With Stricter Guidelines Do You Have High Blood Pressure Now
That is topical right now because Whelton is among a group of physicians who have just recommended new standards for blood pressure. Now, if your blood pressure tops 130 over 80, you are in unhealthy territory. Having an accurate measure is important because more people than ever may be keeping a close eye on their blood pressure and trying to keep it in a healthy range through diet, exercise and potentially medications.
The new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, released Tuesday, which lowered the threshold for diagnosing high blood pressure from 140/90, mean that nearly half of the U.S. population will be considered as having high blood pressure, with the greatest impact on younger people.
So Whelton and his committee members rolled out a checklist for medical professionals to follow when they’re taking your blood pressure. Here are the do’s and don’ts from a patient’s perspective, aimed at making it less likely that you’ll get a reading that is falsely high, or low:
If your blood pressure appears high, your doctor’s office should take a reading in both arms. And next time you come in, the reading should be from the arm that showed the higher blood pressure.
Drink Milk Coconut Water And Cranberry Juice
Milk is a superfood. It consists of potassium, calcium, and Vitamin D. These nutrients are directly proven to lower blood pressure immediately.
Coconut water is highly rich in potassium, electrolytes, and minerals. These nutrients are an immediate solution to hypertension.
Not only that, at times, deficiency of these minerals can cause hypertension.
A study in West Indian Medical Journal proved that coconut water drops the pressure by margins.
Cranberry juice is rich in proanthocyanidins. This helps in reducing high BP by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
Articles published in Nature, 2016 proves that berry juice lowers systolic blood pressure.
However, milk is not suitable for everyone as people have lactose intolerance.
Thus, consultation with a doctor before the change in diet is advisable.
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
Also Check: Onion And Blood Pressure
What Else Is Important When Checking My Blood Pressure
Many factors can influence your blood pressure reading. The following guidelines will help you get the best and most accurate results from your blood pressure monitoring.
Avoid Blood Pressure Spikers
Certain factors can increase your blood pressure. It is important to understand how these âspikersâ affect your BP numbers. To learn their effect, check your BP before and after you experience each of the factors listed below. Once you know their effect, avoid these spikers before your daily checkup routine. This will prevent them from interrupting your baseline measurement and will allow you to see if your standard BP is stable. As you establish your BP routine, use the following guidelines to control spikes in your readings.
Choose A Good Machine
Myriad choices exist in todayâs marketplace for home blood pressure monitoring devices. Not all are equal. Be sure to choose an FDA-approved device. Once you have selected a machine, it not a bad idea to take it in to your doctorâs office. Take your blood pressure reading in front of your physician, nurse or PA so they can ensure you are using it properly. Have them to take an additional reading on their machine, to compare for accuracy.
Take the Proper Position for Reliable Blood Pressure ReadingsEnsure you are positioned correctly for accurate blood pressure readings. Put your feet on the floor and straighten your back with arms supported at heart level. Make sure your elbow is at about the same level as your heart.
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
Blood pressure readings are written as two numbers. It usually looks like a fraction, followed by the letters “mmHg.” For example, 120/80 mmHg.
The first number is your systolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second number is your diastolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure in your blood when your heart rests in between beats.
The “mmHg” stands for “millimeters of mercury.” Doctors used mercury in the first accurate blood pressure monitors, and the unit has remained the standard for measurement.
Every time you take your blood pressure, the reading will fall into one of five categories. Here’s a breakdown of the different blood pressure categories.
The top number is your systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure.
Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg. You’re doing great! Keep eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Elevated : 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mmHg. Example: 125/75 mmHg. Make some small tweaks to your lifestyle, such as adding aerobic exercise to your day and keeping stress levels low, to reduce your risk of developing hypertension.
Hypertension stage 1: 130 to 139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic. Examples: 131/75 mmHg and 127/85 mmHg. Doctors will prescribe lifestyle changes at this stage and may prescribe medications depending on your risk of atherosclerotic and cardiovascular diseases.
