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How To Take My Blood Pressure At Home

Relax In Savasana Posture

How to take your blood pressure at home

Savasana is a modified yoga pose that can help to reduce the heartbeat rate and reduce blood pressure naturally & significantly. This method doesnt require you to do too much.

Just lie on your back, close your eyes and try to relax each muscle on your body. Resting in this position for about ten to fifteen minutes will help you feel better. Besides reducing your blood pressure quickly, the Savasana posture will also help balance your nervous system. This yoga is regarded as one of the best ways to lower blood pressure naturally.

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.

How Are Blood Pressure Levels Categorized

There are four blood pressure categories:

  • Normal blood pressure: Systolic below 120 and diastolic below 80 mm Hg
  • Prehypertension: Systolic between 120-139 and diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg
  • Stage I hypertension: Systolic between 140-159 and diastolic between 90-99 mm Hg
  • Stage II hypertension: Systolic above 160 and diastolic above 100 mm Hg

Monitoring your blood pressure levels can help you prevent or delay the onset of high blood pressure and related health problems. If you notice that your blood pressure readings are getting higher, talk to your doctor. They can help you set goals and recommend lifestyle changes that can help you get the numbers back down and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

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How To Use An Automated Blood Pressure Machine

The easiest way to take your own blood pressure is to purchase an automated cuff. Automatic blood pressure machines are the easiest to use, and theyre helpful if you have any hearing impairments.

These types of blood pressure cuffs have a digital monitor that will display your blood pressure reading on a screen. You can purchase these online, at most grocery stores, or at a health food store.

The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, upper arm blood pressure monitor for at-home use. To use your digital blood pressure monitor, follow the instructions that come with it. You can also take the monitor to your doctors office, or even your local pharmacy, for a demonstration.

You should also purchase a small notebook to start a blood pressure log. This can be helpful for your doctor. You can a free blood pressure log from the AHA.

Machines can give you a different reading than a manual blood pressure reading. Bring your cuff to your next doctors appointment so you can compare the reading from your cuff to the reading your doctor takes. This can help you calibrate your machine and identify levels you should look for on your own device.

Its also important to purchase a high-quality machine and monitor for errors. Even if you check your blood pressure at home, your doctor will still want to manually check it during appointments.

How Blood Pressure Is Tested

SMBP Infographic

A device called a sphygmomanometer will be used to measure your blood pressure.

This usually consists of a stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial, although automatic devices that use sensors and have a digital display are also commonly used nowadays.

It’s best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for the test. You’ll usually need to roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing, so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm. Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.

During the test:

  • you hold out one of your arms so it’s at the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it your arm should be supported in this position, such as with a cushion or arm of a chair
  • the cuff is pumped up to restrict the blood flow in your arm this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds
  • the pressure in the cuff is slowly released while a stethoscope is used to listen to your pulse
  • the pressure in the cuff is recorded at 2 points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm these measurements are used to give your blood pressure reading

You can usually find out your result straight away, either from the healthcare professional carrying out the test or on the digital display.

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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.

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.

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If You Get A High Blood Pressure Reading

  • A single high reading is not an immediate cause for alarm. If you get a reading that is slightly or moderately higher than normal, take your blood pressure a few more times and consult your healthcare professional to verify if there s a health concern or whether there may be any issues with your monitor.
  • If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and test again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact your doctor immediately. You could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
  • If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you are experiencing signs of possible organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, difficulty speaking, do not wait to see if your pressure comes down on its own. Call 911.

About Heart And Vascular Institute

How To Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home

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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What Kind Of Blood Pressure Cuff Should You Use

Of the two types of at-home blood pressure cuffsa wrist cuff and an upper arm cuffexperts generally recommend using an upper arm cuff because they are more accurate.

Experts also recommend opting for a digital monitor over a manual one. Automated electronic machines using an upper arm cuff are usually accurate, says Dr. Del Conde. If there is any question about their accuracy, they can be validated against a blood pressure machine at a doctors office.

At Your Doctor’s Office

If youre having your blood pressure checked regularly by a doctor, they will likely try to schedule the appointments at different times of the day.

Your doctor will do this purposely to obtain a range of readings. These multiple readings are then averaged together into one composite result, which is used to give a diagnosis, according to standard blood pressure guidelines.

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When To Call A Doctor

A normal systolic blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg and a normal diastolic blood pressure is less than 80 mmHg, says Dr. Del Conde. So, your ideal blood pressure should be under 120/80 mmHg.

The CDC defines elevated blood pressure as 120/80 mmHg to 129/80 mmHg, stage 1 hypertension as greater than or equal to 130/80 mmHg and stage 2 hypertension as greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg. Dr. Del Conde says to call your doctor if your blood pressure consistently reads higher than 140/90 mmHg.

What Does My Blood Pressure Reading Mean

Time To Take My Blood Pressure : Log Book Medical Health ...

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.

Systolic 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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Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

In some cases, your doctor may recommend 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring .

This is where your blood pressure is tested automatically around every 30 minutes over a 24-hour period using a cuff attached to a portable device worn on your waist.

ABPM can help to give a clear picture of how your blood pressure changes over the course of a day.

You should continue with your normal daily activities during the test, although you must avoid getting the equipment wet.

