Why is my BP reading varying at different places?
Q: I am a 31 years old, male. My weight is 80 Kg and height is 5.7. My problem is the fluctuation in my blood pressure. I used to check my BP at a nearby clinic, where it is always 130/90. But if I check it somewhere else the reading varies from 140/100 to 150/100. Both are mercury instruments only. Is there a difference in readings taken at two different places? At the local clinic, an assistant checked it whereas at the other places doctors checked it. How dangerous is this fluctuation and do I need any medicine?
A:Some people get tense when being examined by a doctor and their BP may go up. This is called white coat hypertension. This is not as bad as regular hypertension but indicates excess reactivity. If your BP is already 130/90 (above 120/80 is labelled as pre-hypertension) you need to make modifications in your life style to prevent becoming a frank hypertensive. You should loose weight by decreasing calorie consumption and increasing expenditure by regular exercise. Eating fresh fruits/vegetables, consuming low-fat milk, limiting salt intake and doing pranayama will decrease BP. If the BP measured by your doctor still continues to be high the problem can be resolved by 24 hours ambulatory BP recording.