When And How To Measure Blood Pressure
Regular use of a home blood pressure monitor can help people better understand their blood pressure fluctuations. It can also allow people to identify episodes of morning hypertension.
The American Heart Association recommend using a cuff-style blood pressure monitor. These monitors are more reliable than monitors that attach to the finger or wrist.
The AHA also provide the following guidelines for measuring blood pressure at home:
Before measuring blood pressure:
- Rest comfortably and quietly for 5 minutes before measuring blood pressure.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or exercising within 30 minutes of measuring blood pressure.
When measuring blood pressure:
Stroke Crisis Is As High As 51%
Many stroke cases occur in the morning, which is very likely due to the sudden increase of blood pressure after waking up.
According to studies, blood pressure morning surge phenomenon can well revealing stroke crisis. In Malaysia, up to 51% of stroke victims are suffering from high blood pressure, and the current stroke is also considered the second biggest killer in Malaysia.
Strokes may cause patients to become hemiplegia and lose their language abilities. Some patients may even commit suicides. The affected people are not only confined to patients themselves alone, the negative impacts also involving family members who must take care and help patients recovering from stroke complications.
Once patients have discovered their symptoms of stroke, they should not hesitate to go to hospitals and seek for treatments immediately. If patients conditions are not serious, medicines can help to reduce the damages of strokes, and maintain the patients ability to act independently in future.
At present, at least 970 million people in the world suffer from high blood pressure, and the annual deaths caused by high blood pressure is as high as 9.4 million, which is also identified as an important culprit of early deaths.
Hypertension is called an invisible killer because it usually does not show any obvious symptoms. Only when the systolic blood pressure reaching as high as 180 to 200 mmHg, hypertensive patients start feeling some discomforts.
Daily Blood Pressure Pattern
Blood pressure follows a daily pattern. It is normally lower at night while you are sleeping and starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. This rise in BP continues during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon. By late afternoon or evening, your BP would begin to drop again.
Some people experience abnormality in their BP pattern. One of it is a morning surge in BP , which results in increased risk of damage to the brain, heart and kidneys. Morning hypertension could also happen in those with well-controlled BP.
Don’t Miss: Does Spicy Food Raise Your Blood Pressure
What Are The Risk Factors For Hypertension
While the exact causes of HBP remain a mystery in most cases, risk factors are much easier to identify. Fortunately, most of them are within your power to controlwhich means your hearts destiny may lie largely in your own hands. They include:
If youre overweight or obese, your body requires your heart to pump more blood to supply it with oxygen and other essential nutrients. This extra work adds to the pressure on the walls of your blood vessels.
Why You Should Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home Or On The Go
Because of regular fluctuations in blood pressure, white-coat syndrome, and masked hypertension, doctors may recommend self-monitoring for people with HBP. There are many benefits to taking your own BP:
- Knowing your actual, average blood pressure outside of regular fluctuations
- Gaining more control over your blood pressure
- Tracking your progress
- Saving time and possibly money from frequent doctor visits and complications
Read Also: Spicy Food High Blood Pressure
Can These Fluctuations Affect My Tension Measurements
Absolutely. Readings in healthcare settings are typically regarded as the average blood pressure of a person, but thats not necessarily true. As weve seen, blood pressure can fluctuate significantly over the 24-hour-cycle, and also depending on where you measure it.
Some people have whats known as white-coat hypertension: their blood pressure spikes when theyre in a doctors office. Others have masked hypertension: the opposite phenomenon, where their pressure is high at home, but drops at the doctors.
This is why more and more physicians are recommending regular home monitoring to get a more relevant baseline for a persons blood tension.
What Time Of Day Is Blood Pressure Highest
Blood pressure is created from the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. It constantly changes during the day, depending on physical activity, emotional stress or even foods that you eat. Certain variations of blood pressure are normal. However, extreme swings of blood pressure may indicate health problems which often require medical treatment. Then how does blood pressure fluctuate? Then when is the blood pressure highest or lowest during the day?
Don’t Miss: Onion Lower Blood Pressure
Why Is Blood Pressure Important
That steady stream of blood delivers oxygen and other nutrients that all the different parts of your body need to survive.
“Blood pressure is critical,” says Michael Blaha, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and director of clinical research at Johns Hopkins University’s Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, adding that blood pressure needs to be high enough to sustain your everyday functions. “There is a blood pressure below which you can’t live.”
