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Blood Pressure

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Hi, I took my blood pressure reading at home as part of a get fit drive as I needed to enter this along with my height and weight onto a website to track progress. I am male, aged 38, 5ft 11 and weigh 14 stone. I do not smoke or drink alcohol and I eat a vegetarian diet. My average reading taken over the course of a week is 178/119 and I was concered this seemed to be higher than it should be. For the past 2-3 weeks I have had a throbbing headache when I wake up in the morning and this re-visits me at various points in the day. I had assumed this was due to a dental infection (in my root) but I had the offending tooth out over a week ago but I still have the headaches. Is my blood pressure too high? What can cause this and should I be seeing my GP about it? Many thanks

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 18 Doctors Online

Thank you for consulting with Doctorspring. I understand that you have bought a Sphygmomanometer for home use and that the readings over a week have been high. The normal blood pressure is taken to be 120/80 (Systolic BP: 120 mm Hg and Diastolic BP: 80 mm Hg), so, even if your machine is showing a very high level, I think you should first get your BP tested by a Doctor. This is because the machine you purchased may not be calibrated perfectly unlike the ones available with the Doctor.

A few things to be followed while measuring your BP is that ensure that you are sitting comfortably on a chair with the apparatus at a table nearby, ensure that you have a cuff of the adult size and that the cuff is fixed firmly so that it doesn't allow more than one finger between the cuff and your arm. Usually high blood pressure doesn't present with any symptoms but your headache may be due to the high BP if it is indeed high.

Yes, you should see your GP to have you blood pressure checked because the values you are getting on your apparatus may be right. Also talk to him about your headache. You're overweight for your height and you should be doing something about that too. So, talk to your Doctor about some lifestyle changes you may need. Hope this information was of use to you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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