How to Check Your Blood Pressure at Home: What You Should Know About Hypertension

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A large portion of the population has high blood pressure, and doesn’t even know it. In fact, the statistic is around 70 million people- meaning about twenty-nine percent of the total population is dealing with high blood-pressure. To put it into perspective, this means that means nearly one in every three adults has hypertension (HTN). To monitor your critical number at home, one shall know how-to check your blood pressure properly on regular basis.

How to Check Your Blood Pressure at HomeA scary statistic to think about is the fact that half of the people dealing with high blood pressure don’t even know that they have a problem- and deaths related to HTN numbered around 360,000 in 2013.

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This equates to approximately 1,000 deaths a day, costing Americans on average $46 billion every single year. This is a pretty substantial amount of money- as one in five adults are completely unaware that they have a problem- this is why everyone should own and use a blood pressure monitor.

How To Test Your Blood Pressure at Home and Diagnose Your Self-Readings When Using Your Digital Sphygmomanometer: How to Check Blood Pressure or use Blood Pressure Monitor Effectively

1. Start by simply locating your pulse, using your first and second finger and placing it either on the bend at your elbow in the crevice created by the joint (the most accurate place to read your blood pressure) or where your hand meets your wrist, also on the crevice where your veins are most prominent. You want to make sure that you’re affixing the cuff in a place where your pulse is easy to locate. Most devices are imprinted with an arrow that you should place over your pulse.

2. Take time to make sure that you’ve properly secured the cuff to your arm, by carefully threading it through the metal cuffs that hold the band, pointing the stethoscope that reads your blood pressure (it should be a prominent bump, or marked by an arrow like mentioned above) where the cuff is located approximately an inch (5 cm) above your elbow, or slightly above your hand, but not too high on your wrist and lower forearm. At the same time, make sure the cuff is snug against your skin, but not so tight that it cuts off your circulation.

3 Read/Follow the directions on your particular blood pressure meter after you’ve located your pulse and secured the cuff on your arm. Typically you begin the actual heart rate test simply by pressing the power button, and waiting for the device to indicate that it’s ready. When symbols appear, disappear, and a zero follows on the display, your device is ready to use. If you’re having problems getting your digital monitor to turn on, check the batteries.

How to test your blood pressure at Home

4. Push the start button on your monitor, and the cuff should inflate automatically. The “squeeze” associated with blood pressure monitors is the cuff tightening around the blood vessels in your arm to figure out exactly how much pressure is flowing through your veins. It might feel uncomfortable initially, but it’s not dangerous.

5. Take the time to watch the countdown. Sometimes it’s difficult to get the machine to work right, and if it doesn’t activate with your blood pressure by the time it reaches thirty millimeters of mercury, there should be enough pressure in the cuff to begin to read your blood pressure. If your arm is in an awkward position, or your heartbeat is faint, you might need to place your arm over your heart to increase your pulse.

6. At this point, it’s very important to stay calm and still, because any other actions can disturb the readings that you receive, and you’ll have to start all over from the beginning. It’s best to just watch the meter until it begins to beep, typically one loud noise.

7. When your blood pressure gauge displays the reading, it should read as two numbers, separated by a dash. This dash separates your systolic pressure and diastolic pressure, respectively. Typically, the best heart rate monitors also include your pulse, which is important if you’ve got heart or health problems, or if you’re taking beta blockers.

8. If the reading is incomplete, the cuff should automatically deflate. Don’t immediately try to use it again. Instead, take the batteries out (called a hard reset) and try again, a few minutes after trying the first time. After you’ve taken a proper blood pressure reading, and the cuff has deflated, you can remove it.

9. Immediately record your blood pressure in a handy notebook for safekeeping and tracking or let the monitor device memorizes it in history.

You might think it’s difficult to adequately monitor your numbers with a blood-pressure monitor at home, but it’s not. It’s all about trying to understand what a good blood pressure reading consists of:

✔ Taking your blood pressure at home, when you’re resting
✔ This means when there are as few outside effects on your health as possible when monitoring your blood pressure
✔ Remember when you’re testing your pressure at home that your blood pressure is constantly changing
✔ Just 30 minutes can make a huge difference in the reading from your BP monitor that you receive because there are a wide variety of things that effect your blood pressure.

