DIY blood pressure readings
Your doctor can't wait to collar you -- once he has that blood pressure sleeve wrapped around your arm, he's counting down to the moment he can get you on hypertension drugs.
But you don't have to fall victim to this overtreatment... and a new study lights your way to freedom: Check your blood pressure yourself, at home.
Finnish researchers gave 2,081 patients their own sphygmomanometers to use at home. These patients also underwent regular medical exams and interviews for seven years.
During that time, 162 patients suffered non-fatal heart problems like heart attacks, and another 37 died of heart problems.
I hope they didn't rely on their docs too much -- because the researchers found the best and most accurate warning signs of pending heart trouble came from the readings taken at home, not the false alarms in the doctor's office, according to the study in Hypertension.
Now, I've seen a lot of incompetent docs... but most of them could at least take a blood pressure reading. The real culprit here isn't the doctor's skills... just his presence, which can lead to "white coat hypertension," or blood pressure that spikes at the mere sight of a medic.
You may have experienced this yourself. It's only natural -- you've just filled out 10 pages of forms and questionnaires, coughed up your co-pay, sat for 45 minutes in an ugly waiting room despite arriving early, and -- once you're in the exam room -- probably sat there anticipating some not-so-pleasant poking and prodding, too.
No wonder your blood pressure is sky-high when he finally gets around to checking it!
That doesn't mean you need drugs... but that won't stop him from trying to give them to you.
The truth of the matter is that the mainstream has been lowering blood pressure targets for years. This hasn't made anyone healthier, it's just created more customers for unnecessary drugs -- with some patients now taking two or even three hypertension meds.
But if you've been checking your blood pressure yourself at home with an accurate $40 monitor like the one used in the new study, you'll know the real score.
Then, when your doc suggests those meds, you can "just say no" -- and have the ammunition you need to back yourself up.
After all, nothing's more fun than winning an argument with your doctor... as long as your doctor isn't me!
About the author
William Campbell Douglass I.I., M.D. has been called "the conscience of modern medicine."
You can sign up for his "Daily Dose" at DouglassReport.com.