PMRGCAuk
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home blood pressure monitor please

Newly diagnosed with GCA (30/10/17), I've just changed GP Surgeries to and they are concerned about my blood pressure. I have read on the forum that Pred. can raise this and the dr. was aware that it could have this effect. He wanted me to wear a 24hour monitor or buy my own monitor and record 3 results, twice a day for 2 weeks. If I can buy a reliable home monitor i'd rather do this - but which to buy? It's a minefield. Does anyone else own one that they personally are happy with? Would you beable to let me know your experiences please.

Thank you, Ang

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Charming - I'd go for the 24 hour one, it'll be ages before it happens! It's a pain for the 24 hours but soon past. Did he check your BP at the surgery and was it raised?

Just ask your pharmacy that sells them - the one I like may not be the one you like. Most of them these days are fairly reliable but you can't tell when using it as BP does vary over the day anyway.

I have one. Do I use it? Er - no!

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2 visits to set up managing me, pressure taken both times, highest 154/101. (On 40mg pred) I'm not too concerned, in hosp. on 60mg pred it was spiking up into 190's with alarms going off. When I expressed concern, the consultant just laughed and said she wasn't worried, it was the pred. (One of the reasons I changed consultants)

The GP isn't going to let this go, i'm hoping when we get to know each other a bit better, things will relax up

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Hi Anj. I have one from my local Pharmacy (don't know whether allowed to say which one) but any Pharmacy will have them and I am pleased with it. The best thing is that you can take it in a home environment and be, therefore, more relaxed and don't get the "White Coat Syndrome" where by your pressure can be raised when at the Doctors. If you do buy one when you take your pressure always do it 3 times and record the lowest result which you may find does vary even within minutes of each other. Good luck. D

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Thanks, great advice, I would be happier doing it at home to

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I got mine in Boots, about £40 in a sale. It has been just fine, Braun.

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Thanks, think i'll stick to tried and tested Boots to

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I have an Omron. My rheumie said don’t splash out on an expensive one as they are now all pretty good. My local surgery use Omron. All my friends love it and come round to take their blood pressure. I should have blood pressure parties!!

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You could test the effect of prosecco et al...

When I had desperately low BP postnatally (85/50) my German GP told me to have a glass of bubbly in the afternoon instead of tea. He was right - worked a treat ;-)

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Definitely sounds better than tea.

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Definitely a better idea, proper, structured research of course

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Ooh I like that!

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Thanks, that was one of my dilemmas - are the expensive ones more reliable/accurate; would I be wasting my money on a cheap one? You've saved me some pennies :-)

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I think the more expensive ones have more gadgets and electronic facilities.

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Ah right, I don't need all that, thanks for the advice

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You talking cheap BP recorder or cheap Prosecco?. Definitely save on former to spend on latter. 😉😊

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I have a fairly basic Omron - like Piglette, GP recommended - and I think I bought it on line, almost certainly Amazon. In fact I think it was discounted at the time and I do love a bargain!

Simple to understand and operate, but one trick you may find handy as machines can vary. Once you have it, take it with you to your next GP visit. Take your own BP on it whilst with him/her, then compare with the GP's readings immediately after. If they agree within reasonable parameters, you both can have confidence in your home monitoring

Good luck!

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I now have an Omron M10-IT, they are expensive I paid about £100 ish but have seen them on offer in Boots since. This is a very reliable model I think - my son bought a different model years ago and was so good I didn't hesitate buying this make. Just make sure the arm sleeve is the right size, my husband and I use ours and he is a big chap so had to make sure it fit him and not too big for me - so we have two sleeves and it still works after 3 years!

It's a good investment as I had to monitor my BP everyday in the early stages of diagnosis and keep a diary for Professor D (I have GCA and PMR) - it is the steroids that interfere more with BP. As the years go by my BP has stabilised and don't need to check as regular. I had a history of high BP before diagnosis but was well regulated before GCA - it went off the rails on 50mg of Predinsolone, am on 3mg now and okay BP.

Good luck!

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I use the Omron M2 Basic which is the same model my pharmacist uses to do BP checks for customers. And I think it was around £26 when I bought it 18mths ago (certainly under £30). They're very useful for monitoring trends in your BP and alerting you to sudden changes up or down. Can be useful if you have to dial 111 for advice too - it's extra info for them to do their evaluation.

The more expensive ones tend to have gadgets like downloadable results or phone/tablet connections. I just write my results on a sheet of paper and it soon becomes obvious what you're regular reading is - just as effective imho. :)

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Hi Merly. Good advice from yr GP. Omron, upper arm cuff. Reliable and accurate. Can purchase from Boots.

Do not be tempted by the wrist ones - useless, inaccurate.

Yes, take three times each arm, twice a day. Give pause between each 'take'. I do, left arm, right arm, about and about turn. Giving a few mins in between each time. Ensure sitting down, calm and peaceful mode. Try to keep to roughly same time each day. You end up with a bunch of numbers.. Each set of three, add together, and take an average. Some doctors advise to ignore the first 'take', others include the first take ! So keep all data.

Have a BP book. Do not get obsessed with BP. Keep to a sensible schedule and remember, BP nos change all day and night time. Hence the number of 'takes' one needs to do, Every so often at the doctor's surggery is very hit and miss !

A Holter is excellent as picks up full data. A good one to start with. 48 hours better than the usual 24 hr wear.

So. Omron M3 Intelli-Sense. Boots sell. Spend will be around £45.00 - can check prices on line.

Go well -

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I have a wrist one..which works fine. I think if you get the base and just see if it is going down or up everyday..even if it is off.. just like a scale you see the difference. And it might be lower because you won't have the "white coat syndrome"! Mine is Omeron.

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I have a wrist one someone gave me for free as well as an arm one. I think they both work fine. I also have one my father had as a medical student in the 1940s which is quite beautiful in a lovely box with a silver plaque on it. I have never tried using it though. I am told the older type where they used a stethoscope with it are actually much better as you can hear the sound changes, but everyone seems to use the electronic ones now.

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They are also far more accurate when used properly - and arrythmias don't give them a hissy fit. But all that mercury - might kill you... NOT!

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Wow, I love this forum. Thank you so much everybody for your knowledgeable replies, you've answered all my confused thinking on the subject and more, things that I didn't know that I needed to know. One less thing to stress about, thank you all so much again.

I am still shocked at how ignorant I was about all things GCA/PMR until I found this community

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Dear Merly, I am sure you are as knowledgable about GCA/PMR as a lot of doctors by now!

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