Don’t Miss: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
What If I Dont Have Equipment
You dont need a blood pressure cuff to take your resting heart rate, which is another measurement that helps indicate heart health. Digital monitors usually display both blood pressure and heart rate, but you can determine the former on your own by checking your pulse by hand. Your pulse is how many times your heart pumps per minute.
First, locate the artery below the thumb on the inside of your wrist and place two fingers there. Count how many times you feel your heartbeat over a 15-second period, and then multiply your count by four to get your resting heart rate.
When youre checking pulse by hand, youre looking for more than just a number. Youre also checking for a regular rhythm, which indicates a strong pulse.
Determine When To Take Your Blood Pressure
For most women, Dr. Zusman recommends taking two to three blood pressure readings in the morning and two to three readings at night, a few times a week. Don’t go overboard and take your blood pressure constantly. That’s counterproductive. “You become so focused on your blood pressure that every time the cuff comes near your arm your blood pressure goes up just from the anxiety,” says Dr. Zusman.
Also Check: Does Hot Sauce Cause High Blood Pressure
What Are The Risks Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is such a problematic issue because most people often do not experience obvious symptoms. As many as one in three individuals do not even know that they have high blood pressure. Health consequences that can stem from hypertension include:
1. Cardiovascular Disease
High blood pressure is a key risk factor in cardiovascular disease. One meta-analysis showed a 92% increase in the frequency of cardiovascular events for people with hypertension.
2. Cognitive decline and dementia
Blood pressure plays a crucial role in your cognitive function, and high blood pressure can increase your likelihood of cognitive decline and dementia. People with high blood pressure in mid-life are four to five times more likely to develop dementia in later life. Equally, research shows that hypertension can increase your risk for cognitive impairment by 40%.
Estrogen plays a crucial role in vascular remodelling. When a womans reproductive system shuts down during menopause and estrogen production ceases, her risk for atherosclerosis and high blood pressure also increases. If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or other heart conditions, discuss your options with your doctor.
4. A shorter lifespan
Due to the negative health outcomes associated with high blood pressure, those with hypertension tend to die earlier. On average, hypertensive men and women live five years less than those with normal blood pressure.
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.
You May Like: Does Vodka Raise Blood Pressure
Before Checking Your Blood Pressure
- Find a quiet place to check your blood pressure. You will need to listen for your heartbeat.
- Make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed with a recently emptied bladder .
- Roll up the sleeve on your arm or remove any tight-sleeved clothing.
- Rest in a chair next to a table for 5 to 10 minutes. Your arm should rest comfortably at heart level. Sit up straight with your back against the chair, legs uncrossed. Rest your forearm on the table with the palm of your hand facing up.
Buy A Blood Pressure Monitor
Pharmacies and online merchants sell a variety of blood pressure monitors. Monitors typically range in price from $50 to $100, although a higher price doesn’t necessarily correlate to better quality. Ask your health insurance company whether it will cover part or all of the cost.
When shopping for a blood pressure monitor, look for these features:
Buy a monitor that goes around your upper arm. Dr. Zusman doesn’t recommend wrist or finger monitors because they aren’t as accurate.
An automatic monitor is easiest to use, because it doesn’t require a stethoscope and the cuff inflates by itself. Manual monitors require you to squeeze a bulb to inflate the cuff, which can be hard to do if you have arthritis.
Choose a monitor that meets standards for your age and health conditions according to an organization such as the European Society of Hypertension, dabl Educational Trust, or the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation . Each organization has posted its list of approved devices on its website.
Make sure the cuff fits your arm. If it’s too large or too small, the reading won’t be accurate.
Check that the numbers on the dial or display are large enough for you to read clearly.
Determine what other features you want in a blood pressure monitor. Some monitors will take an average of your last few readings, record your measurements over time, and send them to your doctor via your smartphone.
You May Like: Omron Bp785 Calibration
Manual Blood Pressure Readings
Blood can only be heard through a stethoscope if it is turbulent. As the cuff is inflated, the artery is compressed, making the blood flow through the artery turbulent. When the artery is completely closed, there is no blood flow and no sound. As pressure in the cuff is reduced, the point at which the artery is open just enough to let the blood pass, is the systolic blood pressure.
