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How Can I Check My Blood Pressure

Tips For Checking Your Own Blood Pressure

Do You Really Need To Check Your Blood Pressure at Home?

There are certain factors that can cause blood pressure to temporarily rise. For example, blood pressure normally rises as a result of:

  • Certain medicines

Try to avoid as many of these factors as you can when taking your blood pressure. Also, try to measure your blood pressure at about the same time each day. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times during the day to see if it fluctuates.

When Should I Get My Blood Pressure Tested

You can ask for a blood pressure test if youâre worried about your blood pressure at any point.

You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:

  • your local GP surgery
  • at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults in England aged 40-74

Itâs recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure tested at least every 5 years so any potential problems can be detected early.

If youâve already been diagnosed with high or low blood pressure, or youâre at a particularly high risk of these problems, you may need to have more frequent tests to monitor your blood pressure.

How To Take Blood Pressure Readings

Taking readings requires some thought and preparation, though it will soon become second nature. There are several things to remember:

  • Relax. Steer clear of caffeine and exercise for thirty minutes beforehand, and rest for a few minutes. Sit comfortably upright with your feet flat on the floor and with your back supported.
  • Position your arm correctly. Rest it on a flat surface, with your upper arm level with your heart.
  • Position the cuff correctly, with the bottom edge just above your elbow.

The instruction manual of your device will also provide you with clear instructions.

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Choosing A Time That Works For You

You can check your blood pressure at home. It helps in controlling your blood pressure and prevents serious health problems.

However, what works for one individual may not work for another, and the same is true for timing. Every persons body responds differently to different conditions.

The time you choose to check your BP affects your reading. This time should be selected according to an individuals schedule and routine.

Here are some times that might work for you:

  • Morning: Checking your blood pressure in the morning is an excellent way to get an idea of your overall BP health for the day. One might have a higher reading in the morning.
  • Afternoon: Checking BP in the afternoon is a good way to see changes since the morning. If there is a change, it may be an indication that one has hypertension or another underlying medical condition.
  • Evening: This is a good way to analyze the daily fluctuations. Nocturnal blood pressure reading makes it easier to recognize hypertension and heart-related diseases.

NOTE

You can gradually increase or decrease the number of times you check your BP over days or weeks.

How To Take Your Blood Pressure At Home

Pin on Medical

Tips for using a blood pressure cuff or wireless blood pressure monitor for accurate readings.

Taking your blood pressure at home is easy with a digital blood pressure monitor.

Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood through your circulatory system, putting pressure on your blood vessels the veins, arteries and capillaries. This is known as your blood pressure and without it, your bones, muscles, organs and other tissues wouldnt get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Your bodys various systems, like the immune and digestive systems, also wouldnt function without blood pressure.

But there can always be too much of a good thing, right? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the force against your blood vessel walls becomes too high, which can kick your heart into overdrive and lead to serious health problems like heart attack and stroke.

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Monitoring Your Blood Pressure

Taking your blood pressure at home is key, says Luke. If youre monitoring regularly, its not something you want to do every day, but you want to make it part of your routine a couple times a week. Taking it at various times throughout the day is also more accurate than the readings you receive at your doctors office, surprisingly, she says.

When patients are worried about having an appointment, finding parking and getting to their doctors office on time, these stress factors actually affect their blood pressure and whats taken at the time of their appointment may not be accurate.

Luke advises scheduling your readings around the time of your medications, or when you have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try setting an alarm for when youre relaxing and watching television at night.

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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.

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How To Check Blood Pressure Without Equipment

In a healthy young adult, the average value of blood pressure is usually 120/80 millimeters of mercury .

But what do these numbers mean? The first number represents the systolic pressure or amount of pressure generated while the heart pumps blood and then contracts for the blood to leave the heart.

In simple terms, the systolic pressure measures the pressure created by the contractions of the heart.

On the other hand, the second value measures the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure existing in the arteries of the heart while it rests.

Expressed in simple terms, the diastolic pressure readings measure the pressure of the heart when it is at rest.

These two figures combine to give doctors an accurate reading of heart muscle function.

If the numbers are too high, this is the first indication of a possible condition called high blood pressure or hypertension.

