Home Diagnostic Products Blood Pressure Monitors How to Check for High Blood Pressure

How to Check for High Blood Pressure

You may have high blood pressure and not even know it.  After all, you can’t feel your blood pressure even when it is too high.  That’s why it is called the silent killer.  How do you know what your blood pressure is?  If you get regular check-ups you probably have an idea of your BP range but it can change quickly and without warning.  We recommend that everyone have access to an accurate home monitor to check for high blood pressure at home.  

Types of  Home Blood Pressure Monitors

Automatic Wrist Digital Blood Pressure Monitors - These wrist units are my preference.  Compact, easy-to-use home blood pressure monitors that fit around your wrist instead of your arm. Perfect for those who want a second unit for travel or for people who have trouble placing a cuff on their arm. 

Arm Cuff Blood Pressure Monitors – Automatic & Semi-Automatic – Inflate and deflate the arm cuff with the touch of a button, or manually inflate and automatically deflate – you choose the best one for you.  Digital readouts.

Manual Professional Aneroid Sphygmomanometers - If you can pronounce it, you are probably qualified to use it.   Most likely, you’ll see these manual inflation units in your doctor’s office.  Check out our great prices on Aneroid units!

Talking Blood Pressure Monitors - Let the monitor give you the readings out loud, in English or Spanish.  These talking blood pressure monitors are amazingly feature-rich.  

See all Blood Pressure Monitors

See all Diagnostic Products

See all Home Test Kits

What is Blood Pressure?  Simply put, arterial blood pressure is the force of blood exerted against the walls of your blood vessels.  High blood pressure, hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder, plus it contributes to hardening of the arteries and the development of heart failure. 

There are two components to blood pressure – systolic and diastolic pressure.  Systolic, the higher pressure, occurs during contraction of the heart.  Diastolic, the lower pressure, occurs when the heart is at ‘rest’.

Your level of blood pressure is determined in the circulatory center of the brain and adjusts to a variety of situations through feedback from the nervous system. To adjust blood pressure, the strength and frequency of the heart (Pulse), as well as the width of circulatory blood vessels is altered.  Blood vessel width is effected by fine muscles in the blood vessel walls.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?  Several factors may play a role in the development of high blood pressure.  Factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, salt, stress, alcohol, age, genetics, kidney disease or adrenal and thyroid disorders.  In 90 to 95 percent of cases, the cause is unknown.  This is known as non-essential hypertension.  That’s what I was diagnosed with about 5 years ago.  After 4 years on medication, however, my blood pressure suddenly dropped after my chiropractor adjusted my C-1 vertebra, aka my Atlas bone.  It dropped to below normal and I was directed to stop taking my BP medication by my family physician.  It evened out in a couple days.  This was more than a year ago and my blood pressure remains in the normal range.  I take my blood pressure with my wrist monitor once a week just to be sure I’m still okay! I recommend regular chiropractic adjustments for all kinds of health reasons, but this was a complete surprise.

How high is too high?  The normal range is less than 120/80.  Your blood pressure is too high if, at rest, your diastolic pressure is above 90mmHg and/or the systolic blood pressure is over 160mmHg.  If your blood pressure is above the normal range you should consult your doctor about lowering it.  Even if your blood pressure is normal, a regular self-check with your BP monitor is recommended.  This way, you can detect possible changes early and react quickly to alert your physician.

If you are undergoing medical treatment to control your blood pressure, keep a record of your blood pressure by taking your measurements at several times of the day.  Show these to your doctor.  And remember, never use the results of your measurements to discontinue or independently alter the drug doses prescribed by your doctor.

Monitoring your blood pressure could save your life.  And we wish you a very, very long life.  Thanks for being an Allegro customer.

Valerie Paxton is a co-founder of AllegroMedical.com and lives in Phoenix, AZ. In 1997 she set out with her business partner, Craig Hood to form Allegro Medical - a company dedicated to helping people lead more independent and healthy lives. They poured their knowledge and experience into AllegroMedical.com and now have more than 1 million customers nationwide. Valerie has a degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska and has spent most of her career in communications, marketing, PR, and investor relations. She enjoys giving advice, mentoring, volunteering, writing, reading, cooking, telling funny stories, healthy eating, her cocker spaniel Honey, her boyfriend Todd, hiking, kayaking, jokes and world travel. Follow Valerie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vpaxton