How to keep a blood pressure diary 5 tips

Blood pressure (BP) is a numerical indicator that determines the functional state of a person (his vital functions). The value of this indicator depends on the speed and strength of the heart muscle. The blood pressure diary allows you to monitor its change, timely determine the possible predisposition of the disease and prevent its development.

Controlling blood pressure is a serious task. There are cases when people for a long time ignored or simply did not notice his jumps, which subsequently led to the occurrence of a stroke. Taking daily blood pressure measurements is very important to maintain normal levels. At home, doing this is not as problematic as it might seem at first glance.

Who should keep a blood pressure diary

First of all, people suffering from high (hypertensive) and low (hypotonic) blood pressure should keep a diary. Arterial hypertension and hypotension are serious diseases that require increased attention and constant monitoring. Before visiting a cardiologist or general practitioner, it is recommended to record blood pressure indications in a diary for at least 2 weeks. Indications will help the doctor choose the most suitable treatment package.

It is necessary for all people to monitor their health, not just those with hypertension or hypotension. This is especially true for people with cardiovascular diseases (for example, with a diagnosis of VSD). If a person begins to notice frequent deterioration in the condition associated with surges in blood pressure, it will be useful to keep a diary. With its help, it is possible to identify a predisposition to the disease and prevent it in a timely manner without causing complications. It is impossible to remember all blood pressure indications, but with the help of a diary they can always be provided to the doctor.

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Basic rules for measuring blood pressure

In order to get reliable indications of true pressure, it is necessary not only to measure it regularly over several weeks, but also to exercise it correctly. Often people go to doctors with complaints that blood pressure has jumped, but their health has not worsened. This is usually due to inaccuracies in measurements due to incorrect measurements. Consider the basic rules for measuring pressure:

  • At least 30 minutes before measuring the pressure, do not eat foods that strongly affect it (for example, strong tea or coffee).
  • For 40-60 minutes before measuring blood pressure, it is forbidden to engage in physical activity, since it can cause an increase.
  • Breathing during the procedure should be calm and even.
  • It is necessary to measure blood pressure in a seated or semi-seated position, while the hand should be laid aside, without touching foreign objects. The elbow should be approximately at the level of the heart.
  • For higher accuracy, it is recommended to carry out measurements 2 times, taking a break for several minutes between them. During the break, you cannot get up or be distracted by extraneous matters, it is important to sit still.

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Instructions for measuring blood pressure

There are many different instruments for measuring pressure. According to the principle of operation, they are divided into 3 groups: mechanical, semi-automatic, automatic (electronic). You can measure pressure with any tonometer, they all show reliable results. Consider a step-by-step instruction for measuring blood pressure using a mechanical device:

  • First of all, it is necessary to put the cuff on the arm, so that it is about 5 cm above the bend of the arm at the elbow.
  • The stethoscope is applied to the cuff in the middle of the fold of the arm. Here the pulse will be clearly audible when the air is deflated from the cuff.
  • On average, the cuff needs to be inflated to 190-230 mm Hg. (depending on normal blood pressure).
  • Looking at the dial of the tonometer, they release the air without haste (speed about 3mm per second) and listening to the pulse.
  • The first blow is systolic blood pressure (recorded in the table first), the end of the blows is dystolic blood pressure (write down the number through a fraction).

Advice! For daily measurements, it is advisable to purchase an electronic tonometer. It is highly accurate and easy to operate.

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Rules for filling out and keeping a diary

There are several diary templates: some are preferred for students, others for retirees. But the basic essence of all diaries is preserved for any kind of template. Perhaps at first it will be unusual to take daily measurements and write them down in a diary, but after a few days people get used to this procedure. Here are 5 essential tips to help you keep a BP diary:

  • in order not to forget to measure blood pressure, it is recommended to put a reminder on your mobile phone or write it down in a diary,
  • if the measurement results differ greatly from each other (more than 10 units), then the measurement should be repeated again. The indicator of the extreme measurement is recorded in the control diary,
  • you cannot interrupt journaling. If there are at least 7 gaps in 2 days, this period will not be taken into account during the analysis of the general condition,
  • if a person has been prescribed a course of medications, it is recommended to use them at the same time,
  • every 2-4 weeks, it is advisable to summarize by calculating the average value of systolic and diastolic pressure.

Sample diary filling

The diary must contain the dates and hour marks during which the heart rate and blood pressure were measured. If a person suffers from diabetes, it is advisable to add a paragraph about the results of measuring blood sugar levels in the diary. You can download the blank form, get it from your doctor, or draw it yourself in a notebook. If you have constant access to a computer, you can create a table in the excel program and write all indications into it.

A sample standard table looks like this:

dateTimeArterial pressurePulseWellbeingNote (name of drugs taken)
November 18.10.2017,8.40.115/7074normal
November 18.10.2017,19.50.120/7582headache1 tablet “No-shpa”

Blood pressure should be measured at least 2 times a day – in the morning and in the evening. The exact measurement schedule (time) is recommended to be agreed with your doctor. You can additionally measure the pressure and enter the reading in the diary if the state of health has deteriorated sharply. For people working or studying, with a regular work schedule, it is more advisable to choose the same time, for example, in the morning after sleep or in the evening before bed.

Important! Do not ignore the “note” section, the information written in it may be useful in the future to the attending physician.

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Benefits of Keeping a Self-Control Diary

Thanks to the systematization of daily health indications, deviations from the norm become immediately noticeable. The diary allows you to manage your well-being at home. Journaling has several benefits:

  • determination of the lowest and highest indicators of heart rate and blood pressure over a long period of time,
  • identifying the reasons that led to an increase or decrease in pressure,
  • assessment of the effectiveness of the drugs taken,
  • recognition of the onset of the development of hypertension.

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Normal pressure table

Approximate indicators of normal blood pressure have been established depending on age and gender. This figure is rather abstract, since blood pressure is usually individual for each person. For example, one middle-aged woman may always have low blood pressure – 100/60, but she will feel great with such pressure. At the same time, for another woman, this figure will be an indicator of negative changes in the body, which will greatly affect her well-being. Below is a table with approximate values ​​for normal pressure.

10-20 years123/76116/72
21-30 years126/79120/75
31-40 years129/81127/80
41-50 years135/83137/84
51-60 years142/85144/85
61-70 years145/82159/85
71-80 years147/82157/83
more than 81 years145/78150/79

With increasing age, irreversible processes occur in the human body, which are accompanied by an increase in pressure (both the lower and upper indicators). If the blood pressure indicators in your personal diary differ greatly from the norm and your health status is not stable (for example, you are worried about frequent dizziness or headaches), it is advisable to see a doctor. Timely referral to a specialist and the beginning of therapy will avoid disastrous consequences.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.