What you need to know when it comes to measuring blood pressure at home Saint John NB

Hypertension or high blood pressure affects nearly one in four Canadians, and is a leading cause of death in this country. While physicians across th ...

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What you need to know when it comes to measuring blood pressure at home

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(NC)-Hypertension or high blood pressure affects nearly one in four Canadians, and is a leading cause of death in this country. While physicians across the country can provide healthy tips and medication information, blood pressure can be easily measured in and out of the doctor's office.

Canadians today are independent, empowered and educated about their health. Home monitoring is an excellent way to work together with your health care provider, to understand what lifestyle choices and medications will benefit your heart.

At-home monitoring means you can measure your blood pressure in a comfortable, familiar setting. Checking your blood pressure at home helps you and your health care provider understand how to control your blood pressure on a day-to-day basis. It can also reduce the number of clinical visits you need.

World Hypertension Day on May 17th, will help bring awareness to the importance of monitoring your blood pressure at home. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get an accurate reading:

• Buy a blood pressure instrument that is recommended by the Canadian Hypertension Society

• Blood pressure monitors can be purchased at most pharmacies

• Ensure that the blood pressure cuff fits your arm. Choose a cuff size that covers 80% of your arm. Ask your pharmacists to determine the right cuff size

• Only buy an instrument that measures blood pressure in the upper arm; wrist and finger units may not provide accurate readings

• Before measuring your blood pressure at home, have your doctor or nurse compare your home monitor with the office model. Also, have him or her watch how you use the device to see if you're doing it properly

• Take your blood pressure at consistent times, such as in the morning and in the evening

• Use the same arm whenever you take your blood pressure. Remember that many digital monitors are meant for use only on the left arm

• Wait an hour or so after you wake up in the morning to measure your blood pressure

• Do not measure your blood pressure when you are uncomfortable, cold, anxious, stressed or in pain

• Wait at least two hours after a big meal, and at least half an hour after drinking coffee or smoking

• A full bladder can increase blood pressure slightly; make sure you use the washroom first.

• Rest and relax for 5 minutes before taking a measurement

• Sit in a chair that supports your back and beside a table that can support your arm at heart level.

• Keep your legs and ankles uncrossed

• Place the cuff on bare skin, not over clothing

• Tight, rolled sleeves can result in an inaccurate reading

• Sit comfortable, and avoid talking while taking your blood pressure

• Take a second measurement two to three minutes after the first reading to check accuracy

• If the blood pressure monitor does not save readings, record the measurement right away in a journal

• Single or first day home blood pressure values should not be considered

Credit: www.newscanada.com