25% of High Blood Pressure Readings are False...
This false blood pressure reading can easily lead to diagnostic error or over-treatment. Here you can learn how to eliminate this potential health problem. Want to learn more? Good! This website is for YOU, an interested positive person who wants an active role in your own health care.
Vincent R Moloney MD FAAFP (Ret)
Temple University School of Medicine
My first mission is to inform and educate you about what I learned in thirty-two years as a doctor treating blood pressure in the front lines of Emergency Room and Family Practice.
My second mission is to persuade you to learn how to measure your own blood pressure. That is the only way you can be sure you know what it is. Here is why…
Excellent studies using intra-arterial measurements have shown that more than 25% of people who have elevations when someone else takes their blood pressure actually have a false elevation. This error averaged 27 mm of Hg. Twenty-seven! Enough to easily cause you to have a false diagnosis or if you have a true elevation, too much treatment. This false elevation, called "white-coat hypertension", disappears when you take it yourself.
My third mission is to persuade you to not only measure it yourself but to take care of it yourself. You CAN do it and go a long way towards keeping it at a desirable level. All by natural measures and mostly free.
You should do it. You would need only loose supervision and verification by your doctor. Who, by the way, would be delighted. The most pleasing and satisfying patients are the ones who do what they can to enhance their own health.
Contrast this with trying to take care of patients who are sliding into ill health by doing the wrong things such as obesity, smoking, drinking to excess, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and ignoring their pressure. Doctors, along with most other people, like to feel success and accomplishment in their work. A good doctor will be happy to help you manage yourself.
...over my years of practice I believe that many and probably most of my hypertensive patients could have eliminated their problem by instituting these measures that are natural, safe and free of monetary cost. Diet, weight loss, exercise and lowering salt; these alone could do this in a majority of people. Adding some appropriate herbs can help also. See pages about natural measures and herbs listed at the left.
"Take care of yourself"-- is a good motto. After all, the final responsibility belongs to each of us. Accept it and do what you can. You will be surprised how much you can do and most of it free.
On this website:
You can learn about the various aspects of blood pressure including:
- Normal pressure
- Low pressure
- High pressure
- Potential for harm when abnormal
- Many appropriate sub-topics
- Natural lowering
- Self-Monitoring | Measurement
- A detailed instruction booklet on how to take it yourself.
- And more
This website is here to help:
Pick a topic from the left hand column of navigation bars or from the links at the bottom of this page. On those pages you will first get a textbook-like explanation of the subject. Then "Drs-practical-guide" follows and will include:
- What you should know
- What you can and should do
- How to do it
Brief, simple and practical.
Choose your main topics as outlined above and from those topics you can link to related subtopics. Start your journey to knowledge and independence now and just as importantly, accuracy and reliability in your measurements. Really know what your pressure is and how to interpret and evaluate it. Learn how to measure it yourself and eliminate the possibility of that 27 mm error. It is not difficult at all. See How and Why at How to Take Blood Pressure
Definition and Explanation…
Blood pressure is the force that circulates the blood throughout the body and back to the heart. The heart provides that force by beating (squeezing) blood through valves out into the lungs and the large arteries. These in turn expand to take up some of the force (pressure).
After the beat the valves close and the elastic large arteries contract to continue to push the blood around the body. Meanwhile the heart rests with the valves closed and fills with blood to prepare for another beat This cycle repeats about 72 times a minute (at rest) and is called the "pulse rate" or "heart rate".
The level to which the pressure rises when the heart beats is called the "systolic pressure" and the level to which it falls when the heart rests is called the "diastolic pressure". The difference between these two pressures has a name, the "pulse pressure".
These two pressures, the "systolic" (higher) and "diastolic" (lower), are the two numbers in our everyday measurement such as 120 "over" 80 (we do not actually divide 120 by 80).
I have written a detailed instruction booklet on How To Take Blood Pressure. It's easy, anyone (even a caveman) can do it. To read about it click here How To Take Blood Pressure Booklet or click on the appropriate Navigation bar or the table of contents entries below.
