Where Can I Learn How To Take My Blood Pressure Myself
In Germany and other countries, people with high blood pressure can attend patient education courses that teach a number of things, including how to measure your blood pressure. As part of specialized disease management programs for people who have narrow coronary arteries , statutory health insurers offer additional healthcare services. These include patient education about high blood pressure. Some doctors practices don’t offer these courses, though.
Know Your Numbers: Blood Pressure
Topics in this Post
Knowing and understanding key heart numbers blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, along with your family history allow you and your health care team to determine your risk for developing heart and cardiovascular disease. Knowing your risk is critical to preventing heart disease and for taking steps to improve your overall heart health.
Drink Alcohol In Moderation
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will increase your blood pressure and raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.
Sticking to the recommended amounts of alcohol consumption is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
The recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption are:
- 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men
- 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women.
A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure or spirits.
More about drinking alcohol reponsibly
Don’t Miss: Does Apple Watch Do Blood Pressure
The Discovery Of Blood Pressure
Although in his seminal work Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus published in 1628 William Harvey had assumed a driving force for the circulation, it took > 100 years until blood pressure was truly measured. In 1733, Steven Hales inserted, with the help of his assistant, in an awake horse a glass cannula into the carotid artery and for the first time determined the level of blood pressure in a living organism, and demonstrated its changes during the cardiac cycle.
Unfortunately, his seminal experiment had very little influence on medical practice of the physicians of his time as his approach was difficult if not impossible to use in humans. Furthermore, any understanding of the importance of high blood pressure for the development of cardiovascular disease was lacking. This changed in 1896 when an innovative Italian physician, Scipione Riva-Rocci , developed an apparatus that with some modification is still in use today, i.e. the sphygmomanometer. At first, Riva-Rocci could only assess systolic blood pressure with his finger on the radial pulse however, soon thereafter a Russian military physician, Nikolai Sergejewitsch Korotkow , described the vascular bruits that have been named after their discoverer. Thus, blood pressure slowly entered clinical practice at the beginning of the last century.
How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
You can often lower your blood pressure by changing your day-to-day habits and by taking medication if needed. Treatment, especially if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes, requires ongoing evaluation and discussions with your doctor.
Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure to a safe level. Isolated systolic hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure in older adults, is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. You may try several kinds or combinations of medications before finding a plan that works best for you. Medication can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. If your doctor starts you on medication for high blood pressure, you may need to take it long-term.
Also Check: What Is Classed As Low Blood Pressure
Normal Blood Pressure Range For Children By Age And Gender
The normal bp range changes continuously for children throughout childhood, and the blood pressure is lowest in infancy and steadily increases till the child turns 10. Also, it is important to note that the normal BP is different for girls and boys belonging to the same age group.
As mentioned earlier, it is least likely for children to suffer from blood pressure problems unless they have an underlying condition such as a kidney disease or diabetes, and therefore, doctors rarely check the BP in children during their regular checkups.
Determining the normal blood pressure range in children is a little complicated, and it all depends on the size and age of the child. One rule of thumb that doctors use to determine BP troubles in children is that, a child is considered to be suffering from Prehypertension. If he/she has a blood pressure higher than that of 90% of the children of the same age and size. The child is said to have hypertension if he/she has a blood pressure higher than that of 95% of the children of the same age and size.
Medically Reviewed By
I am an experienced Medical/Scientific writer with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. My thirst for writing has followed me throughout the years it is there when I wake up, lingering at the edges of my consciousness during the day, and teases me at night as I go to sleep.
Side Effects Of High Blood Pressure
Dangers of untreated high blood pressure include stroke, heart attack, heart failure, vision loss, kidney failure, vascular dementia and sexual dysfunction, says Dr. Desai. Its one of the top risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation, which is the most common heart rhythm disorder worldwide and can lead to stroke, heart failure and reduced quality of life.
Read Also: Does Flaxseed Lower Blood Pressure
Here Is Information About One Of The Most Dangerous And Sneakiest Health Conditions: Blood Pressure
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your blood pushes against your arteries as it moves through your body. High blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure, the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. High blood pressure is harmful because it makes the heart work harder and less efficiently.
Why blood pressure matters
High blood pressure can cause significant damage to your eyes, kidneys, brain and blood vessels. Left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or vision loss. High blood pressure also can affect your ability to think, remember and learn. There’s even a type of dementia vascular dementia caused by high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous health conditions because of how sneaky it can be. You can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to your heart can still occur. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your health care provider to control it.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is traditionally measured using an inflatable cuff around your arm. The cuff is inflated, and the cuff gently tightens on your arm. The air in the cuff is slowly released and a small gauge measures your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
What is considered normal?
