AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — 1 in 3 U.S. adults will deal with high blood pressure, but it’s important for all Americans to monitor thier blood pressure, know what’s normal, and know when to reach out to your doctor.
Dr. Rodney Young, Regional Chair of Family & Community Medicine TTUHSC/Texas Tech Physicians Family Medicine Physician says at=home monitoring is important, and the devices needed are inexpensive.
Dr. Young suggests using the upper arm automated cuffs are the most accurate and cost about $40-$50. Also that you can visit validatebp.org for a list of the best blood pressure monitors.
When it comes to taking your blood pressure at home, Dr. Young says there are some common mistakes you can make:
-Having a full bladder can add points to a BP reading
-Slouching, or an unsupported back/feet can increase a reading, people should be in a chair with back support and feet flat on the floor of a footstool
-An unsupported arm can also result in a higher reading. Positioning the arm on a chair or counter will level it out with the heart.
-Wrapping the cuff over clothing is a common error that can add points to a reading, make sure it’s on a bare arm.
-An insufficiently sized cuff may cause a reading to be higher.
-Sitting cross-legged could also increase a BP reading.
Dr. Young says to make sure to record your BP readings, and keep then preferably in a digital format so you can email them to your doctor if needed. Blood pressure is generally 128 over 80 but if the systolic is reliably lower than either of those numbers that is normal, be aware of any spikes above your normal every day number.
TEXAS TECH PHYSICIANS FAMILY MEDICINE
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