A good place to continue is with the Normal Blood Pressure page on the Navigation Bars at left.
Also scroll through the table of contents below.
- Normal Blood Pressure...It's lower than you think...
- Normal blood pressure varies from person to person. How can you tell what is normal for you? Learn about it here.
- Low blood pressure...How you can recognize it...
- Does low blood pressure cause symptoms? Or is it another silent killer? Does it have a cause or is it another mystery condition? Learn the answers here...
- High Blood Pressure...How Much of a Threat?
- How to really know if you have High Blood Pressure. Ways to prevent it or lower it. What levels are too high? Who will get it? (It's surprising!) Learn inside tips from a doctor's practical guide.
- Your Blood Pressure Monitor Should Be the RIGHT ONE for you.
- Choose your Blood Pressure Monitor wisely. Read this physician’s review and comparison of the many kinds. Learn which ones are accurate and reliable and don’t cost a lot.
- Home Blood Pressure Monitors …Must Have Certain Attributes
- Choosing home blood pressure monitors is not for the amateur. Few devices are suitable so let's discuss which characteristics are necessary and which are not.
- Do High Blood Pressure Symptoms Occur Too Late to Avoid Damage?
- The absence of high blood pressure symptoms prompts us to call it the Silent Killer; but some hypertension does indeed have symptoms. We have to view these statements in proper context as this discuss
- Lower Blood Pressure? Yes You Can! But By How Much?
- The key to lower blood pressure is not only what works but by how much? Learn actual figures from bonafide recognized scientific studies and tips from a Doctor’s Practical Guide.
- How To Take Blood Pressure And More Importantly Why
- Learn how to take blood pressure because it is easy and even fun but the reasons for doing so are serious health matters. You can do yourself and others a lot of good.
- The Blood Pressure Cuff ...Important But Often Neglected
- A blood pressure cuff must be the right size or a large error may be introduced. Is this a common error? You bet it is. If your arm size is 11 or 12 inches you may need a large cuff.
- Blood Pressure Readings: So Wrong, So Often, So Easily
- Your blood pressure readings may be too high but they might not be as bad as they seem. Many simple little things can throw readings off. Learn how you can prevent this happening to you.
- Blood Pressure Log, It’s Easier then Falling Off One
- A blood pressure log is essential, not only for your own blood pressure but for other people as well. Otherwise they end up on scattered scraps of paper unless you have something like this:
- Make A Blood Pressure Chart And Save A Thousand Words
- Making a blood pressure chart from your readings is not very difficult. A picture IS worth a thousand words. Here are some simple options from the Doctor’s Practical Guide.
- High Blood Pressure Diet Works, Must You Lose Weight?
- Any high blood pressure diet, or any diet, can lower blood pressure provided you lose weight. But is there a proven diet that lowers blood pressure even without losing weight? Read this:
- Blood Pressure Medication, A B-i-i-i-g Subject Made Easier
- What would you like to know about blood pressure medication? How about a concise overview of the main types? What they do, how they do it, do they really work, do they really prolong life?
- Blood Pressure Medications...Should You Fear Them?
- Blood pressure medications bark a whole lot more than they bite. Don’t be reluctant to be treated provided you have the right medication for your situation. See the guidelines on this webpage.
- What Good Blood Pressure? OK, Rocky, I’ll Tell Ya
- What Good Blood Pressure, though not the best grammar, is still a very good question to ask. Make sure you know what good blood pressure is and how your own numbers compare.
- Acupuncture For High Blood Pressure...Studies Show It Works
- Acupuncture for high blood pressure appears to work. But it might be an illusion because in the best study to date the sham procedure worked just as well. Also is it practical? See Dr’s Guide.
- What Are Causes Of High Blood Pressure, Is There An Answer?
- Causes of high blood pressure are present only in 5 to 10% of cases. For the rest we are left with theories. Learn what these are and how we approach this problem (we use a wide net).
