When To Monitor Your Blood Pressure At Home
After knowing “what time of day is blood pressure highest?” you may want to closely observe your blood pressure during the day so as to detect any abnormal fluctuations. The best way is to monitor your blood pressure at home. To track your blood pressure, you should measure it at different times during the day, about 5 to 6 times per day. Once you understand how your blood pressure works and you get to know your numbers, you can start monitoring your blood pressure once or twice a day. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, monitor it at the same times every day, in case that it is affected by other factors. Often, it is recommended to measure the blood pressure in the morning, before you have your morning coffee and breakfast, and once again before bed.
When Should You Check Blood Pressure If You Are Taking Medications?
Normally medications do interfere with the levels of your blood pressure. The best time to monitor your blood pressure is just before you take your regular medicines. At that time you will get real results of your blood pressure. You can also see how well your medicines are working.
Should You Check the Blood Pressure When You Have the Symptoms?
You may also wonder this question after “what time of day is blood pressure highest?” In fact, it is a good time to monitor your blood pressure to see how high it is. Remember to seek immediate assistance when the symptoms are too severe.
Common symptoms of high blood pressure include:
Investing In A Clinically
As you shop for a BP monitor, look for a label that says “Recommended by Hypertension Canada.” Hypertension Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and controlling hypertension. It helps in the clinical validation of the accuracy of BP devices for home monitoring.
You can ask your doctor to help you pick the best blood pressure monitor in Canada, too. Your healthcare provider will also help you measure your arm so you can select the right cuff size. Your physician can also check your BP monitor every year to ensure it remains accurate.
Lastly, check if your secondary health insurance covers medical devices. Your supplemental health plans may offer some form of coverage for BP monitors.
What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .
Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.
The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:
- Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
- Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
|systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher|
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.
Read Also: What Is Blood Pressure Supposed To Be
Heart Rate And Exercise
In discussions about high blood pressure, you will often see heart rate mentioned in relation to exercise. Your target heart rate is based on age and can help you monitor the intensity of your exercise.
- If you measure your heart rate before, during and after physical activity, youll notice it will increase over the course of the exercise.
- The greater the intensity of the exercise, the more your heart rate will increase.
- When you stop exercising, your heart rate does not immediately return to your normal heart rate.
- The more fit you are, the sooner your heart rate will return to normal.
Factors That Can Exaggerate Blood Pressure Readings
When you go to the doctors office, blood pressure measurement is one of the ways doctors can check up on your heart health. The only way to diagnose high blood pressure, known as hypertension, is by a blood pressure test. Blood pressure readings are typically taken at the start of your doctors appointment.
A healthy blood pressure reading is anywhere between 90/60 and 120/80. To understand your blood pressure reading, you need to know the difference between diastolic and systolic blood pressure. The first number is the systolic blood pressure which measures how much pressure your blood is exerting against the artery walls when your heart is beating. The second number is the diastolic blood pressure which indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Anything 140/90 or above is considered a high blood pressure reading, which could be a diagnosis of hypertension. Hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart disease that can lead to heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, and even dementia. If your blood pressure measures below 90/60, that could be an indicator of hypotension, or low blood pressure, which can result in dizziness, fainting, and long-term damage to the heart and brain.
Don’t Miss: What Unit Is Blood Pressure Measured In
What Are The Treatments For High Blood Pressure
You will work with your provider to come up with a treatment plan. It may include only the lifestyle changes. These changes, such as heart-healthy eating and exercise, can be very effective. But sometimes the changes do not control or lower your high blood pressure. Then you may need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines. Some people need to take more than one type.
If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Blood Pressure Chart For Seniors
Your heart pressure measurement is composed of two numbers, the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The systolic blood pressure measures your arteries pressure when your heart beats, and the diastolic pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests. The American Heart Association classifies seniors blood pressure ranges into five categories ranging from normal to hypertensive crisis .
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Blood Pressure Drops
Average Ranges Show Normal Pressure On The Arteries
Blood pressure measures the force pressed against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body.
Average blood pressure differs by sex and tends to rise with age. It’s important to know how blood pressure affects your health.
This article covers how healthcare providers differentiate between “normal” blood pressure and hypertension and includes blood pressure charts by age and gender. It will also discuss the health risks involved with hypertension, how you can monitor your blood pressure, and when you should call your healthcare provider.
If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Coffee With High Blood Pressure
What Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure
There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.:
- Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
- Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
Read Also: What Can You Do To Lower Blood Pressure
What Blood Pressure Is Too High
If your top number is ever 180 or higher and/or your bottom number is ever 120 or higher, get emergency medical treatment or have someone take you to the hospital right away. This is a hypertensive crisis.
