Everybody Should Know the Blood Pressure Basics

Blood Pressure, Diet & Nutrition

High pressure. Low pressure. What does it all mean? Blood pressure is the amount of pressure pressing on your artery walls at any given time. Your arteries act as a highway, supplying blood to the rest of the body. High blood pressure puts you at risk of heart attack and stroke. Low blood pressure causes shock, dizziness, and fainting. When your blood pressure is low, your body doesn’t receive the oxygen it needs. When it’s high, your heart works overtime.

 

Blood Pressure Overview – What is it?

Your blood pressure is measured by two numbers, systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom). We’ll cover how to measure blood pressure, blood pressure logs, arterial VS pulmonary pressure, how alcohol affects blood pressure, and the best blood pressure products for home use.

 

How to Measure Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a key component of your health. Nearly half of the US population suffers from high blood pressure. High blood pressure is anything at or above 130/80mm Hg. Regular monitoring can help you stay on top of your health and alert you when something may be wrong. Your blood pressure is determined by two numbers, systolic (top), and diastolic (bottom). The first number, systolic pressure, is the amount of pressure your blood exerts on your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number, diastolic pressure, is the amount of pressure your blood exerts on your arteries between beats. Typically, less than 120 is considered normal for systolic pressure, and less than 80 is normal for diastolic pressure. On the opposite end, less than 90 (top), and 60 (bottom), are considered low pressure.

You might be wondering how to check your blood pressure on your own. Checking your blood pressure at home is simple and easy! You will need a sphygmomanometer or a blood pressure monitor. Blood pressure monitors are either digital or manual. Digital sphygmomanometers are automatic and have a digital display. Manual sphygmomanometers require the use of a stethoscope.

 

 

How to Check Blood Pressure

Checking your blood pressure is an important part of maintaining good health. To check your blood pressure, you will need a blood pressure monitor, which can be purchased at most drugstores or online. Make sure to sit in a comfortable and quiet place, with your feet flat on the floor and your arm resting at heart level. Place the cuff on your upper arm and inflate it until it feels snug. Press the button to begin measuring your blood pressure, and wait for the numbers to appear on the monitor. Record your readings and share them with your doctor to monitor your blood pressure over time.

 

How to Use a Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

  1. Stretch your arm out with the palm facing up and your upper arm exposed. Plant your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Place the blood pressure cuff snugly on your arm 2-3 cm above the bend in your elbow. Not too tight; you should be able to fit two fingers under the blood pressure cuff.
  3. Press start. Your cuff will inflate automatically.
  4. When complete, you should hear a beep or see a notification from the machine. Remove the cuff and record the reading in your blood pressure log. Include the date and time.

 

How to Use a Manual Blood Pressure Machine

  1. Stretch your arm out with the palm facing up and your upper arm exposed. Plant your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Place the blood pressure cuff snugly on your arm 2-3 cm above the bend in your elbow. Not too tight; you should be able to fit two fingers under the blood pressure cuff.
  3. Place the earpiece of the stethoscope into your ears and position the bell of the stethoscope under the bottom of the cuff. Position the bell in the middle of the bend in your elbow.
  4. Use the pump and inflate the cuff between 160mm Hg and 180mm Hg. Listen for a beat. If you hear a beat immediately upon cuff deflation, deflate the cuff and reinflate it to 200mm Hg.
  5. Deflate the cuff slowly and listen for two beats (or sounds). The first beat is the systolic reading, and the second beat is the diastolic reading.
  6. Remove the cuff and record the reading in your blood pressure log. Include the date and time.

 

The 5 Best Blood Pressure Monitors for Home Use

A good blood pressure monitor for home use should be accurate, easy to use, and reliable. Accuracy is the most important factor, as incorrect readings can lead to incorrect diagnoses and treatments. The monitor should also have a comfortable cuff that fits properly, as an ill-fitting cuff can also result in inaccurate readings. Other important features include a clear display, memory function to store readings, and the ability to average multiple readings. A good blood pressure monitor should also be validated by independent organizations such as the British Hypertension Society or the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. It is important to choose a reputable brand and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure accurate readings.

 

Greater Goods Smart Blood Pressure Monitor 0604

The Greater Goods blood pressure monitor packs a punch. Its large and bright backlit screen makes readings a breeze. The machine is Bluetooth-compatible, compact, and features a large start/stop button that anyone can appreciate. The Greater Goods Blood Pressure Monitor has a built-in irregular heart rate detector. This blood pressure monitor was designed for two users and can store up to 60 measurements each. The cuff is adjustable and fits most arms. The plush fabric, easy readout screen, and price make this a top choice.

Cuff size: 8.75- 17 inches

App tracking: Yes

Backlit screen: Yes

Power: 4 AAA Batteries or AC Adapter

 

Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron delivers clinically accurate results on its easy-to-read backlit screen. Omron utilizes its exclusive TruRead technology that takes 3 consecutive readings and gives you the average reading for ultimate accuracy. This blood pressure monitor can store up to 200 readings for 2 users. Need unlimited readings? No problem. Connect to Omron’s free app and store as many readings as you wish. Omron is trusted by medical professionals and is the brand doctors recommended.

