What Is The Correct Way To Measure Blood Pressure
Learn the correct way to have your blood pressure taken, whether youre getting it checked at the doctors office or checking it yourself at home. Use this checklist:
- Dont eat or drink anything 30 minutes before you take your blood pressure.
- Empty your bladder before your reading.
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported for at least 5 minutes before your reading.
- Put both feet flat on the ground and keep your legs uncrossed.
- Rest your arm with the cuff on a table at chest height.
- Make sure the blood pressure cuff is snug but not too tight. The cuff should be against your bare skin, not over clothing.
- Do not talk while your blood pressure is being measured.
If you are keeping track of your blood pressure at home, use these additional tips.
How To Lower Blood Pressure
There are lots of things you can do to lower your blood pressure.
If your doctor has given you blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed. However, you’ll also need to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, following these tips will be good for your blood pressure and good for your heart.
Stopping smoking is a great thing you can do for your blood pressure and your heart health.
Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Phone Quitline 0800 778 778, or visit quit.org.nz for information and support.
Eat more heart-healthy foods and less salt
What you put into your body can make a big difference to your blood pressure.
Eat a wide variety of heart-healthy foods like:
- whole grains
Read more about the benefits of exercise.
Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link between stress and long-term high blood pressure. However being stressed contributes to other risk factors like poor diet and drinking more alcohol.
You can’t always remove the sources of stress in your life. But here are some things you can do to manage them.
- Enjoy exercise every day, like taking a walk.
- Take a break for yourself.
- Get 7-8 hours plus sleep each night.
- Talk about how you are feeling.
- Try relaxation music or breathing exercises.
Taking Your Blood Pressure
If you have a manual or digital blood pressure monitor, follow the instruction booklet carefully. The following steps provide an overview of how to take your blood pressure using either a manual or digital blood pressure monitor.
1. Locate your pulse
Locate your pulse by lightly pressing your index and middle fingers slightly to the inside center of the bend of the elbow. Here you can feel the pulse of the brachial artery. If you cannot locate a pulse, place the head of the stethoscope or the arm cuff in the same general area.
2. Secure the cuff
A. Thread the cuff end through the metal loop and slide the cuff onto your arm, making sure that the stethoscope head is over the artery. The lower edge of the cuff should be about 1 inch above the bend of your elbow. Use the Velcro wrap to make the cuff snug, but not too tight.
B. Place the stethoscope in your ears. Tilt the earpiece slightly forward to get the best sound.
3. Inflate and deflate the cuff
If you are using a manual monitor:
A. Hold the pressure gauge in your left hand and the bulb in your right.
B. Close the airflow valve on the bulb by turning the screw clockwise.
C. Inflate the cuff by squeezing the bulb with your right hand. You may hear your pulse in the stethoscope.
D. Watch the gauge. Keep inflating the cuff until the gauge reads about 30 points above your expected systolic pressure. At this point, you should not hear your pulse in the stethoscope.
G. Continue to slowly deflate the cuff.
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I Keep Getting Error Messages When I Try To Take A Reading What Should I Do
In the instruction manual that came with the unit, there is a section included on on the different types of error messages. Please review this section of the manual. You can locate electronic instruction manuals in our Product Support & Solutions Center.
If this does not fully resolve the issue, please contact the Omron consumer support line at 877/216-1333 or e-mail us your question.
How To Protect Against Dangerous Drug Combinations
You may be asking yourself how such interactions can occur if they have been thoroughly described in the medical literature. The answer is that busy physicians dont always check for dangerous drug interactions. They may be harried or preoccupied and when an alert shows up on their smart phone or computer they often override it. Pharmacists are in the same situation.
If you find this hard to believe, you will want to read the chapter titled Drug Interactions Can Be Deadly in our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them. You will also find our Top 11 Tips for Preventing Dangerous Drug Interactions at the end of the chapter. Although there is much more information in the book, here are the headings:
If your doctor is using a computer or handheld device to submit your prescription electronically, ask if there are any drug interaction alerts that you should know about.
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How Can I Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
SMBP means you regularly use a personal blood pressure measurement device away from a doctors office or hospitalusually at home. These blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use. A health care team member can show you how to use one if you need help.
