Blood Pressure Anomaly - Different Readings Question

OntarioDude

Moderator
Trusted Member
Hi;

I'm just wondering if anyone has ever had (or has heard of anyone who has had) two separate Blood Pressure readings depending on what arm they use?

For example, one side comes in at 140 and the other at 160.

The Doctor mentioned that there is a very slight chance that this could sometimes indicate something could be getting pinched or blocked somehow.

I know these numbers will come down now and am not concerned about them but I do think it's strange to consistently have two different readings depending on which side is measured.

I've had this tested with various blood pressure monitors and even had the Doctor pull out the old school, manual sphygmomanometer which confirmed the same results.

Also, I thought it'd be good to post this since it's always good to talk about blood pressure on the Forum and remind everyone to regularly check it and give blood if needed.

Any other tips or discussion are always welcome and appreciated.

Thank you very much & good health to you all,

OD
 

OntarioDude

Moderator
Trusted Member
Thanks @The Old Guy & @tricks79

I always use the big cuff and now I have my own monitor as well which I had to pay extra for the bigger cuff. My left is always higher lately but I dropped the Tren so I know it'll go back down overall. Just weird that one is around 20 higher than the other so I thought I'd put it out there.

Thanks a bunch,

OD
 

Heli

Moderator
We (EMS) will take differential readings from arm to arm. Looking for indicators of peripheral artery disease.

My protocol is 12-18 points difference as a risk factor when administering certain medications.

Having said all of this, yes PAD is a reality, but... and a big but, you have to study BP as a trend, as you have to do with all vital signs, one, two even three readings are insignificant unless you can capture a trend.

If you are truly worried about consistent BP problems take matters into your own hands and start monitoring - recording signs on a regular basis.

Keep in mind... cheap drug store monitors work for the average vital signs monitoring process, but nothing can beat an actual auscultated (manually listened too) blood pressure.

Keep a log.

Measure both arms.

Do it at different times of day and during/after stress or exercise periods.

Good luck bud, and just know... the average person in a doctors office taking your BP is a trained donkey. They know how to take vital signs, but have no clue how to read trends or spot problems.

Be your own ambassador and take charge of monitoring your own health.
 

Peter Akara

Active member
Trusted Member
Differences between L/R Arm BP readings... few things:

1. Typically which arm your reading is on doesnt matter. Dont worry about which is 'closer to the heart'
2. In an EMERGENCY setting, differences between arms worry me for type A aortic dissection, this is not whats going on here
3. Likely this is vascular anomoly in yourself. How long has it been like this? Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a POSSIBILITY, but also unlikely. Do you have symptoms of pain in the legs after walking for a bit (called claudication, look it up quick and tell me, but i doubt it).
4. Past medical history? Any prior cancers or surgeries in the chest, shoulders or arms? Vascular or aortic surgeries in the family? Or history of connective tissue disorders (ie: Marfans)?
 

OntarioDude

Moderator
Trusted Member
Hi @Heli

Thank you for reviewing this and offering such great advice. This will be really good for anyone else on here who may have any similar issues they are working on.

I've been doing all those things that you suggested so I think that's a good start. I have my own monitor now and it was giving high readings so I bought the larger cuff. I've checked it with Doctor's digital monitor as well as their old school manual type one and was surprised to get the same results. I know it'll come down but will have to wait and see if there's still as much of a difference difference between the two sides when it gets back to normal.

Thanks again,

OD
 

OntarioDude

Moderator
Trusted Member
Differences between L/R Arm BP readings... few things:

1. Typically which arm your reading is on doesnt matter. Dont worry about which is 'closer to the heart'
2. In an EMERGENCY setting, differences between arms worry me for type A aortic dissection, this is not whats going on here
3. Likely this is vascular anomoly in yourself. How long has it been like this? Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a POSSIBILITY, but also unlikely. Do you have symptoms of pain in the legs after walking for a bit (called claudication, look it up quick and tell me, but i doubt it).
4. Past medical history? Any prior cancers or surgeries in the chest, shoulders or arms? Vascular or aortic surgeries in the family? Or history of connective tissue disorders (ie: Marfans)?
Hi @Peter Akara

I'd like to also thank you for taking the time to review this and for providing your insight. This will be very helpful for others when needed as well.

For me, I've only spotted this trend recently but I can't say that they used to always check both sides unfortunately. I don' have any signs or symptoms anywhere else other than having a really stiff neck, shoulders and head at times which also causes bad headaches but that comes and goes. I went to message therapy to work on that and it seemed to help or at least lessen for a couple days but still didn't change the blood pressure anomaly between the two arms.

I have no history (other than a separated shoulder - no surgery though) and neither does my family although my father had heart disease issues and some stents inserted when he was much older.

If it doesn't come back to normal, they told me that the may have me go for an ultrasound to see if there is any type of blockage anywhere that they can find.

Thanks again,

OD
 

Peter Akara

Active member
Trusted Member
Hi @Peter Akara

I'd like to also thank you for taking the time to review this and for providing your insight. This will be very helpful for others when needed as well.

For me, I've only spotted this trend recently but I can't say that they used to always check both sides unfortunately. I don' have any signs or symptoms anywhere else other than having a really stiff neck, shoulders and head at times which also causes bad headaches but that comes and goes. I went to message therapy to work on that and it seemed to help or at least lessen for a couple days but still didn't change the blood pressure anomaly between the two arms.

I have no history (other than a separated shoulder - no surgery though) and neither does my family although my father had heart disease issues and some stents inserted when he was much older.

If it doesn't come back to normal, they told me that the may have me go for an ultrasound to see if there is any type of blockage anywhere that they can find.

Thanks again,

OD
No problem.
-I think the stiff neck/shoulder/etc are unrelated. Massage therapy will not change a vascular anomaly.
-Unless your father had an MI w/ stenting prior to the age of 60, its not a significant risk factor for yourself, and the subclavian's coming from the aorta to your arms are much larger than your coronarys anyway
-Whats your typical BP?

Your GP can order a 'Great Vessels U/S' to start. I dont think its worth subjecting you to the radiation for a CT-angio at this point.


Keep us posted
 
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