Health Problems Related to Hypertension- Why You Should Invest in a Digital Blood Pressure Meter

Monitor Blood Pressure with Best Blood Pressure Monitor
This is because the effects of high blood pressure are extremely subtle- a slight headache, minor vertigo, tinnitus, and sometimes an elevated, panicked heart rate. Additionally, there are a wide variety of risk factors which encompass virtually every cultural pocket of society, regardless of age or ethnicity- like diabetes, smoking, diets high in sodium with reduced potassium, a lack of physical activity, general obesity, consuming large amounts of alcohol, certain medications and drugs, and even familial risk factors that are completely hereditary and uncontrollable.

While all of these lifestyle choices contribute to a growing condition- as one in three are diagnosed with high blood pressure- various healthy alternatives can reduce or completely eliminate your risk all together. But before we delve into how to approach HTN and diagnose your own cures for this disease, we must first understand exactly what your blood pressure refers to, and what the numbers mean.

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?

Hypertension refers to the amount of pressure that your heart is exerting against the walls of your arteries- and when in excess, or when your blood vessels are weakened, due to age or inactivity, it can eventually lead to health problems that can be devastating. The numbers themselves are determined by the amounts of blood that your heart is actively pumping, and the resistance to that blood flow in your arteries. These types of situations are further diagnosed by the amount of space that’s found in your arteries. Point being- the less space in your arteries (the more narrow that they are) the higher your blood pressure is going to be.

Hypertension, especially extreme hypertension means that your heart is pumping much harder than it’s supposed to, and without treatment, it could lead to serious blood vessel damage and heart risks. Often, patients with high blood pressure are subject to bypass surgeries to attempt to reduce pressure on the heart.

Each one of those individuals is at an increased risk of developing these life threatening conditions:
– Heart Disease
– Stroke
– Liver Failure
– Kidney Disease
– Retinal Blindness
– Hematomas and Aneurisms
– Weakened Blood Vessles
– Metabolic Dis-function Syndrome
– Trouble with Memory Due to Ruptured Blood Vessels in the Brain
– Heart Failure

What Do Your Blood-Pressure Numbers Mean?

Blood Pressure Readings and NumbersWhen you check your blood pressure, the bottom number is referring to the pressure that’s in your arteries when your heart is resting, and it’s called the Diastolic rate.

The top number is referred to as your Systolic number, and it’s referring to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart is beating. In the times before electronic reading, the amounts were measured in mercury, which is why you read the amounts as mm HG (millimeters of Mercury).

A healthy blood pressure is around 120/80, and there are health consequence to your blood pressure being over or below that amount. Lower blood pressures are associated with extreme tiredness, lethargy, and hypoxia- or a deprivation of oxygen, because your heart isn’t pumping enough blood. Hypertensive crisis begins when your numbers read higher than 180/110.

A good frame of reference about readings:
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These types of effects with Hypertension are:

– Level of Activity

– Alcohol or Smoking

– Caffeine -Stress

– Lack of Sleep

– Greasy, Hard to Digest Foods

– Lack of Fiber (as silly as it sounds)

 

More Recommendations on How to Measure Your Blood Pressure or Use Sphygmomanometer

✓ We recommend taking your blood pressure first thing in the morning (before you’ve even started your coffee) when you check your blood pressure at home
✓ As well as using your blood pressure meter several times throughout the day
✓ If you receive a rating that’s unusually high, it’s best to take your blood pressure several times to double check your results
✓ Additionally, it’s recommended that you take your blood pressure several times a day- this will give you the best overall idea of exactly how your blood pressure is fluctuating in general, daily
✓ The best indicator of your TRUE blood pressure ratio is the average of your blood pressure results over a set period of time, which is why it’s best to track your ratings in a notebook kept in a convenient location when checking your pressure at home with your monitor

 

Several Additional Helpful Tips for Getting the Most From Your Blood Pressure Readings:

