When you go to the doctor and have your blood pressure taken, what shows up on the monitor may not be your actual baseline numbers. There are many factors that could affect your blood pressure, especially when visiting the doctor. A more accurate blood pressure monitoring method is to measure your blood pressure for three days, preferably at the same time every day.
What Happens with Three Day Monitoring
One of the benefits of blood pressure monitoring for three consecutive days is that you will have a more precise picture of what is happening with your blood pressure. This is particularly true if you record readings at the times when blood pressure has been shown to the peak. These times usually occur twice during the day, in the morning between 6 and 8 a.m. and in the evening between 5 and 8 p.m.
During these times of typical blood pressure elevation, you are more likely to identify any blood pressure issues. If you notice heightened pressure over the course of three days, then you should check with your doctor. The typical appointment with a doctor falls outside the range of these spikes; therefore, there is the possibility you could be developing a hypertension problem that is undiagnosed.
Factors Affecting Blood Pressure Monitoring
Another reason you may want to do three-day blood pressure monitoring is that there are outside factors that can affect your numbers so the reading in the doctor’s office may not be accurate. There is a phenomenon called “white coat hypertension” which occurs in some individuals when they visit the doctor. These individuals will experience heightened blood pressure while in a doctor’s office.
Perhaps you’ve been in the doctor’s office and had your blood pressure taken twice during the same visit. The first reading may have been a little high so you’re asked to wait for a bit and then a second reading is taken. This reading may be lower because you have had a little time to become more relaxed in the office.
Even taking your blood pressure at home may not be as accurate as it could be if you are not consistently taking it at the same time daily. One of the keys to getting an accurate measure is to be consistent with the time you take the reading.
Knowing your blood pressure numbers and having accurate blood pressure monitoring is important for your overall health and well-being. At the Family Diagnostic Clinic, we can show you how to properly take your blood pressure. If your numbers indicate a problem or the onset of a problem, we will help you address it. Blood pressure is one of those health items that you want to monitor closely. At the Family Diagnostic Clinic, we will help you do that. Contact us today.