What you can do
Know your numbers
Tips For Measuring Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is best measured in a state of comfortable rest. First, sit on a chair with your feet on the floor for five minutes. Make sure your arm is at heart level and rests on a table. Then take your pressure, being sure to use a right-sized cuff. Don’t take your pressure within 30 minutes of exercising, smoking, or eating.
Also Check: How Much Does Salt Raise Blood Pressure
Understanding High Or Low Numbers
If the numbers are higher than the ideal range, the heart is working too hard to pump blood to the body. When the numbers are lower than ideal it means that your blood pressure is too low and doesnt supply your body and heart with enough oxygenated blood. Low blood pressure is known as hypotension. Its not normally a cause for concern unless you start to experience symptoms.
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.
The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.
A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.
Recommended Reading: What Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.
Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .
Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.
Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.
You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.
What Should I Expect After The Blood Pressure Test
If youre nervous when you go to your appointment, you could have a false high blood pressure reading. This is called white coat syndrome. If this happens, your healthcare provider may ask you to use a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure throughout the day. You can bring a record of your blood pressure readings to your appointments.
You May Like: Blood Pressure What Is Too Low
More Than Blood Pressure
The new guidelines have other changes, too. First, they don’t offer different recommendations for people younger or older than age 65. “This is because the SPRINT study looked at all patients regardless of age and didn’t break down groups above or below a certain age,” says Dr. Conlin.
The guidelines also redefined the various categories of hypertension. It eliminated the category of prehypertension, which had been defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Instead, people with those readings are now categorized as having either elevated pressure or Stage 1 hypertension .
A reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered Stage 2 hypertension, and anything higher than 180/120 mm Hg is hypertensive crisis.
When To Call Your Doctor
The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.
You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.
You May Also Be Interested In Blood Pressure Monitor From Our Featured Partner
iHealth Track Blood Pressure Monitor
Read Also: What Foods Lower Your Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms. In fact, most people dont even realize they have hypertension until their blood pressure is monitored.
Symptoms dont develop until the numbers get very high and organs get damaged, often irreversibly, says Dr. Desai.
If you have severe hypertension, you might notice the below symptoms, some of which were reported by patients in a study in the British Journal of General PracticeGoodhart A. Hypertension from the patients perspective. British Journal of General Practice. 2016 66:570. :
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
Don’t Miss: What Can You Do To Raise Blood Pressure
Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy
High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and they range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present before pregnancy.
Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy.
Preeclampsia: This is a dangerous condition that typically develops in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the pregnant person. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .
Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Pregnant people who have chronic hypertension are at increased risk for developing preeclampsia.
Your provider will check your blood pressure regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.
Understanding The Acc/aha Definition
It’s important to mention that the definition of high blood pressure according to the ACC/AHA differs slightly from other professional societies, such as the European Society of Cardiology and the European Society of Hypertension .
The ESC/ESH defines high blood pressure as a systolic blood pressure that is 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure that is 90 mmHg or higher.
The differences in definition are based on results from large studies that examined the link between blood pressure and the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.
Recommended Reading: When To Measure Blood Pressure
Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
|SYSTOLIC mm Hg||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 1||130 139|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||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.
The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:
Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.
Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .
Also Check: Does Drinking Raise Blood Pressure
Whats Considered Elevated Blood Pressure
Blood pressure numbers that are higher than 120/80 mm Hg are a warning sign. It means you need to pay attention to your blood pressure and focus on heart-healthy habits.
Although these numbers arent technically considered high blood pressure, youve moved out of the normal range. Elevated blood pressure may turn into high blood pressure, which puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Elevated blood pressure
When your systolic pressure is between 120 and 129mm Hgand your diastolic pressure is less than 80mm Hg, it means you have elevated blood pressure.
No medications are necessary for elevated blood pressure. But your doctor may talk with you about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing your weight.
You may receive a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension if:
- your systolic blood pressure is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or
- your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 mm Hg
However, the AHA notes that if you get only one reading this high, you may not truly have stage 1 hypertension. What determines the diagnosis of hypertension at any stage is the average of your blood pressure numbers over a period of time.
Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether its too high.
Stage 1 hypertension
If your systolic blood pressure is 130 to 139 mm Hgor your diastolic blood pressure is 80 to 89 mm Hg, its considered stage 1 hypertension.
Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.
After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .
It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.
Also Check: Is Sea Salt Better For High Blood Pressure