Want to measure your blood pressure? Learn how to take an accurate blood pressure reading by following the tips below.
To determine if you have hypertension (high blood pressure), a healthcare professional will measure your blood pressure (BP). If you want to get the most accurate results, you need to follow certain guidelines; otherwise, your hypertension may go undiagnosed.
Your medical assistant, nurse, and doctor will follow national and international guidelines to get the most accurate results. In addition, if you’re using an at-home BP monitor, you need to follow certain guidelines as well.
The following are recommendations you should follow if you want to learn how to take an accurate blood pressure reading.
According to Dr. Michael Hochman, a doctor of internal medicine at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California, it’s important that you measure your blood pressure at home. “The readings you get at home are really important because they reflect the pressure your heart is facing on a day-to-day basis,” says Hochman.
However, not all at-home monitors are equally effective. Fortunately, you can find a list of validated home monitors at validateBP.org. These are commissioned to meet the American Medical Association’s criteria. Other organizations that certify devices include the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, the British Hypertension Society, and the European Society of Hypertension.
When looking for a device, choose the ones that measure your BP on your upper arm as these are more reliable than wrist BP monitors. Also, feel free to have your health care provider check your device for accuracy about once a year.
To get the most accurate results, don’t smoke or drink a caffeinated beverage at least 30 minutes before the test. Also, before it begins, sit quietly for five minutes. During the exam, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and your arm supported with your elbow at heart level. Moreover, the cuff should be placed on bare skin and completely cover at least 80% of your upper arm.
While the cuff is inflating, don’t talk. Once done, take a brief break and measure it again. In fact, if there is a 5-point difference between the readings, measure it a third time. By following these simple steps, you should get the most accurate blood pressure readings.
These guidelines are general recommendations and there are exceptions. For example, if you feel lightheaded after standing up, you should measure your BP while sitting and standing. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will provide lifestyle recommendations and medications (when necessary) to help you improve your blood pressure.
Some things that may help include exercising regularly, eating healthily, and taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients are effective at promoting circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more.
If you’re ready to give your blood pressure health the support it deserves, then check your BP properly and take L-arginine Plus.