On the other hand, uncontrolled high blood pressure also called hypertension can kill you over time by damaging your blood vessels and organs, according to the ACC.
What Is The Cause
When we first wake up, blood pressure rises because of the normal circadian rhythm of the body. This is a twenty-four hour cycle which affects our patterns of sleeping and waking. The body releases hormones in the morning, such as noradrenaline and adrenaline. These are what gives you a boost of energy, and they can also raise your blood pressure. The increase of your blood pressure in the morning can usually be seen between six and noon. If it goes too high, this can create effects that are harmful.
Read Also: Does Claritin D Raise Blood Pressure
Why Is My Blood Pressure High In The Morning
05/21/2021 | 11 min. read
Healthy Directions Staff Editor
Blood pressure can be a finicky thing. Why is it so finicky though? What causes our blood pressure to change so often? Anything can affect the rising or lowering of our blood pressure, such as work, stress, sleep, food, exercise, time of day, and medication. Why does it change with all of these things?
Central Pulse Wave Velocity
Central aorto-femoral PWV measurements were performed by the same two operators , in a quiet air-conditioned room after 10min of rest and with the subject lying supine. Continuous pulse pressure wave signals were recorded with hand-held tonometers positioned at the base of the right common carotid artery and over the right common femoral artery. Transit distance was defined as the measured distance from the sternal notch to femoral artery minus distance from sternal notch to carotid. The start of systole was defined by the local maximum of the first derivative of the pressure signal. Mean transit time between the feet of simultaneously recorded waves was determined from 10 consecutive cardiac cycles. Mean arterial pressure was estimated from an oscillometric blood pressure measurement taken immediately post recording of the arterial waveforms.
Don’t Miss: Does Vodka Raise Blood Pressure
What Is High Blood Pressure Anyway
Let’s first begin with how the heart functions. With each beat, the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body in an ongoing, life-sustaining cycle. The forceor pressureof that contraction is what keeps your blood flowing through your arteries and veins.
There are two types of pressure that get generated:
Systolic, which is the pressure when your heart beats
Diastolic, which is your blood pressure between beats
A healthy blood-pressure reading is written out like this: 120/80 mmHg , with the systolic number on top and the diastolic number below. Spoken out loud, youll hear: 120 over 80. Its only when your numbers spike higher than 129 and tick upward of 80 , that youre venturing into hypertensiona.k.a. high blood pressure territory.
Your blood pressure goes up when youre active. It goes down when you chill out. Its highest in the morning when you wake up and lowest when you sleep. These types of fluctuations occur normally. However, when its continually above normal, you have a problem.
Why? Because HBP can do A LOT of damage. It strains and stiffens your blood vessels, which can make your heart work harder than it shouldand that can lead to a range of heart disorders, some of them quite serious.
Whos At Risk For Labile Hypertension
Labile hypertension tends to be situational. This means the spikes occur in response to stressful events a fender bender, intensive physical exertion or thinking about financial woes, for example. This helps distinguish labile hypertension from true hypertension, in which blood pressure is high all the time.
Although hypertension can develop at any time, it raises a red flag when it occurs in young people or after age 60.
People who develop hypertension in their 40s particularly if they have a family history of hypertension are more likely to have essential hypertension than labile hypertension. They tend to be overweight or have underlying dietary issues, such as excessive sodium intake or heavy alcohol consumption.
Also Check: What Size Blood Pressure Cuff Do I Need
Why You Should Pay Attention To Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension can wreak havoc on the body before alarming symptoms appear. Thats why regular checkups are a must.
Sometimes, Dr. Lioudis asks patients to check their blood pressure at different times of the day. Its the only way to spot masked hypertension. People with this condition have normal blood pressure in the doctors office, but high blood pressure at home.
We cant do anything for hypertension unless we know it exists, he says. Thats why we advise everyone to have their pressures checked at least yearly. They should also talk with their family doctor about stress, heart or kidney disease, family history of high blood pressure and any other potential contributing factor. By working together, you can bring your blood pressure under control.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
Choosing Times That Work For You
The best times of day to take your blood pressure depend on you and your daily routine. Its important to pick times that you can stick to every day.
Taking your blood pressure at the same time each day is key to understanding your blood pressure. It can help make sure that the readings you take arent affected by the events of your day.
You can select times when you know youll be home and are unlikely to be interrupted. For example, you could check your blood pressure before you leave for work, when you get home from work, and before bed.
