Apr. 1, 1999
Physician, heal thy self.

Ultimately, we are responsible for our own health and use experts to help us achieve it. However, our experts may need accurate and fact based data which we can provide. This page shows an example of how this works for hypertension.

When the prescription begins to runs out, start taking measurements with a home blood pressure machine and enter the time, the dosage, and the values. This allows easy analysis of how effective the medication is in controling

The goal in blood pressure measurement is to control the distolic measurement, the lower number. We start by plotting the distolic data over time to gain insight to how well the medication and schedule is working. In this case, the data showed the medication schedule, 10 mg. 1 time per day, had a problem with dyastolic pressure readings both too high, >90 mb., and too low blood pressure, <75 mb. The result was a change in medication schedule to 5 mg., 2 times per day.

The next chart shows the distribution of blood pressure measurements in data groups. These groups are the same size as the accuracy of the instrument ( +/- 3 mb.) so we can count how many samples show up in each group. Charting the data shows the diastolic peaks and valleys and the results of the medication schedule change. Note that the new schedule took a week to normalize.

Today, the schedule is 5 mg, 3 times per day and the distribution is pretty good. The peaks and valleys which caused problems before are gone.

The last chart measures the medication effectiveness. It shows how the blood pressure averages in 3 hour groups after taking a dose. This is critical to determination of how the medication is working by showing how soon it starts working and for how long.

This is the data a physican needs to help regulate the medication and dosage. However, only the individual can gather and record it. Together, we are able to treat the problem and minimize the risks of side effects.