16 December 2008

Eat Well and Lower Blood Pressure


To some the single most important thing to help lower high blood pressure is to look closely at the food they eat. The dark cold miserable weather tends to make people reach for "comfort foods"

As Christmas approaches we once again warn to go easy on the white stuff and check food labels carefully to be certain about the amount of salt in your diet as the amount of salt in food has a strong effect on health - especially blood pressure.

So obvious things to cut are crisps and nuts with drinks, "party food" which again is highly salted to accompany drinks - sausage rolls, mini quiche tartlets, the ever popular bite sized pasty and cheese on a stick. If you want to do yourself a favour munch celery sticks, fresh fruit and unsalted nuts.

Common presents at Christmas are food hampers which are packed with unusual foods and snacks that tend to be long shelf life items.

If you want to give a hamper as a present to someone who has high blood pressure you can save money and show you care by assembling your own low salt food hamper. And why not include the latest Omron M10 blood pressure monitor with a note explaining that the recipient can monitor the change in BP whislt sticking to a low salt diet.

17 November 2008

Reduce Stress Part 3 - Sounds


In the modern world most of us live in the luxury of silence in which to meditate is rarely found.

This doesn't mean that meditation isn't possible for those who want to naturally help lower their blood pressure. For many years the sale of "mood music" has been popular - sounds of the sea, rainfall or birds singing all help to cover other modern day noise such as traffic or neighbours music.

The problem with these is they have traditionally been played through speakers and have been known to irritate others. help is at hand with the latest range of portable music players.

In years gone by the classic cassette tape Walkman gave a varying sound quality - low batteries and cumbersome headphones didn't help, but today's mp3 players can give a listener their personal choice of music in high quality, privately.

iPods have become the must have personal music player and we were grateful to this Ipod guide for its helpful information about the four types available.

Which ipod?

Of the four types of iPods available it is suggested that ipod nano or ipod shuffle are most suitable as they are very small and compact but have enough storage to keep a wide selection of mood music that you can ply while meditating.

For many years ancient cultures have used meditation as a way of clearing the mind and enabling a relaxing state of mind during which breathing slows and blood pressure falls.

21 October 2008

Lower Blood Pressure - Part 2 - Keep Fit


In the previous post it was suggested that driving a safe vehicle such as the Freelander has benefits of lowering blood pressure - which caused a visitor called Land Rover to leave a comment - which we welcome as it shows the message is getting out there.

This time on Blood Pressure Info we'll look at methods of lowering blood pressure that also have the bonus of improving all round heath. Keeping fit is without a doubt an important part of anyone's healthy lifestyle - not only is the cardiovascular exercise helping to strengthen the heart but more vigorous exercise will improve respiration by encouraging deep breathing.

We all know that sport and exercise are important methods of developing all round fitness but sometimes work and family commitments prevent taking part in these activities on a regular basis. It was the second comment from Mr Land Rover that took us to nothing interesting
on which we saw a feature about playing the latest wii games to help build strength and agility - especially the new game - wii fit which hopefully will encourage event he most lazy families to join in the fun and play together.

These not so cheap wii games like the sports bundle and wii fit are in great demand - for those who are exasperated fruitlessley searching this thread on the wii fit at moneysaving expert provided a link to a funny video that parodies the wii fit promotion video. If nothing else watching this and laughing helped lower our blood pressure - we love the snippet - "why spend $3.19 on a hula hoop when you can spend 300 on a wii"!

Get fit for free - walk, use the stairs, do housework, clean the car or go for a run.

14 October 2008

Lower Blood Pressure - Reduce Stress Part 1


Tips to reduce stress and lower blood pressure

Drive a safe Vehicle

For many driving is amongst the most stressful of daily activities.

For all the bad publicity that SUVs get it is worth considering the benefits of driving one of the safest road vehicles. Land Rover Freelander has been awarded stars for its safety by EuroNcap (see the Freelander safety report here) and add to this the improved fuel economy of the Freelander coupled with lower CO2 emissions perhaps it is time to reconsider this as being an aid to help reduce blood pressure

Soothing Music

For a long time it has been a favourite method of relaxing - listening to soothing music. These days you don't have to play the music through your stereo system - with the latest digital media players you can take your tunes anywhere. Possibly the most popular mp3 player around is the iPod. To make the most of relaxation time listening to music look out for the great deals and find cheap iPods online.

