Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunday, June 08, 2008 Thomas Bailey, Community Member, asks

Q: How often should I check my blood pressure?

Some days I check once, some days 2-3 times, occasionally 4-5 times in one day. I often check my blood pressure during long bike rides. I have been recording my blood pressure since 1988.

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Answers (1)
Lisa Nelson, Health Pro
6/ 8/08 1:00pm

Hi Thomas,

 

It is great that you have been monitoring your blood pressure for some time.  Staying on top of your numbers means you can correct any negative changes immediately.  So, great job!

 

Blood pressure should be checked every two years after the age of 21, annual checks after age 50, more frequent checks if you have risk factors.  Luckily it is fast, easy, and painless.

 

Risk Factors Include:

 

Age - Men >45 yo, Women after menopause

 

Gender - Women taking birth control pills or pregnant or after menopause

 

Race - African-American

Family history - parent or close blood relative diagnosed with high blood pressure

 

Excess weight - BMI ≥30.0

 

Inactive

 

Smoker

 

Stressed - turn to alcohol, cigarettes, food to cope

 

High Sodium Intake

 

Low Potassium Intake

 

Medications - speak with you MD if you take any medications

 

It is easiest to treat high blood pressure if you catch the gradual increase early on.  If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, all the more reason to pay attention.

 

Ideally, monitor your blood pressure at the same time everyday. 

 

Blood pressure rises during most activities.  You should expect a higher blood pressure during a long bike ride.  If your heart is in great condition, it may be a slight increase.

 

From the information I have, I would say you are monitoring your blood pressure more than necessary.  Consult with your MD to determine times of day that would be best.  Possibly once in the morning and once at night.  If you are on blood pressure medications or recently changed prescriptions/dose, more frequent monitoring is warranted. 

 

Check out this article - Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Recommended - for more information.  The article recommends consulting with your MD to determine best time of day for you to monitor your bp.  It also states daily monitoring is not needed, but several times a week is good.

 

Two additional articles you may be interested in:

 

Exercise can lower blood pressure

 

Low blood pressure after exercise

 

All the best,

 

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Lower Cholesterol, Control Blood Pressure, Lose Weight

Reply
Thomas Bailey, Community Member
5/17/09 7:51pm

I have two risk factors. My BMI is about 35. My mother and grandmother, both dead, had hypertension. My younger brother has hypertension and is being treated for it. He checks his BP daily, and has done so for about a year. I taught him how to do it.

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By Thomas Bailey, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/17/12, First Published: 06/08/08