Learn how to take your own Blood Pressure…
Recent studies have shown that hypertension, or high blood pressure, has been an increasing medical condition, that now affects nearly 80 million people in the United States. Unlike diseases caused by bacteria or a virus, high blood pressure rarely displays any clear signs and symptoms, since the symptoms are commonly mistaken to be caused by other factors.
According to these same studies, an estimated 30 percent of those having high blood pressure are not even aware they have the condition. High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as the silent killer because it does not have any symptoms specific to the disease.
There are sometimes usual symptoms so watch out for these:
- muscle cramps
- weakness and fatigue
- nose bleeds
Unfortunately these symptoms can easily be connected with other common medical problems. On the other hand, many people do not exhibit any of these symptoms at all, or the symptoms do not even occur until the condition is life threatening.
Because there are often no early warning signs of high blood pressure, most doctors recommend people who are at risk to have their blood pressure checked regularly. The following paragraphs will provide information on how to check your own blood pressure.
Things To Remember
The first thing you should do when you are checking your own blood pressure is to find a place where you can sit down and relax. If you cannot relax, the reading may not be accurate. You should also make sure there is a table or armrest beside you, so you can place your arm in a comfortable position and hold it there. Your elbow should be bent, and your elbow should be parallel to your heart. Some doctors recommend using your left arm, while others state avidly that it does not matter.
When your arm is in place, you should wrap the cuff around your arm and secure the velcro. You should always make sure the cuff is snug around your arm, but not too tight. If you put the cuff on too tight, it would not only cut off your circulation but may also give you a false high reading on your blood pressure.
Now you must put the stethoscope in your ears, and put the round dial just above the bend in your arm. Then clip the pressure gauge to something sturdy, to insure an accurate reading. Tighten the valve by the rubber bulb until it is shut off.
Once all of this is done, you should slowly pump the rubber bulb until the pressure needle on the gauge is at 20-30 points – about your usual systolic reading. Slowly open the valve to release the air. As you release the air, you should listen for a thumping noise with the stethoscope. The number the gauge reads when you first hear the thumping is the systolic number of your blood pressure, and when the thumping stops is the diastolic number of the reading.
blood pressure reading
Understanding the above reveals why it is so important to know exactly what is your blood pressure reading.
It’s the one piece of vital information that could save your life!