Aromatherapy

With the correct use of fragrances research indicates that deeper relaxation is often achieved with essential perfumes oils. Many essential oils are inexpensive and there is a move towards using cheap perfumes and lowering blood pressure whilst enjoying wonderful aromas and fragrances.

See how the blood pressure rises in this video which features a woman going crazy after smelling cheap perfume on her man - be careful how you use it.

This is the first part of a series "how to lower blood pressure". next time we will feature exercise, diet and something else surprising.

05 September 2008

Omron M10IT Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews

It has been over a year since the first article about the launch of the latest blood pressure monitor from Omron -the Omron M10-IT was published here (September 2007) we thought it would be of value to our visitors and anyone considering buying this machine to have a round up of user reviews.

The Omron M10IT Blood Pressure Monitor has enjoyed enormous success in the home user market and is increasingly being seen in surgeries where it begins to be chosen as a replacement for the M6 Comfort. The Omron M10 has been developed to include all the well rated features for the M6 and include further sophisticated functions whilst remaining easy to use.

The popularity of the Omron M10 machine is also helped by the competitive prices found online - with some retailers offering the model for under fifty pounds.

Omron M10 User Reviews

Generally there is consensus that the Omron M10-it blood pressure monitor is a well made machine, easy to use, accurate and excellent value for money.

However some users expressed their dissatisfaction with the "One Size Fits ALL" Comfort Cuff.
The preformed cuff is designed for Medium 22cm to Large 44cm arms but fails to serve those with small arms - although a minority in the adult population consideration for older users has to be given - as they will particularly be looking for a comfortable easy to use blood pressure monitor but are likely to have thinner arms.

It was also noted that cuffs from previous Omron Monitors will not fit the Omron M10.

Most people highlighted the extended memory for storing readings of multiple users as they found this especially helpful when visiting their Doctors.

Doctors agreed that the way the Omron M10IT monitor takes an average of three readings made them feel comfortable about using the dat gathered by their patients at home.

29 August 2008

How to use a blood pressure monitor

How to use a blood pressure monitor.

Following the success of this measure blood pressure video we are pleased to offer another excellent clip.

video

Quick easy and accurate. For further information about blood pressure and where you can get your blood pressure measured during the blood pressure testing week on the lower blood pressure blog

19 August 2008

Stethoscopes and Measuring Blood Pressure


Leading medical professionals continually argue which method of taking blood pressure is "best". The standard image of the hospital Doctor wearing a stethoscope around his neck often comes to mind but there are other methods of taking blood pressure readings than the traditional ones that don't rely manually listening to the pulse during testing

Not so long ago the consensus was that wrist monitors were not satisfactorily accurate nor consistent - however with improved technologies such as Advanced Positioning which assists users to maintain the correct level to the heart their reliability is becoming acknowledged.

For many years the British Hypertension Society and Blood Pressure Organisation have promoted automatic upper arm machines. These digital monitors automatically inflate and deflate the cuff and have built in sensors to take the readings when the pulse stops and restarts. The sensors are considered to be much more accurate than the human hearing through a stethoscope.

Many medical schools still insist that students train to take blood pressure with traditional aneroid equipment that includes a cuff, an attached pump, a stethoscope and a gauge which stands them in good stead for their careers - see this video using a stethoscope

Posts on the student doctors' forum show the preference for Littmann Stethoscopes - in particular the added value of the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope which is highly sensitive and only the users impaired hearing would render this unsuitable for measuring blood pressure in the "old fashioned" way.

As one commenter said - "why risk a $200,000 education by saving $20? Cutting Corners when buying a stethoscope is a big mistake."

Often the schools have close relationships with the local suppliers where student go to get their stethoscopes when starting their course. It can be a daunting task choosing a new stethoscope but with some research suitable models can be found online and even price comparison sites now have feeds from many leading medical supply stores - alternatively try specialist shops such as Medisave in the UK or Medisave USA

01 August 2008

Preventing Dementia with Blood Pressure Treatment

Recent news has raised expectations that a side effect of taking some blood pressure medicines is that certain drugs have been identified as helping to prevent dementia - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7492959.stm

Research has found a definite link between high blood pressure and dementia. A study published in Lancet Neurology journal by an Imperial College medical research team suggests that treatment for high blood pressure will reduce this by 15%.

