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Author Topic: different blood pressure readings on both arms  (Read 462 times)

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Offline dontfeellikemyself

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different blood pressure readings on both arms
« on: June 11, 2014, 04:38:47 PM »
Hi all,

I just went to the gyno today and when they took my blood pressure at the beginning of the session, I was startled to see that both of my arms had VASTLY different numbers. The assistant who did the reading did the first arm and it read 142/54--she asked me if I had a history of hypertension, to which I responded no. Then she took my other arm's reading and it was 113/72. She seemed satisfied by this.

Of course I go to google and there is NOTHING reassuring about having different blood pressure readings on both arms. I am terrified because I have never encountered this before. Does this mean something very bad? Do I have undiagnosed kidney disease or diabetes that I don't know about??
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Offline jilllayy

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 04:47:00 PM »
This is completely normal!

One arms reading will always be higher and it is completely normal. If you were nervous that would have been why one arm was a little bit more elevated. Or! she could have done it wrong the first time in which you cannot repeat on that same arm for 15 minutes because it will be even more elevated!

(nursing student)
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Offline dontfeellikemyself

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 05:04:46 PM »
Hi Jill,

Thanks so much for responding...that makes me feel a little bit better! Should I be concerned that the difference is so vast, though? I read that the variation should be no more than 10? I don't recall ever getting checked on both arms, so I don't know if this has been an ongoing thing or not..just undetected.
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Offline JunoX

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 06:47:33 PM »
I have no idea why a gyno would take blood pressure readings in both arms. That seems starnage to me as I've never seen this practiced before.

The only time I ever had blood pressure readings taken in both arms was when getting a Doppler of my neck arteries. I'm not going to freak you out with the details but there is a range for the different readings. It shouldn't be vastly different and I was given an explanation as to why it shouldn't which I'll omit since Google is already working you up.

Your gyno is a doctor so if there was something to worry about she would have told you but you can bring this up to your PCP as well. Its so annoying when doctors do things that just confuse and cause more anxiety to the patient with no explanation as to why.
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Offline thenomnomnomicon

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 07:15:57 PM »
Sometimes they'll take it twice for a more accurate read -- as they know there's variety and they average the numbers/take the lower reading.

This is actually a pretty common practice.

Look up White Coat Syndrome.
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Offline jilllayy

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 09:46:39 PM »
One of my arms is almost always 120's over 80's and other 100's over 70's
 And to add to junox. The reason they check it the second time in a different arm is because taking the blood pressure again in that same arm right away doesnt give accurate reading
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Offline dontfeellikemyself

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 10:20:09 PM »
It actually wasn't the gyno who took the readings...it was the nurse assistant. She took it a second time on my other arm because the first number shocked her so much. I have never experienced such a high bp number before and even as of last year the numbers seemed ok....is there a way I can do this for myself in a few days to check again?? I am a little nervous.
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Offline jilllayy

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 07:20:20 AM »
Where do you live? Usually cvs walgreens and such or even big supermarkets have blood pressure machines near pharmacy
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Offline marc

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 08:17:39 AM »
I would go to an internal medicine physician and have him/her interpret any differences.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: different blood pressure readings on both arms
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 02:55:16 PM »
I had a higher than expected BP reading at my last physical.  The nurse tried a different-sized cuff and the reading was normal.  Different things can affect the readings.  Try not to stress about it.
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