Cardiovascular health

How diabetes patients do blood pressure measurement at home

black sphygmomanometer

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Every time you go to see a GP, you will be measured blood pressure (bp). If high bp and diabetes co-exist, you GP will tell you that you need to have a stricter control on the bp. You probably also will be asked for home bp measurement.

It seems straightforward, and therefore you GP seldom tells you how to measure the bp. Here are a few points that seem tricky for strict bp control in the HBP and diabetes co-existent patients.

  • The clear boundary between strict control and over-control over bp is hard to achieve. It is actually orthostatic hypOtension that need to watch out.
  • Hypotension: the HBP medication may deplete the blood volume too much so that BP goes too low, and also the autonomous nerve damage (autonomous neuropathy) from the high glucose levels.
  • Orthostatic blood pressure measurement is to check bp within 3 minutes of standing from a sitting or supine position.
  • It is important because orthostatic bp is linked to increased risk of heart failure and death.
Nobody knows how to do blood pressure precisely

One more fact about bp measurement is that there is actually no rule or standard guideline about how many times and what time should the bp measurement. Doctors knows high bp is harmful, however up to now they still don’t know how to precisely do the bp measurement. Because the bp fluctuates so much every day and is associated with many different things, i.e., mood, food, sleep and work. All we can do is to measure a few times everyday at certain time point, and then look at the general trend and majority of the numbers.

HBP is detrimental, and diabetes with HBP is even worse. As long as the bp is under strict control, the prognosis can be significantly improved.