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Taking Charge of Your Heart Health: Monitoring Hypertension for a Healthier Future

Updated: Aug 10, 2023




 

Today we want to focus on a critical aspect of your well-being: hypertension, or high blood pressure. As the biggest risk factor for cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled hypertension poses significant threats to your health, increasing the chances of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and kidney damage. Hypertension affects individuals of all ages and ethnicities, yet too many people remain unaware and many others struggle to control it effectively.


The good news is that you can take charge of your heart health by monitoring your blood pressure regularly and seeking care if results are not in your goal range.


In this article, we'll explore the best techniques for measuring your blood pressure accurately so that you can share the data with your medical providers, allowing them to have quality data to monitor your response to therapy and adjust it appropriately.


 

Why Measure Your Blood Pressure?


Healthcare experts emphasize the importance of monitoring blood pressure both during medical visits and at home to calculate your average or baseline blood pressure. There are two main reasons for this recommendation. The first reason is that readings at the doctor's office are sometimes too high or too low and do not represent your baseline. Secondly, "baseline" or average blood pressure readings represent your true blood pressure and thus your cardiovascular risks.


We recommend that you prepare for your provider visits by checking and documenting your blood pressure readings the week prior to your appointment. This information plus the readings at the appointment will give your provider a better picture of your numbers, allowing them to the adjust the doses appropriately. Erroneously high readings can lead to incorrect medical decisions that can result in low blood pressure, lightheadedness, confusion, and falls.

 

The Keys to Accurate Blood Pressure Readings:


Step 1. Use a validated blood pressure monitor for home use.


Step 2. Select a proper cuff size.

  • With manual devices, measure the circumference of your upper arm at the bicep using a tape measure. The inflatable bladder length should be 75-100% and the width of the cuff should be 37-50% of this number.

  • For automated electronic devices, follow the manufacturer's instructions for the right cuff size.


Step 3. Follow best practices for measuring blood pressure.

  • Avoid caffeine for 30 minutes: Caffeine can temporarily raise your blood pressure, so try to refrain from consuming it before taking measurements.

  • Empty your bladder: A full bladder can affect blood pressure readings, so it's best to empty it before measurement.

  • Rest for 5 minutes before measurement: Take a moment to relax before measuring your blood pressure, as stress or physical activity can influence the results.

  • Sit quietly with proper back support: Sit comfortably with your back supported and both feet flat on the floor. Avoid talking or texting during the measurement.

  • Position the cuff correctly: Place the blood pressure cuff on your bare arm, following the guidelines for proper cuff size.

 

Following the guidelines listed above is very impactful, as you can see from the following data:

  • Improper cuff size: Using a cuff that is too small or too large can cause readings to vary by 5 to 20 points.

  • No rest period: Skipping the 5-minute rest period before measurement can result in higher readings.

  • Talking or texting during measurement: Distractions during measurement may lead to readings that are 10 to 15 points higher.

  • Consuming caffeine or alcohol before measurement: Caffeine and excessive alcohol consumption can temporarily elevate blood pressure by 5 to 8 points.

  • Incorrect arm positioning: Placing the cuff over clothing or not using a conic-shaped cuff on large arms can affect readings by 10 to 50 points.

  • Improper calibration or lack of frequent calibration of the meter can affect readings.

 

HYPERTENSION MONITORING CLINICS at Courtyard Pharmacy & Clinic:


To help you maintain optimal heart health, we offer a specialized service for hypertension monitoring at Courtyard Pharmacy & Clinic.


Our experts will measure your blood pressure, help you select a validated blood pressure monitor, equip you with the necessary tools for home monitoring, provide training on the proper measurement techniques, and guide you on how to best prepare for your medical provider visits.


Regularly tracking your blood pressure and communicating with your healthcare provider about your readings can significantly contribute to a healthier future.


 

Conclusion:


Do not let hypertension compromise your well-being. Take charge of your health by monitoring your blood pressure regularly, following the best practices for accurate readings, and sharing the data with your medical providers.


With the right tools and knowledge, you can make informed decisions about your health and work towards preventing cardiovascular diseases. Book your appointment online at Courtyard Pharmacy & Clinic to start your journey towards a healthier future today!


Remember, your heart matters to us, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Stay tuned to our social media pages for more tips and information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our services. Let's keep our hearts happy and thriving together!




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