More evidence is emerging that highlights a common but critical mistake people make when tracking their blood pressure.
The mistake even causes patients and their doctors to miss a key indicator for stroke risk. Because it’s not the high blood pressure that is the biggest problem.
One of the most common mistakes in managing high blood pressure is to only take it once per day, or to only have it taken at the doctor’s office. The problem with this is that these infrequent readings don’t give a clear picture of what is happening with your blood pressure throughout the day.
So, what you miss is the fluctuation from your lowest reading to your highest. Blood pressure can fluctuate some during the waking hours, but not drastically. However, for people who have a difficult time with hypertension, such as those who experience frequent spikes in blood pressure, damage is being done that can and does lead to stroke.
Emerging science is showing that people who experience drastic highs and lows chronically, and can’t seem to hover around one steady reading, are the most at risk of a stroke.
A lot of times this happens when a person is under high stress, exerting oneself, or in pain, who already has problems with high blood pressure. This contributes to the spikes. But valleys and hypotension can occur right after taking the maintenance medication. It might not be so low as to cause fainting (syncope) but that frequently occurs, especially in seniors. It is the swing from very low to very high that causes the problems.
So we come back to the original problem- if periodic readings during the day are not taken to get the full picture of how your blood pressure is fluctuating, you could be missing critical data that would be important for you and your doctor to consider when creating your treatment plan.
The good news is that our simple blood pressure exercises don’t just lower overall blood pressure, they’ve also been proven to balance the fluctuation of blood pressure throughout the day. Learn more about our easy blood pressure exercises here…
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