For the millions of men and women with diagnosed high blood pressure, occasional blood pressure checks at the doctor's office is often not enough. Keeping tabs on your BP at home can help doctors make an earlier diagnosis, give you feedback about how you're doing and help reinforce any efforts you are making. Even if you're someone whose blood pressure checks normal at the doctor's office, that doesn't necessarily mean you're in the clear. "Masked hypertension" occurs in up to 20% of adults, influenced by risk factors including high stress jobs or stressful family situations, family history, age or obesity. If you need more convincing that you should track your blood pressure at home, check out these 5 reasons.
- Be Alert on time - More than 350,000 American die every year from high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. That is 1,000 deaths every day. Home blood pressure monitoring can help you and your doctor diagnose high blood pressure earlier than if you have only infrequent blood pressure readings in the doctor's office. More frequent blood pressure monitoring allows more opportunities to detect blood pressure that is higher than normal and treat it on time.
- Spot your own trends - Your BP is very affected by your day to day life. Are you always cranky on Mondays? Do you drink a big cup of coffee every morning? Does your mother-in-law drive you crazy on Sundays? That might be the reason that your readings are rising through the roof! If you track your BP over time, you can easily identify these trends and understand if you have a specific trigger that you need to control, or your BP is really that high.
- Help your doctor help you - A record of readings taken over time can provide you and your healthcare provider a clearer picture of your blood pressure. The only way to know whether your lifestyle changes or your medications are working is to check your blood pressure regularly. Keeping track of changes can help you and your health care team understand your average BP, and make better decisions on your ongoing treatment strategy, medication and dosage needed.
- Avoid White coat syndrome - 1 of 5 Americans suffers from the "white coat syndrome”, their BP readings are higher than normal when a nurse or a doctors takes it. If that happens to be you, your doctor will think your BP is higher than it really is and will likely prescribe unnecessary drugs or higher dosage than you really need. The easiest way to avoid unnecessary drugs, is to take your BP regularly at home and avoid the white coat syndrome.
- And… Feel better! - When you track your BP on a regular basis, you gain a stronger sense of responsibility for your health. Some people report that once they started to track their BP they got more motivated to control it, and it was easier for them to start changing little things like eating better or taking a short walk every morning. Tracking your BP at home is an easy first step towards a healthier you. Try it now with Hello Heart!
What kind of BP monitor to use with Hello Heart iPhone/iPad software?
You can use any manual blood pressure monitor/cuff you buy on Amazon from the $25 models to the most expensive. With these you, use the cuff and type in your numbers into the app. Or if you are a connected digital type, we use Apple HealthKit to support iHealth Wireless BP or Withings Wireless BP in the Apple store on on Amazon. You can download Hello Heart on the App store or learn more about how it works.