Have you been told to keep a blood pressure diary by your doctor?
Perhaps you heard in a support group that it was a good thing to do?
Maybe you even read about it on YourPressure.com?
It’s certainly something worth thinking about. The reason is that keeping a diary and working out the average of your readings is currently the best way to measure your blood pressure at home. Some people then find their blood pressure is actually lower than they thought and they don’t need as much medication. This can stop side effects.
The reason a diary is so important is because your blood pressure can vary from hour to hour. Working out an average compensates for this variation. By removing the variation, you get a more accurate picture. This means that we can –
- Compare your readings with other people’s and know that we’re comparing like with like
- Ensure that medication is given to those who really need it
- Give you the best and most consistent treatment based upon your readings
One issue that we keep on coming across is that people are told all sorts of methods about how to keep a record of their blood pressure. This causes confusion.
Another issue is that people seem to spend a lot of time measuring their blood pressure. Often this is contributing to their worry and anxiety about their blood pressure.
The good news is that this has all changed. In the UK and across Europe we now have a standard recommendation on how often and for how long you should be checking your blood pressure at home.
The standard way to keep a blood pressure diary is this-
- Two readings twice a day – four readings a day in total
- One pair in the morning, one pair in the afternoon
- On each pair of readings, they should be at least a minute apart
- Aim to do this for seven consecutive days.
- If you miss a pair of readings, don’t worry, just do the next pair when you remember
- At the end of the week, as long as you’ve got 8 pairs of readings then that’s enough.
Then you discard the first day’s readings and take an average of the rest. The first day’s readings are likely to be slightly higher and so would give an abnormal reading.
And that’s it.
If things are stable then you probably need to repeat this every year or so. If you change something then you need to do it again after 6 weeks.
At YourPressure we want people to take back control of their blood pressure. This starts with accurately measuring it at home. Follow these simple instructions and you may find your blood pressure is actually lower than you thought. This may mean you can reduce your medication and so you’ll have less side effects.
We’ve even made you a diary that you can print off, just click the link below: