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How to check your blood pressure
If you don't know your blood pressure, have it checked at your doctor's, at a health clinic, etc.

Diagram of Blood Pressure Gauge How it's checked
1. A soft arm cuff is wrapped around the upper arm. A hand bulb pumps air into the cuff, gently squeezing the arm and temporarily interrupting the flow of blood. The pressure gauge reaches a peak.

2. Then the cuff is slowly deflated, letting blood flow again. As the cuff deflates and the pressure gauge gradually decreases, the return of the blood flow through the main artery in your arm can be heard using a stethoscope.

3. The reading on the pressure gauge when the pulse is first heard is your systolic pressure (the peak pressure as the heart contracts).

Blood Pressure
. Be seated, with your arms bared, supported and at heart level.
. Do not smoke or drink caffeinated beverages 30 minutes before testing.
. Sit quietly for five minutes before starting measurement.
. Make sure the measurement cuff fits comfortably around your arm.
. Take two or more readings, at least two minutes apart, and average results.
. Make sure your measurement cuff has been checked for accuracy.

The reading when the pulse can first no longer be heard is your diastolic pressure (the lowest pressure as the heart relaxes between beats).

This section © 1999 RxRemedy, Inc.

Do it yourself
If your blood pressure is high, you can monitor your own blood pressure at home with an inexpensive blood pressure cuff and gauge, available at most drug stores and medical supply outlets.

Many newer blood pressure testers (electronic sphygmomanometers) are easy to use and have digital readouts. They do not require using a stethoscope or other difficult steps. Check your blood pressure gauge for accuracy every six months by comparing its readings with those of the professional gauge in your doctor's office.

If you have difficulty with your home blood pressure testing equipment, get instruction from a healthcare professional.

Follow up Have regular physical checkups, especially if you are over 35 or in a high-risk category (high cholesterol, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, etc.).

If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, or if you are in a high-risk group, make plans to adjust your lifestyle to control those risks.

This section © 1996 Wellsource, Inc.

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As the world’s top supplier of commercial blood pressure monitors and health management systems, Lifeclinic is committed to helping to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals across the globe. Active monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, body fat, body mass index (BMI) and blood oxygen levels when combined with proper diet, nutrition and physical fitness can help ensure a longer, more healthy lifestyle.

© 2011 Sentry Health Monitors, Inc.