When checking your blood pressure it is important to make sure the readings are as accurate as possible. If the numbers are inaccurate it may results in over prescribing of medications.
Here are some common mistakes when checking your blood pressure at home:
- Taking your blood pressure after a stressful event: It is important that you are in a calm quiet room for about 5 minutes prior to checking your blood pressure. If you are checking your blood pressure after a stressful event or environment your numbers will be elevated.
- Legs crossed: When your legs are crossed this causes your blood pressure to be elevated. You should be sitting upright in a chair with your back supported and keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Arm positioning: Your blood pressure can fluctuate depending on where your arm is located when checking. The blood pressure cuff should be at the level of your heart with your arm resting on something. Do not hold your arm up in the air as this can also make your blood pressure elevated. Rest it on a pillow or a table so you can relax your arm as best as possible.
- Avoid Caffeine/Alcohol prior to measuring: Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol for at least 30 minutes prior to check your blood pressure as this will also elevate your numbers.
- Don’t talk: Talking can increase your blood pressure and give inaccurate readings. From start to finish make sure to sit quietly.
These common mistakes can be avoided and give a more accurate representation of your blood pressure. The more precise we are in measurements, the less we can prescribe medications you may not need. Additionally, frequent measurements can help give more information about your blood pressure trends. Call our office to learn more about how our office dose Remote Patient Monitoring to take care of our patients.
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Dr. Aamir Iqbal
Dr. Aamir Iqbal is a board certified Internal Medicine physician who focuses on preventative care and keeping healthy patient's healthy!