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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring with Our Detailed Guide

Monitoring blood pressure is essential not only for those already diagnosed with hypertension but also for all healthy adults. It will help you to identify the early stages of heart disease. Knowing when to seek help from your doctor can prevent severe consequences.

According to the American Heart Association, the optimal blood pressure level should not exceed 140/90.

Preparing for Home Blood Pressure Diagnosis

  • Choose a calm environment.
  • Make sure that at least two hours have passed since your last meal.
  • Remember not to drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks or smoke 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  • Use the bathroom if needed; a full bladder or bowel increases abdominal pressure.
  • Remove tight-fitting clothing from the shoulder (no need to roll up the sleeves).
  • Sit still for 5 minutes.

How Do I Choose Which Arm to Measure My Blood Pressure In?

For the first time, measure the blood pressure in both hands three times. The one with the highest average should be the one you choose.

Talk to your doctor about how often you should measure your blood pressure and when to start measuring it yourself.

How to Measure Blood Pressure Correctly

Follow the instructions provided with the monitor. Make sure you place the cuff on your arm as described in the instructions. Applying the cuff too tight or too loose is a mistake. A finger should be able to pass between the cuff and the skin.

  • Place your feet on a flat surface; do not cross them.
  • Lean back against the chair, avoiding muscle strain. Place your hands on a firm surface, making sure your elbow does not hang down.
  • The cuff should be at heart level. Keep your arm and hand relaxed, not tense.
  • Try not to talk during the blood pressure measurement.
  • Take two or three measurements one to two minutes apart. Record the average value.

Before your scheduled doctor’s appointment, take your blood pressure in the morning and evening before taking your medicine for 7 days. Be sure to record the results. For long-term blood pressure monitoring, an interval with two measurements at the same time once or twice a week will be fine.

You can keep a blood pressure log on your smartphone. If filled out correctly, the graphs will automatically show how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. This information will also be useful for your doctor during your annual checkup.

Don’t worry if the measurement is higher than normal. Rest for five minutes and take the measurement again. If it is still high, measure your blood pressure again the next day. If it remains high for more than two or three weeks, consult your doctor.

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