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Health & Wellness  >>     What Is Pulse Pressure

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon talks about the importance of taking your blood pressure properly and how most, if not, all doctor's offices will never take your blood pressure properly and you will most likely be placed on medication.

If your doctor is not taking your blood pressure fully, allow Dr. Huntoon to give you the full picture.  

Call for your complementary evaluation.

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Blood Pressure and Pulse Pressure

The Alternative Perspective

What does blood pressure tell us?  Well that depends on if you take it partially, or fully.  By this I mean do you have it taken in 1 position, or three positions?  Many Doctor’s Offices only take it in the seated position and this only tells you a couple of things: 

1)      What your blood pressure is while seated

2)      What your Pulse Pressure is 

You might be asking, “What is Pulse Pressure?”  More Importantly, "Why Do I Need To Know This?"

Pulse Pressure is the amount of pressure on your Heart during each Pulse or Beat of your Heart.  Why this is important is because it directly measures the stress on your heart with each beating and filling cycle.  This is more important than knowing what your blood pressure reading is.

It is a measurement derived when you determine the difference between the first number in your blood pressure, known as your Systolic reading (when your Heart is maximally contracted), and then you subtract from that your second number, or your Diastolic reading (when the Heart is maximally relaxed and filling).  For example, if your BP is told to you is 135/85, your Pulse Pressure would be 135 (Systolic) minus 85 (Diastolic) giving you a Pulse Pressure of 50.  Healthy Pulse Pressure numbers range between 30 and 50. 

If you are above the upper number of 50, your Heart is experiencing too much stress while beating in an effort to pump the blood throughout your body.

If you are below the lower number of 30, your Heart is experiencing too much stress and the heart does not have enough time to truly relax between beats. 

So when you go to the Doctor and have your blood pressure taken, if they only take it in the seated position, ask for the numbers and then figure out what your Pulse Pressure is for yourself.  And if you really want to have fun, tell the person taking the Blood Pressure about Pulse Pressure and what it means. 

What's The Correct Way To Fully Evaluate Your Blood Pressure?

To truly evaluate your blood Pressure fully, you want to take it in 3 positions:

  • Seated,
  • Standing and then
  • Lying down. 

This subjects the whole system to the stress of gravity.    Ideally, your BP should increase about 15 points upon standing, and then decrease about 10 - 15 points when lying down.  The increase is to compensate for gravity pulling blood out of your head.  And the lowering when lying down is because the stress has lessened. 

Do You Get Light Headed When Standing Up Quickly?

Many people, when changing positions too fast, often get lightheaded.  This is called Raglan’s Sign.  This is an indication your Adrenal System is weak and is not responding to the stress of gravity on the body.  Your Blood Pressure decreased (or went down) upon standing and your head doesn’t have enough blood in it, resulting in being lightheaded.  This is not a healthy response, yet it helps you appreciate how your survival mechanism is working or more importantly, isn’t working.

The Medical Perspective 

Medical Doctor's Offices are a busy place.  So much going on and so many people to serve.  In the course of moving patients through the office, taking a person's blood pressure fully (In 3 Positions) requires extra time and is a service we do not get paid for.  The fee we collect is for a standard office visit and requires blood pressure readings only in 1 position.  So to do it in the 3 positions takes extra time and requires more work and more analysis.  In an effort to serve more patients and only do what is required by the Insurance Companies to be reimbursed for service, we need to minimize the work and maximize the treatment.  This keeps us in business and keeps people focused on their blood pressure readings and not the true understanding of what blood pressure means.  

Your Solution

Work with your medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, physician's assistant or nursing assistant to understand this information.  Request that your blood pressure always be taken in 3 positions and get the numbers for yourself.  And if that is a problem, see Dr. Huntoon or your Holistic Chiropractor who will be glad to fully take your blood pressure and share the results to help you address it if it is a problem.  And this can be done without all the medications.

What is your Blood Pressure and Pulse Pressure?

Seated _________ Standing __________ Lying ___________ Pulse Pressure________  

Positive Raglan’s Sign?    Yes    No

Recommendations: ________________________________________________________


It helps to bring this page with you to your doctor’s visits, so the doctor can be reminded of this important information, or perhaps you can help educate the support staff.

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