If you're heading for a medical check-up, whether for work or just for your own peace of mind, you'll almost certainly be given a blood pressure test. Blood pressure is one of the best indicators of a person's cardiovascular health, so this is an important part of any physical. Unfortunately, there are several things you can do prior to testing that may result in a reading that is much higher than your normal average. To avoid any short-term spikes, make sure you avoid these five things.
Plenty of Australians start their day off with a nice cup of coffee or tea, but you should think twice about ingesting any before a medical check-up. Caffeine is fine, but it generally causes a spike in blood pressure. Scientists aren't yet precisely sure why this occurs, and the short-term rise isn't something to worry about for most people. However, it's not going to be advantageous if you're just about to have your blood pressure checked.
A single alcoholic drink is currently defined as either 355 millilitres of beer, 148 millilitres of wine, or 44 millilitres of distilled spirits, and having more than three drinks can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Of course, even those fond of a little Dutch Courage are unlikely to down three drinks before a medical check-up, but remember not to indulge the night before either.
All tobacco products, as well as some products that are used to help people quit smoking, contain nicotine. As well as its other negative side-effects, nicotine narrows your arteries and raises your heart rate. A short-term spike also often occurs, so make sure you refrain from nicotine for at least a few hours before your check-up.
Stress is hard to avoid, particularly before a medical check-up, but try your best to keep yours under control. Though it rarely causes long-term problems, feeling stressed will temporarily elevate both your heart rate and your blood pressure. Make sure you take long, deep breaths as you wait and avoid thinking about anything stressful.
Exercise will help keep your blood pressure in check in the long term, but it can also cause it to rise in the short-term just after you've exerted yourself. That spike tends to last longer if you're less used to exercise. It can be pretty annoying to receive a high reading simply because you were trying to take care of yourself, so try to avoid exercise on the day of your check-up.
For more information, talk with a health and medical clinic near you, such as Travellers Medical Services.
Hello, my name is Peter and I live in Western Australia with my wife on our pet dogs. This is my blog which details how to deal with various medical emergencies and other conditions. Last year, several friends and members of my family suffered from various different kinds of medical problems. Some of them, such as my uncle had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment that saved his life. Lots of my friends had minor problems which had a big impact on the quality of their lives. I take an active interest in first-aid and other medical matters so I decided to start this blog.