Differing BPs in arms?

This section is for discussions with other women who have probably been through the same signs/symptoms that you may be experiencing. Please note, we cannot offer medical advice and encourage members to discuss their concerns with their doctors. New members, come on in and introduce yourself!
corretta
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby corretta » Thu Jan 26, 637662 9:30 am

I know that every time i've ever had my bp taken, it was always in the left arm. I know that the main vein to your heart runs through your left arm so I alway assumed that's why. Even when you go to walmart or places like that, the arm cuff is always set on the left hand side. So I assume the left arm is what you go by, but then again I have no medical knowledge at all.

countrymom2e
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby countrymom2e » Wed Jan 25, 637662 8:27 pm

Thanks ladies! I will use the first number on my right arm (which is the arm I've been using to track) but note if the first number on my left is significantly different. It concerns me that at NST they are not consistent with what arm to use. Wish I'd known that a few weeks ago!

Thanks also for the P&PT.... hopefully next time you hear from me will be next week after we're home from the hospital [:D]

deerhart
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby deerhart » Wed Jan 25, 637662 7:13 pm

an acceptable difference between arm pressures is 10 (so like for me my left arm would read 130/80 and my right would read 120/72, which is acceptable).

If your getting nubmers greater then 10 (so say 120/70 and 140/90) then you need to be checked by the doc to rule out any narrowing of arteries etc.. (it CAN just be the way your body works but it should be investigated)

BTW your numbers are already high enough that your BP is probably high (since your getting readings in both arms over 90)

fnaz
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby fnaz » Wed Jan 25, 637662 5:38 pm

i also have different readings in both arms..nurses in the hospital were quite surprised at times when there were huge differences.Later on they used to record both readings and chart them as left arm and right arm reading.Anyways ..i like this apple and orange thing by Erin.

deerhart
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby deerhart » Wed Jan 25, 637662 5:25 pm

Hi

It is WELL known that people get different readings in different arms. This is why it is recommended that if your tracking your BP it should always be taken in the same arm, otherwise your comparing apples to oranges (still fruit but not exactly the same!)

onfaith
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby onfaith » Wed Jan 25, 637662 5:08 pm

Mel - I have had this problem in both pregnancies. With significantly differing numbers on each arm. My first OB took it very seriously, she too always went with the higher number to be cautious. She also contacted a cardiologist to get his opinion. He felt that it was okay if I was monitored closely during pregnancy and told her that he would like to see me after delivery for follow up exams. It was his opinion that if not exclusively tied to PE it could mean a variety of things; ranging from one side having a blockage and another being coarctation (I think I spelled it correctly - it's a kind of pinching of the aorta). After delivery he checked for murmurs, ran ultrasounds on my heart, did EKG's, etc....everything checked out okay. The second time around my doctors didn't even raise an eyebrow about it, but unfortunately I didn't receive the best care with them...so I chalk it up to their ignorance.

Catherine is right, definitely keep an eye on your pressures in both arms, and raise any concerns you have with your doctor.

Hope you are feeling better soon - and looking forward to hearing all about the new babe!!!!!! Wishing you a smooth and easy delivery!!!!

akemt
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby akemt » Wed Jan 25, 637662 2:48 pm

I'm not a doctor by any means, but can share some of my related experience. I too get different readings in different arms. My doctor checked it out thoroughly himself (in my first pregnancy) and I was told to be sure it was always taken in the higher arm of the two for the added measure of safety and we continued that in my second pregnancy with my new OB. But, it isn't at all uncommon for women to get a lower reading the second time around after they've been sitting and trying to relax for a few minutes. I would first be sure that this isn't the case - switch which arm you do a BP on first, etc. Record all your results and bring them with you to the doctor. Also, all this is assuming that you're taking your BP in the same position each time (not lying on one side then the other, standing on your head, etc) with a bit of "rest and relaxation" before each one.

For me it was assumed to be a sort of fluke -- I'm just weird! [;)] Who would have guessed?

If it were me, again, I'd record my readings and which arm they were on, the time, position it was taken in, symptoms felt at the time, etc, and take that to my doctor tomorrow so that s/he can get a better picture of what is going on. Best of luck and let us know what happens!

kimana
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby kimana » Wed Jan 25, 637662 1:47 pm

I understand your confusion...

On Monday when I went in for my appointment, they had me at 150/100 on the left (Holy CRAP!) and 120/80 on my right. I did speak with the medical student and the doctor who see me and they kept w/ the 120/80 because the nurse said she had had some trouble getting a good reading off my left arm. The 150/100 was found on the smaller cuff...she couldn't get a good reading with the larger cuff, so she used the larger cuff on the right arm. We'll see what happens tomorrow when I go in...I hope you are able to talk to your doctor and get some good answers!!! Good luck!

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caryn
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Re : Differing BPs in arms?

Postby caryn » Wed Jan 25, 637662 11:12 am

Hi Mel,

I've noticed that with me too. Poking around I just found that our experts don't seem to care *which* arm, so long as it's not the highest arm when you're laying down on your side!

http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=161
http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=321

I'm sorry to hear that your bp is staying up these days, but I'm glad they're being proactive and not letting you get too sick. Are you ready? What's your other little one think?

countrymom2e
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Differing BPs in arms?

Postby countrymom2e » Wed Jan 25, 637662 9:20 am

My BPs have been high lately in spite of my bedrest and I have more swelling, so my OB and MW are going to decide tomorrow at my NST if I'm going to have the baby tomorrow or Monday.

I've been monitoring my BP much closer and I've noticed a big variation based on the arms I take it in. For example, I took my BPs this morning, 141/88 in my right, 133/92 in my left. Last night I took it 149/92 in my right arm, 133/92 in my left. I'm just trying to get an accurate reading, so if it's high, I've been taking it in my left arm to see if it is the same or a fluke reading.

Has anyone else seen this? I've heard it is more accurate to take it in your left arm?

Thanks!
Melissa


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