7 Mistakes that can raise your blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is the epidemic taking the lives of thousands of people worldwide.

Arushi Bidhuri
Written by: Arushi BidhuriUpdated at: Aug 08, 2018 10:24 IST
7 Mistakes that can raise your blood pressure

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High blood pressure or hypertension is the epidemic taking the lives of thousands of people worldwide. It is also the cause of various other life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease, eye blood vessel damage, etc. 

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing through the coronary arteries that help carry blood throughout the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is higher than the recommended normal blood pressure, which is 120/80 mm Hg. The best way to control blood pressure levels is by getting it checked regularly. Doing this will help maintain normal blood pressure levels, and you will be less likely to develop any of the aforementioned deadly diseases.

While measuring blood pressure, sometimes a few things interrupt with the blood pressure reading, which may lead to a rise in your blood pressure. Here are seven mistakes that can raise blood pressure without you realizing them: 

Also Read : High BP numbers may increase Alzheimer's risk

Do Not Hold your Urine 

Do not forget to go to the washroom before you get a reading done. A full bladder can easily add up to 15 mm Hg to the reading. This may alter the reading, and you may be recommended to take medications, which otherwise could have been avoided. So, empty your bladder before entering the doctor’s office for a checkup. 

Posture is Important 

Your posture is another essential factor to get an accurate reading. While seated, you need to keep in mind that your hand is fully supported on a flat surface. Your blood pressure might appear 10 points higher than the actual figure if your hand is hanging from the side. 

Resting your feet on the floor in a flat position and sitting on the chair with your back supported are also important points to remember while getting your BP checked. Your arm should be placed above the heart level to avoid getting a higher measurement. Crossing your legs can also add 2-8 points to your reading.  

Placement of the Cuff 

The cuff used to measure blood pressure must be placed directly on the bare upper arm of the patient, not on any piece of clothing. Placing the cuff over clothes can add 5 to 50 points to your reading. 

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Size of the Cuff 

Sizing of the cuff is as important as its placement. Using an inappropriately sized cuff can also affect your blood pressure readings. Studies have shown that a small cuff can add 10-40 points to a patient’s systolic blood pressure measurement.  

Relax and Be Still 

Get rid of your phone for a few minutes to get an accurate blood pressure measurement. Talking on the phone or in person should be avoided if you do not want to add 10 points to your reading. Sitting still and silent can help you to get an accurate reading, so relax and do not talk. 

Smoking and Alcohol 

Cigarettes contain nicotine which can temporarily increase your blood pressure. So, do not smoke at least 30 minutes before getting your blood pressure checked. Alcohol has the same effect on your blood pressure, so refrain from alcohol consumption 30 minutes before the test.

By following these tips before taking your Blood pressure reading will give your accurate results.