Why and how to check the blood pressure at home…


Primary Care
Baltimore Primary Care

Blood Pressure Monitoring

For the last 25 years, I have had patients with elevated blood pressure readings only when they are in doctor’s office. It’s called white-coat-hypertension or masked hypertension which is a common condition. I always remind all my patients especially those with diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure), family history of hypertension, history of heart and vascular disease, and type 2 diabetes that having a reliable blood pressure machine at home is one of the best investments for their health.

These are few tips to check your blood pressure accurately at home:


  • Get a reliable blood pressure monitor – Purchase a digital blood pressure monitor from a reputable manufacturer. I usually recommend one of these brands based on their reliability and price: Omron or iHealth (I do not receive any compensation or sponsorship from these manufacturers).


  • I ask my patients to bring their blood pressure machines to my office once or twice a year for calibration.


  • I strongly recommend the arm cuff vs. the wrist cuff. Make sure the cuff fits in the middle of your arm properly. Place the cuff directly on your skin, not over your clothing. The cuff should be tight enough to not slip down, but not uncomfortably tight. A too-small cuff can lead to an artificially high reading, while a loose cuff can give a falsely low reading.


  • A full bladder can temporarily increase your blood pressure, so empty your bladder first.


  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground (do not cross your legs) and relax for about 3 to 5 minutes.


  • Log your systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure readings as well as the pulse rate in the log sheet (provided to you in the office) or in your smart phone.


  • Check your blood pressure twice a day to begin with, once in the morning and once at night before you go to bed.

Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, which means one isolated reading doesn’t provide accurate information. Monitoring blood pressure regularly between office visits is crucial for effective management of hypertension. This proactive approach helps minimize the risk of over or undertreatment, optimizing the management of hypertension and reducing associated health risks.

Please make an appointment with Dr. Zarrabi in order to discuss
further management of your blood pressure and how to keep it in a healthy range.

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