confused.normal blood pressure readings

Posted , 8 users are following.

I am interested in finding out how the medical profesion come up with a normal figure and do.s this vary from country to country.

 

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  • Posted

    Age and weight are factors.
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    • Posted

      If there are other symptoms to factor in .why have one figure fits all .The below 140 can be impossible to achieve for some people even with meds ,A lot of comments on blood pressure forums are from people (some fit and healthy)

       becoming obsessed with readings and convinced they will end up having a stroke .It worries me that there are people out there trying lots of different drug combinations suffering side effects and still there bp is not down to this magical figure .(i guess the drug companies have a huge imput ) into how doctors treat people .I would love to know statistics on people having stroke on meds already, and those on no meds

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  • Posted

    nellybear...I don't truly think there is any real normal reading. Usually, depending on age, etc...it's acceptable for a person to have 140/80. Of course, anything lower makes the Dr. happy. The 'golden' reading used to be 120/80, but they medical profession in there infinite wisdom (sarcasm here) has finally learned that not everyone can attain 120/80. You can't expect someone of 60+yrs of age to have bp readings the same as a 24 yr. old.

    I used to have great respect for 'modern medicine' but I don't anymore. I've seen women go home from hospital the same day as having a double mastectomy!

    In my book, that's totally irresponsible! 

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    • Posted

      So true Mike. The doc I saw wasn't worried about the systolic. It was the diastolic she didn't like. Said over 100 was bad. If it stayed there or dropped under 100, she was fine. She was afraid of it going higher and me stroking out. They even called my primary and told on me in case I didn't call them. Just to cover there butts.

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  • Posted

    I agree with the posters.. The numbers are a guideline but not set in stone.. there are many variables and if BP meds worked then we would all be taking the same medication which we clearly are not.  that tells me that there is NO set of numbers that are "right"..  Doctors parrot what they learn in medical school but who is actually paying for these courses colors what they are teaching..  An old pharmacist told me "Ann if you don't need surgery they stay away from doctors because they are pretty much useless" 

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    • Posted

      hi ann

      thanks for this,i have been torn lately about wether to try meds again.My bp is never below 140 and averages between 150-170 .In the past i did go with the doc and took meds none  of which agreed with me and in fact in some cases i had to have time off work because of side effects.Also the only one that did bring it down slightly was the one that made me ill.Amlodapine. After this i decided to take my chances  stop obsessong over figures and only take my readings once or twice a week .Its just every now and then i read something or see something on the telly that worries me .The last doctor i spoke to about coming off meds replied(dont come back to me in 10 years time when you have a stroke)this put my back up and made me even more determined to go with my instincts.madbiggrin

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  • Posted

    Nellybear I responded to your post, apparently it was deleted..
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  • Posted

    Hi nellybear, I don't think it varies so much from country to country, but more from doctor to doctor. Some are much less tolerant of very minor increases in BP than others.

    I live in Belgium, and my previous GP sometimes made medication noises after a very small rise in my BP - which I ignored, as patients have far more of a voice here than in some countries. After a house move 4 years ago, I chanced on a wonderful GP, who's very guarded about excessive medication of any kind. My systolic BP is gradually creeping up now I'm in my 70s, sometimes as high as 160 - though the diastolic tends to be normal or even low - but he's not pushing medication for the moment. When it's on the high side, he just chats to me for a few minutes (though I'm not aware of having "white coat syndrome"wink then takes it again - and it's always lower. At the last visit, it was 160/90 first time round. Instead of reaching for the prescription pad, he started asking me all about a UK TV soap - from which he claims to be learning English - and it went down to 145/75! He does, however, insist that I see him every six months so he can keep tabs on this.

    My mother, who lived in the UK, was found to have alarmingly high BP 25 years ago, at the age of 75. She was put on verapamil - one of the earlier calcium-channel blockers. She tolerated this very well, with no noticeable side-effects, and it kept her BP within reasonable limits too. Then one day, when she went for a routine check-up, her usual doctor was away and she had to see another one. He happened to be American, but I don't know how significant that was. Her BP was 135/80 that day, and he upped the dose of verapamil, on the grounds that a systolic of 135 was dangerous! My mother immediately started getting headaches and swollen ankles. I had quite a job getting her put back on the original dose, and her BP stayed within acceptable limits till she died 14 years later.

    I'd say do your own research, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and try and find a doctor who best matches your own feelings about medication. (Though I realise the latter can be difficult if you're in the UK.)

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily,

      What you say is so true. I also have found a doctor that goes easy on the meds and uses alternative medicine.. he's a delightful man and a senior himself and we chat about all sorts of things.  Before meeting him I was terrified when looking for a doctor. I'm in America and it is not easy dealing with Americans in general but especially true in the medical profession. Might I add that the region of the country must also be taken into consideration.. I live in the deep South and find it bizarre when I see a bible sitting on the doctor's coffee table.. That alone has made me leave the office and continue my quest for a doctor.. Thanks for your post.

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    • Posted

      Oh my goodness Ann - a bible in the doctor's waiting room! Doesn't sound like good advertising. We only get ancient, dog-eared copies of Paris Match and the like. There's a lot to be said for living in a country that raises secularism almost to the level of a religion...

      Really glad to hear you've also found the perfect doctor for you. It's so important. Fortunately, mine is still only in his mid-50s, so - as I keep telling him - he'll hopefully see me out!

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    • Posted

      lily65668...I couldn't believe my eyes, so I looked a 2nd time about you writing 135/80 being considered too high, especially the 135. THAT is a very acceptable reading for sure! At the very least Dr. here in Canada would NOT increase medication based on that reading. 

      Had that happened to my Mom, I'd be furious & most certainly would have raked the Dr. over the coals about it.

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  • Posted

    Generally I don't think they work from the idea of a "normal" BP, our BP alters all the time depending on the demands of the body. The research that is guideing the management of BP is really the stuff that relates to cardiovascular risk, heart problems and strokes being major killers. As a general rule the higher your average BP over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk of a cardiovascular event. Its well known that reducing a persons BP reduces their risk. The differences seen in the advice Drs give is really a judgement they make about what level of risk is acceptable and who gets the greatest benefits. In fact people who have a history of heart disease or who have other risk factors are often the people who have the greatest reductions in risk. Generally in the UK they are getting a little more relaxed about tollerable levels and tend not to stick to very rigid targets particularly as we age. Remember BP control is a preventative measure, the idea is to keep more people well for longer, its a bit pointless trying to keep people well by giving drugs that make them ill.

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