Viable Blood Pressure Test at Home.
Checking your blood pressure at home has become fairly common today. If you have concerns about your blood pressure, talk to your doctor first. Usually your BP can be controlled, but left unchecked you could be at serious risk.
In this article, I want to cover the best way to get viable BP readings at home. If you’re looking for advice for your high blood pressure, you’re in the wrong place. Stop here and call your doctor. A good source for general info online is The American Heart Association.
That said, let’s get on with it.
The thing with blood pressure is you never get the same exact reading twice. There is long list of things that can and does affect the readings you’ll get. Here’s a few:
- Eating just before checking it.
- Exercising just before checking it.
- Full Bladder
- Time of day
- Wrong BP equipment
- Not supporting or relaxing arms during check
So, you see, pretty much anything can cause a variation in your BP reading. Add to all this that people have blood pressure problems for many different reasons and it’s plain to see why it’s so important to work with your doctor for a monitoring plan.
I developed high blood pressure in about 1993. In the beginning, my doctor wanted to check my BP daily. I was instructed to bring a blood pressure machine I had purchased to the doctor’s office. He wanted to make sure I knew how to use it properly and the results I got were equivalent to his. Actually it wasn’t the “doctor,” but his nurse who did all the work.
Daily readings helped my doctor to determine type of medication and dosage, determine the best plan to control the problem. Once he was comfortable with the results, I slowly decreased the frequency of the BP check. For a while, I checked twice a week, then once a week, and so on.
All my readings were entered into a log which I emailed to the doctor’s office, weekly at first then monthly. The log contained date, time, heart rate, systolic and diastolic readings.
It’s important to take your blood pressure reading in a consistent manner so your readings will be as consistent as possible. Here are the instructions I received for checking my blood pressure, but you should question your doctor in case other steps are necessary for you.
- Check BP first thing in the morning. Before breakfast. Before any physical activity.
- Sit quietly, fully relaxed with the test arm supported in a natural position.
- Make sure your BP cuff fits and is applied correctly, and you understand how to use your machine before using for a reading.
- If you feel worried or stressed about something, try to relax or wait till tomorrow and try again.
- Record your test results and make notes if there are any extraordinary issues, like being stressed or having a cold.
Try to be consistent, time after time, and you’ll have your best chance to produce reliable accurate results. In time, it gets easier, which also helps with accurate results. Here is a link to view the Blood Pressure Monitors we have here at Caregiver-Aid.
If you have suggestions or comments, we’d love to hear them.