Taking your blood pressure every day can prevent a disaster from happening. It is simple to obtain an automatic blood pressure cuff from any store such as this pictured below.

Key things to keep in mind are:

  • Every device used to take your blood pressure may have a different reading. For example, a wrist cuff may have another reading than a manual cuff; use the consistency of the same device on the same arm.
  • You will have more accuracy if you follow the directions as many wrist cuff blood pressure devices require you to elevate your hand.
  • Be still for 5 minutes when taking your blood pressure as the sensor reading your pressure is sensitive to movement.

I find that more people understand how their car works as compared to how their blood pressure works. 

If you think about the oil in your car, it is similar to your circulatory system as it is generally a closed system and under pressure. You check the oil levels in your car when the car has cooled off and is not running. This information tells you how much volume you have available to pump through your engine system when needed, which correlates with the bottom number of your blood pressure, also known as diastolic pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is between the heartbeats, also known as when your heart is at rest.

If this pressure is too low, you do not have enough volume to supply the demand; for example, all the blood rushes to your feet when you stand up. Your body has a great mechanism to compensate for this and push the blood back up to your brain; however, it will not reach your brain if you do not have enough volume. Another mechanism that will kick in if your brain does not get oxygen from  blood flow to the brain is that you will be moving to a  horizontal position immediately. Your brain doesn’t care what you break or hit anything on the way down to the ground. So it is vitally important to monitor this pressure as it is the number one reason I see people due to falls caused by this, typically caused by dehydration.

So if you’re generally, for example, 100/60 and you take your blood pressure tomorrow, and it’s 100/55, and then the next day you take it and is 100/50 you are very likely headed towards dehydration and a fall from lack of blood flow to the brain when you stand. So instead of a check oil pressure light, this is your early warning that you’re heading towards dehydration and is easy to remedy by drinking more fluids.

Now your systolic blood pressure is the top number in that one correlates turning the ignition key on and engages the oil pump in your system is now under pressure. This system is similar to when the heart squeezes blood flow to the rest of your body. And just like in a car, if the pressure is too much, you will blow a gasket, or in a human being, you have a stroke. It is vitally important to monitor daily how high your systolic blood pressure is.

When taking medication or with changes to medication for managing your blood pressure, it is essential to monitor your vital signs daily. These medications can have a powerful impact on our body and may lower blood pressure too much or not control it enough.



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