Although it is impossible to adequately measure blood pressure without some type of equipment, you can make a good estimate of the systolic pressure.

To measure the diastolic pressure, however, you should use a blood pressure monitor and a stethoscope. No measurement requires the use of high-tech equipment or a doctorâs diploma.

Through this article, you will learn how to measure blood pressure with little or no equipment.

Advantages Of Home Testing

Is it Time to Have Your Blood Pressure Checked?

Research has shown that home blood pressure readings are similar to blood pressures recorded by 24-hour ambulatory monitors. These monitors are the gold standard for predicting a person’s risk for heart disease.

Home blood pressure readings may eliminate the white-coat effect. The phrase describes how a person’s blood pressure may rise when they visit their healthcare provider’s office. It is very common.

Your healthcare provider may recommend home blood pressure checks for other reasons besides a careful monitoring for high blood pressure. For instance, they may want to see whether a drug used to control blood pressure is working. Or they may want to look for any changes if you adopt a new low-salt diet.

They may use home blood pressure checks to monitor for low blood pressure in certain people. It also may be useful to monitor for masked hypertension. This happens when your blood pressure is normal at your healthcare provider’s office but it is higher at home.

In the end, though, your healthcare provider will use your home blood pressure readings alongside the office blood pressure readings. They are not meant as a substitute, so be sure to continue seeing your provider for regular checkups.

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What Affects The Test

It is normal for blood pressure to go up and down from day to day and even from moment to moment. Stress, smoking, eating, exercise, cold, pain, noise, medicines, and even talking can affect it.

One high reading does not mean you have high blood pressure. And one normal reading may not mean you do not have high blood pressure. It is more accurate to take the average of several readings made throughout the day than to rely on a single reading.

Some people have high blood pressure only when they go to their doctorâs office. This is called white-coat hypertension. It may be caused by stress about seeing your doctor. There are also people who appear to have normal blood pressure when measured in the doctors office, but they have high blood pressure in other situations. This is called masked hypertension. When you regularly check your blood pressure at home, you may find that your blood pressure is lower when you are not at the doctorâs office. A home blood pressure reading of systolic 135 or more and diastolic 85 or more means high blood pressure .

How Blood Pressure Is Tested

Blood pressure machines vary, but they’re all a type of measuring device, which often have an arm cuff attached to it.

The cuff is usually wrapped around your upper arm and filled with air until it feels tight. This can feel uncomfortable but it only lasts a few seconds.

It’s important to relax and not talk during this time, because this is when your blood pressure is measured.

If a healthcare professional is doing this for you, they may also use a stethoscope to record your blood pressure.

An automatic device usually picks up the measurements from sensors in the arm cuff, which are sent to a digital display.

You should get the results straight away.

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How Often Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure

When and how often you take your readings will depend on your blood pressure. Speak to your doctor or nurse about whats suitable for you.

It can be useful to monitor your blood pressure closely to begin with, then less often but at regular intervals.

When you first start using your home monitor

When you first start using a home monitor, measure your blood pressure in the morning and evening, every day for a week.

Take three readings in the morning, one to two minutes apart, and the same again in the evening, and record all the readings. Take an average of the readings, but discard the first one if its much higher than the others. To take an average simply add the two readings together and divide by two. Divide by three if you use all three readings.

Ignore the first days readings altogether, because they might not be accurate as youre not familiar with your monitor yet.

At the end of the week you will have a useful picture of what your blood pressure is normally like.

Your doctor might ask you to keep a record like this when they first think you might have high blood pressure and would like to know more before making a .

After the first week

Once you have a record of your blood pressure over a week, you can take readings less often once every one to two weeks perhaps. Your doctor or nurse can talk to you about this, theres no need to measure it too often.

Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

3 Reasons The Dentist Takes Your Blood Pressure

Digital blood pressure monitors are often used on the wrist, but they can also be placed on the finger or upper arm and are activated simply by pressing a button. They read the blood pressure automatically based on variations in the volume of blood in the arteries. When taking blood pressure measurements on the wrist, it’s important to keep the hand level with the heart. Otherwise it can affect the readings.

