How to calibrate a blood pressure monitor

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You are measuring your blood pressure at home using a ‘cuff’ type of device.

How do you do it?  Basically, your device comes pre-calibrated, but this may not mean 100% accuracy.  You have to know if it’s going to be a little bit off here or there.

Here’s the best way:

1.  Get the kind your doctor recommends.  This will help the both of you understand the results and maintain accuracy.

2.  Calibrate your blood pressure monitor with your doctor.  This must be done, just make a quick appointment with your doctor to calibrate yours correctly.

While there: take your readings with your home blood pressure monitor.  Write down the readings.  Have the doctor or nurse take your reading as well.  Write those readings down.

3. Now you know how far off your device is from your doctor.  If it’s more than a couple of points you may need to switch products, but it should be fairly close.  This way, if you’re on the ‘edge’ you know how big your margin of error may be.  Repeating this test will help you know just how good your monitor is.

Normal blood pressure should be:

systolic less than 120,

diastolic less than 80 mmHg.

There has been a relationship shown between diabetes and high blood pressure, diabetes being a definite cause of high blood pressure (this condition is called hypertension).  Most people with diabetes develop hypertension as well.

Hypertensive blood pressure:

systolic:  120 to 139 mmHg

diastolic: 90 to 99 mmHg

(over that is Stage 2 Hypertension)

For more information on hypertension and diabetes, please check our blog regularly for updated info.

In the meantime these are simple ways to prevent high blood pressure (and manage/prevent diabetes):

1.  Monitor and control your blood pressure.

2.  STOP smoking.

3.  Eat well.

4.  Maintain a healthy body weight.

5.  Get exercise (even if you think your body weight is ‘perfect’)

6.  Don’t eat so much salt.

7.  Visit your doctor on a regular basis.

8.  Don’t drink too much alcohol!

Sources: WebMD, hypertension wiki

For diabeties supplies (including blood pressure monitors):

http://www.diabetessuppliesplus.com/blprmo.html

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