One of the biggest medical problems facing Americans today is high blood pressure; it is often referred to as the "Silent Killer" as most people are not aware they suffer with it until it is too late. Hypertension or high blood pressure can be controlled very easily as long as you know you have a problem, in the average person a blood pressure measurement of below 120/80 is considered normal. If you doctor suspects you have a problem he may order ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
to get a better idea of where you stand.
In order to help your doctor determine whether or not you are at risk for hypertension and the need for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
he will need to know as much as possible about your family history. If your family has a history of high blood pressure, or you are overweight, over the age of 40 or have been diagnosed with pre-hypertension you may be considered at high risk and you should have your blood pressure checked frequently.
Your doctor may ask that you have your blood pressure checked several times before he is willing to make the diagnosis of hypertension.
If he measures your blood pressure at higher than 140/90 he will most likely diagnose you as being hypertensive. In order to keep an eye on you for a while to make sure that you do not just have a reaction to going to see your doctor, he may order ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, this involves using a machine that you can wear home and record your blood pressure over a long period of time.
Depending on your doctor's orders ambulatory blood pressure monitoring usually lasts for a period of 24 hours and the readings are taken every half an hour or so. You will have to wear a small blood pressure cuff on your upper arm that is connected to the monitoring device via a thin tube. This thin tube is used to inflate and deflate the cuff as well as allow the monitor to read your blood pressure.
The actual monitor is small enough that you can slip into a convenient pocket or carry it in a belt pouch while you are using it.
Wearing an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring device is only the first step in identifying your high blood pressure problem. Once you have been diagnosed it is up to you to make the necessary changes in your lifestyle and your diet to bring your blood pressure back down to where it should be. While it is possible that you may need medication to bring your blood pressure back to within the normal range, you can accomplish the same thing in many cases with exercise and a well balanced diet.
If your doctor prescribes ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for you, he will most likely provide the monitor for you and bill your insurance. If you would prefer to have your own monitor so that you can keep an eye on things for yourself contact the Medical Device Depot, where you will find a selection of monitors and other medical equipment ready to be shipped directly to you.