Evidence shows that people with high blood pressure are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they use SMBP combined with support from their health care team than if they dont use SMBP.3
Use these additional tips for SMBP:4
- Use a blood pressure log pdf icon to record your blood pressure measurements.
- Take your blood pressure at the same time every day.
- Take at least two readings, 1 or 2 minutes apart.
Take Your High Blood Pressure Drugs Exactly As Prescribed
High blood pressure drugs work best if you take them as your doctor has prescribed them. So you need to take the right amount at the right times every day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist these questions:
- How much of the medication should I take?
- How often should I take it?
- Are there special instructions, such as to take the drug with food?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
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Where To Get A Blood Pressure Test
You can ask for a blood pressure check. You do not have to wait to be offered one.
- at your GP surgery by a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or self-service machine
- at some pharmacies
- at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults aged 40 to 74 in England
- in some workplaces
You can also test your blood pressure at home using a home testing kit.
You And Your Medicines
Important information about your medicines:
- Know the name of each medicine you take.
- Carry a list of medicines with you.
- Know how and when to take each medicine.
- Know what side effects to report to your doctor or nurse.
- Tell your doctor or nurse about all of the vitamins, herbs, supplements and pills you take.
- Never stop taking a medicine without calling your doctor or nurse.
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Home Blood Pressure Testing
Blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own blood pressure monitor.
Like 24-hour or ambulatory monitoring, this can give a better reflection of your blood pressure.
It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.
You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.
Measure your blood pressure twice a day, ideally in the morning and the evening, while you’re sitting down.
Each time take 2 readings, 1 minute apart. Continue to measure your blood pressure twice a day for 7 days.
Your doctor or nurse will use this information to work out your average blood pressure.
It’s important to make sure you use equipment that’s been properly tested.
The British Hypertension Society has information about validated blood pressure monitors that are available to buy.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
Having a raised blood pressure reading in 1 test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can also raise your blood pressure.
If you have a high reading, you may be asked to take some readings with a 24-hour monitor that checks your blood pressure throughout the day.
This will confirm whether you have consistently high blood pressure.
It’s known as 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
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Blood Pressure Cuff Placement
Most blood pressure reading errors are the result of improper sizing of the blood pressure cuff or placing the cuff over clothing. Improper placement of the cuff over clothing can cause your blood pressure measurement to increase by 10 to 50 points. If the cuff is too small, it can add 2 to 10 points to your bp measurement. Be sure to roll up your sleeve for a blood pressure test and also let your doctor know if the cuff feels too tight around your arm.
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What Else Can You Do To Better Control Your Blood Pressure
Bhusri feels the key to controlling your blood pressure is your routine.
If your routine helps you take your medications regularly and consistently, then they will be more effective in controlling your blood pressure.
âIt is well known that meds that are prescribed to take at night have a higher rate of consistency,â said Bhusri. âThat is, fewer medicines are forgotten, and a more regular steady state of the medicine is in the patientâs system.
âWorse than persistent elevated pressure,â added Bhusri, âis labile high blood pressure. That is, swings in blood pressure for not adhering to the regimen.â
Bhusri believes that better compliance may have been the reason that the patients in the study had better blood pressure control.
However, Williams adds further advice, saying, âThe main message of our blood pressure therapy in our recent American College of Cardiology hypertension guidelines is to adopt lifestyle changes so that you donât need blood pressure therapy.
Among their recommendations, says Williams, are:
- Stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly .
- Reduce excess weight.
- Increase potassium.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Baliga also supports these lifestyle changes, adding to the list good sleep hygiene as well as an assessment for sleep apnea for at-risk patients.
You’re On Medication That Could Raise Your Blood Pressure
Certain medicationsincluding antidepressants and corticosteroidscan raise your blood pressure, says Holly S. Andersen, MD, an attending cardiologist and associate professor of clinical medicine at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center. If you recently went on a new medication with the potential to raise your blood pressure, she says it might be “useful” to take readings at home.
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How Did Bfr Training Begin
Congratulations! If youve made it this far you are really dedicated to learning about BFR training. So Ill give you a little bonus info about how it got started.
BFR was invented by a Japanese therapist, Yoshiaki Sato, around 1994. After sitting in a traditional kneeling position for a long time at a funeral, Sato realized that his calves felt just as if hed done a vigorous workout.