Controlling blood pressure from middle-age onwards may dramatically reduce the chances of developing dementia, researchers have said.

Two studies support a link between high blood pressure and dementia risk - with one by an Imperial College London team suggesting treatment could cut this.

In the UK at least one in three people aged over 55 has high blood pressure that remains undiagnosed or untreated. the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured with a blood pressure monitor

Of course it is crucial that efforts to detect and treat high blood pressure to reduce stroke and heart disease are increased, even without the additional results on dementia.

Recent announcements that one of the jobs UK doctors least enjoy - taking blood pressure - can now be done by patients themselves with pants that measure blood pressure and using mobile broadband technology should mean more and more people maintaining a healthy lifestyle and knowing their blood pressure readings.

The trial was stopped early after the benefits of treatment in terms of reducing strokes and heart disease were so obvious it became unethical to deny them to everyone.

Although this meant that no benefits in terms of dementia could be found, when these results were combined with other similar studies in different age groups, the incidence of dementia was 13% lower in the treated groups.

The precise reasons why high blood pressure might increase the risk of dementia are not fully understood. Many medical professionals believe that it can starve the brain of oxygen which is carried by the blood flow to the brain.

Those with restricted blood flow are often described as having "vascular dementia", and account for around 25% of dementia patients.

Other types of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, have no obvious link to blood flow, but some experts think that blood pressure may still be somehow contributory in some cases.

The Lancet Neurology study looked at a trial of elderly patients with high blood pressure to see if those who were receiving treatment were less likely to develop any form of dementia compared with those left untreated.

09 July 2008

Mobile Phones Enable Self Management of Health


Experts at Leeds University are developing a mobile phone that checks its owners health.

Following the report that Omron is targeting online health record customers by developing a sinister sounding " special relationship with microsoft health vault" we were delighted to read that innovative products and systems for blood pressure measurement and data storage in the UK

Recognising that early detection of conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can be helped if identified early and that the well being of patients is greatly enhanced when they have more control and self management a team at the University of Leeds has been aiming to design integrated equipment and technology which allows us to monitor and control our health care, via highly portable devices such as mobile phones, PDA's, laptops and home PCs and using the internet the collected data is linked to medical health care services.

Many physiological conditions can be monitored by an individual and now this invention will allow consumers to take regular measurements of blood pressure, heart rate and even glucose levels without the need to go into a surgery or to take cumbersome monitors with them when they travel.

Traditional blood pressure monitors or a special 'bracelet' measures blood pressure and stores the data which is transfered to your mobile phone via bluetooth connectivity. Using the latest mobile broadband connections the data can be set to a remote server, where medical practitioners can view and interpret the data.

If there appears to be a problem especially a critical situation the medical team can phone you immediately to suggest action.

A spokesperson said " a mobile phone should not be seen as a replacement for GP's but it will mean patients need to visit surgeries less for routine checks and help them take more control of their own health care."

24 June 2008

Off with big bags - down with high blood pressure

Carrying a large heavy bag over the shoulder compresses the veins and causes an increase in your Blood Pressure within ten minutes it is claimed by the anti-heavy-bag-brigade.
The article chuck that bag on Healthbot continues to explain that heavy bag wearers should consider giving your massive over shoulder bag the push to help lower blood pressure - and changes in blood pressure readings are almost instantly noticeable.

Wearing a heavy bag compresses the veins in your shoulders and increases your BP in as little as 10 minutes! So imagine the kind of damage you could be doing during an all-day shopping marathon.

Solution? A smaller, less heavy bag or using a thicker strap at least 2 inches wide would help distribute the pressure form the bag more evenly.

Another gem from Easy Health Tips - encourages "sticking your buns out" to lower high blood pressure.

11 June 2008

Pants that measure blood pressure.

Leading electrical development company Philips has begun its campaign to become a recognised authority in the health care market and has announced that it has made a patent application of undergarments that can measure blood pressure. The so called 'smarty pants' contain electronic sensors stitched into the waist band elastic and are designed to measure the speed of the pulse - by measuring this velocity and the time taken for the same pulse to go from one sensor to another the pants will calculate the wearers systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

High blood pressure has no visible symptoms and pants like these will allow the wearers to discretely check their blood pressure and seek medical help should they continue to record high readings.

