November 1, 2014
Blood pressure in warm and cold regions
The first time I visited a health clinic in Indonesia, the medical assistant said to start with my blood pressure should be tested. This procedure was done in every clinic. I got a kick out of this service. So wherever I saw the instrument to test blood pressure such as a pharmacy, I dropped in and paid a small amount for the test.
Why did I become addicted to testing my blood pressure? In Indonesia all tests showed that my blood pressure was good even lower than the result of tests done in my home country the Netherlands. In both countries the tests were carried out in a similar way i.e. computer driven tests.
Even when I tested the blood pressure just few days after my return the result was a high pressure for both systolic as well as diastolic. At my question, the medical assistant said that I am stressed after a holiday or my diet was not correct and other of this kind of wisdom.
It remained to me very unsatisfactory. So I noted what I ate and what I did in the days between my arrival and visiting the medical assistant. Even a short interval of time resulted in a higher blood pressure and similar remarks. I have no clue about this situation. I am wondering whether the blood pressure devices were set differently.
One day at the physiotherapist’s practice I told this experience whilst he was treating me. This young physiotherapist answered: in a warm climate the blood is flowing easily through your body from the heart to the extremities. The might result in a lower blood pressure. In a cold climate the extremities are more exposed to the colder environment and are therefore tense and the blood will thus flow slower. The heart has to pump harder. This might result in a higher blood pressure. But, he added straight away, my explanation is not scientifically based. It is just like that, out of my head.
To me it sounds plausible. And it fits to my situation since I returned to the Netherlands in winter time. It is keeping me busy whether this explanation makes sense.
By the way, I leaving for Indonesia in few days and will be back by mid December.
I am wondering about the opinion of readers.