Why Good Blood Pressure Matters
Even though we cant feel our blood pressure is high, it puts stress on our body overtime and causes damage to our vessels and organs. People with hypertension are also at risk for more acutely dangerous conditions that are often referred to as a hypertensive crisis and include life threatening events such as stroke, heart attacks, and pulmonary edema.;Keeping your blood pressure under control is the best way to avoid all of these dangerous complications. Eating a heart healthy diet and making other healthy lifestyle choices can get your numbers back in check.;To learn more about how to keep your blood pressure controlled read this article on the 7 Steps to Stopping Hypertension.;
Stay on top of your daily blood pressure and manage your health with this free blood pressure log. Complete with tips for better tracking and lowering your blood pressure.
Follow These 5 Steps When Checking Your Blood Pressure:
Its also recommended to try to check your pressures at around the same time each day.;
Download your personal blood pressure log;here.;
Record all numbers in a blood pressure log so you can show them to your doctor. Make sure to include in the log anything that may have interfered with the reading, like if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, recently drank caffeine or if you just exercised.
Many blood pressure monitors will also include a measurement of your heart rate which you should also record for your doctor.;
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.
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How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home A Step
2 Minute Read
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.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force that regulates the delivery of your blood throughout your body and helps it return to the heart. Blood pressure allows blood to be pumped by each heartbeat to circulate through the vascular systemthe veins, arteries, and capillaries. The blood delivers oxygen, nutrients, and other elements such as white blood cells to our organs and tissues. As it is returned to the heart, the blood carries back carbon dioxide and waste products.
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How To Choose The Right Blood Pressure Cuff
Cuffs come in different sizes and finding the size that is right for you is an important part of getting an accurate blood pressure reading.
The inflatable part of the cuff is called the bladder. The bladder should encircle about 80% of your upper arm in an appropriately fitting cuff. A cuff that is too big or too small can result in numbers that are higher or lower than your real pressure.;You can check pressures from either arm. While there may be slight differences between the arms, you should see your doctor right away if you consistently note a difference of >10 mm Hg between the two.;
Tips To Measure Your Blood Pressure Correctly
To determine whether you have hypertension, a medical professional will take a blood pressure reading. How you prepare for the test, the position of your arm, and other factors can change a blood pressure reading by 10% or more. That could be enough to hide high blood pressure, start you on a drug you don’t really need, or lead your doctor to incorrectly adjust your medications.
National and international guidelines offer specific instructions for measuring blood pressure. If a doctor, nurse, or medical assistant isn’t doing it right, don’t hesitate to ask him or her to get with the guidelines.
Here’s what you can do to ensure a correct reading:
Don’t drink a caffeinated beverage or smoke during the 30 minutes before the test.
Sit quietly for five minutes before the test begins.
During the measurement, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and your arm supported so your elbow is at about heart level.
The inflatable part of the cuff should completely cover at least 80% of your upper arm, and the cuff should be placed on bare skin, not over a shirt.
Don’t talk during the measurement.
Have your blood pressure measured twice, with a brief break in between. If the readings are different by 5 points or more, have it done a third time.
For more on getting your blood pressure under control, buy Controlling Your Blood Pressure, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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Tips For Controlling High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms, but you can take steps to control it:;
- Take your medicine as directed.;
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and low-fat dairy products;
- Limit saturated and total fat.;
- Cut down on salt and sodium.;
- Quit tobacco.;
- Lose weight, if you need to.;
- Get regular exercise.;
- Control stress.;
Tips To Make Sure Your At
Tips to keep in mind while measuring your resting blood pressure at home include the following:
Morning and evening are good times to measure your blood pressure. Remember, blood pressure varies throughout the day, and readings are often a little higher in the morning. Also, your blood pressure may be slightly lower at home than in a medical office, with the difference typically being around 5 points.
Dont be alarmed if you get an unexpectedly high reading. One high reading is usually nothing to worry about. Measure your blood pressure again at another time. If your blood pressure is consistently high or abnormal, discuss it with your doctor.;
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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.
Relax In Savasana Posture
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.
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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?
