Your blood pressure gives important clues about your health. Especially, if you have a chronic illness, you may need to measure or have your blood pressure checked regularly. Measuring blood pressure correctly also ensures that your treatment progresses well. Therefore, we will touch on tips of measuring blood pressure correctly in our article.
Blood pressure varies throughout the day. It is generally high in the morning and reaches the lowest values during sleep. When you get excited or angry at something, your blood pressure rises and when you calm down, it drops. The highest pressure in the arterial wall that occurs when blood is pumped is called “systolic”. The lowest blood pressure that occurs during rest is named “diastolic”.
So What Should Blood Pressure Values Be?
- The ideal values for normal blood pressure are that systolic is 120 mm Hg and diastolic is around 80 mm Hg.
- If the systolic blood pressure is 140 mm Hg and above or the diastolic blood pressure is 90 mm Hg and above in two consecutive and two times measurements, it means you have hypertension (high blood pressure). If systolic levels are less than 90 or diastolic values are less than 60, then you have low blood pressure.
- Sudden drop in blood pressure can cause dizziness, weakness and fainting. In general, it is not considered as risky in terms of health as high blood pressure. In fact, some medical circles even accept it positively, as it causes a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. However, let’s take care that our blood pressure values are at the desired levels in any case.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
- Headache radiating from back of the neck to forehead
- Humming and tinnitus
- Nose bleeding
- Frequent urination
Most Common Factors Increasing Blood Pressure
- Genetic predisposition
- High salt consumption
- Endocrine and kidney diseases (Irregular or excessive secretion of hormones such as adrenaline, estrogen, cortisone directly affect blood pressure. Similarly, some substances secreted from the kidney contract the vessels and cause the heart to work faster)
- Smoking and use of alcohol
- Side effects of drugs (Short-term or periodic medications for other illnesses may cause an increase in blood pressure)
Key Points of Measuring Blood Pressure Correctly
- First of all, you can prefer measuring devices for convenience. However, due to the margin of error, check / have these devices checked periodically. Devices that measure from the arm give a healthier result.
- Whether your room is neither too cold nor too hot.
- The principle is measuring blood pressure from the arm having higher pressure. Normally, blood pressure is 5 mm Hg higher in right arm than in the left one. Then, measure always from your right arm.
- However, if there is a stenosis in vessels reaching to the right arm, you have to measure blood pressure from the left one.
- Have a rest for at least 5 minutes before measuring. With your legs in a relaxed position while sitting, measure your blood pressure over the bare arm. Be careful that the clothing you wear does not squeeze your arm. Otherwise, the measurement may be incorrect.
- It is ideal to take measurements 2 times a day. After urinating in the morning on an empty stomach and measuring before dinner will give more accurate results.
- Avoid use of caffeine-like substances or beverages that may affect blood pressure, such as cigarettes and coffee, half an hour before the measurement. If possible, do not eat during this period, as well.