✘ Avoid testing your blood pressure over loose fitting garments, but on the other hand, also avoid tight fitting clothing because it can restrict your blood flow. The best thing to do is to roll up your sleeve and apply the blood pressure cuff directly to your upper arm.
✘ Test your blood pressure with your forearm on a table in a seated and relaxed position. Allow your body to settle into the position too, because your blood pressure can even fluctuate due to changes in elevation (which is why you get dizzy when you stand up too fast).
✘ Sit up straight and keep your back against a chair, and don’t cross your legs. Like everything else in life, posture is important!
✘ Wait a few minutes and repeat the following steps, double checking your results two or three times with your blood pressure gauge before settling on a final blood pressure score.
✘ Make sure that you’re reading the manual / instruction that comes with your blood pressure monitor, to verify that you’re following the directions for the most accurate reading possible.

Various Treatments for High Blood Pressure That You Should Know About

If you’ve got high blood pressure, it’s possible that you might need lifelong treatment or be required to simply change your lifestyle. Often however, Hypertension is caused by a genetic defect, even sometimes by minor health conditions. Here are a few choices that your doctor would mention to you in an appointment regarding HTN:

Prescriptions

Obviously, different medicines work in different ways, and each medication will have different effects for you, depending on your body chemistry. Most have mild side effects, one of the most notorious being erectile dysfunction (which makes natural remedies sound all the more appealing) Some of the most popular medicines out there are:

Declaimer: The information presented is general in nature and these may not be for everyone. You should consult you doctor before taking any medication.

Diuretics

Diuretics help your body lower your blood pressure by forcing excess salt through your body through your urine. Additionally, less fluid in your blood pushes your blood pressure down. Often, diuretics are combined with other medicines to increase their efficaciousness.

Beta Blockers

Beta blockers work by reducing your heart rate, forcing your blood pressure to go down in the process.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium in your bloodstream actually reduces the width of your blood vessels. These types of medicines inhibit calcium from entering your blood stream, thus lowering your blood pressure by widening your arteries.

ACE Inhibitors

Your body naturally produces a hormone called angiotensin that naturally narrows your blood vessels, and ACE inhibitors block the hormone from being produced.

Angiotensin Type II Receptor Blockers

Instead of blocking angiotensin, these types of medicine block the receptors that receive these hormones, relaxing your blood vessels.

Alpha Blockers

These types of medicines reduce nerve impulses that tighten your blood vessels, meaning that your blood will flow more freely.

Nervous System Inhibitors

Like Alpha blockers, nervous system inhibitors focus on reducing your nervous system’s impulses to narrow blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.

Vasodilators

Vasodilators are another type of medicine that works to widen your blood vessels, like the name suggests.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies

Living a healthier lifestyle will have more dramatic effects than taking medicine will, and these habits would include:

✅ Following a more healthy diet, and reducing portion sizes

✅ Reducing sodium, which narrows your blood vessels

✅ Maintaining a weight that matches your natural body type with a body mouth index under 25

Quitting smoking and drinking, even consuming excessive amounts of caffeine

✅ Learning to effectively manage sources of stress, by actively calming yourself down and taking deep breaths

✅ Getting lots of cardiovascular exercise to strengthen your heart, which makes it work more effectively

High Blood Pressure Isn’t the End of the World – Coping With Hypertension and Checking Your Blood Pressure Regularly With Your Electronic Blood Pressure Meter

It might seem like a lot of work getting started adjusting your lifestyle to make yourself healthier, but as you implement these lifestyle changes, begin loosing weight and eating less, you’ll feel DRAMATICALLY healthier. Obviously, there are a plethora of benefits of having a healthier lifestyle; like healthier skin and hair, better sleeping patterns and snoring, better breathing abilities, and less stress on your joints, muscles, bones, and ligaments.

The benefits of a lifestyle change greatly outnumber the effort you’ll have to put in, so why not make a few changes in your life? While it might seem difficult in the beginning, it’s much easier as you settle into new, healthier habits- and it all starts with your new blood pressure monitor and know how to measure and monitor the reading regularly.

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