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Monitoring blood pressure at home: Tips and techniques

06 Jun 2024

Why on earth is keeping your blood pressure in check so important? We know why. And we’ll tell you that in just a bit. 

Consider blood pressure as a medicine that can make you feel your best. But that is only if you understand your body well. Get to know how the foods you eat affect you, what happens when you move and how your body feels. Keeping a check on these things helps you understand potential complications as well. 

Today, we will learn why and how you can monitor your blood pressure at home, perhaps get some useful tips and understand the techniques in depth too!

Why is it important to monitor blood sugar levels?

For someone with diabetes, keeping a tab on your blood sugar levelsis not just important but it’s also a crucial part of helping yourself get better. It has to become a part of your lifestyle. Rightly monitoring your sugar levels can help you in several ways. For instance to predict if you need more medication, what foods to eat, how much you should exercise etc. 

Regular check-ups enable you to understand the workings of your body and figure out if you have high blood pressure. Additionally, it also helps get rid of so many potential diabetes complications. Sometimes, complications can get as serious as affecting your feet or eyes as a result of too much sugar. 

But before you start monitoring your blood sugar, ensure that you’re following these blood-monitoring tips:

Pick the right monitoring method

Usually, you will find two types of blood pressure monitoring methods – manual monitors and automatic or digital monitors. Automatic monitors are more convenient since you can use them at home. They are also widely recommended. Check if the monitor is medically validated and whether the cuff fits your arm correctly.

Find a comfortable environment

It is really important to know what environment you’re in when measuring your blood pressure. You must ensure the place is not only free of disturbance or distractions but also comfortable. Keep your back straight as you sit and your feet flat on the floor. This will minimise errors in your results.

Take rest before you take measurements

Your body needs to be before you take your measurements. Taking blood pressure measurements right after working out or eating is not recommended. Be relaxed and let your body come back to its resting state. This way, your blood pressure readings are not impacted by external factors.

Be regular

Like with anything else, being regular in blood pressure monitoring also helps. If you stay consistent, you can track the behaviour of your blood pressure very accurately. Keep a habit of measuring every day. It will also help your healthcare provider understand the response of your body.

Caffeine and tobacco are off-limits

Caffeine and tobacco, as substances, are known to temporarily elevate your blood pressure. Again, this may lead to inaccurate blood pressure readings. Although it’s best to avoid them altogether, try to at least not consume them 30 min before you take your measurements. This will make your results more accurate. 

Focus on a stable arm position

Whenever you take a reading, it’s important to keep a consistent arm position. Don’t move or talk when the process of reading is going on. Such activities can cause instability and affect your results. Be still until the reading is complete. 

Keep a check on your stress levels

Stress is a major factor that can affect your blood pressure. It’s best to get relaxed and/or stress-free before you take a measurement. Chronic stress can result in high blood pressure in the long run. You can also try finding ways to manage stress in your daily life. 

Create a habit of measuring both arms

For getting blood pressure readings that are accurate, measuring both your arms helps. In case you see a significant difference in the results, there could be some health issues.

Consult a doctor

Although being able to monitor your blood pressure at home is great and also convenient, it doesn’t compensate for a medical check-up or a doctor’s appointment. The device can’t tell you what your doctor can do. Whatever track record you have of your blood pressure readings, ensure you share it with your healthcare provider. From there on, they can help you accordingly and suggest further steps or treatment.

What are the techniques for blood pressure monitoring?

Blood Glucose Meter

A blood glucose meter or a glucometer, is a portable device used to measure the proportion of glucose in a small sample of blood. 

Steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap. Dry them well.
  • Insert the test strip in the glucometer
  • Use a lancet to prick the tip of your finger
  • Squeeze out a small drop of blood
  • Bring the tip of the strip in contact with the drop of blood 
  • Wait for the glucometer to display your glucose reading and record your results

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)

The CGM method is where you wear a device that monitors your sugar levels all day. The sensor in the device helps in measuring your diabetes blood sugar levels. The device also helps form a graph later on that can show a summary of how your diabetes blood sugar levels keep changing and at what time.

Steps:

  • Wear the device as per the manufacturer’s instructions and connect it to the transmitter
  • Calibrate the CGM device as instructed
  • View real-time glucose readings on your smartphone
  • You can also set alerts for when your reading goes out of a normal range

Flash Glucose Monitoring

This is similar to a CGM, except they have sensors inserted under your skin to help measure the glucose levels constantly. Unlike a CGM, there are no real-time blood pressure readings that can be produced. The users have to scan the sensor with a reading device.

Steps:

  • Check the instructions and insert the sensor
  • Scan it with the reading device
  • Record your readings

Well, look who’s already on the path to taking charge of their diabetes! It’s you. Now that you’re armed with the right knowledge and tips for high blood pressure management, monitoring and techniques, try to make the most of it.

It’s not just about numbers, it’s about making the right decisions every day for better health. Keep your levels in check and keep thriving. Cheers to your better health!

About the Author

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Devina Aswal
MBBS, DDM, FCR, CIC

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