High blood pressure: An easy way to check your reading at home and without equipment2020-03-31
High blood pressure means a person’s heart has to work that much harder in order to pump blood around the body. If the condition is left untreated, life-threatening conditions may ensue including a heart attack or stroke. A person should regularly check what their blood pressure reading is, but with NHS at full capacity and doctors and nurses at their busiest due to Covid-19, a visit to your GP to check is not feasible. How can you check your pressure readings to ensure you are healthy when you don’t have the appropriate equipment?
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The exact cause of why some people may have higher blood pressure than others is unknown.
There are numerous factors that play a role in developing high blood pressure and these include being a smoker, being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, too much salt in the diet, drinking too much alcohol, not dealing with stress well, older age and genetics.
Regardless of what caused the blood pressure to creep up, knowing exactly what your number is and taking the appropriate measures to lower that reading if too high, is imperative.
High blood pressure has been listed as one of the underlying medical conditions which increases a person’s risk with the new Covid-19.
The condition is also known as hypertension and has many health risks which accompany it.
For those worried about their reading but are at home self-isolating and don’t want to put added strain on the NHS, there is a way to get an approximate reading whilst at home.
To correctly measure your blood pressure, a person first needs to know the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Systolic describes how hard blood is being pumped around the body by heart.
Diastolic pressure is the resistance to the flow of blood in blood vessels.
Blood pressure is recorded with these two numbers with an ideal reading to be between 90/60mmHGg and 120/80mmHg.
For a person wanting to measure their pressure at home, it’s possible to measure your systolic reading but not your diastolic.
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To find the systolic reading a person should locate their pulse along the left arm.
You need to look out for the radial pulse which is below the thumb and above the wrist.
For a person who is able to locate the pulse seemingly easy, their systolic reading is healthy, but for a person who has difficulty finding it, it could mean their systolic number is quite high.
The British Heart Foundation added: “Your blood pressure should be below 140 / 90.
“If you have heart and circulatory disease or diabetes and kidney disease, then your blood pressure should be below 130 / 80.
Systolic is the first or top number which represents the highest level that your blood pressure reaches when your heart contracts and pumps blood though your arteries.
“High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and kidney disease.”
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