How To Take Blood Pressure Properly
According to the self measurement of blood pressure method it is recommended that you measure it three times a day for 3 days before the visit to your doctor to assess the evolution: Right upon waking up before breakfast and taking medication, before lunch, before dinner. In this article we will teach you which the right steps to take the blood pressure with greater reliability are. The most important element to take blood pressure is a sphygmomanometer. In this OneHowTo article, we show you exactly how to take blood pressure.
Take it on the left or right arm and . Unless your doctor or nurse specifically tells you to take one or the other.
The first blood pressure measurement must be the first thing in the morning upon waking. This measurment is important because you are completely at rest. Thus, none of the pressure is due to exercise or daily activities.
Blood pressure should always be measured before taking any medication, we must choose a suitable place for taking blood pressure. It should be quiet with a table that allows us to put everything you need and clearly see the screen of your device.
Obese people need to buy a larger cuff. Once well positioned begin to measure blood pressure, activating our meter.
This process must be repeated 3 times leaving a rest period of about 2 minutes. When we have three blood pressure results, you have a good idea of what your blood pressure reading is.
Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor.
- Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
- Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice or find options at validatebp.org.
- When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
- Make sure the cuff fits measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
What Abnormal Results Mean
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 130/80 mm Hg, you have elevated blood pressure.
- Your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
- Medicines are rarely used at this stage.
If your blood pressure is higher than 130/80 but lower than 140/90 mm Hg, you have Stage 1 high blood pressure. When thinking about the best treatment, you and your provider must consider:
- If you have no other diseases or risk factors, your provider may recommend lifestyle changes and repeat the measurements after a few months.
- If your blood pressure remains above 130/80 but lower than 140/90 mm Hg, your provider may recommend medicines to treat high blood pressure.
- If you have other diseases or risk factors, your provider may be more likely to start medicines at the same time as lifestyle changes.
If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mm Hg, you have Stage 2 high blood pressure. Your provider will most likely start you on medicines and recommend lifestyle changes.
Most of the time, high blood pressure does not cause symptoms.
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Day Or Nightwhen Is The Best Time To Take Your Blood Pressure Medicine
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If you have high blood pressure, remembering to take your medication is so important.
In fact, the time of day when you take your medicine could influence your risk for complications such as heart attack and stroke, which is ultimately related to how well you manage your blood pressure.
The bodys natural rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm also affects how we respond to specific medications, the result of a complex interplay between your medication and cortisol, the chief hormone responsible for this rhythm.
Now, a new study recommends that you take your blood pressure medicine at bedtimeto lower your blood pressure during the night and early morninghelping to prevent elevation of blood pressure that normally occurs as you awaken.
The research was published earlier this week in the European Heart Journal.
There is a growing body of evidence which indicates that not only genetics, but the time of day you take a medicine may influence how effective it is for treating a particular condition.
The current study looking at this phenomenon represents the largest study to date of patients with high blood pressure, and included more than 19,000 persons on medications to treat high blood pressure.
The key here is routines, said Bhusri. An even routine has shown that patients are more compliant with taking their medications more regularly and not forgetting.
Sudden Spike In Blood Pressure Can Be Serious
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force that blood applies to your arterial walls as it pumps from your heart throughout your body. It also represents how hard your heart is working to push the blood. When blood pressure is higher, it means the heart must work harder to push blood through your system. In turn, the risk of heart disease or heart attack increases.
According to 2014 data, high blood pressure accounts for roughly 1,100 deaths every day in the United States, and only about half of all people with high blood pressure have it under control.
Disturbingly, most people may not even be aware that they have the condition, or are at least on the verge of becoming hypertensive. Some risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- Eating a high sodium/low potassium diet
- Not getting enough exercise/physical activity
- Overactive thyroid
- Overactive adrenal glands
A normal blood pressure is in the range of 120 mmHg/80 mmHg . The higher number represents systolic blood pressure and the lower represents diastolic. Prehypertension arises when systolic and diastolic pressures exceed these numbers, and hypertensionor high blood pressurearises when blood pressure reaches 140 mmHg/90mmHg.
