How to Use Your Home Blood Pressure Monitor?
How to Use Your Home Blood Pressure Monitor ? and What is blood pressure and why should you care?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. If your blood pressure is high, this means that the pressure or force is greater than what it should be. This is also known as hypertension. Hypertension can lead to stroke, vision loss, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney disease, and more.
One of the most accurate ways to measure blood pressure is to do it yourself outside of a doctor’s office, in a comfortable setting like your own home with your own blood pressure monitor. In fact, recent national guidelines recommend self-measured blood pressure monitoring, or SMBP for short, and sharing these readings with your health care provider team. If you decide to buy your own blood pressure monitor, make sure to follow the instructions of your health care provider, and make sure it’s a cuff that goes around your upper arm and has internal memory.
It is important to get multiple readings in your usual environment. Multiple readings rather than one single reading at your doctor’s office give a pattern of readings to help your healthcare provider know if the food you’re eating, exercise you’re doing, or the medicines you’re taking are working to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. To get the most accurate reading, you will need to follow a few key steps. >> First, remember not to exercise, smoke, eat a large meal, take cold medicine or have caffeine within 30 minutes of taking your blood pressure. And if you’re taking blood pressure medication, measure your blood pressure before you take your medication. Next, make sure to go to the bathroom if needed before you take your blood pressure. Once you’re ready, find a quiet place to sit with the blood pressure monitor. Sit in a chair with your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back straight and supported. Place the blood pressure cuff on your bare skin under your clothing just above the bending your elbow. The cuff should be snug around your arm but not too tight. Support your arm on a table or other surface close to heart level with your palm facing up, rest for five minutes before taking your blood pressure. When you’re ready, turn on the machine, and press Start. The cuff will inflate and slowly deflate by itself. Do not talk, read, text, or watch TV while measuring your blood pressure. Stay still and relax. When the monitor is finished taking your blood pressure, you will see two numbers.
The top number is systolic blood pressure, which shows the pressure in your arteries when your heartbeats. The bottom number is diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when your heart is at rest. It is ideal to take at least two readings in the morning and in the evening one minute apart, but follow your health care provider’s instructions. If your top number is above 180 or your bottom number is over 120, wait five minutes and test again. If the reading is still above180 systolic or 120 diastolic, contact your health care provider immediately. When finished, remove the cuff from your arm and place the monitor in a safe and dry place. There are three things you should remember. Number one, take your blood pressure in the morning and evening at the same times. Number two, follow directions of your health care team on how to bring the readings to your provider. Number three, don’t forget to bring the actual monitor to all your appointments. Remember, using your blood pressure monitor in a comfortable environment and sharing multiple readings with your health care team will help to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. You can get a clear idea by watching this video.
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