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Advice of Blood Pressure Machine

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#1 summer


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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:55 PM

Hi, My Cardiologist, wants me to buy a blood pressure machine, as my heart is doing weird things. Can anyone recommend one, that is easy to use, and that will last for a while. By, the way, I live in Australia.

Many thanks

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:18 AM

Hi Summer,

There are several things important to me in a blood pressure machine.

One is to get a digital type with guaranteed accuracy, because it saves a lot of time and trouble. And without the accuracy guarantee, it's really a shot in the dark as to whether your readings are anywhere even near accurate.

If you have Raynaud's, then do not fall for the "wrist" type units, because I found due to the blood vessel constriction in the hands, they do not work at all for me, giving wild readings like 50/20. Although I still covet them, wishing they would work, because they seem like they'd be easier to use, if they were accurate.

The other is to take the time to really and truly measure your bicep, on the arm you plan on using all the time. Getting the wrong size cuff will make the readings inaccurate, even if you have an 'accurate' machine. Wild guesses like, "I'm a medium, I'm sure" don't cut it. We can be a Medium elsewhere, but a Small or a Large in our biceps (according to their measuring charts). For example, when my husband wore Large shirts, he still measured as a Small for a blood pressure cuff.

By the way, it is recommended for everyone with systemic sclerosis (systemic scleroderma) to take our blood pressure once a day, even if we don't have high blood pressure. That is because rapid and very significant blood pressure changes (way too high or way too low) can be indicative of sudden renal crisis (kidney failure), which we are all at some risk for. The thing is, there can be no detectable symptoms to sudden renal failure in the initial stages, or the symptoms can easily be confused with something else, like the flu, so the blood pressure can be an early tip-off, catching things quicker.

That does not mean that all blood pressure elevations are due to kidney failure. There are a zillion causes of blood pressure issues, including anxiety. So it sure doesn't pay to be "worried" about blood pressure, but just to take it as a routine precaution. Also, read all the directions about when and when not to take a reading. It truly does help to rest calmly 15 minutes before taking it, and besides it makes for a pleasant break.

Good luck selecting a unit!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:06 AM

Hello Summer

If your cardiologist thinks it's a good idea then it probably would be. My mother bought me a digital one but I didn't find it useful at all. The reading would vary wildly depending on the position of my arm so I just gave up with it. In view of what Shelley has said I might revisit it.

Take care.
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#4 annkd


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Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:20 AM

Hi Summer - I thought I would add another suggestion regarding the purchase of blood pressure monitor: take the one your purchase to your doctor's office and compare his readings to yours. My first one was way off and I was able to return it a buy another (that one was spot on). I use it daily. -Ann

#5 summer


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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:58 AM

Thanks everyone for all of the information about the machnine, I will still do a little more research before I buy one.

Kind regards