World Hypertension Day: 6 tips for measuring your blood pressure correctly
Blood is pumped through our bodies with every heartbeat. Blood pressure reflects the pressure which the blood exerts on the blood vessels from the inside. It can provide information about health and illness. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The diagnosis hits many people unexpectedly, because hypertension is often gradual and rarely manifests itself through specific symptoms. If left untreated, it can result in stroke or heart attack. High blood pressure cannot be cured, but those who suffer from it can keep their values under control with medication and a healthy lifestyle. For World Hypertension Day on 17 May, the Deutsche Hochdruckliga e.V. (German Hypertension Society) is raising awareness of how important regular blood pressure monitoring is with the motto "Dranbleiben, bitte!" ("Please keep it up!").
Overweightness, lack of exercise, stress, alcohol, smoking – all of these have a negative effect on blood pressure. The good news is that These are things that everyone can change themselves. Some tips for regular blood pressure monitoring, targeted prevention and a healthy lifestyle make everyday life easier for people with this condition.
1. But don't be in a rush: make sure you are well rested before every measurement
Before taking the first blood pressure measurement, it is recommended to rest for at least five minutes. In addition, do not eat, drink, smoke or undertake physical activity for approximately 30 minutes before taking the measurement. Blood pressure measurement is best done in a relaxed sitting position, quiet environment, at the same time of day and preferably on the left upper arm. Many Beurer blood pressure monitors use a patented resting indicator to ensure that the user is sufficiently well rested during the measurement. Undergoing a blood pressure measurement at the doctor's or, in some cases, at home can cause physical and mental stress in some people. This means that their blood pressure is elevated right from the start. A repeat measurement after a break of at least one minute can help to make sure that no incorrect values are recorded. If the two values repeatedly differ from one another widely, it is advisable to consult a physician.
2. Choosing a measuring device
It is important to use the right measuring device when determining blood pressure values. Many patients with high blood pressure choose a device which bears a seal of approval, such as one from the Deutsche Hochdruckliga (German Hypertension Society) or the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) to verify that it meets dependable quality standards. Another criterion is the range of functions. Will more than one person be using the device? Would you like to determine pulse and irregular heartbeat at the same time? Would you like it to be combined with an app? Beurer offers a wide range of measuring devices for various requirements.
3. Proper handling of the cuff
To carry out measurement, the cuff is placed on the upper arm at heart level. It should fit tight enough that two fingers can still fit under the cuff. The new BM 81 easyLock cuff from Beurer makes difficulty putting on the cuff, especially for the eldery, a thing of the past. Thanks to the innovative locking system, it can be attached to the upper arm in just a few simple steps without cables or tubes and makes the measurement process incredibly straightforward.
4. Pay attention to health factors
Health factors such as cardiac arrhythmia can affect the blood pressure measurement. Large fluctuations between individual blood pressure measurements or abnormal pulse values can be important indications of atrial fibrillation. Combination devices such as the BM 96 Cardio not only perform blood pressure and pulse measurement on the upper arm fully automatically, but also record heart rhythm. This means that heart rhythm irregularities can be detected in good time. If this appears repeatedly, consult a physician for further diagnosis.
5. Documenting blood pressure
High blood pressure is dangerous in the long term. For that reason, it is recommended that people document their blood pressure values after measurement in a blood pressure pass or digitally using the app. Beurer "Connect" devices can transfer the recorded values straight to the "beurer HealthManager Pro" smartphone app via Bluetooth® – practical for long-term monitoring or for your next doctor's appointment.
6. Reducing your blood pressure: You can do it yourself!
It's a myth that blood pressure patients need to take extra care and go easy on themselves. The best treatment success can be achieved by combining medication with plenty of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Endurance sports like jogging, swimming, cycling or Nordic walking are perfect for staying active. Yoga and autogenic training help relieve stress and reduce blood pressure by natural means. A balanced diet also keeps blood pressure at a consistent level. Further tips can be found in the Beurer health guide.