Health & Wellness6 Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Without Pills
Nevertheless, the study shows that differences in blood pressure between the arms is correlated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events. And that higher risk might be enough to help doctors convince patients that its necessary to work at lowering blood pressure.
While the authors suggest that doctors routinely measure blood pressure in both arms, thats unlikely to happen since there is already so much to cover in each visit.
A solution could be for patients to measure their blood pressure in both arms on their own.
I am a fan of engaging patients in their hypertension management, Muldoon said. Automated cuffs are not expensive. In some respects its more practical to expect patients to do this.
The American Heart Association offers some tips on how to get the most accurate home blood pressure readings:
If your numbers are concerning, talk to your doctor. It’s helpful to have a record of past readings for an informed discussion about your risk and next steps.
Linda Carroll is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who is a contributing health and medicine writer for NBC News and TODAY. She is co-author of three books: The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic, Out of the Clouds: The Unlikely Horseman and the Unwanted Colt Who Conquered the Sport of Kings and Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racings Greatest Rivalry.
How Can You Have This Problem And Not Be Aware Of It
Hypertension has another name within the medical profession: The Silent Killer. There are many valid reasons for this.
Very often, specific symptoms do not show, and many of you who are suffering will attribute things to the fact that you are not feeling quite right or you are simply under the weather.
Make no mistake this condition is ruthless. It is responsible for more strokes than any other and is a major player in terms of heart disease, and yet the remarkable thing is that it can be brought back under control relatively quickly once identified.
When To Check Both Arms
The practice of taking blood pressure in both arms is not yet a mainstream activity with all patients. But, as mentioned, it is best practice for those with hypertension and other risk factors for heart disease, from age, sex, or family history to the presence of underlying conditions like diabetes.
As we learned from the UK study, a difference between the arms of 10 points or more is reason for the physician to dig more deeply into the patients condition. For example, it may indicate a narrowing in the artery that feeds the arm from the shoulder. Atherosclerosis, or plaque, is a systemic process, and narrowing in an arm artery could be an early warning of narrowing in other critical areas. A narrowing in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart could cause a heart attack in the arteries of the neck, it might lead to stroke.
Everyones metabolism, risk, and genetic makeup are different, and your doctor is the best source of sound advice. If you have risk factors for heart disease and routinely monitor your blood pressure, its best to have a conversation with your doctor about checking both arms. He or she will work with you to determine next steps and any additional testing required, such as a CT scan to detect arterial calcification, a stress test, or an ultrasound of the blood vessels to determine plaque burden.
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Testing Your Blood Pressure At Home
Your GP may suggest 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring if they think you may have high blood pressure .
ABPM tests your blood pressure regularly over 24 hours, by using a cuff attached to a portable device that’s worn on your waist.
You can continue with your daily activities during this time.
If you want to regularly check your blood pressure at home, you can buy a machine.
The Wrong Diagnosis Of Low Or High Blood Pressure
There is a checklist in the new blood pressure guidelines for medical professions to follow when taking BP. Failure to do any of them can lead to a wrong diagnosis of low or high blood pressure. One of the things on the checklist is taking blood pressure in both arms during the initial visit or if the pressure is not normal in one arm.
Lets say you go for a doctor visit one day, and the nurse takes your BP in only one arm and the measurement indicates high blood pressure. Your doctor will be under the impression your blood pressure is high. In addition, the reverse can happen if the BP is low in one arm. The doctor will think your pressure is low or normal when it might actually be high because they never checked the other arm. Or even worse, like the 69 year old woman, they may miss that you have a serious narrowing of an artery on one side of your body.
Simple Steps To Achieving An Accurate Blood Pressure Reading
How Do I Assemble And Apply The D
When the cuff is assembled correctly, the hook material will be on the outside of the cuff loop and the metal d-ring will not touch your skin. If the cuff is not assembled, pass the end of the cuff furthest from the tubing through the metal d-ring to form a loop. The smooth cloth should be on the inside of the cuff loop.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Getting Blood Pressure Readings That Are Inaccurate
It is quite normal for peoples blood pressure to change throughout the day and night, or in different settings where you may take your blood pressure. Many things, such as stress levels, food or drink intake, activity levels, even time of day can all affect a persons blood pressure reading at any given time. So, it is possible that you may just be seeing normal fluctuations in blood pressure.
However, below are some common situations that can lead to inconsistent or inaccurate readings:
Additional Tips Make Sure You Are Doing These Too
- Utilize the user’s manual! The steps above are general guidelines but the instruction manual will have specific rules to follow for your particular BP monitor. The company has spent lots of time and money researching how to use their monitor for the best results, so you should follow their advice!
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and exercising at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. These factors can cause your BP to rise, which is why we recommend taking your blood pressure soon after waking up and before drinking your first cup of joe!
- Take multiple readings on the same day. In addition to taking a reading after waking up, take a second reading in the evening. This is necessary due to fluctuations in your blood pressure throughout the day.
- Be sure to average and track your readings over a period of time. If you are computer savvy, whip up a spreadsheet to track your blood pressure over time. Alternatively, just keep a notebook next to your device for easy tracking. Most modern automatic blood pressure monitors even have built-in memory.
- Dont think that one high reading means you have hypertension. However, if you are consistently seeing a high reading, it is high time to consult your doctor.
