blood pressure check
People older than 40 years should check their blood pressure once a year, while those between 18 and 40 years old should check it every three to five years.

With increasing age, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases. People older than 40 years old should have their blood pressure checked one time a year. The ages between 18 and 40 years old should get their blood pressure checked every three to five years unless they fall into the high-risk category.

The factors that increase the risk of developing high blood pressure include:

  • African American ethnicity
  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Bad sleeping habits
  • Improper and nutrient deficit diet
  • Kidney diseases
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Excess caffeine consumption
  • Heavy alcohol intake
  • Smoking
  • Family history of blood pressure

According to the American Heart Association:

  • Normal blood pressure is estimated to be about 120/80 mmHg. If your blood pressure is normal or slightly less than 120/80 mmHg, you are recommended to have your blood pressure checked at least every two years.
  • If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, where the systolic or the upper value is 120 to 129 mmHg and diastolic or the lower value is less than 80 mmHg, your doctor may take numerous readings overtime before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.
  • If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may encourage you to monitor it at home in addition to your regular medical sessions.

What are the categories of blood pressure?

Various categories of blood pressures include:

  • Normal: Systolic blood pressure value is less than 120 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure value is less than 80 mmHg.
  • Elevated: Systolic blood pressure value is 120 to 129 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure value is less than 80 mmHg.
  • Hypertension stage I: Systolic blood pressure value is 130 to 139 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure value is 80 to 89 mmHg.
  • Hypertension stage II: Systolic blood pressure value is 140 mmHg or higher, or diastolic blood pressure value is 90 mmHg or higher.
  • Hypertensive urgency: Systolic blood pressure value is higher than 180 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure value is higher than 120 mmHg.
  • Hypertensive crisis: Hypertensive crisis is an emergency with blood pressure values the same as hypertensive urgency, but there is always a symptom of end-stage organ damage as well (impending stroke, chest pain, or kidney failure). You must seek immediate medical attention.

What is the right time to check blood pressure?

Because your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, you should check it five to six times throughout the day in the beginning. Once you have developed a routine for measuring your blood pressure and have a better comprehension of the figures, you may start checking it one or two times a day.

  • Ideally, blood pressure should be measured at the same time of the day, every day. 
  • This is especially important if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. 
  • This will produce consistent readings that are less influenced by other circumstances. 
  • It indicates how effectively your drugs and dosages are functioning.

The best approach is to get into the habit of checking your blood pressure in the morning and again at night. The morning readings are to not be taken immediately as you wake up and before breakfast or morning coffee.

SLIDESHOW

How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise and Tips See Slideshow

What is the best time to measure blood pressure concerning antihypertensive drugs?

If you are diagnosed to have high blood pressure and placed on antihypertensive drugs, it is best to check your blood pressure before taking the medication.

The level of drugs from your previous dosage will be at its lowest at this point. This is referred to as a trough value.

Measuring your blood pressure before the next dose will show how effectively the drug is working.

7 other factors that influence blood pressure results

Various factors can cause your blood pressure to rise. It is critical to understand how these "spikers" affect your blood pressure levels. Check your blood pressure before and after experiencing each of the factors to learn how they affect you.

Once you understand their effect, avoid using these spikers before your daily checkup. This will allow you to determine whether your standard blood pressure is stable.

  1. Food: Wait for about 30 minutes after having food to check your blood pressure.
  2. Caffeine: Hold off on your morning cup of coffee until you have taken your blood pressure reading. Caffeine should be avoided for at least half an hour before measuring.
  3. Alcohol: Avoid consuming alcohol for at least 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  4. Exercise: Doing exercise regularly is great but wait until you have checked your blood pressure. Exercise should be avoided for 30 minutes before blood pressure readings.
  5. Tobacco: Your heart will appreciate you if you can quit completely. Otherwise, wait at least half an hour before taking a measurement.
  6. Cold temperatures: In exceptionally cold temperatures, your heart will work overtime to keep you warm. Before you start measuring, make sure you are at a comfortable temperature.
  7. Full bladder: Blood pressure may rise because of a full bladder. So, before you measure, go to the restroom.

Should you measure blood pressure during symptoms of hypertension?

Symptoms are another crucial factor to consider. Take a blood pressure reading if you are having any symptoms of high blood pressure. If your symptoms are severe, you should seek immediate medical attention.

The following are some of the most common signs of high blood pressure:

Measuring your blood pressure while experiencing these symptoms can help determine whether high blood pressure is the cause. Taking readings during symptoms helps the doctor change your medications or dosages to suit your conditions.

What is nondipping in high blood pressure?

As you sleep your body relaxes and blood pressure goes down; this is called dipping.

If you continue to have high blood pressure while sleeping, it is called nondipping. The risks of heart attacks and strokes are high at night and associated with nondipping.

Monitoring blood pressure at home using blood pressure monitors is useful, especially when you experience any side effects. However, home monitoring is not the ultimate result, you must visit your doctor regularly to maintain proper blood pressure levels.

QUESTION

Salt and sodium are the same. See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 2/9/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Harvard Health Publishing. Checking blood pressure at home pays off. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/checking-blood-pressure-at-home-pays-off-201307036436

Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. How Often Should You Check Your Blood Pressure & Cholesterol? https://wwhf.org/how-often-should-you-check-your-blood-pressure-cholesterol/

Cleveland Clinic. Blood Pressure: When & How to Check at Home. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/4014-blood-pressure-when--how-to-check-at-home