If you get one strange reading, don’t worry too much.
Your doctor should take at least two BP readings, at least one minute apart, and average the two readings, recommends the American Heart Association. But if your BP seems higher than usual, and one of the above factors was in play, mention it to your doctor. He can decide if you should wait longer before taking the second reading.
“It’s the average of many BP readings that matters,” says Dr. Kaplan. “You need to have elevated readings on multiple days to have the official diagnosis of hypertension.”
If the number continues to measure over 140/90 (which is the cutoff for high blood pressure), you and your doctor can talk about lifestyle changes that can help bring them down—like exercising, eating right, cutting back on salt and alcohol, and quitting smoking—as well as any possible meds like acetaminophen, antidepressants, NSAIDs, or corticosteroids.
The article ?6 Totally Innocent Reasons Your Blood Pressure Just Measured Sky-High originally appeared on Men’s Health.