Cuff size: 9 to 17 inches

App tracking: Yes

Backlit screen: Yes

Power: 4 AA batteries or AC Adapter

 

A&D Medical Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

The A&D blood pressure monitor is great for multiple users. Unlike most monitors, this machine can accommodate 4 users and store up to 60 readings each. A&D features an irregular heartbeat indicator and automatically calculates your average blood pressure. Its blood pressure readings are accurate and clinically validated. It also detects motion to help you get the best reading possible.

Cuff size: 8.6-16.5 inches

App tracking: No

Backlit screen: No

Power: 4 AA batteries or AC Adapter

 

LifeSource Premium Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, XL Cuff

The LifeSource blood pressure monitor was designed with larger arms in mind. Perfect for athletes and bariatric patients, you’re sure to get an accurate reading with the extra-large cuff. LifeSource by A&D Medical is clinically validated for accuracy. The monitor features two state-of-the-art motors that quickly fill the XL cuff. The LifeSource blood pressure monitor features a large display, and an irregular heartbeat indicator, and stores the last 60 readings. It comes with a 4-week log to keep track of your blood pressure and an illuminated start button with a one-touch operation.

Cuff size: 16.5-23.6 inches

App tracking: No

Backlit screen: No

Power: 4 AA batteries or AC Adapter

 

Medline Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

The Medline blood pressure monitor is great for home use. This low-frills unit offers customized inflation for each user. New to checking your blood pressure? No problem. The Medline blood pressure monitor has automatic inflation and error detection. It’ll alert you when something is wrong, making sure you get the best reading possible. It stores 90 readings and can support up to 2 users. It’s affordable, accurate, and easy to use. The backlit screen is a plus making lowlight reading possible.

Cuff size: 8.5- 12 inches

App tracking: Yes

Backlit screen: Yes

Power: 4 AA Batteries or AC Adapter

 

Blood Pressure Log – Keeping Track the Right Way

As you know, your blood pressure plays a major role in your overall health. Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, fainting, aneurysms, and much more! It’s important to keep track of your blood pressure so you can report any abnormalities to your doctor. An easy way to stay on top of your health is by using a blood pressure log sheet.

A blood pressure log is a record of your blood pressure over time. A blood pressure log tracks your blood pressure and includes important information like the date and time. This log helps you get a visual overview of your blood pressure and can help you spot trends, making it easier to eliminate activities or food if needed. It’s also a great tool to keep your doctor updated. You should bring your log to your appointments. Your doctor may spot trends that you might have missed. Your doctor will use this information to help you make the necessary changes to improve your blood pressure and overall health.

Luckily, keeping track of your blood pressure is simple and easy. All you need is a handwritten journal or a printable blood pressure log. Your log should include the date, time, blood pressure reading, heart rate, and notable activities (such as diet or exercise). Record your blood pressure as soon as possible; so you don’t forget any details. Be sure to include the systolic and diastolic numbers. Take your blood pressure at the same time each day. It makes it easier to spot trends. Keep your log in a safe space and bring it to your appointments.

 

Arterial Pressure VS Pulmonary Artery Pressure

Up till now, we’ve focused on arterial pressure. Arterial pressure is the amount of pressure exerted as blood flows through the blood vessels in your body. Pulmonary artery pressure refers to the pressure your heart exerts as it supplies blood to your lungs. Normal pulmonary artery pressure is lower than arterial pressure.

 

Narrowed Pulse Pressure

A narrowed blood pressure pulse indicates that your heart is not pumping enough blood. Narrow, or low pulse pressure, is the difference between the systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) reading. Narrowed pulse pressure occurs when your pulse pressure is 25% or less of your systolic pressure and appears when your heart isn’t producing enough blood output.

Narrow pulse pressure is serious and is oftentimes an indicator of something severe. As mentioned, narrow pulse pressure occurs when your heart isn’t pumping enough blood. The decreased output can wreak havoc on your body. Low pulse pressure causes include severe blood loss, heart failure, aortic stenosis, aging, and severe dehydration.

Keeping track of your blood pressure is imperative. Depending on the cause of low pulse pressure, you may be asymptomatic or not experience any symptoms at all. The most common side effects of narrow pulse pressure are shortness of breath, fainting, chest pain, and dizziness. As we age, our arteries widen and become less elastic. Age and certain medications can increase the incidence of low pulse pressure, which is why keeping a blood pressure log is necessary. Treatment and prevention are easy when changes are caught early.

Treating narrow pulse pressure depends on the underlying cause. Depending on the cause, your doctor might prescribe medication or suggest diet and lifestyle changes. Eating a heart-healthy diet, decreasing salt intake, and staying active can help prevent narrow pulse pressure.

 

Carditone – Does it really work?

What if there was a drug designed to lower your blood pressure and promote calmness, but it wasn’t a drug? Carditone is an herbal supplement designed to lower and support blood pressure, promote calmness, and balance electrolytes. Carditone is based on Ayurvedic practices and combines pure extracts and minerals to create a natural remedy for healthy blood pressure.

