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High Blood Pressure

Checking blood pressure at home

10/08/2007

Question:

My doctor wants me to check my blood pressure at home so I bought a blood pressure monitor. She told me not to take right after I have eaten. I did take it right after I have eaten and my blood pressure was 115/80. If it goes up after eating then how low is my blood pressure. Does blood pressure increase with eating?

Answer:

Eating can lower blood pressure, especially in the elderly.  Because this drop in blood pressure is transient, in may not reflect a person's "true" blood pressure.  The drop in blood pressure is usually small.

It is best to measure the blood pressure under stable conditions.  Eating, drinking caffeinated beverages or smoking can all affect the blood pressure and should be avoided for at least an hour prior to measuring the blood pressure.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati