Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common disease that affects millions of people worldwide. High blood pressure can lead to various complications, including heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. That’s why it is essential to keep your blood pressure levels in check by taking regular blood pressure tests. However, some people try to cheat their way out of these tests by using various tricks.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common tricks that people use to beat blood pressure tests and how you can avoid them.
What is a Blood Pressure Test?
A blood pressure test measures your blood pressure using a device called a sphygmomanometer. It consists of an inflatable cuff that goes around your arm and a meter that shows your blood pressure reading. The test is necessary to determine if you have hypertension or low blood pressure.
Why is a Blood Pressure Test Important?
A blood pressure test is critical because hypertension is often called the “silent killer.” High blood pressure typically has no signs or symptoms, and it can lead to severe complications without detection. That’s why it’s essential to take regular blood pressure tests, especially if you have a family history of hypertension, are overweight, or have other underlying health conditions.
Tricks to Beat Blood Pressure Tests
Some people try to cheat blood pressure tests, so they don’t have to change their lifestyle habits or take medication. Here are some of the most common tricks people use and how to avoid them:
Some people try to dehydrate themselves before the test by not drinking water or any fluids. This results in a lower blood volume, which can cause a lower blood pressure reading. However, this method is not recommended because it can lead to dehydration, which can be harmful to your health.
Some people try to exercise vigorously before the test as this can lead to a temporary decrease in blood pressure. However, this trick is not recommended because exercise can be dangerous if you have underlying health conditions that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Some people try to stop taking their blood pressure medication before the test, hoping to get lower blood pressure readings. However, this method is not recommended because medications are necessary to manage blood pressure levels and should only be stopped with a doctor’s approval.
4. Crossed Legs
Some people cross their legs during the test, which can lead to an inaccurate reading. This is because crossing your legs can interfere with blood flow, which can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. Therefore, it’s important to sit with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight during the test.
5. White Coat Syndrome
Some people experience anxiety during blood pressure tests, which can lead to higher blood pressure readings. This phenomenon is known as white coat syndrome. To avoid this, try to relax during the test, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. You can also try to distract yourself by listening to music or reading a book.
How to Prepare for a Blood Pressure Test
Preparing for a blood pressure test is easy. Here are some tips to ensure that you get an accurate reading:
1. Avoid Caffeine and Tobacco
Caffeine and tobacco can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, so it’s best to avoid them before the test. Try to avoid drinking coffee, tea, or energy drinks four hours before the test, and avoid smoking for at least an hour before the test.
2. Use the Restroom
If you need to use the restroom, do so before the test. A full bladder can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure.
3. Wear Loose Clothing
Wear loose clothing that allows easy access to your arm. Tight sleeves can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure.
Try to relax before and during the test. Sit quietly for at least five minutes before the test, and avoid talking or fidgeting during the test.
Blood pressure tests are crucial in detecting hypertension, a silent killer that can lead to severe complications, including heart attacks and strokes. While some people try to cheat their way out of these tests using various tricks, it’s important to take them seriously and prepare well to get accurate readings.
- Q. Is it possible to cheat a blood pressure test?
- Q. How can I prepare for a blood pressure test?
- Q. How often should I take a blood pressure test?
A. While some people try to cheat blood pressure tests using various tricks, it’s essential to get accurate readings by preparing well for the test.
A. To prepare for a blood pressure test, avoid caffeine and tobacco, use the restroom, wear loose clothing, and relax.
A. If you have a family history of hypertension, are overweight, or have underlying health conditions, you should take a blood pressure test regularly, at least once a year.
1. Blood Pressure UK. (2021). Blood pressure testing. Retrieved from https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/blood-pressure-tests
2. American Heart Association. (2021). Preparing for a blood pressure test. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/preparing-for-a-blood-pressure-test
3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). High blood pressure (hypertension). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410