Checking blood pressure do try this at home – harvard health gas blower will not start


Your blood pressure changes from hour to hour, sometimes even minute to minute. Standing up from a chair, watching an exciting show on television, eating a meal, listening to soothing music, being stressed — even the time of day — influence your blood pressure. It jumps around so much that you are more likely to get a "normal" reading if you check it at home rather than in the doctor’s office.

The American Heart Association (AHA), American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association urge individuals with high blood pressure, or at high risk for developing it, to become blood pressure do-it-yourselfers. There are many good reasons to follow their advice:

Find your real blood pressure. The measurement your doctor or nurse takes is just a just single frame from an ongoing movie. In some individuals, that snapshot tells the whole story, and is an excellent approximation of their usual blood pressure. In others, it isn’t. Up to 20% of people diagnosed with high blood pressure have white-coat hypertension. This is a temporary spike in blood pressure brought on by the stress of trekking to and seeing a doctor. Still others have what’s called masked hypertension — normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office but high blood pressure everywhere else.

Improve your control. People who check their blood pressure at home tend to be more successful at keeping it under control. Timely feedback helps. Instead of a getting a blood-pressure reading once every few months under unusual conditions (in a doctor’s office), you can get a reading every week or so at home. Taking the measurements yourself also helps. People who actively participate in their care generally do better than those who take a hands-off, let-the-doctor-do-it approach.

Run with the right crowd. Of every 100 people with high blood pressure, 60 or more don’t have it under control. Checking your pressure at home and acting on the results can help you join the "in" crowd who do. A study shows that people who checked their blood pressure at home and e-mailed the results to a pharmacist who offered advice were far more likely to keep their blood pressure in check than those who merely measured it at home or those who had it taken by a doctor every now and then. Key points

Home monitoring should be done by most people "with known or suspected hypertension." That includes people who are seriously overweight, smoke, or have a family history of high blood pressure. Women who become pregnant should consider checking their blood pressure at home, since high blood pressure is a common, and problematic, side effect of pregnancy. Picking the right machine

There are dozens of different home blood pressure monitors on the market. For best accuracy and ease of use, buy one with a cuff for the upper arm that automatically inflates and that automatically records the pressure. Models that store readings for a week or two can simplify record keeping. The AHA doesn’t recommend wrist or finger home blood pressure monitors. Taking your blood pressure at home

When you first start to check your blood pressure at home, measure it early in the morning, before you have taken your blood pressure pills, and again in the evening, every day for a week. After that, follow the plan your doctor recommends, or check it one or two days a month. Each time you take a reading:

• Push your sleeves out of the way and wrap the cuff over bare skin. Measure your blood pressure according to the machine’s instructions. Leave the deflated cuff in place, wait a minute, then take a second reading. If the readings are close, average them. If not, repeat again and average the three readings.