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How to Take Your Blood Pressure: Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home

March 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 149

This is a guide intended for use in adults.

There are many ways of testing your blood pressure. One of them is to have it measured at home. Nowadays there is no easier way to do it than by using your own home monitor to control it. Try to take readings at the same time of day to ensure consistency.

Start out by buying a device, which you can find at the pharmacy or other many well-known stores. You just need to have a blood pressure device provided with a cuff. Ask for the right cuff size for your arm, this is very important so as to have accurate readings. It is better to buy it this way, because you can see if the cuff is the right size for your arm. Now you have the electronic device and it is tested to work well.

Before taking a measurement

• First: It is important not eating or take any stimulant beverage such as coke or coffee, 30 minutes before taking the blood pressure. Also, do not use a cellular phone near the unit. It may result in inaccurate readings.

• Second: In order to get familiar with the unit, I encourage you to read the instruction manual first. If you don't get acquainted right away, don't worry, it'll come and you'll find yourself at ease taking your blood pressure. In general it has a main unit provided with a screen display, a memory button, a start/stop (on/off) button, an air tube and an arm cuff. The screen displays from top to bottom the systolic blood pressure number, the diastolic blood pressure number and the pulse. The start/stop or on/off button is to turn the display ON or OFF. For the memory function button, please read the instruction manual to learn to use it.

• Third: Have a notebook in case you want to have the readings jotted down to keep them tracked. Most of the blood pressure readers, if not all, come with a memory function and instructions to store the values; however if you don't feel comfortable with the screen program, and find yourself more comfortable with a physical paper to see your results and history all at once, then go for it. Don't forget to write down the date and time of the day the blood pressure was taken, for instance, morning or evening. It has not to be the exact time but the moment of the day. Yet, if you want to be more specific feel free to write down the exact time.

• Fourth; Now you are ready to actually take your blood pressure; sit down in a straight up position with your back supported and feet flat on the floor, raise your left arm at the heart level with the palm of the hand facing upward, then, wrap the cuff in the upper part of your bare arm. Center the flexed cord or air tube on the inside of your arm and align it with your middle finger. The air tube runs down the inside of your arm.The bottom of the cuff should have enough room for you to slip one fingertip under the cuff, and 1-2 cms from the crease of your elbow, stay quiet, breath normally and then press start/stop, or on/off button. As the cuff inflates you will feel the cuff getting tighter around your arm and after a while the monitor will display your results. Take 2-3 readings on one sitting since these may differ. Wait 2-3 minutes between measurements to give time to the arteries to return to the condition prior to taking the measures. When the measurement is complete, the heart symbol at the unit, stops flashing and your blood pressure and pulse rate are displayed. Press Start/Stop (ON/OFF) button to turn the monitor off.

On the other hand, if you do not have the machine you might go to a public place where you can measure your blood pressure for free. Don't forget to write down the date it was checked, blood pressure readings, and additional data if provided. Keeping a record of your measurements will show you and your doctor not only how well your medicine is working, but also it allows you to participate in taking control of your own health and identifying changes.

Written by Esmeralda Franco/Mansilla MD.

For more information visit or contact me at

Esmeralda Franco, M.D.

Source: EzineArticles
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