This is detected by turbulent blood flow heard through the stethoscope. As pressure in the cuff is further reduced, the vessel will once again be completely open and non-turbulent. At this point, no more sound is heard and diastolic blood pressure has been reached.
How Do I Take My Bp
You can take your BP at home with a digital BP monitor. Read the instructions that came with your BP monitor. The monitor comes with an adjustable cuff. Ask your healthcare provider if your cuff is the correct size.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, or exercise for 30 minutes before you take your BP.
- Rest quietly for 5 minutes before you take your BP.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back against a chair.
- Extend your arm and support it on a flat surface. Your arm should be at the same level as your heart.
- Make sure all of the air is out of the cuff. Place the BP cuff against your bare skin about 1 inch above your elbow. Wrap the cuff snugly around your arm. The BP reading may not be correct if the cuff is too loose.
- If you are using a wrist cuff, wrap the cuff snugly around your wrist. Hold your wrist at the same level as your heart.
- Turn on the BP monitor and follow the directions.
- Write down your BP, the date, the time, and which arm you used to take the BP. Take your BP 2 times and write down both readings. Use the same arm each time. These BP readings can be 1 minute apart.
Read Also: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
Common Blood Pressure Measurement Errors:
- Bladder cuff too narrow or wide
- Limb being assessed is unsupported
- Insufficient rest before the assessment
- Repeating the assessment too quickly
- Cuff not wrapped tightly and evenly
- Deflating the cuff to quickly
- Deflating the cuff too slowly
- Failure to use the same site for consistency
- Limb being assessed is measured while above their heart level.
- Berman, A et al. 2015, Kozier and Erb’s fundamentals of nursing. Pearson Australia Melbourne, Victoria.
- Estes, MEZ., Calleja, P., Theobald, K. & Harvey, T. 2013, Health assessment and physical examination: Australian & New Zealand ed. Cengage Learning Australia South Melbourne, Victoria.
- Tollefson, J. & Hillman, E. 2018. Clinical Psychomotor Skills. 7th ed. Cengage Learning Australia South Melbourne, Victoria.
- Wake, D. 2017, ‘How to Take Blood Pressure’, Ausmed.
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.
You May Like: Does Cholesterol Raise Blood Pressure
Take Help From Family And Friends
It is advised to seek help from family, friends, and neighbors in case of uneasiness.
Visiting a crowded function increases the risk of hypertension by almost 52%.
Wondering how to quickly lower blood pressure in minutes?
One way is to be careful about your surroundings. If visiting someplace which might trigger anxiety, go with a family member.
That way, even if you feel mild discomfort, youll have someone by your side. It is good to have a known face around the time of crisis.
Remember hypertension is a product of irregular lifestyle and stress. If you have a close friend around, you might feel less anxious already.
How To Self Monitor
Home blood pressure monitoring is different than taking it at your doctor’s office because youll be comparing one relatively steady measurement to another over time. When scheduling checks, there are some factors to keep in mind so that you get more accurate results. Follow these tips if you are testing at home:
You May Like: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
How To Take Blood Pressure Properly
According to the self measurement of blood pressure method it is recommended that you measure it three times a day for 3 days before the visit to your doctor to assess the evolution: Right upon waking up before breakfast and taking medication, before lunch, before dinner. In this article we will teach you which the right steps to take the blood pressure with greater reliability are. The most important element to take blood pressure is a sphygmomanometer. In this OneHowTo article, we show you exactly how to take blood pressure.
Take it on the left or right arm and . Unless your doctor or nurse specifically tells you to take one or the other.
The first blood pressure measurement must be the first thing in the morning upon waking. This measurment is important because you are completely at rest. Thus, none of the pressure is due to exercise or daily activities.
Blood pressure should always be measured before taking any medication, we must choose a suitable place for taking blood pressure. It should be quiet with a table that allows us to put everything you need and clearly see the screen of your device.
Obese people need to buy a larger cuff. Once well positioned begin to measure blood pressure, activating our meter.
This process must be repeated 3 times leaving a rest period of about 2 minutes. When we have three blood pressure results, you have a good idea of what your blood pressure reading is.