During a hypertensive crisis, you may experience:
- Difficulty with being able to see or talk.
- Pain in your back.
- Weakness or numbness.
Higher blood pressure ranges mean you may have stage 1 or 2 hypertension .
- Stage 1 hypertension is 130-139 or 80-89 .
- Stage 2 hypertension is 140 or higher or 90 or higher .
When your blood pressure readings are in stage 1 or stage 2, your provider will ask you to make lifestyle changes and take blood pressure medicine.
Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Chart
Older persons, those with a hereditary predisposition, heart problems, or systemic diseases are all especially prone to high blood pressure. A blood pressure chart helps a person to monitor their individual values, to identify abnormalities early on, and to treat unhealthy blood pressure values at an early stage.
Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure
Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment for hypertension depends on how high your blood pressure is, as well as your lifestyle and risk factors.
For elevated blood pressure, the goal is to keep your blood pressure from developing into clinical hypertension. No medications are necessary at this stage. Your doctor may recommend:
- losing weight if you have overweight or obesity
For stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as mentioned above, as well as:
- reducing your sodium intake
- finding healthy ways to manage your stress
- medication, if your blood pressure doesnt improve after 1 month of lifestyle changes
For stage 2 hypertension, the typical treatment, in addition to a healthier lifestyle, is medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications to help lower your blood pressure:
- ACE inhibitors to block substances that tighten blood vessels
- alpha blockers to help relax the arteries
- beta-blockers to decrease your heart rate and block substances that tighten blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers to relax blood vessels and decrease the work of your heart
- diuretics to decrease the amount of fluid in your body, including your blood vessels
A hypertensive crisis requires immediate treatment. Medications may be given orally or intravenously .
The most for a hypertensive crisis include:
- vasodilators, such as hydralazine, nitroglycerin, and nitroprusside
- beta-blockers, such as labetalol and esmolol
Also Check: Does Blood Pressure Rise During Heart Attack
When Is This Combo Not A Big Deal
Sometimes blood pressure and high heart rate occurs momentarily. For example, Dr. Taigen explains, when we stand up:
However, that phenomenon is short-lived. When the heart rate stays consistently high while blood pressure is low, there may be something problematic going on.
Whats Considered High Blood Pressure In Pregnant People
High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy. According to the , about 8 percent of people develop some form of hypertension while pregnant.
- Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is less than 120 mm Hg systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.
- Readings higher than 140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic are considered high.
There are two main categories of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
- Chronic hypertension. This is when blood pressure is high before you become pregnant or when high blood pressure develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. These types of high blood pressure problems are specific to pregnant people and typically develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These blood pressure issues typically disappear after you give birth.
Your doctor may prescribe medications if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Read Also: When Is Your Blood Pressure Too High
How Often Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure
NHS recommends for adults aged 40 years old and over to have their blood pressure at least every 5 years. If youre at an increased risk of high blood pressure, you should ideally have your blood pressure readings taken once a year.
Having a blood pressure test is easy and provides you with the information to improve your lifestyle therefore preventing ill health. The reading my also reassure you that you are keeping your levels at a healthy range. To test your blood pressure, you can book an appointment to see your GP, have your reading taken at a pharmacy, or buy an at-home testing machine from your local pharmacy.
How Do I Prepare For A Blood Pressure Measurement
- Wait 30 minutes to measure your blood pressure if you just smoked, exercised or had a cup of coffee.
- Go to the bathroom and pee until your bladder is empty.
- Roll up your sleeve so you dont put the cuff over your shirt sleeve.
- Sit for at least five minutes without talking.
- Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Dont cross your legs.
- Rest your arm on a table in front of you so your arm is at heart level.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Know If My Blood Pressure Is Low
Understanding Your Normal Blood Pressure By Age
What are the normal blood pressure levels by age? This is a question that you may ask if you are trying to interpret a blood pressure reading on a machine for yourself or your loved one. If you would like to learn more about this topic and about how you can interpret a blood pressure reading, allow us at SummerHouse Ashton Manor to show you the basics.
Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure
Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:
- Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
- Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
- Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.
Also Check: How Do You Bring Blood Pressure Down
The Definition For What Is Considered High Blood Pressure Has Been Tightened Here’s What You Need To Know
If you didn’t have high blood pressure before, there’s a good chance you do now.
In 2017, new guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension to 130/80 millimeters of mercury and higher for all adults. The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older.
This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy. Why the change?