Does it work? Based on the countless 5-star reviews, Carditone might actually work. Numerous users share their experience with the supplement and sing its praises. Nothing is perfect, however, and Carditone is not exempt. A common side effect of the supplement is low blood pressure and dizziness. Carditone is an herbal supplement and is not FDA regulated. This can be an issue for those wanting specifics about the ingredients. Before trying a new supplement like Carditone, talk to your doctor about the herbs used and how they may impact your health.

 

New Blood Pressure Categories

In 2017, The American Heart Association lowered the threshold for hypertension to 130/80mm Hg. Before this, the standard for diagnosis was 140/90mm Hg. This change, based on new data, affects everyone regardless of age. Our handy printable blood pressure recording chart will help you navigate the new guidelines. Match your blood pressure readings to the chart below and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

 

Blood Pressure Chart Printable:

Blood pressure chart printable

 

 

Does Drinking Increase Your Blood Pressure?

Social drinking can be fun. Having a glass of wine or beer seems harmless when catching up with friends and family. If you have high blood pressure, however, it’s not as harmless as you think. This leads us to a big question – can alcohol cause high blood pressure?

High blood pressure can be caused by several factors. When it comes to dinner and drinks, most of us wouldn’t think it’s the culprit. So, does alcohol raise blood pressure? Unfortunately, yes. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will recommend avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation. That’s because alcohol lowers and then raises your blood pressure. During the first 12 hours after consumption, your blood pressure drops, but after the first 12 hours, it rises. Alcohol consumption significantly raises your blood pressure after 12 hours of consumption and takes significantly longer to reverse.

Luckily, lowering your blood pressure is possible and can be achieved with the following tips.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol. Taking a break from alcohol can drastically improve your blood pressure. Peak results appear after 3-4 weeks of abstinence, but your energy might increase after a week.
  • Drink in moderation. If you can’t avoid alcohol altogether, consider drastically cutting back your consumption.
  • Reduce your stress. Life is stressful at times and it’s easy to turn to alcohol when things get tough. Identifying your stressors and reducing them naturally lowers your blood pressure. It may also reduce the urge to drink, which in turn, reduces your blood pressure.

If you can’t fathom your Friday night without an ice-cold alcoholic beverage, no worries, you’re in luck. Alcohol is not created the same. Some drinks are better than others and some alcohol is better if you suffer from high blood pressure.

 

Best Alcohol for High Blood Pressure

If you suffer from high blood pressure but still want to enjoy a drink occasionally then you are in the right place. We will discover the best course of action and the best alcohol to consume.

Moderation is key. It’s important to understand that alcohol isn’t good for high blood pressure and that high doses are related to health complications. But, in moderation, you can still enjoy an alcoholic drink and lower your blood pressure. Drinking in moderation is one drink per day or less for women and less than two drinks per day for men.

When it comes to spirits and blood pressure, whiskey is the stand-out choice. Did you know that during the Prohibition Era, doctors prescribed whiskey to treat high blood pressure? Now that is some good medicine. Before you run off and drink a glass of whiskey in the name of health, it’s important to note that whiskey’s health benefits are linked to small quantities. High doses and overindulgence will still lead to high blood pressure.

 

Best Sphygmomanometer

When looking for a good sphygmomanometer, there are several important features to consider. First, accuracy is crucial, as an inaccurate reading can lead to serious health complications. The device should be easy to use, with clear instructions and intuitive controls. It should also have a comfortable cuff that fits properly, and be durable enough to withstand regular use. A clear, easy-to-read display is essential, and the device should be able to store multiple readings for easy tracking over time. Finally, it’s important to consider the cost and warranty of the device, as well as any additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity or compatibility with mobile apps for enhanced monitoring and tracking.

 

Greater Goods Smart Blood Pressure Monitor 0604

We love Greater Goods’ easy-to-use interface, accuracy, and plush adaptable cuff. The Greater Goods machine has a built-in irregular heartbeat monitor and the ability to connect to the Greater Goods app. The backlit screen makes for easy viewing. You can easily store up to 60 readings each for 2 users. It’s easy to set up and easy to use.

 

Manual Blood Pressure Cuff

Technology has made checking your blood pressure as easy as pressing a button. Digital monitors are fast, convenient, and reliable. But, they’re vulnerable to malfunctions, can be expensive, and some users might find them confusing. Manual blood pressure cuffs are inexpensive, accurate, and with some know-how, easy to use.

Manual blood pressure cuffs can provide a more accurate reading due to the cuff sizes available. Digital monitors typically come with a standard-size cuff, which may not satisfy your needs. Manual cuffs come in a wide range of sizes like a pediatric blood pressure cuff or an Xl blood pressure cuff. The better the fit, the better the reading.

 

 

Stay on Top of Your Health With at Home Monitoring

According to the CDC, based on new guidelines, nearly half of the US population has high blood pressure. Now more than ever, keeping track of your pressure is a must. Utilize a blood pressure tracker and notify your doctor if there is a sudden spike in blood pressure. At-home monitors are easy to use and provide accurate results in the comfort of your home. They range in cuff size, affordability, and offer a wide range of features. They’re easy to use and can help you manage or prevent high blood pressure.

Click here for other helpful articles on how to maintain and improve heart health. 
 

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