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Health Advice

Blood pressure checkups are not just for the physician’s ofce. In fact, monitoring your blood pressure at home can help you manage it even better.

There are two types of blood pressure monitors for home use:

●● Aneroid monitors are like many you see at your physician’s ofce. They have a pump, cuf and stethoscope. They are manual, and you read a dial gauge for your blood pressure.

●● Digital monitors are automatic. They display your blood pressure on a screen.

Blood pressure monitors cost about $25 for a basic aneroid model to more than $100 for a digital one with extra functions. They are available at most drugstores and medical supply stores.

Only purchase a monitor with a screen or gauge you can read. If it has a cuf, make sure it can ft on your arm.

After you buy a monitor, read the directions. Ask your physician, nurse or pharmacist to teach you how to use it.

For the most accurate results, take readings at various times during the day or on several days at diferent times. Have your physician check your monitor regularly.

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home

People with diabetes have a high risk for heart disease. Compared to people without high blood sugar, they are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease. In fact, a study in the journal Circulation found that people with diabetes have the same high risk for heart attack or stroke as people who’ve already had a heart attack.

If you have high blood sugar, what you do now can help prevent or slow the risk for diabetes-related complications later in your life. To move toward better diabetes control, just remember your ABCs:

Ace Your A1c

If you have diabetes, a hemoglobin A1c test can tell you how well you’ve managed your blood sugar during the last three months. It’s smart to have an A1c test at least twice a year. For most adults with diabetes, the goal is an A1c of less than seven percent.

Bring Down Blood Pressure

Blood pressure that’s too high makes your heart work overtime and can lead to heart disease and stroke. Keep your blood pressure lower than 130/80 mm Hg.

Cut Your Cholesterol

Controlling artery-clogging cholesterol can keep diabetes from causing other problems. The most important cholesterol target is your low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. To keep your heart risks in check, your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dl.

Get a FREE hypertension action plan. Log in at hap.org and link to HAP’s HealthTrack/Hypertension/Action Plan.

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Page 6 - issue1_10

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