New infusions teaches you the ABC of high blood pressure as we enter May, High Blood Pressure Awareness month.
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Host: Taking your blood pressure at home can help you control your levels and it’s simple to do. You should take readings at the same time each day such as before you take your medications in the morning and before bedtime at night. Don’t smoke. Drink coffee or exercise for at least 30 minutes before measuring. Seat comfortably in chair with your back supported and rest quietly for five minutes. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Don’t cross your legs. Using a table or desk, support your arm in front of you at about the level of your heart. Wrap cuff snuggly around your upper arm just above the crease of your elbow and inflate the cuff. Take two or three readings about a minute apart at each session. Record all your readings along with the date and time of day and bring this log with you to your next healthcare appointment. Male: I can see where you were quite high when first started here about 150 and then— Host: Measuring your blood pressure each day will give your healthcare provider a clear picture of your blood pressure in your everyday life. Male: Because I can see that you have very blood controls. Host: Your medications may need to be adjusted to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association does not recommend any particular brand of blood pressure monitor but there are some things to look for when you shop for a unit. Consider only those with an inflatable cuff that wraps around your upper arm. If your upper arm is larger than average, you may need a bigger cuff. Wrist monitors are not as accurate as cuff monitors. Look down the label to see that the monitor has been validated for accuracy and reliability. When you’re going for your next checkup, take your blood pressure monitor with you. Ask your healthcare provider to make sure you were using it correctly and tested for accuracy. Male: Okay, let’s check your monitor now and see if you get the same readings as I got with the mercury device. Female: Okay. Host: It’s a good idea to have your monitor tested each year.