If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there is one thing you absolutely must do. It will save your life.
According to a study presented at the American Society for Nephrology’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, most people do this in the wrong way, often with grave consequences.
The good news is that it’s extremely easy to fix this error. It takes two minutes.
Any good doctor will encourage you to take your own blood pressure at home. In fact, you should measure your blood pressure three times a day and take the average of all readings throughout the week.
That’s the only way to get somewhat accurate readings.
The doctors from Ottawa Hospital in Canada discovered a terrifying fact: most home blood pressure monitors are not so accurate.
This means that you can be at home taking your blood pressure and falsely believe it’s either okay when it’s not, or too high when it’s okay.
Both cases are bad, because you either don’t take action to fix things or worry unnecessarily, which can actually cause high blood pressure.
What makes things even more complicated is that most people have some level of “white coat syndrome,” where your blood pressure is higher in the doctor’s office than at home. So, if your blood pressure is okay at home, but high at the doctor’s, you may just write it off as “white coat syndrome.”
The most expensive monitors are not always the best. Consumer Reports has repeatedly rated the cheap Wal-Mart brand monitors as the best.
What is the solution?
Simply bring your blood pressure monitor with you to the doctor’s office. Check your blood pressure using your monitor immediately after your doctor does his checking. Even if you have white coat syndrome, the reading should be somewhat similar.
Don’t worry if the numbers are a little off. High blood pressure is not an exact science. It jumps up and down throughout the day.
You just want to keep yourself within a general area of measurement. Usually, we talk about 120/80, but don’t worry if it goes up to 130/90 or even higher once in a while.
However, if your blood pressure numbers average over 120/80, you will want to take actions to lower it naturally.