Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Your BP reading is comprised of two numbers: systolic blood pressure (the top number), and your diastolic blood pressure ( the bottom number). Systolic BP is the force against your arteries when your heart beats, pushing blood out to your organs and tissues. Ideal should be less than 120. Diastolic BP is the remaining tension in your arteries while your heart is at rest between beats. Ideal should be less than 80.

  • Why your BP read differently at the doctor?

*Blood vessels expand and contract with warmer or colder conditions. Which may cause a difference in BP. Siting in a cold waiting room could cause your BP to rise.

*If you take medication for BP, your reading may also vary based on the time of day you took your medicine.

*Rushing to get to your doctor’s office and feeling stressed when you arrive could elevate your BP reading

*Improper BP cuff size or placement may cause your reading to be inaccurate.

*Some patients experience “white coat syndrome”, a temporary elevation in their blood pressure due to anxiety around visiting their doctor.


  • Who should check their blood pressure and how often?

They are patients diagnosed with high BP and whose BP is slightly elevated, elderly adults, anyone with risk factors that predisposes them to heart disease, including a family history of high BP or a previous history of heart disease.


  • How to get an accurate BP reading at home:

*Empty your bladder and rest for 5 minutes before checking

*Sit with your feet on the floor, your legs uncrossed, and your arm at the level of your heart.

*Correct cuff placement around the arm.

*Avoid distractions such as stimulating television programs or sporting events

*Rest at least one or two minutes between blood pressure readings and take the higher result.

*Check your blood pressure at a consistent time of the day.


  • How to get your BP under control

Lifestyle changes are the first line treatment for hypertension. Reducing salt in your diet, getting regular exercise, managing your stress are all strategies you can implement to lower your BP.

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