- Blood Pressure Numbers...There Are A Lot More Than Two
- The blood pressure numbers, our reading, are only two of the important blood pressure numbers. Others are the number of people who have HBP and don't know it and...
- Foods That Lower Blood Pressure —Eat Your Way To Better Health, Longer Life
- Foods that lower blood pressure consist of two groups: Foods that lower blood pressure and foods that raise blood pressure. Eat the former and avoid the latter. Here is the only proven formula.
- Pheochromocytoma …50,000 People Have This Benign (?) Tumor
- Pheochromocytoma is not easily diagnosed, first your doctor must become suspicious and then order the appropriate tests. 1 in 1000 hypertensive people have it. See this Doctor's Practical Guide:
- Blood Pressure Unit ... Has Several Meanings, All Discussed Here
- Blood Pressure Unit means a measuring device, or a discrete place in a hospital or clinic where blood pressure is treated or researched, or a unit of measurement. See Drs Practical Guide:
- How To Lower Blood Pressure...Are You Sure It Needs It?
- The best principles of how to lower blood pressure are not easy. You might be among the 26% worrying about how to lower blood pressure and don’t really need to. Read this:
- How To Take Blood Pressure Booklet
- A unique How To Take Blood Pressure Booklet written by a semi-retired physician describing in detail how you can take your own blood pressure and avoid misdiagnosis, over-treatment and worse...
- What Causes High Blood Pressure? ---Let Me Count The Ways
- What causes high blood pressure is everywhere around us. What we ingest, our stresses, and diseases or conditions. But the most widespread cause of all is hidden…
- Find One Cause Of High Blood Pressure And A Cure Will Follow
- So a cause of high blood pressure must come first. But can there be a single cause? Is it probable or even possible? Read some interesting observations and experiences…
- High Blood Pressure Causes Are Often Very Subtle
- You can expose these high blood pressure causes if you know where to look. And you must look because 5 to 10% of cases do have a curable or manageable cause.
- Causes of Low Blood Pressure -–Here, There, and Everywhere
- Causes of low blood pressure are numerous and there is not a single one that you would want to any degree. They range from the curable to the dangerous to the downright lethal.
- Blood Pressure Medicine …So Many…Who Should Take Which?
- Choosing a blood pressure medicine should not be done by chance. Most have multiple other effects as well as the desired effect on your blood pressure. See this Doctor's Practical Guide:
- Personal Blood Pressure Monitors: A Stitch In Time Saves...Lives
- Why personal blood pressure monitors? Your blood pressure is “up a little.” Without personal blood pressure monitors you start treatment. What you and your doctor don't know is that…
- High Blood Pressure Treatment: The Last Resort
- High blood pressure treatment consists of 5 or 6 steps, the last of which is drugs. Let’s outline what you can do long before even thinking of drugs. The best measure of all is...
- What Is Blood Pressure? –The Real Basics
- What is blood pressure? If you want to understand it from a simple and easy to read explanation then come on over to the real Doctor's Practical Guide…
- What Is High Blood Pressure?…As If You Didn't Know!
- What Is High Blood Pressure? was your search query so you must want an explanation. We don't say Normal and Abnormal anymore because that doesn't take into account…
- Exercise High Blood Pressure …Huff And Puff To Better Health
- Exercise high blood pressure and it goes up. But <U>only temporarily</U>. What does it do over the long run? See this Drs Practical Guide and you'll want to start a program <U>today</U>!
- Glyconutrients and Blood Pressure —How Sweet It Isn’t.
- Glyconutrients and blood pressure. The glyconutrients are sweet but is the relationship? Here’s what I learned happens to blood pressure and other body functions as well.
- What Is Normal Blood Pressure? ...You Don’t Want It
- What is normal blood pressure? Normal is the blood pressure that is found in a large population. But is that equivalent to the best blood pressure for you? Read on...