These smart pants are part of a 4 year programme that Philips hopes will incorporate monitoring systems into clothes, bedding, home appliances and vehicles - Land Rover have been using similar terrain sensor technologies in their best selling SUV's to improve its safety and intend to extend this into other models.

The next time your GP asks you to drop your pants - it could be to check your blood pressure.

23 May 2008

Lower blood pressure herbal remedies, garlic, hawthorn - alternative treatments

“Limited and inadequate evidence is available to support the use of garlic, herbal and other complementary medicines to lower blood pressure.”

This is the conclusion of the British Hypertension Society Guidelines 2004 when asked for a statement regarding herbal remedies.

The fact that herbal remedies are natural does not guarantee that they are safe.

Many country dwellers favour such remedies in the same manner as opting for a land rover when other more modern and effective methods are now available.

You should be very careful about taking herbs to treat your high blood pressure. They should not be used in place of conventional treatments and if you do decide to take them as a supplement to your regular medication, you should tell both your doctor and your herbalist about the other medicines you take. Some herbs can interact with conventional medicines and may be harmful.

Will hawthorn products lower my blood pressure?

Hawthorn is an country-folk remedy for many cardiovascular issues. There's little evidence of real benefit and none that hawthorn helps to lower blood pressure.

Can eating lots of garlic lower blood pressure?

In the absence of large, properly controlled experiments and studies of garlic that show that eating lots of garlic can lower blood pressure. Whilst garlic supplements aren't recommended to take to help lower high blood pressure, using it in your cooking as a flavouring can help you reduce the salt and help your low sodium diet!

15 May 2008

Lowering Blood Pressure - Success through Sleep

There has been a noticeable increase in blogs that purport to offer solutions for lowering blood pressure. Judging by the number of Google Alerts we receive each day at Blood Pressure Info it seems that the importance of controlling blood pressure is finally being acknowledged.

Then again we are not unaware of scurrilous sites that are purely hoping to turn a quick buck by claiming to offer "amazing" treatments and herbal remedies to lower blood pressure or at very least hoping for the odd adsense click to earn the price of a daily coffee.

Recently we read over at Your BP blog that research has shown that improved sleep does have a positive effect on blood pressure and we are keen to promote this as common sense prevails - the old adage "early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise".

The post went on to list suggestions as how to achieve better sleep including paying attention to the room you sleep - well ventilated, dark and quiet, the bedding you choose to sleep in and methods of relaxation all play an important part in good sleep behaviour.

To exclude light intrusion it is worth considering blackout roller blinds or well fitted Venetian blinds rather than ordinary ready made curtains. Both blinds and curtains allow proper ventilation which is important for restful deep sleep.

The conclusion of the research was that poor sleep was a contributory factor in raising blood pressure levels and it is something that most people can do something about to help themselves.

14 April 2008

Quality Concerns Can Overseas manufacturers maintain high standards

Overseas production over trusted products - omron blood pressure monitors and Land Rovers Freelanders will they maintain their reliability?

Omron Healthcare Manufacturing officially put into operation its factory that manufactures blood pressure monitors in Binh Duong Province.

Located in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park II, the plant can currently produce up to 5,000 monitors annually however a chinese official was keen to point out that figure is expected to triple within 12 months.

The factory, built in May last year, was designed to meet the rapidly growing demand for home blood pressure monitors around the world.

The products will be exported to US, Europe including UK, South America and Asia - all countries which have successfully produced the monitors for their home market

The news that Omron are hoping to rapidly expand the manufacturing operations in China follows the news of Land Rover's similar plight that their affairs will be controlled by an Indian corporation Tata

But the rapid expansion of factories that produce highly specialised equipment - whether it be medical apparatus or high specification vehicles is raising concerns with quality standard experts. Just as this article highlights the necessary quality standards for blood pressure monitors similar reports are produced for vehicles - see this example of an EU report on Freelander safety features

There's an interesting fact on the Freelander wiki entry claims that it will continue to be manufactured in the UK

15 March 2008

Omron HEM-Solar

Solar Powered Blood Pressure Monitors

OMRON has developed the HEM-SOLAR Series, solar-powered digital blood pressure monitors.

