Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, and this is especially true when measuring blood pressure.
Many people don’t realize that WHEN and WHERE you take your blood pressure is as important as HOW.
Today we’ll talk about the 3 most common mistakes people make when measuring blood pressure.
#1 – The first mistake is measuring blood pressure only once per day. Because blood pressure levels fluctuate throughout the day, it is important to get a reading at different times during the day to get a better idea of what your average is.
It’s also a great way to pinpoint the times of day that cause the BP spikes so you can target those for lifestyle and stress adjustment if needed. You also want to make sure that you are checking it several times per week and not just sporadically.
#2 – The second mistake to only measuring blood pressure at the doctor’s office, thinking that’s the only accurate way to get a reading.
In truth, “white coat syndrome,” or an elevated blood pressure due to the anxiety of being in the doctor’s office, leads to a huge number of false readings. Getting a good home monitor and taking it frequently in the comfort of your own surroundings helps eliminate this mistake.
And follow your own readings. If your blood pressure at home is normally below 120/80, but your doctor wants you to take medications because his/her readings are higher, get a second opinion from a doctor who understands white coat syndrome.
#3 – Finally, make sure to read the instructions and follow them closely for all home monitors. User error contributes to a lot of avoidable mis-readings when measuring blood pressure. You might even take the monitor to the doctor’s office and have the nurse or CNA help with your monitor for the first time.
Watch these 2 Videos about Measuring Blood Pressure
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