A blood pressure log is a consistent log of blood pressure readings to help both a patient and a doctor manage blood pressure spikes, their causes, lifestyle changes, and medication if necessary.
This document is more and more commonly created through a digital medium, such as a mobile app or computer program. However, many patients can also benefit from keeping paper records, as it can be easier for some people to keep a consistent log by hand-writing the information when they first take their blood pressure reading.
One in four Americans suffers from hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure. For around 90% of these cases, there is no known cause, although the condition can be managed with lifestyle changes such as a low fat diet, or adding more exercise. When these changes don’t help, a doctor may prescribe medication to their patient. A blood pressure log can help both the patient and doctor understand how lifestyle changes help, or if they do not, how medication affects the patient’s condition.
How is a Blood Pressure Log Used?
If a doctor orders a patient to keep a blood pressure log, the physician or a nurse will teach the patient how to use a blood pressure monitor to measure rates, and ask for specific times of day for the measurements to occur in order to best track the effect of an average day, along with changes made, to manage the patient’s hypertension.
Most frequently, doctors will ask a patient to measure their blood pressure at least twice a day, sometimes three times – once in the morning immediately after waking up, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening before sleep. This can help a doctor measure the effect of food and drink, other medications the patient is on, regular exercise, and a daily work schedule, to get a sense of what changes might be made, and if any changes have been made, whether or not those changes are helping the patient.
When a patient takes their blood pressure for their log, it is recommended that they sit in a calm, quiet location so that they can focus on their measurements. Patients should also write down the blood pressure reading as soon as they take it, so that they do not forget.
Blood pressure logs can also contain information about the time, day, what the patient ate or drank that was out of the ordinary, if they took their measurement under unusual circumstances, etc.
Elements of a Blood Pressure Log:
There are a few common elements for different types of blood pressure logs. Check with your doctor for more information about the type of log he or she might want you to use.
- Date: record the date for each measurement you take daily. This will help your doctor see that you have been consistent with your measurements, and where you may have been inconsistent.
- Time: your doctor will tell you approximately which times of day to take your blood pressure reading and record it. Record the exact time so your doctor can see any fluctuations, and if they differ by minutes or hours.
- Blood Pressure Reading: the entire point of the blood pressure log, this number measures what your blood pressure was at the time of the reading. Anything consistently over 140/90 is high and could be damaging. Your doctor can explain further what a good reading is, and what a negative reading is. Your doctor will also be responsible for analyzing your blood pressure numbers, so do not attempt to analyze your own information.
- Notes: if you took medications before the reading, if you ate something high fat, were in a stressful situation, exercised vigorously, or did something that somehow could affect your blood pressure reading, record that for your doctor’s information in the notes section. Also, if you were late on your reading or needed to take it at a radically different time, you can record that as well. This will help your doctor monitor your longer-term trends.
Why Should I Use a Blood Pressure Log Template?
Although you could create your own method of recording your blood pressure, it will be easiest on both you and your doctor if you use a standard template to record your information. A blood pressure log template can help you remember what information you should write down, and the standard format can help your doctor read your information clearly. Download our free blood pressure log today to get started!