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Is measuring blood pressure once always reliable?

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When taking a persons blood pressure is doing once always reliable? I sometimes use the machines that some pharmacies have for BMI and Blood Pressure. For awhile recently mine was border line high and lately it as come down some to more normal. A few times it should lower than normal and recently 1 time showed way high. That time I rechecked it and the second time it showed more normal.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 32 Doctors Online

Hello. Thanks for writing to
Blood pressure can be highly fluctuating, even minor amounts of stress, or anxiety before the BP is checked, can lead it to shoot up, showing inconsistent values. That's why its better to rely on 3 values before coming to a conclusion. If you want to find out whether you have hypertension or not, i will advise you to get it evaluated manually 3 days in a row, based on your convenient timings. The automatic BP equipments are also reliable, however their values can be inaccurate at times. So it's better if you have a pharmacy nearby, you can go three consecutive days, and get it checked. Make sure you haven't done any heavy work, before getting the BP checked. Always relax a bit before the BP is checked and try not to be anxious. Note down the three different values, and send it to us in the follow up. We will guide you further,

Patient replied :

Well considering that I work full time which involves me being on my feet almost all day the 3 days in row might be not possible. I am not sure if that would be considered heavy work or if that means doing heavy lifting ? I will keep this on mind in the future when checking my pressure.

Alright, I understand. A diagnosis of hypertension can only be made based on 3 successive readings taken seated or supine, after 5 minutes of complete rest. A persistent BP value more than 140/90 mm/Hg requires treatment. So if you find your values consistently going above this mark, you need to see your GP.
Heavy work meaning strenuous work or activity. BP tends to rise with any form of exercise. So it should be recorded after at least 5 minutes of complete rest.
Since you have had borderline values, I would suggest that you make healthy choices such as regular exercise, starting gradually to achieve a target of at least 30 minutes of exercise everday for 5 day a week. Dietary modification to reduce salt and fatty food intake should also be undertaken. These measures will reduce risk of developing hypertension and its associated complications.
I hope this was helpful.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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