Recommended Reading: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure Facts
What every adult should know about high blood pressure, or hypertension
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
How Do Doctors Diagnose High Blood Pressure
Because symptoms are so uncommon, the only way to know you have HBP is to have your blood pressure tested at your doctors office. Your doctor will use a device called a sphygmomanometer, which features an inflatable cuff that wraps around your upper arm. The cuff is attached to a scale, and when it inflates, it measures your systolic BP. It measures your diastolic BP as the cuff slowly deflates. Your doctor will also likely press a stethoscope to listen for any abnormal sounds as your blood flows.
You officially have HBPyour doctor may call it hypertensionwhen your readings are above normal during at least two visits to the doctor. However, many doctors will ask you to measure your own blood pressure using either a home monitor or with a 24-hour monitoring device your doctor lends you. Doing this will help confirm that your blood pressure remains high during the normal course of your day.
Why is this important? Many people have whats called white-coat hypertension, which means that your blood pressure spikes in your doctors office but returns to normal elsewhere. For example, your reading may be high when you have a physical and normal when you use the device at your pharmacist or grocery store .
Lets look at the numbers. The American Heart Association provides the measurements that you should aim for, as well as the ranges that put you in the danger zone. All measurements are mm Hg.
Read Also: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
Causes Of Sudden High Blood Pressure
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of out every three American adults suffers from diagnosed high blood pressure with only one half keeping their pressure under control. Sudden high blood pressure usually occurs to a small percentage of people with high blood pressure. This can include young adults, including a high number of African-American men, and those experiencing:
- Collagen vascular disorders
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
Sudden high blood pressure can also be brought on by daily activities and practices.
- Medication use such as over-the-counter pain relievers, a combination of various medications, and abuse of cocaine and marijuana can spike blood pressure levels.
- Smoking can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure as the chemicals, including nicotine, damage the linings of our blood vessels.
- Diet habits are critical to maintaining normal blood pressure levels as the bad fat and sodium found in many foods increase the blood solute content. It also can build up and block the blood vessels, leading to major heart trouble such as a stroke.
- Stress is part of our everyday life and becoming anxious about your worries can increase risk for spikes in blood pressure twofold.
- Medical conditions like kidney disease, spinal injuries, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid issues, and scleroderma can raise blood pressure rapidly.
Beware Of Blood Pressure Changes At Night
When systolic blood pressure jumps up by 20 mm/Hg or more during the night, the risk of heart disease and stroke goes up by 18% and the risk of heart failure increases by 25%.
If people consistently had higher blood pressure readings at night, but normal readings during the day, the risk of heart failure more than doubled. The researchers, writing in the journal Circulation, dubbed this a “riser pattern.”
On the other hand, for people with a drop in blood pressure of more than 20%, the study team noted a more than twice the risk of stroke. They called this group “extreme dippers.”
“Nighttime blood pressure is increasingly being recognized as a predictor of cardiovascular risk,” study lead author Dr. Kazuomi Kario said in a journal news release. He’s chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Jichi Medical University in Tochigi, Japan.
Dr. Raymond Townsend, an expert volunteer for the American Heart Association, said blood pressure is typically higher in the morning and lower in the afternoon and evening.
Compared to the overall daytime blood pressure pattern, “blood pressure is generally about 10% to 20% lower during sleep. Sleep time offers a relatively pure look at blood pressure. Most factors that influence blood pressure are minimized during sleep,” he explained.
Read Also: Spicy Food Blood Pressure
Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes
Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:
- Certain medications or combinations of medications
- Chronic kidney disease
Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
Medical professionals advise that patients monitor their blood pressure at home to help determine their risk of early morning hypertension using a home blood pressure display that has actually been scientifically shown to be precise. You can acquire a home blood pressure screen without a prescription at your local pharmacy. Several types of monitors are readily available, consisting of automatic and manual models. The only home blood pressure screen currently on the market cleared by the FDA to help identify a patients risk of early morning hypertension is manufactured by Omron Healthcare . Omron automatic high blood pressure monitors are clinically shown accurate and include IntelliSense for appropriate cuff inflation, memory ability, various cuff sizes, and an electronic display that includes the date and time.
When acquiring a home blood pressure display, be sure to pick the proper cuff size that matches the distance around your arm. If an incorrect cuff size is used, this might cause a wrong high blood pressure reading. You also ought to think about whether you want an automated or manual inflation cuff with your display.