Wednesday, June 09, 2021

my BP monitor is full of shit

So I measure my blood pressure every morning and every evening at about the same time, very soon after waking up and right around 10:45 p.m. This morning, I used my BP monitor to take the morning measurement, and I scored way high—150-something over 90-something. "That can't be right," I thought, so I waited a minute or two and did the measurement again. Sure enough: low 140s over 82. I've long mistrusted BP measurements, whether by doctors or by machines. There seems to be a lot of subjectivity and variability in how blood pressure gets measured. For the moment, though, I think one reason why my BP is all over the place from day to day, aside from natural fluctuations, is that the machine itself is the problem.


  1. I know what you mean about those inexplicable fluctuations. If I get a high reading I do over and it almost always comes down. I'm not sure how sensitive the machine is to things like cuff placement, but I do try and wear it the same every time. What do you do during the actual BP check? I'm usually looking at something on the internet and I wonder if maybe getting agitated impacts the reading. But yeah, I've had doctors check mine twice back-to-back, so maybe they don't trust their machines either.

  2. I usually take a recumbent BP while lying on my bed, although I sometimes also do a sitting BP (as I've done more and more frequently lately). Cuff is always placed in the same position. There's a red arrow on my cuff that serves as a guide.



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