The blood pressure chart
Welcome to the Blood Pressure Chart page – I am particularly glad you have made it this far because it suggests you are taking the message about being in control seriously - you are ready to document your readings.
I am assuming that you do have a means of measuring your blood pressure - if not then you can click here for more information on home monitors.
There is nothing complicated or special about a blood pressure chart – it’s just a way of recording your day to day measurements which you could with a pencil and bit of paper. However, as you will see soon, the more you put into documenting things the more you will get out of it.
A simple blood pressure chart could look like this. It captures the basic information needed:
- Systolic Pressure
- Diastolic Pressure
- Other information that may be relevant (change of medication, unusual circumstances that could affect BP etc).
It’s about time
The real value of a chart is being able to document your blood pressure over a period of time. That tells you some significant things. For example, you get a picture of what can be considered your real blood pressure by averaging your readings over time. Also, you can tell what is one-off change as opposed to a real sustained change in your pressure. Very importantly, you can tell what affects your pressure if you record faithfully the conditions under which you took your BP.
Here is an example of a chart that combines a graphic representation with listing the numbers, it also has a row for pulse, which is always worth noting, and weight - which would come in useful if one of your lifestyle changes is to reduce this.
Some blood pressure monitors can create a blood pressure chart - they do all the work for you. Some store readings and allow you to look back over your records. Some can even send the information by email to your doctor or whoever you wish. Naturally these are the more expensive models.
I recently came across a neat software package called My Blood Pressure. It is simple to install and once resident on your computer it will pop-up a little reminder bubble to prompt you to take your readings every day (or at intervals of your choice). One click will take you to the form to type in your numbers and it records the date and time for you. You can add any comments you wish.
It has lots of useful features; it automatically calculates your averages for you over time, it draws charts, and prints out reports. You can categorize readings (eg morning afternoon, left arm right arm). If you work on a computer most days then if you keep your BP monitor by your PC you will undoubtedly develop the habit of taking and recording regular measurements.
You can visit the website for more information or to access a free trial version
Chart your course
Whatever method you use, develop the habit of maintaining a blood pressure chart. You should have a home blood pressure monitor and you should record all your readings - even if you don’t measure at home, always write down readings taken at check-ups and keep your own records. Over time you will build up a valuable data source to help your BP management.
Managing your blood pressure by lifestyle methods can involve a lot of experimentation. You may be able to identify things that you never knew were affecting your blood pressure. You will need to know whether lifestyle changes or treatments you take are effective. With careful documentation, you will get to know more about the behaviour of your blood pressure than anyone else.
A blood pressure chart is an essential tool for taking control of your blood pressure!
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|This page was last modified on : April 30, 2011. |