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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Positioning The Blood Pressure Cuff

  • 1Locate your pulse.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Place your index and middle fingers over the inside center of your inner elbow. When you press lightly you should be able to feel the pulse of your brachial artery from this position.
  • If you have difficultly locating your pulse, place the head of the stethoscope in the same general area and listen until you can hear your heartbeat.
  • 2Wrap the cuff around your arm. Tuck the cuff end through the metal loop and slide it onto your upper arm. The cuff should be roughly 1 inch above the bend of your elbow and should be evenly tight around your arm.
  • Make sure that your skin is not pinched by the cuff as you wrap it securely. The cuff should have heavy duty velcro on it, which will hold the cuff closed.
  • 3Check the tightness of the cuff by slipping two fingertips underneath. If you can wiggle the two fingertips under the top edge but cannot wedge your full fingers beneath the cuff, the cuff is tight enough. If you can wedge your full fingers under the cuff then you need to open up the cuff and pull it tighter before closing it again.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Also place the stethoscope earpieces in your ears. The earpieces should face forward and point toward the tip of your nose.
  • Turn the screw on the pump bulb clockwise to close the airflow valve, if necessary.
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    How to Take Blood Pressure Manually at Home

    The scary thing is that high blood pressure usually doesn’t come with any symptoms. It’s so symptomless, in fact, that it’s nicknamed the “silent killer.” Anyone at risk for high blood pressure should stay keenly aware of their blood pressure levels. Even if you’re generally healthy and don’t have a family history of hypertension, it’s still worth checking your blood pressure every so often.

    Since you probably won’t trek to the doctor’s office every day, week or month to get checked, here’s a handy guide to monitoring your blood pressure at home.

    The Quardio Arm wireless blood pressure monitor

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    Why Does My Blood Pressure Vary Throughout The Day

    You may have heard the term circadian rhythm. If so, you know this is not a beat to keep on the dance floor. It is a biological cycle your body follows. As defined by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, âCircadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment.â As your body cycles through this rhythm each day, responding to both internal and external stimuli, your blood pressure is affected.

    The study of these important rhythms, known as chronobiology, was founded by Franz Halberg. His work in this field has helped identify abnormal rhythms in day-night blood pressure readings.Keeping the Beat of Blood PressureFollowing this chronobiological rhythm, your blood pressure is normally higher during the daytime and lower at night, during sleeping hours. Hereâs the problem. People with high blood pressure often donât experience this night time dip. This lack of a lowering of blood pressure at night is referred to as non-dipping.Whatâs the big deal? Heart attack and stroke have been found to be associated with non-dipping. Your blood pressure stays elevated, and your body is not in the relaxed state it should be during rest.

    When To See The Doctor

    The doctor should check your monitor at least once a year. This ensures that the measurements are accurate.

    Only a doctor can diagnose you with high blood pressure. Contact your doctor if you have high readings for several days. Be sure to take your blood pressure log with you to the visit.

    Hypotension is low blood pressure. This occurs when your systolic pressure is consistently below 90 or is 25 points below your normal reading. Contact your doctor if you have low readings. Hypotension can be a sign of shock, which is life threatening. Call your doctor right away if you are dizzy or lightheaded.

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    How To Use A Blood Pressure Cuff At Home

    You could always inflate a manual sphygmomanometer with a hand pump and count Korotkoff sounds in your head, but why would you when wireless, digital blood pressure monitors are so readily available these days? They don’t have to be expensive, either: Some models sell for less than $30 a unit.

    Plus, you’re way more likely to get an accurate blood pressure reading if you use a digital cuff — there’s less room for error. To take your blood pressure at home with a digital blood pressure monitor, all you have to do is:

    1. Slide the blood pressure cuff onto your upper arm and secure it so that it sits snugly about one inch above the crease of your elbow.

    2. If you have an automatic model, simply push the button that inflates the cuff. If you have a manual model, use the hand pump to inflate the cuff.

    3. After the cuff fully inflates, air will automatically start flowing back out.

    4. Look at the screen to get your blood pressure reading.

    5. If you need to repeat the measurement, wait a few minutes before attempting a new reading.

    At-home, digital blood pressure monitors can be worn on the wrist or upper arm, depending on what model you choose.

    Place The Cuff On Your Upper Arm Above The Elbow And Then Secure The Cuff

    How to Check Blood Pressure

    With the cuff on your bare arm, sit in an upright position with back supported, feet flat on the floor and your arm supported at heart level. Place your index and middle finger of your hand on the inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb. For the best results, sit in a chair with your back supported, feet flat, and legs uncrossed. · place the cuff on your left . · you should feel a . When to measure · choose the proper cuff size · proper positioning · multiple readings should be taken · expect correct technique. “two blood pressure measurements, one minute apart, should be taken each time home measurements are performed. What i’m not covering in this session is home blood pressure. · place the cuff on your upper arm, above the elbow, and then secure the cuff . Make sure you have the . Your arm should be supported on a flat surface ( . During measuring · do not speak. How to check your blood pressure.

    · sit with your back straight, your legs uncrossed, and your feet flat on the floor. Place your index and middle finger of your hand on the inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb. How to choose a home blood pressure monitor The right or left arm is used, and, then, take subsequent measures from the same arm. · measure your blood pressure twice daily.

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