Digital meters can sometimes be inaccurate and produce unreliable readings anyway especially in people with certain heart rhythm problems or arteries that have hardened due to arteriosclerosis.

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When To See A Doctor

Have your blood pressure checked as part of your regular doctors visits. When youre ages 18 to 39, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every 3 to 5 years, if you are not at risk for high blood pressure and have a prior normal blood pressure reading.

If you have a high risk for high blood pressure, are overweight, or are over age 40, ask for a reading every year.

  • have a high blood pressure reading and you havent received a diagnosis of hypertension
  • have well-managed blood pressure, but it measures above the normal range more than once
  • are concerned that your blood pressure medication is causing side effects

How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home Using

But you dont need to go to your doctor just to get a blood pressure reading. The easiest way to monitor your own blood pressure at home is to get a machine that has a blood pressure calculator and digital display.

Purchase a blood pressure monitor cuff that wraps around the upper arm. The cuff should fit well, and not be too loose or too tight when not in use. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because the readings arent as reliable. When choosing a blood pressure monitor, take it to your doctors office. They may be able to show you how to use it properly and check whether the machine provides accurate readings.

Here are some tips to follow while measuring your blood pressure at home:

  • Before measuring your blood pressure, sit quietly for 5 minutes with your arm relaxed on a supporting surface at the level of your heart.
  • Your back should be supported and both feet should be flat on the floor.
  • The cuff should be positioned on your upper arm as instructed on the guide that came with the monitor. It is easier to use your non-dominant arm .
  • Avoid caffeine, smoking, or exercise at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Do not take a reading if stressed or angry.

Blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association are as follows:

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What Is Normal Blood Pressure And When Is Blood Pressure Considered To Be High

Blood pressure is always measured on a number of different days and when you are at rest. If several of these measurements are too high, you are said to have high blood pressure, even if only one of the two either the systolic or the diastolic one is high. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. In adults, blood pressure is considered to be normal under a systolic value of 140 mmHg and under a diastolic value of 90 mmHg.

When taking your blood pressure for the first time, it makes sense to measure the blood pressure in both arms, because it’s sometimes high on only one side. The values that are higher are always the ones used for assessing blood pressure. After that it is enough to measure the blood pressure only in the arm that produced the higher reading. A person is considered to have high blood pressure if the systolic value is over 140 mmHg, the diastolic value is over 90 mmHg, or if both are higher than these readings.

Table: Normal and high blood pressure readings

systolic over 140 mmHg and/or diastolic over 90 mmHg

How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home A Step

How to Take Your Blood Pressure at Home

2 Minute Read

Many people with high blood pressure check their own blood pressure at home. However, you dont need to have a high blood pressure diagnosis to do so yourself.

Your blood pressure is the amount of force placed on the walls of your blood vessels as your heart pumps blood. What you learn from taking your blood pressure can improve your lifestyle and may prevent a future, life-changing diagnosis.

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How Do I Take My Blood Pressure

Before taking your blood pressure:

  • Find a quiet place.
  • Roll up the sleeve on your left arm or remove any tight-sleeved clothing, if needed.
  • Rest in a chair next to a table for five to 10 minutes.
  • Sit up straight with your back against the chair, legs uncrossed.
  • Rest your forearm on the table with the palm of your hand facing up.

Tips For Taking Your Blood Pressure At Home

Its not uncommon for patients to have normal blood pressure readings at home but high blood pressure readings at their doctor appointments. This can be very frustrating for hypertensive patients, especially those who are diligent about keeping their high blood pressure under control.

Patients often are nervous about what their blood pressure will be when its measured at their doctors office, and that anxiety causes their blood pressure to go up. Its known as white coat hypertension, and its particularly common among elderly patients.

For that reason, I encourage my patients who take hypertension medication to monitor their blood pressure numbers at home.

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How Does The Blood Pressure Calculator Work

This blood pressure calculator is sourced from the National Health Service and can instantly help you understand your reading. Enter the two numbers from your reading into the blood pressure checker and click Submit. The blood pressure checker will calculate your reading and summarise what your reading means.

The blood pressure tool will explain your reading and give advice from the National Health Service on improving or maintaining healthy blood pressure.

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