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Do these six things to get an accurate blood pressure reading at home

by , 11 February 2014

When you have high blood pressure, taking your blood pressure measurements at home is a great way of providing information to your doctor. The information can help you get better control of your condition, and show your doctor whether your medication is working. But before you take your blood pressure reading at home, remember these six things...

Next time you visit your doctor take your blood pressure monitor with you. He can show you how to work it and explain what to look for. 
 
It's essential that you know how to use your device correctly! But more importantly, you need to know how to get the most accurate readings.
 
So how do you do this?
 
Remember these six things to improve the accuracy of your home blood pressure readings 
 
1. Measure your blood pressure twice a day
Get a reading once in the morning before you take your medications, and then again in the evening. Do this at the same times every day.

2. Take your morning reading after you’re fully awake
To get the most accurate reading in the morning, allow yourself to wake up first. Prepare for your day, then take it before you eat breakfast or exercise.

3. Don’t eat, smoke or drink alcohol 30 minutes before using your monitor
Your blood pressure levels won’t be accurate if you eat or drink anything but water before your reading.
 
4. Take your readings in a quiet environment
Sit in a comfortable chair where you can relax while you take your blood pressure.
 
5. Make sure your arm is in the right position
Your elbow should be at the level of your heart to get an accurate reading. So rest your arm on a table, and use a pillow if you need to prop your arms up higher. Make sure your arm stays straight throughout the process. 
 
6. Take two or three readings
Take a one minute break in between the readings, but try and get two or three so you can measure accurately!
 
Now that you know how important it is to monitor your blood pressure at home [link from previous article] follow these simple tips to ensure you’re getting the most accurate readings on your home monitor so you can use the information to safely control your blood pressure. 
 

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