How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home A Step
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Many people with high blood pressure check their own blood pressure at home. However, you dont need to have a high blood pressure diagnosis to do so yourself.
Your blood pressure is the amount of force placed on the walls of your blood vessels as your heart pumps blood. What you learn from taking your blood pressure can improve your lifestyle and may prevent a future, life-changing diagnosis.
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own digital blood pressure monitor.
This can give a better reflection of your blood pressure, as being tested in somewhere like a GP surgery can make you feel anxious and can affect the result. It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.
You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.
It’s important to make sure you use equipment that has been properly tested. The British Hypertension Society has information about validated blood pressure monitors you can buy.
Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor.
- Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
- Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice;or find options at validatebp.org.
- When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
- Make sure the cuff fits measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
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Tips For Checking Your Own Blood Pressure
There are certain factors that can cause blood pressure to temporarily rise. For example, blood pressure normally rises as a result of:
- Certain medicines
Try to avoid as many of these factors as you can when taking your blood pressure. Also, try to measure your blood pressure at about the same time each day. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times during the day to see if it fluctuates.
How To Manage Blood Pressure Properly
BP is caused due to various reasons, and it is difficult to ascertain the root cause of elevated blood pressure. However, if you follow an unhealthy lifestyle, then you will catch BP at an early age.
Obese people are prone to BP and diabetes. Therefore, you should maintain proper height weight proportion and eat planned diets to stay away from BP.
If your work involves long-time sitting or you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you will get BP at younger ages. Brisk walking, exercising regularly, and bending reduces the risk of heart diseases to a great extent.
It would help if you did yoga, floor exercises, swimming, cycling, and power-lifting regularly. Individuals who are physically and mentally fit will never catch any diseases, including BP and diabetes.
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How To Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressuresometimes called a silent killeroften has no warning signs or symptoms, which means many people may not even know they have it. And this can be dangerous because having untreated high blood pressure may increase a persons risk for stroke and heart diseasetwo of the leading causes of death in the US. Thats why regular blood pressure screenings are so important.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure that your circulating blood places on the walls of your arteries as it travels around your body.
High blood pressure puts extra strain on your arteries and organs and over time this can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Low blood pressure is generally less serious but may cause lightheadedness and dizzy spells.
For most people high blood pressure has no noticeable symptoms, approximately one third of people who have it are unaware. A blood pressure test takes minutes and could save your life.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Measure My Blood Pressure
First, a health care professional wraps an inflatable cuff around your arm. The health care professional then inflates the cuff, which gently tightens on your arm. The cuff has a gauge on it that will measure your blood pressure.
The health care professional will slowly let air out of the cuff while listening to your pulse with a stethoscope and watching the gauge. This process is quick and painless. If using a digital or automatic blood pressure cuff, the health care professional will not need to use a stethoscope.
The gauge uses a unit of measurement called millimeters of mercury to measure the pressure in your blood vessels.
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your health care team about steps to take to control your blood pressure;to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Use this list of questions to ask your health care team pdf icon;to help you manage your blood pressure.
How To Accurately Measure Blood Pressure At Home
High blood pressure is one of the top risk factors for heart attack and stroke. It’s also common among people who develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.
So, with more people at home practicing social distancing and with fewer chances to check blood pressure at public pharmacy machines or doctor visits, it’s more important than ever to know how to do it at home.
How do I select a home blood pressure monitor?
“The readings you get at home are really important, because they reflect the pressure your heart is facing on a day-to-day basis,” said Dr. Michael Hochman, a doctor of internal medicine at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California.
A list of validated home monitors, the first in the United States and commissioned to meet the American Medical Association’s criteria, is available at validateBP.org. The Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, the British Hypertension Society and the European Society of Hypertension also certify devices.
The device should measure blood pressure on the upper arm, which produce a more reliable result than those that measure from the wrist.
Many devices are automated. Simply put on the cuff and press a button. The results are displayed digitally.
Some will store readings, calculate an average blood pressure over time, or even transmit them to your doctor.
Your health care provider should check the device about once a year to ensure its accuracy.
How do I get the most accurate measurement?
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What Equipment Do I Need To Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
To measure your blood pressure at home, you can use either an aneroid monitor or digital monitor. Choose the type of monitor that best meets your needs. Look at the following features when you select a monitor.
- Size:;The right cuff size is very important. The cuff size you need is based on the size of your arm. You can ask the doctor, nurse, orpharmacist;to help you. Blood pressure readings can be wrong if your cuff is the wrong size.
- Price:;Cost may be a key factor. Home blood pressure units vary in price. You may want to shop around to find the best deal. Keep in mind that pricey units may not be the best or most accurate.
- Display:;The numbers on the monitor should be easy for you to read.
- Sound:;You must be able to hear your heartbeat through the stethoscope.
Tests show that finger and wrist devices do not always provide correct measurements. These devices are sensitive to placement and body temperature. They also are expensive and can cost more than $100.
The aneroid monitor manually checks your blood pressure. It has a gauge that you read by looking at a pointer on the dial. The cuff goes around your upper arm and you squeeze a rubber bulb to inflate it by hand.
Inflation of the cuff is either automatic or manual, depending on the model. Deflation is automatic. Digital monitors are good for hearing-impaired patients, since there is no need to listen to your heartbeat through the stethoscope.
Automated Blood Pressure Machines
The easiest and most accurate way to measure the blood pressure at home is to buy an automated blood pressure monitor with an upper arm cuff.
