Healthy Living
The 3M's - Measure, Monitor, Maintain Your Blood Pressure

Released: 7/1/2015

High blood pressure is stealthy because it usually doesn’t cause symptoms. The need to know your numbers is WESTMED Blood Pressure Checkimmediate because if your blood pressure is too high, you will need treatment to prevent damage to your heart, brain, kidneys and other vital organs.   

 

WESTMED’s MUPD campaign spokesperson, Dr. Richard Morel, says, “If a patient’s blood pressure is normal, he/she can work with his/her healthcare team to keep it that way. If it’s too high, we can treat it to prevent serious health problems. And with self-care—including regular exercise or dietary changes as needed—patients can participate actively to control their blood pressure and protect their health.”

 

What is Blood Pressure?  Your blood pressure is made up of two numbers, like a fraction. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg). Both numbers are important in determining whether your blood pressure is normal or high. The top number (known as systolic) represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats, while the bottom number (diastolic) represents the pressure in your vessels as your heart rests between beats. 

 

Tips for Taking Your Blood Pressure:  If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and your doctor has advised you to monitor it, you can purchase manual and electronic blood pressure cuffs in stores or online. To ensure an accurate reading when you take your blood pressure, follow these tips:

 

  • Do not talk or eat during the check.
  • Avoid caffeine and smoking 30 minutes before blood pressure reading.
  • Sit with your back supported and with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Wear a short-sleeved top or roll up your sleeve so the blood pressure cuff fits on your bare arm.
  • Remember that certain factors may temporarily affect your blood pressure reading, including stress, cold temperatures, exercise, and certain medications.

 
Write down your BP numbers by date to compare later with future readings and discuss with your doctor.   The American Heart Association even has a tracking program called Heart360 to help you track your heart health data.  

     

    “By providing quality care and empowering patients, together we can save lives and enhance the quality of life for those living with high blood pressure and related chronic diseases,” Dr. Morel says.