Sharlene Adams, center

Sure Life Blood pressure Monitor

I like to scroll through the online People's Pharmacy, by Joe and Terry Graedon.

Just this week, I took out a big fat rosacea bump on my nose with the People's Pharmacy recommendation: vinegar! It worked where Metrogel didn't — or maybe it was just time for the bump to subside. However, I can't deny it. The rosacea acne diminished when I started applying vinegar.

Went though the current People's Pharmacy email and stopped to read, "Can You Trust Your Blood Pressure Measurements?" Read it twice. Here was something I wanted to share.

Everybody knows about exam-room blood pressure reaction, right? The doctor walks into the room, symbolizing an authority figure who has power over our survival. We wonder, "What's the doctor gonna do to me or tell me?"

What follows is a nervous tic of elevated blood pressure called "white coat hypertension, " when a patient with normal blood pressure (120/80) can have office readings as high as 180/110, the site says.

What I did not know is that the blood pressure cuff is a source of common error. The People's Pharmacy quotes the Journal of Human Hypertension in stating that cuff must match arm size. A cuff too small can result in a high reading.

The Journal asks, "When is the last time your doctor measured your arm circumference and selected a cuff designed for your sized arm?" Just called my primary care physician, whose nurse said they use three sizes, pediatric, regular and large. They've never measured my arm, but I deduce they eyeball the size.

The second cause of misreading occurs when the medical professional interviews the patient while the cuff is on, or engages in small talk. The People's Pharmacy cites research that says blood pressure reading during conversation can have "a profound impact on the outcome. In some cases, [raising the reading] higher than (20) points, resulting in a false hypertension diagnosis."

Source: www.latimes.com
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