Dispelling common blood pressure myths
We are going to check your blood pressure. There are many factors that can affect your blood pressure, some more obvious than others. Determining your correct numbers is the first hurdle, says cardiologist Dr. Martin Myers. The less human beings are involved in measuring blood pressure, the better. That’s because people can skew the results by not measuring or recording the results improperly. Canadian guidelines now recommend using automated blood pressure machines when testing is done at the doctor’s office. These devices take several readings and average out the results. Automated machines are also used if your doctor recommends at-home monitoring or if you choose to check your blood pressure at the drugstore. But even with automated machines, Dr. Myers says many factors can influence the final reading, like talking. Conversation is one of the biggest causes of a rise in blood pressure when it otherwise might be normal. And while the effect of texting hasn’t been directly studied, Dr. Myers recommends against it. So keep your phones and devices out of sight and mind when taking your blood pressure. Despite what most people may think, Dr. Myers says regular coffee consumption is not considered to be a cause of high blood pressure. The only time it will cause a small increase in blood pressure is if you don’t drink it for a day or two and then you have a large cup of coffee. And he says the same goes for stress, which may be a contributing factor but not a cause. The tension in hypertension is the tension of the blood in the walls of arteries in the body. It has nothing to do with tension in your head. So how often should blood pressure be measured? if it’s normal, around the range of 120 over 80, and there are no other health issues at play, checking it every one to two years is recommended. If you have high blood pressure already, measurements will need to take place more often. Make sure to follow your doctor’s directions for testing and treatment closely. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.