High Blood Pressure

While you were in the hospital you had your blood pressure measured frequently. Do you know the ideal blood pressure is to have 120/70 or less? Blood pressure varies regularly. If you took your blood pressure 10 times in 10 minutes you would likely get 10 varying results.  Blood pressure also varies throughout the day. There are usually no symptoms of high blood pressure, and it is often called the silent killer.

I would recommend all heart patients get an automatic blood pressure cuff .

http://www.omronhealthcare.com/home-products/blood-pressure-monitors/

Omron makes a good product…but don’t go cheap buy the one that can handle an irregular heart rhythm. It is very important that it  has the correct size cuff for your arm. Measure your arm width and purchase the cuff size that corresponds.  If the cuff is too small your monitor reads your pressure too high, and conversely if the cuff is too large your readings will be lower than the actual measurement.  When you measure the blood pressure your arm should be resting on a table at heart height, your feet should be square on the floor, and you should refrain from tobacco or caffeine. Try not to talk, sit quietly for several minutes before you take it.  Keep a log of the time of day and the measurement.  When you see your physician be sure to show them the log.  Here is a link to a reference about taking your blood pressure at home.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/home_bp_328345_7.pdf

Blood pressure is usually highest first thing in the morning. It rises with exercise, and is lower for a brief period after exercise -approximately 10-30 minutes.  If the blood pressure you are recording is post exercise be sure to identify this so your physician knows and can properly manage your medications.

What is unsafe? A blood pressure reading of greater than 140/90 is considered high blood pressure, but a blood pressure of 220/110 is  critically dangerous and can lead to heart attack, stroke or organ damage. If it is this high go to the nearest emergency room for management even if you feel fine. Remember it is the silent killer.
The following links are for resources to further educate yourself on blood pressure:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/FACT_SHEET__VS_cardio_F_013111_final_344465_7.pdf

http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-2940_2955_2959_55706_55709-234943–,00.html

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/WhyBloodPressureMatters/Why-Blood-Pressure-Matters_UCM_002051_Article.jsp

One thought on “High Blood Pressure

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