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When and at what time should I measure my blood pressure?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 466 Questions
Hi, I had a question. When and at what time should I measure my blood pressure? I get up at 8:30, leave for office around 9:30 in the morning and it's usually difficult to measure it in the morning. Before coming home, I do cardio for 30 mins(usually 6:15-6:45) and then dinner(done with dinner till 7:15) and then I come at home around 8pm. Actually, its usually in evening when I can measure my blood pressure. How much should I wait after exercising+eating or when should I measure it? I usually do both of them one after another.
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 32 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query

Blood Pressure varies during different times a day and is usually more during morning hours and after exercise and food. If your BP is under control you can monitor it once a day during any particular time so that a schedule is mentioned and also you can keep a track.

You can measure it in the evening after exercise and food. Wait at least for half an hour and be in a resting state. After doing any sort of exercise wait for sometime(20 to 30 minutes) before having dinner so that the body cools down and comes to normal temperature.

If your BP is not under control then you need to monitor it for 2 to 3 times in a day during different hours so that it can be evaluated if you require medications and if you are already under medications then any changes if required.

Hope this answers your query. In case of any doubts, I am available for follow ups.
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Follow-up: When and at what time should I measure my blood pressure? 34 minutes later
Let me explain my history. In XXXXXXX 2011, I woke up and experienced vertigo. After observation, figured out that they happen when I lookup or look down or lie down or turn right while lying down. Had Brain MRI which was normal. Cervical MRI showed a little abnormalities but orthopedic doc said thats not of concern and should not cause vertigo. Went for cervical therapy. Got my bp measured 2 times earlier in the same month. One time it was 124/84 other time it was 120/80. One day it was 145/98. Doc put me on Ciplar LA 40mg BD. After few days, I experienced chest pain, thought something wrong with heart. Went to ER, bp was 160/100. After 5 mins, 150/100. Had ECG which was normal. Went to ER next night too, bp was 130/90 and ECG again was done and was normal. Doc wrote various tests. KFT was normal. 3rd ECG said probably LVH. Had ECHO which was normal. Went to cardiologist and he said its normal. 2+ protein level in routine urine. Doc said probably because of kidney infection. Took antibiotic. After few days, had 24 hr protein urine test which was normal. In ultrasound, I gotta know I have single kidney by birth which is normal. Had purchased home bp machine till that time. Doc measured bp after few days, it was 126/89. Doc put me on Ciplar LA 40mg BD + Telma OD. Bp started remaining low <100/60. Went to a different doc, put me on 5mg amlodipine. After few days , I saw my bp to be 120/80. Got anxious as i was used to see 100/60. I think i had a panic attack at that time though not sure but was anxious and BP shot to 154/90. Doc increased my dosage to 10mg OD. BP started remaining < 120/80. Had stopped salt till now in food. One day had normal food and felt anxious that bp will increase, checked and it was 140/80.. then increased to 148/88 and then came to 134/80. Then I realized or assumed that when I am anxious bp comes high and otherwise it appears fine. I tapered my dose slowly and finally reduced to amlodipine 2.5mg OD. Since then I have observed that when I am anxious it comes 140+, other wise 120+. Even when its 140+, it comes to lower value after 10-15 mins. I went to psychiatrist, he prescribed medicine but those didn't help. I stopped taking anxiety med and tried to think positive or carefree and had a bit better control with anxiety. But when I visit doctor, it comes high.. sometimes 130/78, sometimes 127/70, sometimes 140+, a few times 150+. I took my machine at doctor and there also with the machine it came high, so nurse said that machine is fine. I started exercising more vigorously since last 5 months and used to measure BP in the evening after 1-2 hour after exercise and dinner and it used to 120/80. Sometimes < 120/80. Went to 130/80 when I was axnious. 2 weeks back doc suggested to reduce dosage and i thought of doing so. Then felt anxious that bp might increase and since then it increased. Moreover since last week, I read somewhere that BP gets reduced after exercise for few hours which also raised my anxiety that I am taking wrong readings(after eating and exercise when it will be lower). I have experienced that when I am really anxious, it shoots up to 150+. One day I had anxiety when I woke up(probably because I thought of measuring BP) and measured my BP immediately after getting up and it was 143/96. After 10-15 mins it came down to 128/82. Next morning, I was a little less anxious and it was 128/89 immediately after waking up. I have seen in the past that BP remains more or less normal in mornings. after breakfast or so or before breakfast. But havent tested it thoroughly immediately after waking up before even waiting for 5 mins. So first to control this anxiety, I need to convince my self that the readings I took till 2 weeks back were fine and find a time when I can measure it or if i can measure it in the evening after exercise and dinner. When I am not thinking about BP or measuring it, I feel fine but the moment I see bp machine or think about it.. i start feeling anxious and also am anxious at doctor's office. So I thought to find one time when I can measure bp and relax and assume that reading is fine. That's why I asked the question.

So to confirm, I can measure BP after 1 hour of dinner and exercise I guess. But I read at few places that BP is lower for few hours after exercise which fueled doubts in the first place.
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 25 minutes later

Thanks for the follow up,

First of all I want to tell you that anxiety,stress and excitement can definitely raise BP.So relax you are fine and need not take unnecessary stress.The BP which you have mentioned that increases at Doctor's place is known as "Whitecoat Hypertension"and some individuals exhibit that BP is increased at that moment and that is also due to anxiety.
You can continue measuring your Blood Pressure at evening times and 1 hour after having dinner and exercise when you are completely relaxed.

Wishing you Good Health!
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