Tracking your health from home: A guide by NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

In today’s world, it seems like we are constantly measuring and tracking everything, including our health. With so many health gadgets available, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to invest in. While not all devices are necessary, some medical tools can be essential for monitoring our health. Consumer Reports provides valuable information on which devices to consider.

Having a few medical devices on hand can help us track basic health metrics and provide important information to discuss with our healthcare provider. These tools cannot replace professional medical advice but can offer more data about our health between doctor visits.

One of the most essential medical devices to have is a blood pressure monitor, especially for individuals with high blood pressure. In-office blood pressure readings can often be inaccurate, so monitoring blood pressure at home is crucial. With nearly half of U.S. adults having hypertension and only a quarter having the condition under control, an at-home blood pressure monitor can provide essential data.

Consumer Reports rates the Omron Platinum as the top home blood pressure monitor due to its accuracy and convenience. The Omron Silver is another good option, though it can only record data for one user.

Keeping a thermometer on hand is also helpful for determining if a fever is present and how high it is, especially when feeling unwell. If a fever lasts more than three days or exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to consult a doctor.

For those interested in tracking their exercise levels, a fitness tracker can be useful. These devices can monitor steps, activity levels, and changes in heart rate, providing valuable information on physical activity.

A bathroom scale is another essential medical tool that should not be overlooked, particularly for individuals with heart failure or other chronic conditions that require regular weigh-ins to monitor changes in weight or fluid retention that could indicate problems like kidney disease or congestive heart failure requiring medical attention promptly.

Unexpected weight loss in people with heart failure may indicate disease progression or other underlying issues requiring immediate medical attention.

If you are 50 or older or have chronic conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes make sure to have an annual checkup for continued health monitoring.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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