Measuring blood pressure periodically is a very important gesture for our health, to prevent important pathologies. However, not everyone knows how to perform this measurement correctly and what values are considered normal. So let’s try together to answer some questions that will allow you to understand why it is important to constantly monitor your blood pressure and how to take the measurement.
What is blood pressure?
Arterial pressure is the pressure that blood exerts on the arteries. It is thanks to this pressure that the blood circulates in our blood vessels. If it is excessive, it is referred to as hypertension. This condition has no particular symptoms, but it can lead to serious consequences, such as stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. For this reason, it is important to periodically measure the pressure. This operation does not require special skills, especially if you are using an automatic meter. The important thing is to follow some simple rules.
When to measure blood pressure?
Blood pressure values can fluctuate throughout the day. The value considered as a reference is usually that obtained in the morning. In any case, you should always rest for at least 15 minutes before starting the measurement. Eating, drinking alcohol and coffee, smoking and sports should be avoided for at least 30 minutes prior to the measurement. The environment where the measurement takes place should preferably be quiet and peaceful.
How often should it be measured?
The frequency of measurements is generally prescribed by the doctor in the event that there are pathologies that require it. For example, those who take medicines for the heart or for hypertension, measure it daily to check the effectiveness of the therapy. However, blood pressure should be measured regularly even by those who are perfectly healthy.
In what position should the pressure be measured?
The measurement must be taken seated with the feet on the ground, the back straight and keeping the arm resting on a table at the same height as the heart, with the palm of the hand facing upwards. It can also be done lying down, but it is more difficult to do alone.
Is it possible to measure the pressure on the arm?
Always remember to take your clothes off your arm. It is not enough to raise the sleeve. Because the pressure exerted on the arm can distort the measurement, increasing the values up to 10-15 points.
Which arm to choose for blood pressure measurement?
To choose the arm to use, it is advisable to take two measurements for each arm and then always choose the arm whose average of measurements gives the highest value.
Is it possible to talk during the measurement?
Once the measurement has started, care must be taken not to move and not to speak. The noise around them, the smartphone. And television is also disturbing element. Some meters, such as the Omron M6, are equipped with a sensor that warns you if you have moved too much, avoiding wrong measurements.
Are all bracelets the same?
The choice of the bracelet is also very important and must be made according to the circumference of the arm. To measure it, just use a tape measure and place it in the middle of the arm. If the circumference of your arm is such that you cannot use commercially available bracelets. You should opt for a wrist sizer.
How do you wear the bracelet?
Once the arm is inserted into the cuff, it must be positioned so that there are about 1-2 cm from the crease of the elbow. You can use the measurement of your index finger as a reference. In addition, care must be taken that the tube goes down to the center of the arm. At this point, you can pull the cuff so that the top and bottom edges are tightened evenly around the arm and it is difficult to put two fingers inside.
How can the measurement results be read?
At the end of the measurement, the diastolic (or minimum) and systolic (or maximum). Pressure values will appear on the display. The unit of measurement for pressure is the millimeter of Mercury. Most blood pressure monitors also detect the number of heartbeats per minute. Some meters (such as the Omron used in the video) detect another very important parameter. Namely the presence of irregular heartbeats. Which could be due to the presence of a cardiac arrhythmia or Afib. In the event that an arrhythmia detected. Seek immediate medical attention.
What are the pressure values considered normal?
The pressure values considered optimal are 80 for the minimum and 120 for the maximum. We speak of hypertension.
When the values of the minimum are above 90 and those of the maximum at 140. The inverse condition in which the pressure low called hypotension and occurs when the minimum below 60 and the maximum above. below 90.
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