How accurate are those free BP machines in drugstores?

  1. Well...I had my big 4-0 checkup this week and along with a sore arm from my tetanus booster I ended up super nervous for some reason and my BP was a whopping 156 over 90! It HAS been borderline high the few times recently I've checked it...for example my trainer at the gym checked it a couple months ago and it was 138/90 which is borderline high.

    Anyway, my dr told me to get my blood pressure checked a few times over the next month and to write the results down and come back to see her in a month or so to see if I need BP meds.

    So today I found one of those free machines in a drugstore pharmacy where you put your arm in the 'cuff' and it takes your BP. High noon in a busy store and it was...127/77...and this was after having a double tall latte just an hour prior? How is this possible?

    I'll keep trying a few other machines and get a bunch of readings and see how it goes. Meanwhile hopefully I won't be so nervous when I go back to the dr in a few weeks. She was super nice, no problem there....just my nerves, LOL. :upsidedown:
  2. I'm not sure how accurate they are, but I'd invest in a home bpm! They're good to have in cases like this
  3. The ones in stores SUCK! DH used those and they always said his bp was normal, when in reality, it was higher. I also recall a news program where they said that only one in ten is accurate.

    Get a GOOD home bp kit with a stethascope and learn how to use it. You can take your bp at different times, such as at rest, after excersise, etc. MUCH better this way, at the stores, you are always taking it after walking and the like.
  4. BTW, 120/70 is perfect, it's the first number you want to worry about the most.
  5. Oh I hear ya, Speedy...back in the day mine was 112/70 or something like that. Dr's orders: she says aim for 130/80. :okay:
  6. I agree, the BP machines are not accurate that they have in stores. Kids play with them, they are beat up, etc. Don't trust them. You got a great suggestion already, I would get an at home BP machine if your doctor wants you to keep an eye on it.

    I am an RN, I know in the past couple of years, they consider HTN (hypertension) to now be anything over 130/90. It used to be a much higher range before they would diagnose.

    I do have to disagree about the first number being the one you worry about the most. They are both indicative to help diagnose hypertension. Of course, the first number is going to help tell what your diastolic is going to be anyway, hence why paramedics usually get a palpated BP in route, being just the first number.

    Either way, if you are getting consistently high readings, my advice is to go to your local pharmacy and get you an at home BP machine. If you consistently have high BP, it would be good to know so your doctor can get you on meds to control it, hypertension really is a silent killer. It hurts us more than we know.

    Sorry this is so long.... PM me if you have any questions!
  7. I agree it's a silent killer, it's also a warning that you could have a stroke, something that runs in my family.

    One of the things I did to help control my HBP was cutting out salt and proccessed sugars, as well as not sweating the small stuff. Stress DOES kill. I'd watch my father get all worked up about something stupid... he had his first stroke, a major one, when he was 63. His mother, who was the same way, also had a stroke.
  8. Thank you for all your wonderful inputs and advice! I am looking forward to the follow up session with this doctor to get her perspective. I am a new patient of hers so we are on a learning curve together about my health!

    I too have heard the 'silent killer' term about high BP. I exercise a lot (gym 3 times a week plus I play ice hockey)...geez I wonder if my BP would be even higher if I wasn't exercising, yikes!

    Anyway, I will let you know what the dr says in a few weeks!

    Cheers and thanks, everyone!