Your blood pressure is a vital barometer when it comes to monitoring your overall health. If you have high blood pressure, it's especially important to be able to check your blood pressure at home on a regular basis using your home blood pressure monitor. If you have high blood pressure, it's recommended that you check your blood pressure regularly throughout the day not only ensure that the medication you're taking is working properly, but also to help your physician determine whether or not there are any further issues.
If you’re new to the world of blood pressure monitors, it might be a bit confusing at first, not only in terms of how to operate the monitor but also when to check your blood pressure. In this post, we will help you determine what is right for you when it comes to checking on your blood pressure.
Benefits of the BP Check
There are several benefits to checking your blood pressure at home. in addition to tracking the way your medication works and your overall health, it can also help you be more accountable for your body, cut the need to go to the doctor so often just to check your blood pressure, and to double-check that your blood pressure reads correctly. To some degree, blood pressure does have a tendency to rise during doctors appointments, and therefore it may or may not be as accurate as it could be.
With that being said, though, if you have some sort of injury that prevents you from monitoring your blood pressure at home, for example, if you have an irregular heartbeat, home monitors may not be the right solution for you. If that’s the case, it’s usually a better idea just to go to the doctors office for an accurate reading.
Blood Pressure Check Timing
When you start out checking your blood pressure, it’s best to check it multiple times a day; you may wish to try it out five to six times a day. This does seem excessive, but its important to understand that this is just for a little while as you get used to the machine. Exact, but it gives you an idea of what your blood pressure is like throughout the day so you can give more accurate, more complete data to your doctor. Once you have a routine down, you can cut down on the number of times per day you check your blood pressure.
If you're able to, the best thing to do when it comes to monitoring your blood pressure is to check it twice a day at approximately the same time every day. It's best to check it first thing in the morning before you eat your breakfast or take any sort of medication. You should then check it during the evening as well. When you do check it either in the morning or evening, you should really go through Two or three readings to ensure you get the most accurate results.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t check your blood pressure immediately after waking up. It's best to wait and get ready for your day and do it before breakfast or before you take any medication. If you have to size first thing in the morning, take your blood pressure before you exercise.
Basic BP Do’s and Don’ts
There is any number of things that can throw off your blood pressure and therefore throw off the reading.
Here are a few basic tips to make sure you get the most accurate reading:
- Stay away from caffeine for at least 30 minutes before the test. This means if you're checking in the morning, skip the morning coffee in addition to breakfast. The same principle applies to alcohol consumption.
- Do get into a setting where the temperature is most comfortable for you. If it's too cold, your heart rate will spike and work overtime to make sure you get warm.
- 5 minutes before you take your test, you sure to sit quietly and let your heart rate fall to a resting pace.
- When you're getting your blood pressure measured, be sure to sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and keep your elbow supported right about the Heart level. you'll find most armchairs will suit your needs nicely in this regard.
- Try not to talk during the measurement.
- As mentioned before, it's best to take multiple measurements when you do check your blood pressure throughout the day. Take a short break between tests. If the readings are more than five points apart, take it once more.
If You Feel Lightheaded…
Is it wake up first thing in the morning and you're feeling light-headed because you might have gotten out of bed too fast or might have just stood up too fast, it's okay to check your blood pressure while you're sitting down then once more while you're standing ( be careful when you stand up). Keep an eye out for any differences in blood pressure oh, and be sure to tell your doctor about this.
Keep an Eye on Symptoms
Be cautious if you start to feel symptoms of rising blood pressure. If you experience these symptoms and they start to get worse or intense, please contact your doctor and seek immediate medical attention. Some symptoms of high blood pressure include:
- Intense headaches
- Irregular heartbeat
- Problems with your vision
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- A pounding sensation in your chest, neck or ears
If you experience these symptoms, it's especially critical to keep an eye on your blood pressure as it may indeed be the high blood pressure alone that is causing these symptoms. In this situation, it's also possible that your medication is lowering your blood pressure too much. when you're not feeling well and these symptoms arise, it's a good idea to record your blood pressure during these symptoms and notify your doctor so that they may be able to make adjustments to your prescription, be at the timing or the dose of the medication.