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Blood pressure, fear and over measuring! Help please!(7 Posts)
Hello, I'm having a bit (probably a lot) of a panic and wondered if anyone can talk me down, please?
When I was pregnant seven years ago, my blood pressure was high. I took medication, and continued taking it for a while after the birth. The GP then stopped the medication and gave me a monitor to use at home, but I got such wildly different readings that I got really stressed. When I went back, the GP referred me to a counsellor and I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, and the blood pressure wasn't really mentioned again.
I'm sure I've had it taken an appointments over the years and they've always said it's a bit high, then retested and said it's probably ok. Today I was worried for some reason and used the monitor.
I have now measured about 500 times, all of them hugely different, but all high (anywhere from 130/90 to 160/99, though I think I may have done the super high one wrong). I'm obsessing. What if it's been high all these years - what terrible damage might I have done to myself? I should also say that I have struggled with my weight for many years.
Can anyone call me down or tell me to get a grip, please?
When you worry yourself, the reading will go up....therefore freaking you out more.
Measure at say 9:30 am, 3:30 pm & 9:30 pm each day & take a note of the measurements for a week. Then see a doctor if they’re high.
What @FelicityPike said, and also most GPs take three readings and only count the lowest because of the well known effect of white coat syndrome (AKA freaking out over your BP).
www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/what-is-blood-pressure/. for 'normal' readings.
Thank you for your replies. I will try to monitor more sensibly.
I suppose what I'm really worried about is if it has been like this for a long time (potentially seven years since it was high in pregnancy and then they said to stop measuring due to anxiety). I'm worried all those years will have caused lots of damage already.
OP I sympathise, I had this exact thing after the birth of my last DC. It led to terrible health anxiety for me and a genuine fear of having my BP taken. What works for me is preparing myself mentally that my anxiety will make the reading higher than it really is. So I take it, then do it again after 20 minutes, and so on, eventually it comes down. I take it at home, with no distractions (ie kids running around!) and do a mindfulness meditation between readings! It sounds so ridiculous written down, but I understand it as a genuine fear born out of a traumatic experience.
Thank you so much for this @JG1980! It's nice to hear from somebody who knows what it feels like.
Yes - mine comes down eventually if I sit and calm down between readings. The third or fourth reading is usually normal, even if they're only a few minutes apart. Is that ok, though, or does it mean I'm usually running at the far higher, dangerous, numbers? Sorry, I hope you don't mind me asking.
I’m glad I can help you feel a bit better As I understand it your BP fluctuates all the time, so each reading is just what it is at that moment. So if you are stressed and it’s high, it’s a result of the stress and will return to a lower rate once you’ve calmed down. So that’s why long periods of stress aren’t good for us. Try to relax, if the Dr was truly worried about you they’d have kept monitoring it. Like the other poster said, take a few readings over a period of time and make an appointment if it’s consistently higher than it should be (I’m sure you’ll find it’s ok though )