From there he wondered if sitting on his calves had slowed blood return, trapping CO2, lactic acid, and other waste products. This, he thought might trick the muscles into growing because they felt like they had done a heavy bout of exercise.
Further research proved his hypothesis, and he started KAATSU training the origin of BFR. He tried it out on himself as one of the first test subjects. After breaking his ankle, he decided to use BFR on the injured leg while he was in a cast for 8 weeks. He found that hed prevented almost all of the atrophy that usually comes from being in a cast for that long. And the rest is history.
Looking to recover faster? Check out our guide to choosing the best turmeric supplements for your needs.
This does not constitute specific medical advice and does not indicate a physician-patient relationship between Dr. Larson and readers of this website. Please consult your own physician regarding any of these recommendations before starting them.
Why Do I Need To Take My Bp
You may not have any signs or symptoms of high BP. You may need to take your BP regularly to know how often your BP is high. High BP increases your risk for a stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease. You may need to take medicine to keep your BP at a normal level. Write down and keep a log of your BP. Your healthcare provider can use the BP results in your log to see if your BP medicines are working.
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You’re Pregnant And Your Last Reading Was Iffy
During pregnancy, you can develop a condition known as preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure when you’re pregnant. People who are pregnant “could benefit from a home blood pressure cuff to make sure they aren’t developing preeclampsia, especially toward the last several weeks of pregnancy,” Dr. Haythe says.
Why Taking Blood Pressure Meds At Bedtime May Be More Effective
- New research suggests that taking your blood pressure medication at bedtime may more effectively reduce your risk of illness or death due to heart and blood vessel disease.
- Timing of medication is important because blood pressure follows a daily rhythm. It rises higher during the day and falls at night when we sleep.
- Rather than taking a blanket approach, experts say any medication regimen should be personalized for you based on a discussion with your physician.
Should you be taking your blood pressure medication at bedtime rather than in the morning?
Research published in the October 22, 2019, issue of the European Heart Journal suggests that maybe you should.
In the study, the researchers followed 19,084 patients with high blood pressure for a median of 6 years.
The patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: those who took their blood pressure medication in the morning and those who took it at bedtime.
The researchers found that bedtime medication seemed to make a difference for patients as they had better nighttime blood pressure.
They also had less risk of illness or death due to heart and blood vessel disease.
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The Best Way To You Check Your Blood Pressure At Home According To Cardiologists
Given just how many people in the country have high blood pressure , it’s understandable that you’d start to think about keeping tabs on your blood pressure situation . Luckily, checking your blood pressure is easy enough to do: Most drugstores carry blood pressure monitors you can use at home. But, is this something you should do? Here’s what you need to know about monitoring your blood pressure at home every dayand who can benefit from itaccording to cardiologists.
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
While drinking water has been shown to boost metabolism and slightly raise blood pressure, being dehydrated can also raise blood pressure. A study in the journal Sports Medicine found that acute body water loss due to sweating can disrupt proper function of the lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, impairing blood pressure regulation. Even mild dehydration can thicken blood and impede blood flow and raise bp, the study found.
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Other Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Pressure
Now you know that blood pressure after eating may increase or decrease. It is also important to know other factors that can also affect blood pressure readings. These include:
1. Small Blood Pressure Cuff
You have to make sure that when your blood pressure is measured, the size of cuff fits your arm circumference. If you use a cuff that is too small, it can lead to an error blood pressure reading which will increase 10-40 mm Hg for the systolic result.
2. Cuff Placed over Clothing
It is very important that the cuff of the blood pressure machine is placed directly on the arm and not over clothes. Putting the cuff over clothes can cause the blood pressure readings to increase 10-50 mm Hg.
3. Inadequate Rest Before Measurement
To measure blood pressure accurately, the patient must sit in a comfortable chair for around five minutes before measurement. The atmosphere should be calm and peaceful, and no physical activity should be carried out prior to the measurements.
4. Improper Position
The feet, arms, and the back should be properly positioned while taking the blood pressure measurements. It is estimated that an unsupported back can increase the diastolic measurements by 6 mm Hg, while crossing of the legs will also result in a similar increase. What’s more, putting your arms below your heart level will cause a lower reading result.
5. Heightened Emotions
10. Urge to Urinate