What's the Right Way to Check My Blood Pressure?

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Christine thank you for joining us. Thank you very much. How's your blood pressure in general? It's kind of high. In the past six months I've been having to checked it at home and the numbers are getting higher. Now why do you think it's high? I'm under a lot of stress, I'm a single mom with four children and I've been doing it for myself for years.

They all stress you out? Yes and it's getting a little harder each day. Well, let's talk about this a little bit, the first thing your doctor may not be telling you about heart disease is you're taking your blood pressure the wrong way. Now what do I mean by that? Come on over here, how do you take your blood pressure normally.

My right arm and my doctor told me to. This is your left arm. I'm sorry, my left arm. Okay, just a small fact that some folks at home might notice. My doctor told me to elevate it above my heart so I usually sit on the floor and put it on my bed. And you're comfortable. Okay, well you're going to just put it by your side so we're going to do something else a little different.

Come closer to me if you don't mind. I'm going to put this on here and I'm going to do something a little different. I'm wrapping it up you have all seen this kind of device right, it's pretty simple to use, I'm just turning it on and you are up to the races, now watch what I'm going to do.

Here is the magic. Audience how many of you have had your blood pressure taken in both arms, put your hands up, not that many right? Not that many. This is a big deal, because lots of times your blood pressure could telling you a little thing about what is going on inside your body, and the blood pressure on both arms may not be the same.

That's a big insight, and if you check your blood pressure once a month which I suggest you do, and if you're hypertensive check them more regularly, every once in a while, every so often check it in both arms because if you get a blockage of the artery going this way, that arm is going to have a lower blood pressure than this arm.

Big clued us. Sometimes you're born even with arteries that aren't made normally. Now in your case, you're blood pressure, if you don't mind I'm going to show this to camera. I know she's nervous, they are coming to your defense, but 191 over 123, makes me nervous in addition to you.

Now you've got two numbers here if you don't mind I'm going to just hold this over here just over your eyes, can you all see those? So, on you're on right arm, your 179 over 114 and in theft arm 191 over 123, so the good news is the numbers are close enough, they don't have to be identical, they are close enough that I don't think you've had a prob inside of you, the blood vessels are all connecting to each other correctly you don't have any issues that I've got to deal with there, but I'm concerned about this high number, who in your life, which of those four beautiful kids, or who else in your life is out there pushing you to make sure you are taking care of this, the number one cause of aging of all? My mom.

My mom's pushing me to help me more than anything but this is kind of to throwing me a little bit. It's all right. It throwing you because it's higher than usual or because it scares you? Yeah it's scaring me because I've never been this high before. I think the highest I've been was like 163 over 193, so I haven't this high.

Is that number you just gave me good enough? No, no not at all, that's why I'm checking at home with my own. If you're checking numbers that are proving that you're slowly killing yourself but you're not doing anything about the numbers, then it doesn't make a difference if you're checking it.

Yeah exactly. So what are you doing to get the number down going to my doctor. Okay, let me play doctor a little bit here. Okay. Okay, and give you a little bit of help and I know it's a big deal to have numbers that you don't think you can fix and you're going to see professionals and they don't seem to have the answers for you but let's just start with some simple things here.

Physical activity is a first step. Is that something you can incorporate today, forget about all the big stuff, just have simple things like walking half an hour a day or breaking a sweat for ten minutes a day, like right now. That's right, not that kind of sweat. Can you do it for me? Yes I could, yes I can because that number scares me.

It scares me too, and again the other big takeaway is you want to check it on both arms. We're all clear on this.