High blood pressure is called the silent killer for good reason. It is very easy to be hypertensive – the medical term for having high blood pressure – without experiencing any overt symptoms. If you are in a high pressure job, if you smoke, if you are overweight, if you eat foods high in sodium, or any combination of the above, you may have high blood pressure and not know it. In addition, if you have kidney disease, you could have hypertension as a byproduct. Even if you are under a doctor’s care for your blood pressure, you may have incidents in which your blood pressure stays above its proper level. In today’s healthcare environment, it is important to take charge of your health by monitoring your blood pressure at home so that you can report problems to your doctor.
Fortunately, blood pressure monitors are easily available for purchase at affordable prices. You can buy both manual and digital monitors. The latter are easier to use because you merely have to wrap the cuff around your upper arm, press a button and wait for the readout. There are various levels of sophistication to these monitors, but the important quality is that they provide accurate readings.
It’s also important to monitor your blood pressure if you are, or are planning to be pregnant.
Firstly, it is important that, if you need to, you make these healthy lifestyle changes well in advance of your planned conception, this will not only improve your chances but will give you time to get into a healthy living routine that you can carry on throughout the proposed pregnancy. If you feel that you are ready to start trying for a baby immediately it is best to get a little advice from your local GP anyway just to make sure. Proposed pregnancy/conception should be postponed for those who feel that they require genetic counselling and time to reflect upon the consequent discussions and also for those on long-term medication for a variety of conditions including, but not exclusive to, epilepsy and diabetes. It is also worth remembering that for many couples pregnancy does not happen immediately, it is not uncommon for a few months to go by before you achieve your goal.
A women weight is a very important issue when it comes to a successful pregnancy, being seriously overweight and being underweight effect fertility and put potential mothers at risk of complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. There is also a much higher risk of encountering complications during labour and birth. If you are unsure about your weight and the possible implications that it may have on your pregnancy visit your local GP for advice.
It is a good idea to take your own blood pressure regularly. Because pressure varies throughout the day, you would do well to take your reading in the morning after rising and in the evening before bed. Record these numbers so that you can see if there are trends. For example, if your pressure is always high in the evenings, you know that there is a problem. If some evenings it is high and some evenings it is normal, you likely do not a hypertension problem.
If you find a trend of high readings, visit your doctor and bring the record you have been keeping. Your doctor will find it valuable. Click here for more information about blood pressure monitors.