People with diabetes run the risk of contracting heart disease due to the diabetic condition causing arterial narrowing. High blood pressure is indicative of this. High blood pressure also increases the chances of developing eye and kidney dysfunctions in diabetics. Hence, blood pressure must be monitored and kept under control in those with diabetes.
Blood Pressure Monitors
A blood pressure monitor, also called a sphygmomanometer, is a device comprised of a cuff, which is an inflatable tube to be worn around the arm, a valve or pump for inflating the tube to restrict the flow of blood, and a measuring device to note the blood pressure. The measuring device may be mechanical, mercury based, or digital.
How to use a Blood Pressure Monitor
An accurate blood pressure reading depends on several factors. Ensure that you do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes before taking the blood pressure test. Also, ensure that you do not need to pass urine or bowel before taking the test.
Relax for a few minutes while sitting on a chair, resting your hands and feet. Next wrap the cuff of the blood pressure monitor around your upper arm and make sure your arm is vertically level with your heart. Tighten it enough to allow a finger’s gap between the cuff and your arm, making sure not to over-tighten it.
On a manual pressure monitor, inflate the cuff with the pump until the measuring device shows a reading of at least 30 units above normal systolic blood pressure. On an automatic pressure monitor, the start or stop button will begin the test.
Wait for the cuff to completely deflate before removing the cuff, and note the reading on the measuring device. Take an average of two or three tests and make sure to take subsequent tests on the same arm, at the same time of day, and with the same bodily conditions in order to reduce errors in measurement.