cuff for a more acurate reading.
External User
As a nurse myself and dealing with high blood pressure, too, blood pressure can vary naturally throughout the day. Even checking it at the same time daily can vary - if you check every morning, it could vary by what your salt intake was the day before causing you to retain more water which can elevate blood pressure as well, stress, how you slept that night, etc. The important thing is trying to make sure you check equally the same every time and take your blood pressure medication at the same time daily, too.

You want to really make sure that you are sitting down in a hard back type chair, sitting upright with your feet flat on the floor (not crossed, even at the ankles only) and check with your arm at the correct position. If using a wrist cuff, hold it up essentially across your chest (e.g. if using your right wrist, hold your arm up so the cuff is at heart level across your chest). If using an arm cuff, make sure it's the right sizing based on the guidelines on the cuff and that the arrows are aligned with your artery as well. Arm cuffs do also tend to be more accurate as well. It is equally important to sit for at least 5-10 minutes - quietly, and calmly, taking slow deep breaths to relax also. I agree with DrAnitha's comments as well- recording the readings is important too - jot down the time of day you took it and the date and see if you notice trends over time and bring that to your doctor's office to discuss and see what they can recommend as well.
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