- Alternative Medicine High Blood Pressure: Lower It Or Else!
- Alternative medicine high blood pressure: A true alternative must be effective in lowering high blood pressure. Read this doctor's practical review of this large and confusing subject.
- A Diet For High Blood Pressure Is A Diet For Long Life
- Diet for high blood pressure and you diet for good health. But must you exercise, lose weight and cut down salt? Learn this when you read about the one diet that really works...
- High Systolic Blood Pressure ...Even A Caveman Can Have It
- If he lives long enough. High systolic blood pressure is epidemic in the elderly, 2/3 have it and more women than men. High systolic pressure results from a number of causes...
- Symptoms of High Blood Pressure: “Much Ado About Nothing?”
- A search for symptoms of high blood pressure produces few results. Could it be that you can’t write much about what doesn’t exist? But symptoms do exist and what you don’t know <B>can</B> hurt you.
- High Blood Pressure Natural Remedies...Cheap and Easy Does It??
- High blood pressure natural remedies...Some are cheap and some are easy, few are both. Many “remedies” are offered (for money-making) but how many work? Let’s take a look:
- Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally ...But Avoiding The Scam Artists
- Lowering blood pressure naturally is a very good thing and it should not cost much at all. But if it doesn’t work then it is very costly in terms of your health. Read this doctor’s guide:
- Lower Blood Pressure Naturally -- Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something
- Lower blood pressure naturally and you can avoid taking medication. But you have to take some action. This Doctor’s Practical Guide summarizes this complex subject:
- Blood Pressure Charts...All That Glitters Is Not Gold
- Blood pressure charts abound on the internet but many charts do not display the latest guidelines of the Joint National Committee on desirable blood pressure. Read this doctor’s guide now:
- Malignant Hypertension...High Blood Pressure In Overdrive
- Malignant hypertension is not the same as accelerated hypertension but it is the worst classification of high blood pressure. Learn how to prevent it by reading this doctor’s guide:
- Fluctuating Blood Pressure...The Ins and Outs of the Ups and Downs
- Fluctuating blood pressure is not a big deal but what if it predicts something that is a big deal? Find out what labile blood pressure means in this Doctor’s Practical Guide:
- Herbs For High Blood Pressure...Only A Few Might Help
- A few herbs for high blood pressure might work but none are rated likely effective. There are a few that are possibly effective. Relying on what doesn’t work is the worst. Read this doctor’s review:
- High Blood Pressure in Children...It’s a Shame To Miss It
- High blood pressure in children can not be defined as easily as in adults but there is a good reason why you wouldn’t want to miss it. Read it at this doctor’s page:
- Digital Blood Pressure Monitors...Convenience At a Price, But What Price?
- Digital blood pressure monitors are easy to use but don’t buy a wrist or finger one. They can be accurate if situated properly. Read these and other tips from this physician’s 30 yrs. experience.
- Herbs That Lower Blood Pressure Yes They Can and Do
- Herbs that lower blood pressure can work for you. But very few know which agents can be effective and how much to take. Don’t waste your efforts. Read this physician’s guide:
- Signs Of High Blood Pressure Are Usually Absent, Often Subtle, Rarely Obvious
- Can the casual observer see signs of high blood pressure? Are signs of high blood pressure red flags? Does it even have any? Doctor’s Practical Guide answers these questions.
- Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
- Symptoms of low blood pressure, unlike high blood pressure symptoms, really do exist and are to be expected. The key difference is that one continues to have adequate circulation and one does not.
- Pulse Pressure --The Third Number in Blood Pressure Readings
- Pulse Pressure is the difference between the two blood pressure numbers. It can be more important than the blood pressure itself Learn more from this physician:
- Diastolic Hypertension –What Happened To It?
- Diastolic hypertension ruled the roost for many years but ohhh brother How things have changed. In middle age it’s Systolic and later it’s Pulse Pressure. Read more surprises:
- Sitemap of Dr. Moloney''s blood pressure website.