Blood Pressure readings must be precise so that in case of any treatment, the physician can analyse them correctly and give the right medicine.
There are several mistakes that people should avoid while checking their blood pressure at their home, and these mistakes are related to the correct way of measuring blood pressure and the precautions one must take before measuring.
In this couple of minutes’ simple read, you will be able to understand the step-by-step process of correctly measuring blood pressure at home.
Prerequisites for Measuring Blood Pressure
Avoid Eating – One has to ensure they do not eat anything within half an hour of measuring their blood pressure. It can increase their blood pressure.
Also, consuming caffeine or exercising can be the reason behind increased blood pressure. One has to be completely relaxed and go to the washroom (if needed) before measuring blood pressure.
Position of the Arm: This is the most common mistake people make while measuring blood pressure. The correct part of the arm is always at the same level as the heart. The component should be free and not be in any other direction while measuring blood pressure.
Comfortable Clothes: One must ensure they are not wearing tight clothes. The stress the clothes can cause can resist the blood flow. Therefore, loose clothes are always recommended while measuring blood pressure. Also, one must stay calm and relaxed while checking their blood pressure. Panic can alter the reading and simultaneously the results associated with it.
How to Measure Blood Pressure?
Step 1: Placing the cliff around the arm
The cliff should always be 2cm above the elbow, and the cliff should be around the elbow, as it is mentioned in the instructions manual. The primary purpose here is that the nerve artery can be detected.
Step 2: Calmness while reading is taken.
One has to ensure that they are not chewing and shaking their leg while the reading is taken. In addition, posture is something that one has to make sure should be straight, and avoiding this can affect the readings.
Step 3: Take reading after two to three minutes of gap
There should be a gap of two to three minutes between the readings. It should be followed so that the record form can contain the correct data and actions according to that can be taken.
The complete records should be present, and avoid keeping the average rather than the accurate reading of the checks.
How Often Should the Blood Pressure be Measured?
The first week is always about the individual getting familiar and comfortable with the measuring process. Thus, the number of times the blood pressure is measured in the first week differs from that in the consecutive weeks.
Keeping a record
It is essential to keep the record so that it can be compared to how often the fluctuations were in the readings. Also, there is a particular format in which the reading should be there.
The left side of the paper should be jotted down with the date and time as systolic and diastolic figures of readings. The three right columns should belong to the frequency.
For example, on 16th Oct ’22, the first column should get the reading, systolic and diastolic values. Similarly, the second time the same pattern should be followed.
Week wise checking
It is suggested that in the first week, one should check the blood pressure twice a day, and there should be two to three readings each time. The gap between the readings could be 2 minutes, and the same for the evening.
Note: There can be times when there is a need to measure more often. In that case, one can consult the physician and measure the readings.
After one week
The frequency of readings can be decreased to one a week. If the blood pressure readings are stable, they can be further taken once in four to six months.
However, checking blood pressure often can also become the reason for inconsistent readings, which is why frequent checking of blood pressure should be avoided after the first week.
Post Requisites for Measuring Blood Pressure
Frequent checks: One has to ensure that they are not checking their blood pressure very frequently. Worrying can increase blood pressure, so checking repeatedly can create more panic. Therefore, there should be some time between two consecutive checks.
Altering the figures: Most people round off the readings and then take them ahead to get the treatment for high/low blood pressure.
However, rounding off never sets the right expectations and can affect the individual’s health after treatment. Also, panic because of small changes in readings should always be neglected.
Stoppage in consuming medicines: Usually, people stop drinking the medication when they feel better or their readings are regular.
It should be strictly avoided because physicians suggest the drug that must be consumed in a complete cycle should be taken regularly. Similarly, decreasing the dose can also affect individual blood pressure levels.
Don’t merge blood pressure with other problems – Feeling restless or sick could be the reason for any other issue. If the readings are fine and a person still feels sick, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
If there is any other problem, it can be diagnosed on time, and problem treatment can be given to the individual.
Emergency Plans: There should always be some family member in touch with the doctor when the readings fluctuate rapidly. Also, one should not wait for the worse and visit the doctor as early as possible in an emergency.
One has to ensure that they are taking care of all these precautions and measuring the blood pressure after considering the above steps. In addition, diet plays a crucial role in keeping blood pressure readings constant, so one should consider their eating habits and lifestyle patterns.