The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Why Do I Get Abnormal Values While Monitoring My Blood Pressure?
Check for accuracy “If the systolic blood pressure (the top number) on your cuff is within 10 points of the monitor, then it's generally accurate,” he says. Most home blood pressure machines last for about two or three years. After that, check it at your doctor's office annually to make sure it's still accurate.
Perhaps the most common mistake in blood pressure measurement is allowing patients to sit or lie with their arms hanging by their side, since when the upper arm is below the level of the right atrium, the readings will be too high. If the arm is unsupported and held up by the patient, pressure will be even higher2.
Nervousness:“White coat effect” is an expression that is used when the stress or fear associated with visiting a doctor or a hospital causes an increase in blood pressure. To avoid this effect, you can monitor your blood pressure at home and note the readings.
Using the wrong cuff size:Just because a blood pressure monitor cuff fits well, that does not mean that its size is appropriate. To determine the correct cuff size, use a tape to measure the circumference of your upper arm (between the shoulder and elbow). Do not hold the tape too tight. Write down the exact measurement in centimeters.
Wrong arm position:If you measure your blood pressure while your arm is parallel to your body, it can give you a reading that is higher than the actual pressure. You should place your arm on a table, slightly bent, with the elbow at chest height.
Arm cuff not tied properly:Be sure to position the cuff correctly on your arm. It must neither be too tight nor too loose. You should be able to insert a finger between the top of the cuff and your skin after it is tied. After wrapping it around your arm, check that the sensor is well positioned on the artery. The air tube should go down along the inside of your arm.
Eating, drinking, and physical activity:Avoid eating, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, exercising or smoking before measuring your blood pressure. It is also advisable to relax for 5-10 minutes before taking the reading. Choose a calm and peaceful place to carry out the task.
Your first blood pressure reading will almost always be higher than the second due to a wide range of factors, both environmental and psychological. These factors include white coat syndrome, stress, and having a full bladder.