"HEM-SOLAR monitors will allow health practitioners and individuals to take blood pressure readings wherever sunlight is available" explained Wayne Kerr of Medicins Sans Frontiers "It will become an essential piece of our kit and all our Land Rover response vehicles will carry both manual and automatic models when they become available."

"The development of this series further illustrates Omron's commitment to environmental stewardship."

Omron Healthcare
has developed two blood pressure monitors for the series, a manual upper-arm and automatic upper-arm model. Both are charged by exposure to sunlight through the solar panel at the back of the product.

After 4 hours of direct exposure to sunlight, the manual model can take more than 100 readings while the automatic model can take 28 readings. When fully charged the automatic machine can be used over 100 times.

Wherever sunlight is available, the monitors facilitate easy readings, regardless of proximity to an electrical supply source.

Omron aims to release the products in spring 2009 and will continue R&D efforts to improve device quality with respect to temperature and humidity, and will make the devices more airtight so that they can be recharged under a wider variety of conditions.

The HEM-SOLAR blood pressure monitors are environmentally conscious and use rechargeable batteries, not regular batteries, to reduce waste and emit less Co2 by using solar energy. Given the product's lifespan of 30,000 uses, the amount of waste materials that can be reduced is 80 batteries with the manual model and 400 batteries with the automatic model.

29 February 2008

Omron M6 Comfort Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron M6 Comfort - Leading Blood Pressure Monitor


Last year Omron introduced the m6 blood pressure monitor to its range of upper arm digital machines along with the M7 which included a large cuff. Omron have discontinued manufacturing the M6 machine and released the upgraded Omron M6 Comfort.

Customer feedback and online sites which encouraged customer reviews of the blood pressure monitors they had bought and were using highlighted that consumers were sometimes torn between choosing the M6 Comfort or the Omron M7 - both now featuring a large comfortable cuff option. Although the Omron M6 was launched as a new model it was able to continue to carry the British Hypertension Society A/A clinical validation earned by its predecessor.

A review on Medisave - "I am delighted I chose the M6 Comfort monitor - it has all the benefits of the larger cuff but is also A/A validated plus it has the irregular heartbeat and average functions unlike the M7. This version is the special comfort cuff version of the Omron M6. This unique pre-formed cuff is extremely easy to use and is more comfortable than the regular soft cuff. It has an arm range of 22-42cm"

Omron have combined the best of both worlds and discontinued the M7 leaving the Omron M6 Comfort blood pressure monitor as the leading machine not just for home use but increasingly used in doctors surgeries -

The Omron M6 Comfort can be purchased for £55 online at Medisave payment through google checkout or major credit card.

26 January 2008

More Monitors Approved by Hypertension Society

New models and improved and wrist monitors validated by BHS

Up until the very end of 2007 only around fifteen models of blood pressure monitors had achieved British Hypertension Society accreditaion. The "chosen few" were from three Maufacturers - Omron, A & D Instuments and Microlife.

During the first quater of 2008 many more machines have been added to the list of BHS approved monitors.

Some are simply modifications of existing validatd models - such as the Omron M6 with new improved Comfort Fit Cuff and the A&D UA 767 Plus (Memeory Plus)

Interesting to see a selction of Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors appearing - against the published advice of the Hypertension Society and BP Association Guidelines whose concerns about their accuracy should be reduced with the improved technologies used in these machines. The Omron R6 and R7 wrist blood pressure monitors are an ideal solution for those who find using upper arm machine difficult but who would still like to take their own readings.

Boots - the high street chemist - now boasts its own brand of machines are on the list - they are however on investigation Omron machines and have been tested for accuracy.

Six models from Spengler have appeared. Unknown to the Blood Presure Info blog the only reference I find on the web is a mention in a British medical journal BMJ report about clinical validation of blood pressure measuring devices. Nor can we track down any suppliers for the Spengler machines maybe they are old style sphygs that require a stethoscope

A wide selection of all the current validated blood pressure monitors are available online a Medical supply specialists Medisave or the First Aid Warehouse.

If you would like to watch a video clip about using blood pressure monitors properly follow this link "how to measure your blood pressure"