A recent study confirmed that the doctor’s office may be one of the worst places to determine if your blood pressure is under control. The automatic rise in tension many people experience when they are being scrutinized contributes to artificially high blood pressure readings. Although many times the only way improve one’s blood pressure is through treatment (such as medication, a low salt diet, and weight loss), other times I’ve seen a simple 10 second relaxation routine drop a patient’s blood pressure reading by up to 20 systolic points. The following may help you obtain a better, more accurate reading the next time you have your pressure checked in the harried office.
1) Insist on being seated for at least 3 minutes before your pressure is taken. Even walking from the waiting room back into an examining room will briefly increase your blood pressure.
2) Take several deep, relaxed breaths in and out before the doctor begins to check your blood pressure.
3) Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles*
An unexpected discovery out of Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, UK showed that deep brain stimulation (DBS) can lower blood pressure, even in cases in which drugs are unsuccessful.
The discovery reportedly occurred when a 55-year-old patient received a deep brain stimulator to treat his pain from central pain syndrome that developed after a stroke. At the time of the stroke, the patient was diagnosed with high blood pressure, which could not be controlled despite taking four different drugs. The deep brain stimulator was largely unsuccessful at controlling the patient’s pain, but amazingly it decreased his blood pressure enough that he could stop taking all four medications.
Researchers confirmed the effects of the deep brain stimulator by turning it on and off over a three-year period, which showed an average of a 32/12 mmHg decrease in blood pressure when the stimulator was turned on and an 18/5 mmHg increase when the device was turned off.
This breakthrough could lead to a new form of treatment for those whose hypertension cannot be controlled by drugs.
Press release from the American Academy of Neurology: Deep Brain Stimulation May Help Hard-to-Control High Blood Pressure…
Abstract in Neurology: Deep brain stimulation relieves refractory hypertension
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*