How To Measure Your Blood Pressure At Home Using A Home Monitor
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How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home
Checking your blood pressure at home is easier than youd expect. You first need to buy the right equipment. Talk to your doctor about the best home monitors to buy to check your blood pressure. You want to make sure you get the right size cuff. Once you have your device, heres how to get started:
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, exercise, and caffeine a half hour before you take a reading.
- Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable chair. Rest for at least five minutes.
- Follow your monitors instruction booklet to position the cuff properly and inflate it. For manual monitors, this means squeezing the bulb. For automatic ones, its simply a press of a button.
- Check the readings. Write down the top number and the bottom number .
- Finally, establish a routine for checking your blood pressure at home. This enables you to notice trends in your numbers, which is helpful.
Feel free to share your blood pressure records with your doctor, especially if youre at a higher risk for developing heart disease.
Whats A Normal Blood Pressure
For most patients, a normal blood pressure reading is less than 120 for systolic and less than 80 for diastolic .
At the doctors office, a systolic measurement of 120 to 139 and a diastolic of 80 to 89 are considered;prehypertension;for most patients. Anything above 140/90 is considered hypertension.
Away from the doctors office, a reading above 135/85 is considered to be high often, people are more relaxed during readings that dont occur at the doctors office.
Aside from white coat hypertension, other factors can cause your blood pressure to read higher at the doctors office. When a patient has to use the restroom, his/her blood pressure can increase slightly. Likewise, if a patient has to walk up a flight of stairs to reach the doctors office or is frustrated by a long wait to see the physician, his/her blood pressure may increase.
Consider monitoring your blood pressure at home if youre concerned that your regular check-ups dont provide an accurate view of your blood pressure.
If your at-home readings are higher than your target range,;request an appointment;with your doctor to make sure youre measuring correctly at home, and to rule out another health condition.
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Using An Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Protect Yourself From The Silent Killer Before It Strikes
More than 350,000 American die every year from high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. Over 80% of these incidents could be prevented if individuals had adequate warning. But heart disease often doesn’t give any overt early warning signs . The only way to protect yourself is to self-monitor. Using an inexpensive home BP monitoring device and an app can help you and your doctor spot early warning signs of heart risk much better than the occasional blood pressure readings in the doctorâs office.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do I need to monitor my blood pressure at home?
- How often do I need to measure my blood pressure?
- What type of monitor should I use?
- What do my blood pressure readings mean?
- What is considered a normal blood pressure for me?
- What should I do if my readings are abnormal?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help manage my blood pressure?
- Do I need to take medicine to manage my blood pressure?
- What other things can affect a blood pressure reading?
What Is The Best Way To Measure Blood Pressure
The most accurate way to measure blood pressure is using a sphygmomanometer; and stethoscope. When you get your blood pressure measured at a medical office, your doctor uses a sphygmomanometer that includes a dial or column, pump, arm cuff, and stethoscope:
- The cuff is wrapped around your arm while your arm is kept at the same level as your heart.;
- The pump tightens the cuff around your arm, putting pressure on the artery.
- Your doctor then releases the pressure and uses a stethoscope to measure your pulse rate.;
- Your doctor records the pressure on the dial as your blood starts to flow back to your arm and checks two measurement points to determine your blood pressure reading.
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How To Check Your Blood Pressure Manually
To manually take your blood pressure, youll need a blood pressure cuff with a squeezable balloon and an aneroid monitor, also known as a sphygmomanometer, and a stethoscope. An aneroid monitor is a number dial. If possible, enlist the help of a friend or family member, because it can be difficult to use this method on your own.
Here are the steps to taking your blood pressure at home:
Practice Breathing In Your Left Nose
Breathing deeply through your left nose will relax blood vessels and reduce stress hormones, thereby helping you control your blood pressure.
- Sit on the floor or in a chair in a comfortable position, straight back.
- Place your left hand on your stomach.
- Cover your right nostril with your right thumb.
- Take a deep breath with your left nose, hold for a few seconds, then exhale.
- Breathe slowly and deeply with your left nose for 3-5 minutes.
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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.