Why home monitoring?
For the millions of people with high blood pressure, intermittent blood pressure checks at the doctor’s office might not be enough. Health organizations such as the American Heart Association and American Society of Hypertension (hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure) recommend that people with high blood pressure monitor their readings more often at home.
Anyone who has high blood pressure, or is at risk for it, can benefit from home blood pressure monitoring, especially adults with diabetes or kidney disease. You might also want to consider taking your blood pressure at home if your levels tend to fluctuate. Getting an accurate accounting of the variations will help your doctor better treat your blood pressure.
Tips for Success
Remember the FOUR R's
With your doctor:
Ask your doctor about monitoring your blood pressure at home. You may be able to get a monitor through your health insurance.
Bring your monitor with you when you go to the doctor. Your health care provider will make sure it fits you correctly and is getting accurate readings.
REST for five minutes before checking your blood pressure
RELAX in a seat with your feet uncrossed, your back supported and your arm resting comfortably on a flat surface at heart level
REFRAIN from drinking caffeine or alcohol, exercising or smoking for 30 minutes before checking your blood pressure
RECORD two readings at least 1 minute apart on two different days in the morning before taking your medication and before dinner
How to monitor your blood pressure at home