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Do I Need to Take My Blood Pressure?

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do.i.need.to.take.my.blood.pressureBest Home Blood Pressure Kits

If you have a diagnosis of high or low blood pressure, or a family history of blood pressure or heart problems, owning a home blood pressure kit is a good idea.  After being diagnosed with hypertension, purchasing a blood pressure monitor will make it convenient to do the recommended twice daily pressure checks. It is also a very good idea to buy a blood pressure kit for home use if diabetes is a concern.

When Should I Start Taking My Blood Pressure?

When shopping for a home blood pressure kit, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) suggests that consumers check for proper cuff size and an easy to read test result display. The test results will not be accurate if the cuff does not fit properly. The AAFP advises patients to take their home blood pressure monitor to the doctor's office and compare test results to check for accuracy. The blood pressure kit's accuracy should be checked a couple of times a year to be sure it is continuing to function properly. Most experts agree that finger and wrist blood pressure monitors are inaccurate and overpriced. The kits that check glucose and blood pressure have received poor ratings and reviews, also. The best home blood pressure kits are the upper arm cuff monitors. The Omron Women's Advanced Elite ($100), the Omron HEM-711AC ($90), the CVS by Microlife Deluxe Advanced ($90), and the ReliOn HEM-741CREL from Wal-Mart ($40) are recognized by Consumer Reports as the top home blood pressure monitors.

Today, with all of the talk about heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, one of the most frequently asked questions is, "When should I start taking my blood pressure?" The answer is, you can't start too soon. Fortunately, living a heart-healthy lifestyle is a growing trend among people of all ages. Actually, blood pressure should be tested during every yearly check up, beginning in childhood. This is the best way to monitor blood pressure and recognize any changes or indications of problems. It only takes a few minutes to check blood pressure. If the nurse or doctor does not check it, ask him or her to do so. Also, most grocery stores and drug stores have blood pressure machines for self testing.

Most asymptomatic people should have their blood pressure checked at least once or twice a year after the age of thirty. Generally, it is advisable to check blood pressure more often with increased age. Keeping an eye on blood pressure can alert patients of new problems that may develop unexpectedly. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 or slightly lower, but each individual is different and may have a "normal" blood pressure in a different range. Blood pressure should be measured after sitting for a minimum of five minutes. Blood pressure can fluctuate due to stress, nervousness, excitement, activity, and immediately after waking up. To obtain an accurate reading, test at a time when these factors are less likely to interfere. High or low blood pressure should be monitored more frequently. If a diagnosis of high or low blood pressure has been made, blood pressure should be checked at least twice each day if medication is prescribed. Diabetics need to monitor blood pressure throughout the day, as well.  If blood pressure is a concern, discuss questions with your doctor and do some research to become well informed about your particular condition.

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