Blood pressure as a biological fact for your body is entirely normal – it’s just a measurement of how hard your heart is working to pump blood around your body and is measured with a set of two numbers. The first number is your systolic level of blood pressure, which is measured as blood is being pumped from your heart – this will be the higher number. The second measurement is diastolic pressure which is when the blood is being pumped back into your heart and will be the lower of the two numbers in a blood pressure reading. An average blood pressure reading is about 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) but if you have blood pressure reading that is higher or lower you should have a check-up with your doctor.
Consistently high blood pressure (hypertension) isn’t normal and needs to be checked and assessed because it can indicate other more serious problems with your cardiovascular system. High blood pressure is a far more serious problem now than it’s ever been before in the history of modern medicine, which is due to a lot of factors like stress, diet, obesity and the simple fact that most people are simply not as active as they used to be; people taking buses and tubes to work instead of walking for example.
A spike in your blood pressure can be caused by anxiety – like the anxiety of having your blood pressure taken in a hospital or by your doctor. In these cases a doctor will recommend using a blood pressure monitor at home to get a more accurate reading when you’re calmer. For other people they might have odd blood pressure spikes that aren’t consistent when being measured by a medical professional so again a blood pressure monitor can be an ideal solution in these situations too.
The ideal home blood pressure monitor is a digital model which takes measurements from a cuff on your upper arm, these cuffs are available in small, medium and large sizes but you can get larger sizes if needs be. There are monitors that take blood pressure measurements from your wrist or fingertips but these simply aren’t as accurate as an upper arm model. Of course a digital monitor is going to give you more precise results which is why they’re recommended – they do most of the “hard” work for you.
When you’re shopping online or offline for a monitor make sure that it’s been clinically validated by the British Hypertension Society – this simply means that the results it gives you are accurate and can be used by your family doctor or GP for further diagnosis of any health problems you might have.
A simple way to save yourself the headache of choosing an accurate digital blood pressure monitor is to simply buy one of the many trusted brand names in the United Kingdom for this type of medical device, such as:
Boots, Braun, Citizen, Honsun, Kinetik, Microlife, Nissei, Omron, Oregon Scientific, Panasonic, Proton and Sensacare.
If you have to measure your blood pressure on a regular basis then you’ll need to make sure that your monitor is calibrated correctly so that its readings are accurate and this calibration should be done at least every 2 years, but more frequently if possible. The manufacturer of your blood pressure monitor can take care of this calibration for you so there’s no need to worry about having to do this yourself.
You can get a home blood pressure monitor for as little as £15 but to ensure accurate results expect to pay more in the £50 region for a slightly higher quality of monitor.