Now that you know the steps to achieve an accurate blood pressure reading, read on to find out what exactly the numbers shown on your blood pressure monitor mean.
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Youve Incorrectly Positioned Your Patients Body
The second most common error in BP measurement is incorrect limb position. To accurately assess blood flow in an extremity, influences of gravity must be eliminated.
The standard reference level for measurement of blood pressure by any technique direct or indirect is at the level of the heart. When using a cuff, the arm where the cuff is applied must be at mid-heart level. Measuring BP in an extremity positioned above heart level will provide a falsely low BP whereas falsely high readings will be obtained whenever a limb is positioned below heart level. Errors can be significant typically 2 mmHg for each inch the extremity is above or below heart level.
A seated upright position provides the most accurate blood pressure, as long as the arm in which the pressure is taken remains at the patients side. Patients lying on their side, or in other positions, can pose problems for accurate pressure measurement. To correctly assess BP in a side lying patient, hold the BP cuff extremity at mid heart level while taking the pressure. In seated patients, be certain to leave the arm at the patients side.
Arterial pressure transducers are subject to similar inaccuracies when the transducer is not positioned at mid-heart level. This location, referred to as the phlebostatic axis, is located at the intersection of the fourth intercostal space and mid-chest level (halfway between the anterior and posterior chest surfaces.
Effect Of Raising Arms On Blood Pressure
Having your arm raised to any level above the heart will lower your blood pressure . The higher your arm cuff is raised the lower the pressure will be. For every inch your arm is raised above heart level, your readings may lower by 2 mmHg .
A study was conducted of 128 people who held their arms in different positions while their pressure was measured. When their arms were held slightly lower than heart level, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were higher . When their arms were positioned higher, their BP measurements were lower.
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What Is The Warranty On An Omron Home Blood Pressure Monitor
The warranty period depends on which Omron model you purchase or own. Warranty periods on the monitor itself are generally anywhere from 1-5 years, and are based on the life expectancy of the unit. Most cuffs or other accessories are generally 1 year. Please check the instruction manual for your specific unit. Electronic versions of the instruction manuals can be found in the Omron Product Support & Solutions Center.
Why Is Blood Pressure Higher In Right Arm Then Left Arm
It is normal to have some disparity in blood pressure readings between two arms. Usually, the reading of right arm is higher than then left because there is more direct flow of blood on right side from heart. You can also have higher blood pressure in right arm if you are right-handed person because dominant arm tend to have higher blood pressure reading.It is a best practice to measure the blood pressure of both arms to correctly assess the blood pressure status.The arm with the higher systolic number, is your blood pressure. Error in determining the blood pressure condition of patient will result in classifying hypertensive patient as normotensive. This will cause delay in detecting hypertension.Similarly, misclassifying normal blood pressure as hypertensive will result in unwarranted treatment,time costs and worry.
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Bp Difference Between Arms Warrants Investigation
Aging WellVol. 5 No. 4 P. 32
A patient visiting a physicians office has an expectation of what will occur in the course of the workup. Healthcare personnel will record height, weight, and blood pressure and note lifestyle changes and current medications. But there may be a missing component that can provide additional important patient information.
According to a study conducted by a team led by Christopher Clark, FRCP, PhD, at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in England, and recently published in The Lancet, physicians and their nursing staff should measure blood pressure in both arms rather than the current standard of only one arm.
The latest research included 20 studies that examined differences in systolic blood pressure between an individuals left and right arms. If there was a difference of at least 10 mm Hg in the systolic blood pressure readings between the two arms, it indicated the likelihood of a blocked artery. The results of the research indicated that a difference of 15 mm Hg or more was linked to an increased risk of peripheral vascular disease, or the narrowing arteries supplying the arms and legs, and the development of cardiovascular disease. The same study also found an increased risk of developing peripheral vascular disease, characterized by a difference of 10 mm Hg or higher.
Kristin Rile is an editorial intern at Great Valley Publishing Company.
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Welcome To Our Home Monitoring Resource Hub
Here you can find resources for home monitoring, see our simple steps to get an accurate reading and make the most out of home monitoring.
Plus, read more about .
The first step to managing your blood pressure is to Know Your Numbers! Watch our video to see how to measure your blood pressure at home and use our tips and resources below to check your own blood pressure at home.
Your Readings Exhibit Prejudice
Prejudice for normal readings significantly contributes to inaccuracies in blood pressure measurement. No doubt, youd be suspicious if a fellow EMT reported blood pressures of 120/80 on three patients in a row. As creatures of habit, human beings expect to hear sounds at certain times and when extraneous interference makes a blood pressure difficult to obtain, there is considerable tendency to hear a normal blood pressure.
Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 20 mm Hg or more, or diastolic blood pressure decrease of 10 mm Hg or more measured after three minutes of standing quietly.
There are circumstances when BP measurement is simply not possible. For many years, trauma resuscitation guidelines taught that rough estimates of systolic BP could be made by assessing pulses. Presence of a radial pulse was thought to correlate with an SBP of at least 80 mm Hg, a femoral pulse with an SBP of at least 70, and a palpable carotid pulse with an SBP over 60. In recent years, vascular surgery and trauma studies have shown this method to be poorly predictive of actual blood pressure .
Noise is a factor that can also interfere with BP measurement. Many ALS units carry doppler units that measure blood flow with ultrasound waves. Doppler units amplify sound and are useful in high noise environments.
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