Controlling your high blood pressure

Controlling hypertension

Taking your blood pressure at home

After you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your health care provider may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure by measuring it at home. There are devices that are easy to use and can help you monitor your blood pressure at home. Practice with your provider to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly. Compare your home machine with the one at your provider's office to be sure it is reading correctly.

Blood pressure check

To measure blood pressure, your doctor uses an instrument call a sphygmomanometer, which is more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. The cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to stop the flow of blood in your artery. As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery. These pumping sounds register on a gauge attached to the cuff. The first pumping sound your doctor hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure.

Low sodium diet

If you have high blood pressure or heart, liver, or kidney problems, your health care provider may suggest you lower your sodium intake. Look for these words on labels low-sodium, sodium-free, no salt added, or unsalted. Check all labels to see how many milligrams of sodium there are per serving. Be sure to note how many servings there are in the package. Also, avoid foods that list salt near the top of the list of ingredients. Try to choose foods that have 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving.

When is Your Blood Pressure a Concern?

Medicines for Blood Pressure

Diet, Exercise, and Other Lifestyle Changes

Checking Your Blood Pressure

Follow-up

When to Call the Doctor