Has your doctor recently informed you that you may suffer from hypertension or prehypertension? If this is the case, you know how important it is to control your pressure. Your goal is to bring him back to a healthy area and keep him there. This can lead to dramatic changes in your diet and exercise program, but it’s worth it to prevent heart disease and strokes.
To find out whether the changes you make to your lifestyle are having the desired effect on your blood pressure, you should take regular measurements at home. Depending on the doctor’s instructions, this can happen once or twice a day, week or month.
What is blood pressure measurement?
The first thing you need to know is what measurements you need to look for to know if you are in a healthy range:
- Normal blood pressure: Systolic is less than 120, diastolic is less than 80.
- Pre-voltage: Systolic in the range 120-139, diastolic in the range 80-89.
- Hypertension: Systolic’s 139, diastolic’s 89.
- Hypertension: Generally defined as systolic below 90 mm and diastolic below 60 mm.
How do you measure your blood pressure at home?
1. First make sure that you haven’t done anything lately that could cause a temporary increase in pressure. Wait at least half an hour after eating, drinking caffeine, smoking, exercising or taking certain medications. Also remember that cold temperatures can cause high blood pressure and stress.
2. Empty your bladder. A full bladder can increase your values. Sit down in a quiet, peaceful place. Get down on the ground. Sit up straight and rest at heart level.
3. Wait five minutes. If necessary, do something to distract yourself. It’s about achieving a state of peaceful rest.
4. It’s time to measure your blood pressure. The exact steps depend on whether you are using a manual or automatic monitor and which model you have purchased. Today, most people use automatic models that do most of the work for you. Just attach the cuff to your shoulder or wrist as prescribed. If you are sure that the device is installed correctly, press the button and the device will take a measurement.
5. It is often advisable to re-read it in a few minutes. If there is a difference of more than five points, take the third one in a few minutes. Do the averages or let the car do it for you. You have to take off the handcuffs and put them on over and over again. Sometimes inaccurate positioning leads to strange measured values.
Advice and troubleshooting
- You are likely to get strange results from the first blood pressure measurements because 1 – you are not used to this process and may be nervous, 2 – you cannot be completely sure what you are doing. Over time you will probably have more predictable results.
- If you have a wrist model, note that it may be less accurate than the shoulder model and that you can read a slightly higher value.
- It is recommended that you take the monitor to your doctor after purchase. Your doctor can calibrate it, tell you how accurate it is and give you advice on how to use it properly.
- Although the screen automatically records your measurements, it’s a good idea to take a few extra notes for yourself. Although the ideal is to be calm and gather at each reading, there will be days when you are anxious, excited, hot or cold, or in any other situation that could confuse your reading. Keep an eye on these variables to get an idea of the measured values.
Now you know what you need to do to get an accurate blood pressure reading. If you have difficulty correctly positioning and adjusting the cuffs of your monitor, consider purchasing a device with positioning instructions. Do you need help choosing a monitor? Check out our detailed buying guides!
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