What is it with this high blood pressure?
What if we could use technology to monitor our blood pressure from the comfort of our home? What if we really could have access to Health care professionals to monitor and teach us about high blood pressure (hypertension)…again from home or our work place? It is all possible.
I don’t want to lose you now thinking “oh there she goes again. Here comes the lecture” but…the reality is that you are out there and may not even know that you have the “silent killer” high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the leading health problems in Canada. It causes strokes, heart attacks, and heart and kidney failure. It is also related to dementia and sexual problems. Anyone listening? With proper diagnosis and monitoring and learning to manage high blood pressure we can cut our risk of stroke by up to 40% and heart attack by up to 25%.
We describe blood pressure with two numbers. As an example your blood pressure may be 120/80. The first number is the systolic pressure and the second is the diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure occurs when your heart contracts and is the higher of the two numbers. Diastolic pressure is
the lower of the two numbers and it occurs when your heart relaxes and fills with blood. The higher the systolic or diastolic pressure is, and the longer it stays high, the more damage there is to your blood vessels.
It is so important to know what your blood pressure is. Nine out of ten Canadians will develop hypertension in their lifetime. High blood pressure has no warning signs or symptoms which is why it is called the “Silent Killer” Know what your blood pressure is and remember that both numbers are important.
Here’s where technology can help. If your blood pressure is high (higher than 140/90) you need to monitor it to observe the details of the patterns. When is it high? How high does it go? Is it high early in the morning? Is it consistently high? Answers to all of these questions will help determine the best treatment plan. Taking readings on a regular basis could be difficult but with the technology you can take your blood pressure at home or your workplace or wherever you are. This blood pressure can then be wirelessly transmitted through a cellular phone or blackberry or even through your home phone line to a secure server. The health care professionals can then access these readings for review. Communication with the nurse and / or dietician by telephone or video conference is based on your schedule to help you learn about how you are doing and new ways to develop healthy lifestyle changes. Often minor changes can greatly affect our blood pressure. The main point is that we can take charge of our health. We only need the support and easy regular access to healthcare professionals to learn how.
Technology is all around us. We use it to play games. We use it to find our way in our cars. We use it for our entertainment. We can listen to our favorite music and favorite radio interviews at our convenience. Why don’t we use it for what I believe to be most important…OUR Health..
If you are interested in a demonstration about how technology can help you learn about your health, call us at Health Access Centre: 514-695-3131
For more articles written by Donna, check out the rest of our health blogs
We also have articles written for the MTLtimes.ca such as this http://mtltimes.ca/Montreal/social-life/health/sleep-deprivation-and-memory-loss/