One of the best ways to avoid serious health problems is to be proactive by using at-home monitoring systems. Monitoring systems can help you catch a trend in your numbers before something becomes dramatically out of balance.
Just like keeping certain tools in your toolbox can help you keep your house in good repair, keeping certain health “tools” on hand will allow you to keep your body in tip-top shape.
But how do you know which ones are the most useful? With all of the options out there, you’d hate to spend your money on something unnecessary. The best place to start is with the basics: scales, blood pressure monitor, and glucose meters.
Let’s start with the tool that most people already have in their bathroom. The bathroom scale. Of course, you can keep your scale wherever you want. Some people choose to put it near their exercise equipment. The important thing is that you own one.
According to the National Institute of Health, more than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity. Being overweight can put you at risk for many other health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Having a scale in your home helps you keep an eye on your weight so you can catch any sudden trends upward.
If you start to become overweight, or you gain or lose a significant amount of weight suddenly, you should talk to your doctor. Other health conditions or medications could be causing your weight to shift. Or you may need to consider a new exercise and diet routine.
Scales can be as simple or high tech as you want them to be. Sometimes lower tech scales are less accurate, but they may still serve their purpose. One of our favorite scales is the Talking Personal Weight Scale. It has a sleek, modern look, but is rugged enough to hold up to 440 pounds. And if you are visually impaired, it helps to have the audible announcements.
Blood Pressure Meters
Monitoring your blood pressure is important to do whether you think you have problems or not. Sometimes your body can feel “normal” because it has become used to abnormal numbers. High blood pressure can stress your arteries and contribute to heart attack and stroke. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting.
Checking your blood pressure should be a scheduled activity, so you can make sure reading don’t vary more because of time of day. The first measurement should be taken in the morning. This lets you see your reading before it’s affected by any foods or medications. The second measurement should be taken in the evening.
And every time you measure, take several readings to make sure your results are accurate and that they all generally agree with each other. Each time you measure, take two or three readings to make sure your results are accurate.
Our Bilingual Talking Blood Pressure Meter is not only good for measuring blood pressure and heart rate, but it also will display a heart icon if an irregular heartbeat is detected.
Some people believe you should only use a glucose meter if you have been diagnosed as having diabetes. However, keep an eye on your sugar levels can help you catch diabetes or prediabetes before you feel any physical symptoms. So if you are at risk for developing the condition, it might be a good idea to ask your doctor if you should start monitoring now.
Before eating a meal, your ideal blood sugar levels should be between 70-130 mg/dL. One to two hours after beginning a meal they should be less than 180 mg/dL. If you have diabetes, you will likely need to check your blood sugar several times a day.
Today’s monitoring systems are faster and more accurate than they’ve ever been. Our Prodigy Voice Talking Glucose Meter has totally audible step-by-step instructions, accurate blood glucose test results and a memory that stores 450 test results and gives averages of 7, 14, 21, 28, 60 and 90 days. No coding is required. Simply insert the test strip into the easy to locate port, and the voice automatically turns on.
ILA has a variety of meters and devices to help you stay independent and healthy with at-home monitoring. Check out our Healthcare section for even more options!