Sometimes, however, something causes blood pressure to spike unexpectedlyand the higher your resting blood pressure is, the greater your risk of suffering a severe cardiac event becomes. Therefore, knowing how to lower blood pressure fast is very important.
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At Home With A Monitor
Home monitoring can be a great way to keep track of your blood pressure on a daily basis.
With home monitoring, you can check your blood pressure throughout the day and at times that are convenient for you. It can help you see how your blood pressure changes throughout the day and help you get a sense of your average blood pressure range.
However, youll need to purchase a blood pressure monitor to do this. Youll also need to learn how to use it and how to record accurate readings.
Its not complicated to learn the basics of many home monitors, but it can still be easy to make a mistake.
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Can Taking Blood Pressure Too Much Hurt You
As long as you use your blood pressure monitor as designed, taking your blood pressure too often should not hurt you. A home monitor releases the pressure in the cuff slower than a standard measurement at your doctors office. This can feel uncomfortable and possibly leave a mark on your skin. This is more likely to happen if you take your pressure too often or if your cuff size is too small.
Its possible, in people who are at increased risk for capillary fragility, to experience a condition called tourniquet-induced petechiae. After prolonged compression of a blood pressure cuff, a red rash or red dots, can appear on the skin . Although rare, this condition has occurred to patients in a hospital after repeated blood pressure readings during monitoring or surgery.
The following are ways to prevent petechiae:
- Dont take your blood pressure unnecessarily.
- Use the right size cuff.
- Position the cuff properly on your arm.
- Follow the instructions in your monitor manual.
In addition, taking your pressure too often can set back your blood pressure goals. This can hurt your progress, which leads me to the topic further down, When Not To Take Blood Pressure.
Medications For High Blood Pressure
There is a large variety of medicines available to lower and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may call them antihypertensives, .
These medications do not cure high blood pressure, but they do help manage it. Once you start to take medicines to manage your blood pressure, you may need to take them for the rest of your life. However, the dose of these medicines may change over time.
If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose. Two or more different medications are often needed to manage blood pressure.
Make sure you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:
- Building them into your daily routine by taking them at the same time each day.
- Keeping them somewhere that will remind you such as next to your alarm, or with your coffee or tea.
- Using a weekly pill box.
- Asking a family member or friend to remind you.
- Always carrying a list of your medicines and their doses with you.
- Entering a daily alarm in your mobile phone or download an app to remind you.
Take any blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed. Dont stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is regularly higher than recommended levels. The clinical term for this is hypertension.
A single high blood pressure reading doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension.
You have hypertension if your blood pressure stays high for three separate readings, on three separate occasions, over at least three months.
Sometimes people’s blood pressure goes up because they’re worried about having it taken by the nurse or doctor. If this is a problem, the doctor may get you to do blood pressure readings at home or order a 24-hour monitor to help confirm you have high blood pressure.
Before You Measure Your Blood Pressure
- Avoid things that can raise your blood pressure in the short term. Dont measure your blood pressure within half an hour of eating, smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, or exercising. These can all raise your blood pressure temporarily. If you need to use the toilet, go before you measure your blood pressure.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes. Wear a short-sleeved t-shirt or something with sleeves you can push up easily, nothing tight. This is so that you can fit the cuff around your arm.
- Rest for five minutes before you take your reading. Sit down somewhere quiet, ideally at a desk or table. Have your back supported with your arm resting on a firm surface and your feet flat on the floor. Stay in this position while you take your blood pressure.
- Make sure your arm is supported and at the same level as your heart. Position yourself so that your arm is resting on a surface and is at the same height as your heart. Keep your arm and hand relaxed, not tensed.
- Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. If you are anxious or uncomfortable, your blood pressure will rise temporarily.
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Get In A Quiet Room And Calm Yourself Down
If you are in a crowded place, shelter yourself in a quiet room immediately.
The undertone is to get away from the crowd. High BP triggers anxiety and breathlessness which needs isolation.
However, its advisable to keep a friend around just in case the situation goes out of hand.
But it is important to get away from the crowd and focus on yourself to get a hold of yourself.
Erratic heartbeat, ragged breathing, and flashes of warmth are signs of hypertension. Therefore, these are the signs you should look out for!
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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.
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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.