If you have high or low blood pressure and need to monitor it frequently, you do not have to always go to your doctor, you can easily monitor your blood pressure at home. Here are some helpful tips on how to monitor your blood pressure.
Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure
1. There are several factors that can raise your blood pressure, such as smoking, stress, exercise, and caffeine. When it comes time to monitor your blood pressure try and avoid these factors and take your blood pressure at the same time each day in order to get an accurate reading.
2. Try and find a quiet place in your home to read your blood pressure because you will need to listen to your heart.
3. Try taking your blood pressure while your bladder is empty, a full bladder may alter your readings.
4. Sit at a table with your arm at heart level and rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. You can take your blood pressure manually or with a digital blood pressure monitor.
6. You will want to locate your pulse by lightly pressing your index fingers on the inside center of your bent elbow. This is where the head of the stethoscope will be placed while taking your blood pressure.
7. You will want to then secure the blood pressure cuff onto your arm. The lower part of the cuff should be just above the bent part of your elbow.
8. You will want to make sure that you have a stethoscope and it is located over your artery where you located your pulse.
9. If you are taking your blood pressure manually, you will want to inflate the cuff until you reach about 30 points above what your reading systolic reading normally is. At this point you will not hear your pulse with the stethoscope. You will want to start slowly deflating the cuff and watch the gauge, and listen for the first pulse. When you hear the first pulse, record the number on the gauge, this will be your systolic reading. Continue deflating the cuff until you hear the last pulse and record this number, this will be your diastolic reading.
10. When using a digital blood pressure monitor, using a stethoscope and listening for your pulse is not necessary.
11. Keep track of all of your blood pressure readings so you are able to show the numbers to your doctor on your next visit.