Keeping an eye on your blood pressure is crucial for staying healthy and warding off dangerous conditions like a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. But, if you make any mistakes while taking your blood pressure, you may have trouble getting an accurate measurement. Incorrect blood pressure readings are easily avoidable by avoiding these typical pitfalls when taking your own blood pressure.
Incorrect sleeve cuff measurement
WebMD states that it is essential to use the appropriate sized cuff in order to get reliable results. When the cuff is too tiny or too large, the measurement may be off. Falsely high blood pressure readings can result from using a cuff that is too small, and falsely low readings can result from using a cuff that is too large. To prevent inaccurate readings, choose a cuff size that fits your arm comfortably.
Taking a measurement without first resting
Let yourself at least five minutes of downtime before taking any sort of measurement. Blood pressure increases with activity, thus getting a reading right after exercise or other forms of movement might be misleading. You can acquire a more reliable reading of your blood pressure by relaxing for at least five minutes before taking it.
Caffeine or nicotine consumption prior to a reading
Although stimulants like coffee and nicotine can raise blood pressure temporarily, taking a reading soon after ingesting them can cause an incorrect reading. When getting a blood pressure reading, it's best to wait at least 30 minutes after drinking caffeine or nicotine.
Lack of taking several readings
If you want a precise reading, you should take many. If your doctor recommends taking your blood pressure more than once, it's because individual readings can fluctuate. Get two readings, at least a minute apart, for an accurate blood pressure assessment.
A faulty location can cause a faulty readout. Make sure you're sitting up straight on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Put your arm on a table or other level surface where it can rest near your heart. Don't cross your legs and keep your mouth shut while we take your measurements. The potential for inaccurate readings can be reduced with careful placement.
Carelessness in record-keeping
It's important to keep note of your blood pressure readings so you can monitor your improvement and react quickly to any deviations. If you don't keep track of your blood pressure, it may be difficult to notice if it's changed and, if it has, to know when to see a doctor. Always bring your logbook of readings to your doctor's appointments.
In sum, regular, precise monitoring of blood pressure is essential to good health. If you want to get reliable results and keep your health in check, it's important to avoid making these blunders. If you are worried about your blood pressure or are having any symptoms, it is best to speak with a doctor.
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