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Blood pressure question

By March 15, 2009 - 11:44pm
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I was just at the doctors and I am a very squeamish person! The Doctor herself doesn't bother me, but I hate anything to do with the pulse...makes me feel weak...I'm a bit phobic, I guess, but anyhow, my blood pressure read as 130/80....I could even feel myself getting all stressed out by the thought of the metal on my pulse. This may seem weird but I can't even touch my own pulse!? LOL!
I need valium for a blood test and at 38, have only had three in my life, as I get almost hysterical when I am told I need one!

One was for my green card and I asked the doctor in advance if I could have a few drinks to calm me...he laughed and said yes!

I'm off point, but am just wondering if 130/80 in a heightened state of squeamish stress is anything to worry about?? I am a very fit, quite lean and athletic person who eats almost idyllically well! my weight is great, I am otherwise super healthy and pretty happy overall with a fairly low stress life.

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I would not go by one reading. Before a diagnosis of hypertension is made a patient should monitor BP for about a week or so. A reading of 130/80 is not good or bad if it was the only reading. You mentioned that you were apprehensive during the test, which means you probably added to the final reading through your anxiety. BP test is a routine office visit step, so each time you go to a doctor it becomes part of the intake notes. If you are concern about your BP, you can check it at any drug store any time you want. Next time you go to a doctor you will not be as tense when the nurse takes your BP. Simple breathing exercises or Tai-Chi can lower BP almost immediately.

March 16, 2009 - 9:42pm

The nurse wasn't concerned at all! I was tested at about 3pm in the afternoon and I was nervous. I just hate anything to do with the pulse!
Thanks for the info!

March 16, 2009 - 12:19pm
HERWriter Guide

R -

Your blood pressure is probably fine! You are considered in the "high normal" range which is good, in general, if you health is good and you state it is and you have a very healthy lifestyle. If 120/80 is considered optimal blood pressure, then 130/80 is not too concerning! What time did you get tested? The middle of the day is when your pressure is usually at it's highest. And stressing about the test can raise it too. Blood pressure can be lowered or raised as much as 40 points throughout the day!

Salty foods or alcohol use can affect your blood pressure.

If you have no history of diabetes, heart or stroke problems, then 130/80 is considered a BP that's not worrisome. Medication is not usually given to an otherwise healthy person unless it gets to 140 (the systolic number).

Even if you are a generally healthy eater - here are some tips to lower your BP naturally from our Empowher Encyclopedia -

Lifestyle Changes
-Lose weight if necessary. Your doctor can recommend a safe weight loss plan and a reasonable target weight.
-Begin a safe exercise program based on the advice of your doctor. In addition, try to add physical activity into your daily life.
-Eat a low-fat, low-sodium, high-fiber diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, as recommended by your doctor.
-If you smoke, quit.
-Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
-Consider counseling, stress reduction exercises, and meditation to decrease the stress in your life.

And remember, since you stress so much in terms of needles and blood, it's also likely your BP was raised by the test alone.

I take it that a career in phlebotomy is not for you? Ha!

What did the person taking the test say about your result?

March 16, 2009 - 12:01pm
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