The instructions for use may vary with each machine, and a person should follow them carefully to ensure proper operation. If the instructions are difficult to understand, a local pharmacy or doctors office will be able to show a person how to operate the machine correctly.
Doctors may ask a person to bring their at-home machine to the office during their next visit to test the accuracy compared to the doctors reading.
Using a high-quality machine is important, as inaccurate readings may cause unnecessary or harmful changes in medications or treatments.
A variety of blood pressure monitors are available for purchase online and in most drug stores. A person may wish to speak to a doctor about which brand they recommend.
There are apps and wrist devices that claim to measure the blood pressure, but these results are frequently inaccurate and are not a reliable way to monitor a persons health.
Apps that log blood pressure results may be helpful for people who need to take regular blood pressure tests, however.
Recording a set of readings into these apps may help doctors identify trends in blood pressure and recommend treatments.
Blood pressure readings fall into the following categories:
|Blood pressure status|
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Using An Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
What Does My Blood Pressure Reading Mean
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower.;High blood pressure;is 140/90 or higher. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you may have something called prehypertension. This means that you are at risk for high blood pressure.
|High blood pressure: Stage 2||160 or higher||100 or over|
*If you have;diabetes;or;kidney;disease, high blood pressure ranges may be lower than for other people. Or, if you are older than 65, goal blood pressure may be higher. Talk to your doctor about what is considered high blood pressure for you.
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Blood Pressure Monitoring At Home
Many people monitor their blood pressure at home. They often do this to manage or treat a certain health condition. If you monitor your blood pressure at home, keep a record, or log, of the measurements. The record shows your doctor how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. If you take medicines to control your blood pressure, it will help document if they are working. Measuring your blood pressure at home is a good way to take part in managing your health.
A Blood Pressure Reading Gives Two Numbers
The top systolic reading gives the pressure of your blood on your arteries at it travels around your body.
The bottom diastolic reading is the lowest pressure on your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
Enter these numbers into the blood pressure calculator and Submit. The blood pressure calculator will instantly summarise your reading and give recommendations.
Record readings entered into the blood pressure checker to monitor changes and seek medical advice if you are concerned about any results using the blood pressure calculator.
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How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
- Be still. Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before measurements.
- Sit correctly.Sit with your back straight and supported . Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
- Measure at the same time every day. Its important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
- Take multiple readings and record the results. Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
- Don’t take the measurement over clothes.
|and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
When To Check Blood Pressure
If youre using a blood pressure monitor on your doctors advice, he or she should tell you when to take readings. As a rule, though, you should take them at the same time of day on each occasion, so youre comparing like with like.
Take a few readings each time, a couple of minutes apart, and calculate the average to make the figures more representative. And if your blood pressure monitor doesnt store your readings for you, jot them down in a notebook to get an idea of long-term trends.
Bupa . High blood pressure. Retrieved from www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/heart-blood-circulation/high-blood-pressure-hypertension
American Heart Association . Monitoring your blood pressure at home. Retrieved from www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home
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What Is The Correct Way To Measure Blood Pressure
Learn the correct way to have your blood pressure taken, whether youre getting it checked at the doctors office or checking it yourself at home. Use this checklist:
- Dont eat or drink anything 30 minutes before you take your blood pressure.
- Empty your bladder before your reading.
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported for at least 5 minutes before your reading.
- Put both feet flat on the ground and keep your legs uncrossed.
- Rest your arm with the cuff on a table at chest height.
- Make sure the blood pressure cuff is snug but not too tight. The cuff should be against your bare skin, not over clothing.
- Do not talk while your blood pressure is being measured.
If you are keeping track of your blood pressure at home, use these additional tips.
Avoid These 7 Foods In Hypertension:
1.;;;Excess sugar intake:
If you have hypertension or high blood pressure, having excess sugar can increase your blood pressure levels. Not only it increases your blood pressure, but also increases the risk of dental issues and obesity.;
2.;;;Excess intake of salt:
Sodium is vital for your body, but having it in excess can cause various health problems like high blood pressure. Sodium is used to inhibit food degradation and increase the life of the food. However, if you keep that food, that also increases the sodium concentration. Foods that are preserved contain excess sodium so, now you know why it is not good to have junk foods and packed foods.;
Many people like to start their day with caffeine that works as an energy kick to start their day. However, the caffeine in your coffee works as a stimulant that increases blood pressure levels. Therefore, people with high blood pressure levels should not consume coffee and energy drinks.;
It tastes so good! Right? But did you know that peanut butter contains high sodium content, which is a big no for people with hypertension issues? If you like peanut butter, then it is better to do some effort for your health and prepare peanut butter at home, else you need to avoid those packed peanut butter jars loaded with excess sodium.;
5.;;;Packed and canned foods:
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What Does Your Blood Pressure Reading Mean
If this is your first time taking your blood pressure, discuss the results with your doctor. Blood pressure is a very individualized vital sign reading, which means it can be very different for each person. Some people have naturally low blood pressure all the time, for example, while others may run on the higher side.
In general, a normal blood pressure is considered anything less than 120/80. Your own personal blood pressure will depend on your gender, age, weight, and any medical conditions you have. If you do register a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or over, wait two to five minutes and recheck.
If its still high, talk to your doctor to rule out hypertension. If your blood pressure ever goes over 180 systolic or over 120 diastolic after a repeat reading, seek emergency medical care right away.
About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
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