HOME BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING

Why should our blood pressure be normal? High blood pressure that remains high for a long time is associated with many vascular complications. These include stroke, heart failure, brain hemorrhage, chronic kidney disease, damage to the retina, damage to the arteries of your legs, swelling of the aorta, swelling of the heart, heart attack, and poor outcomes in pregnancy.

Why do I need to monitor blood pressure at home?

This diagnoses hypertension earlier than a clinic reading, as at times, the values may be different in the clinic at different times. It helps to track your treatment. The only way to know whether your lifestyle changes or medications are working appropriately is to regularly monitor your blood pressure at home. It also encourages better control. It may cut down health care costs to a large extent. It checks whether the blood pressure at home is different from the blood pressure measured in a clinic. At times a normal BP measurement at home may be higher in the clinic. This is known as White Coat Hypertension. Some may have high blood pressure at home but normal BP in the clinic. This is known as masked hypertension. This is associated with more complications.

Which blood pressure monitoring device should we buy?

The digital meters are easy to use and are easily repro. reducible. The one with the cuff around the arm is more accurate than the wrist measurement. Once purchased please take it to your doctor who would measure your BP on his device and compare it with your BP on your device. This should be done annually.

What are the tips for accurate use?

use the same arm while taking BP. Make sure you are positioned properly, rest your arm raised to the level of your heart, on a table, desk, or chair arm, you may need a pillow under your arm. Place the cuff on the bare skin and not over the clothing. Take a repeat reading after a few minutes.

What are the benefits of long-term BP management?

Once controlled it relieves you from the stress of hypertension. If uncontrolled or reduced below normal it helps you to recalibrate your treatment after consulting your doctor. It helps you to prevent complications. However, home BP measurement may not be a substitute to visit High blood pressure is a single major cause of death globally. Accounting for more than 10.4 million deaths per year. Measurement of blood pressure at home is an integral part of the management of hypertension. The American Heart Association and Indian Society of Hypertension recommend that anyone who has hypertension should monitor blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure measurement helps you to monitor blood pressure in familiar settings. Proper use requires training and practice. Check your device’s accuracy, for this take your doctor’s help. Measure your BP twice daily. It is better to take BP at the same time every day Do not take BP right after you wake up. You should take BP before your breakfast and your morning walks and exercises and before your morning dose of medications. Avoid food, caffeine, tobacco, smoking, and alcohol before taking a BP measurement. Try to be calm and not remember stressful situations during BP measurement. Always your doctor for periodic check tips. Omron BP monitors are clinically proven to be accurate? They are certainly accurate and acceptable. They are clinically validated to be within 3 mm of BP and 5% of heart rate.

In many, the BP seems to fluctuate on many occasions, what are the reasons?

Some variation in BP reading throughout the day is common. There are some factors that you may control and some that you may not. 20% of people have white coat hypertension. Some have the opposite to this, known as masked hypertension. BP is known to rise and fall during the day. It is lowest during sleep, rises throughout the day, and starts falling again late afternoon. It s higher in cold and lower in the heat. Stress can temporarily increase blood pressure. Some of the medications used for common like Pephedrine, phetisyeltel phrine, and oxymetazoline can cause hypertension. A full urinary bladder, some foods containing tyramine like spoiled foods, beer, processed meats, and aged cheese can cause hypertension. Sometimes caffeine may cause a dramatic rise in blood pressure.

What is the advantage of reducing BP by 10 mm?

Hypertension is a silent killer. Individuals with prolonged uncontrolled hypertension are at increased risk of complications affecting major organs of our bodies. A 10 mm reduction in high systolic BP can reduce the chances of death by 13%.

What is the greatest challenge in treating hypertension?

Lack of knowledge about complications of hypertension, nonadherence to proper treatment, side effects of certain drugs which make people wary about treatment, and poor follow-up are the major challenges. Diabetes, lack of exercise, and excess salt in the diet are deleterious. Home BP measurement is an extremely important aspect of the management of this silent killer disease. Please keep a record of your BP measurements. It helps you to prevent com-plications and save precious lives.

Categories : Health

Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.

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