Blood Pressure – home monitoring
Home-monitoring your blood pressure levels, while not a substitute for your regular visits to your doctor, can help to establish whether prescribed treatments are working.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in arteries that is needed to keep blood flowing through the body. High blood pressure develops if the walls of the larger arteries lose their natural elasticity and become rigid, and the smaller blood vessels become narrower.
A blood pressure measurement is made up of two parts: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure (SBP) occurs during heart contraction and diastolic pressure (DBP) during the period of heart relaxation between beats. This is why a measurement is expressed as one figure “over” another, for example, 140/90 mm Hg (SBP/DBP).
Eleven golden rules of blood pressure measurement.
- Always measure at the same time
- Don’t consume coffee or smoke cigarettes an hour before measuring your blood pressure
- Measure after a rest period of approximately two to three minutes resting, while sitting relaxed
- Don’t measure if you have a strong urge to urinate.
- Study the manual before measuring
- When using the wrist device, hold the cuff as high as your heart whilst measuring
- Don’t move during the measurement process
- Don’t talk during the measurement process
- Rest for one to two minutes in between the measurements, to allow the veins to relax
- Enter the values into your personal blood pressure diary
- Measure your blood pressure regularly, even if your blood pressure has improved