Saturday, January 05, 2008
Well, now how unlikely is that? Hook yourself up now and again to a gizmo that monitors AND moderates your breathing rate, then drop your BP up to 36 points! I would've rated this gadget as weird, but after witnessing its effects this week in the office, I'm tentatively branding it wonderful.
Ms. L is seventy-something, and too active with her worldwide travels to let hypertension get her down. She's on three different meds in two different pills: a beta-blocker and a two-fer-one combo called Lotrel which combines an ACE inhibitor with a calcium channel blocker. She arranged her Wednesday appointment to discuss her elevated pressures--158/96--despite all those drugs.
Prior to her visit, she hauled out her RESPeRATE machine, just for grins, and breathed to the tones. She bought this machine a couple of years ago, but like all health habits that take a little time, it got shelved due to busyness. The manufacturer claims that slowing your respiratory rate to 10 or less breaths per minute allows small blood vessels to dilate. Same amount of blood through now larger vascular space equals lower pressure. Ms. L stuck her arm up on the desk to get her BP checked--a moment that often causes white coat hypertension in the doctor's office--and poof there's our proof! 122/78! I checked both arms, just in case, and she was symmetrically normotensive.
These little hummers set you back $290 at Amazon.com. Hypertension sets you up for heart attacks, stroke, and dementia. RESPeRATE, $290. Peace of mind? Priceless. I don't have hypertension, but I think I want one.