How Low Should Your Blood Pressure Be?
id you know that the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association's blood pressure guidelines focus on a personalized approach to managing blood pressure? Many Americans qualify
as having hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Normal is now considered under 120/80. Currently, if your top number (systolic) is between 120 and 129, it’s considered elevated. And if it’s between 130 and 139 and 80 and 89 for the bottom number (diastolic), it’s classified as Stage 1 high blood pressure. Readings above 140/90 are now Stage 2 high blood pressure.
So how do you get this diagnosis? Two careful readings on at least two separate occasions.
How to Get an Accurate Reading:
Consider things that can raise blood pressure temporarily, such as a full bladder, recent nicotine use, or talking during measurement.
Rest for 5 minutes without talking prior to getting your reading and sit quietly with your legs uncrossed.
Keep in Mind:
In a clinic setting, ensure your providers are using the above strategies for accurate measurement before giving you a diagnosis of high blood pressure. Also, if you do have high blood pressure, consider monitoring it several days a week at different times at home to assist in management.
For home blood pressure monitoring, it’s important to be sure that the arm cuff of your monitor is sized correctly for your arm. Most monitors are also available with large cuff sizes; recommended arm measurements listed on the packaging will help you determine what size you need. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended, however, due to inaccuracy.
Talk to us about how we can also assist you in selecting an appropriate blood pressure monitor and teaching you how to use it.