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blood pressure issues driving me insane

(16 Posts)
harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 11:36:47

i always get very high bp readings when its taken automatically (think 179/103) but if its taken manually its always within the normal range. anyone else like this?
im really fed up at the minute as im having to go to the hospital every fortnight and my midwife 3 times a week to get it checked. the hospital refuse to check it manually and im about ready to lose the plot!

Heathbaby Thu 25-Apr-13 13:54:59

Hi, I just want to sympathise! My BP is usually a bit higher than average and I have 'white coat syndrome' whereby my BP goes up before being taken as I'm so anxious about the whole thing. I agree re manual v automatic, its the same with me. You'd think they would do both so as at least demonstrate how different the readings can be. Sorry it sounds a real hassle. I'm currently on a 2 week Dr check. X

harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 14:25:49

thanks for your reply, i just cant understand how there can be such a difference between the readings. the hospital are putting pressure on me to go on medication, but i dont think that with my manual readings its necessary!
hope everything stays ok with you smile

Heathbaby Thu 25-Apr-13 14:53:31

Any chance your dr / midwife (if that's who does the manual readings) could have a word with the hospital? Whether or not you end up taking medication you at least deserve to know that the two sets of healthcare professionals are in agreement about re evidence base! Good luck smile

paleandinteresting Thu 25-Apr-13 15:05:45

Hi, how many weeks along are you? What was your booking in bp? Do you have a bp monitor that you use at home? Have you been asked to do ambulatory bp monitoring (over 24 hours)?

I'm surprised that they don't use a manual monitor! I had increased bp during my pregnancy and whenever I saw the midwife or went to the antenatal clinic they measured it manually (using the large cuff as this gave better readings despite the smaller cuff being an okay fit).

I definitely have a touch of white coat syndrome and my readings are always higher when taken by someone else than at home. I bought a monitor several years ago and it was great for peace of mind during pregnancy.

To give you my experience, my booking in bp reading was recorded as 140/90 and I was given aspirin from week 12. At week 33 I started taking 200mg labetalol and then at week 38 the dose was upped to 400mg labetalol as my bp started going up. Had to see the midwife every week which was a pain, but they wanted to rule out pre-eclampsia. I used to take in the readings I had done at home as they were usually less extreme than the ones done in clinic. I wasn't thrilled to take medication, but DS is now a healthy 5.5 month old and my bp is back to where it was pre-pregnancy.

harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 15:47:03

im 22 weeks, my booking in bp reading was 120/80 (manual)
at my 12 week scan it was 150/95, thats when they aksed that i see my midwife 3 times a week
i see 2 different midwives at my clinic, both manage to get manual readings of between 120/75 and 120/80 every time
but yet i go to hosp and it rockets to 179/103
the doc i saw this week suggested aspirin, but spoke to a consultant who wants me on methyldopa
they wont do it manually at the hospital as they say its not accurate hmm
i really wouldnt have a problem taking medication IF i was getting high readings all the time, but 3 times a week im getting perfectly normal readings
its so frustrating!

harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 15:49:23

i was put on medication btw in previous pregnancy but that was late on and everyone was in agreement that my bp was raised

LadyMedea Thu 25-Apr-13 15:59:12

Get your own monitor and see what readings you get at home.

I'm kinda surprised they haven't put you for a 24 hour monitor as single readings can be so misleading.

harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 16:01:55

im back to my midwife in the morning so will see if they loan them out. failing that i'll price them and just buy one

paleandinteresting Thu 25-Apr-13 16:14:56

Did a quick search and came across this systematic review from 2011 suggesting that manual devices should be used for the management of hypertension (abstract only, can't access the whole paper).

If I were you, I would insist they used a manual device. Do you think the hospital environment might stress you out more, leading to a higher reading? Also, it might be worth investing in an automatic bp monitor at home - I have something like this, although there is a more basic one for around £15. That way, you can see if automated readings are always higher or just at hospital. Alternatively, would it be possible to ask the midwife if they could do it automatically and see what reading they get (if they have automated machines)?

paleandinteresting Thu 25-Apr-13 16:15:51

Oops, x-post, sorry! Slow typing...

harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 17:01:56

thanks for the link
i'll ask in the morning if they would take it both ways, if only to prove a point to the hospital. im definately going to try and insist again!
i do think that i get anxious going to the hospital. i dont like being prodded and examined and i tend to be quite annoyed before i even get the car parked lol

Simian0 Thu 25-Apr-13 17:29:50

That's very odd the hospital refuse to do it manually. My hospital will ONLY do it manually if you've got suspected high BP. Mine was very high (for me) on my GP's auto monitor, but less so on the hospital and midwife's manual readings.

I bought one for home (auto) and took 3 readings at morning and in evening and reported to my GP each week for a few weeks until it stabilised.

Can you not insist that the hospital try it the manual way? Worth trying to force the issue by the sounds of it.

harleyd Thu 25-Apr-13 19:01:15

im glad i posted on here. after reading everyones replies i am determined to make sure that they take it manually. i will see also if i can get to talk to the consultant at my next hospital appt. i dont want to kick up a fuss, but at the same time i dont want to be taking medication that i dont necessarily need to be.

SneezySnatcher Thu 25-Apr-13 20:10:24

Definitely get them to check it with a manual. I suffer terribly from white coat hypertension and as soon as soneobe comes near me with a cuff it goes up.

I got my BP checked after delivering DS the other day and it was 178/117 (IIRC. Bottom number was definitely 117) - cue lots of panicking from the HCA!

I got them to put it on the machine where it takes your BP every few minutes (so I wasn't aware of when it would happen) and it was 120/70!

harleyd Sat 27-Apr-13 09:51:06

just an update, my lovely midwife checked it both ways for me yesterday
148/90 automatically
125/80 manually
all results being recorded till i have to go back to the hospital next week
feeling a bit more settled now that ive spoken to my midwife smile

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