Disclosure: It’s always my policy to make you aware… I received this product for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own ‘cos I tell it like it is. I’m honest, to a fault, like seriously if you want an opinion on something just ask. Heck sometimes you don’t even have to ask! This post may contain affiliate links.
So I make no secret that I have polycystic kidney disease [PKD]. If you’ve never heard of PKD don’t panic you can join 99% of the population who are completely oblivious to it, and also thank your lucky stars that you stumbled on my blog and I can educate you. You’re welcome. So what is PKD? It’s a genetic disease causing uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidney (and sometimes other organs). A normal kidney is the size of a human fist and weighs about a third of a pound, PKD kidneys can be as big as footballs and weigh many pounds each.
Some facts about PKD:
- It’s the most common, life-threatening genetic disease.
- Affects more people than sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and down syndrome COMBINED.
- fourth leading cause of kidney failure
- Zero treatments (to date)
- Zero cures
- Affects 1 in 500 people
- Affects more than 600,000 Americans
- Affects more than 12.5 million worldwide
- Affects all ages, races and ethnic groups
- Parents with PKD have a 50% chance of passing it to their children
So yep that’s my disease. If you want to know more please visit << www.pkdcure.org >> for more information and details on how YOU can help, and particularly raise funds for much needed research into this disease so that one day we may have a treatment or better yet – a cure. So what can *I* as a PKD do to help delay the progression of this disease well I can become aware of the signs and symptoms of PKD one of which is high blood pressure or hypertension. According to the latest PKD patient handbook high blood pressure affects about 60 – 70 percent of PKD patients and begins early in the course of the disease. Half of PKD patients who have normal kidney function have hypertension. It is more common in men than in women. Many times, the increase in blood pressure is the first sign of PKD. Patients with high blood pressure generally have larger cystic kidneys than those with normal blood pressure.
So as you can see for me the monitoring of blood pressure is something I am concerned with, it’s one of the ways in which I as a patients can be proactive with this disease (along with diet and exercise). If not treated, hypertension causes further damage to the kidneys, enlarges and thickens the heart muscle, and increases the risk for strokes and other cardiovascular events. So yeah, high blood pressure is something I want to avoid, much more than your average person. While I get my blood pressure checked at the doctors and nephrologists yearly I also check my blood pressure at home regularly too.
Recently I got the chance to try out an FDA approved digital upper arm blood pressure monitor with large LCD display by Coosh. What drew me to this product (in comparison to an existing BP monitor we had): is the large display; It comes with it’s own carry bag, so everything stays together; It works on batteries or ac adapter (not included); It has an easy World Health Organization blood pressure classification indicator in a traffic light grid: red, amber or green; So you know when to approach your health care provider; Also with a 90 memory capacity you can clearly see your history; All in all, this does EVERYTHING you need from a blood pressure monitor!
The biggest thing when looking for a blood pressure monitor is that it has an arm cuff. Don’t skimp on these and get one of the wrist cuffs, they don’t work as accurately. Get one with an upper arm cuff, like this one! There is a clear diagram of how to attach the cuff so it’s pretty idiot proof. Plug the cable into the unit, switch it on and away you go.
I loved that it was easy to use and had a nice clear display of the blood pressure plus pulse, and I could clearly see that I am well and truly in the green zone! Hurrah! My non-resting blood pressure was 118/78 which is bang in the ideal range. My pulse was 64. At my last nephrology appointment I was teetering on stage 2-3 of PKD at around 62 GFR, with multiple liver cysts as well as kidney cysts. I’ll definitely be using this to keep a track of my blood pressure, and I’ll be sharing more on PKD in the future.
I’d absolutely recommend this product to anyone wanting a clear read out of their blood pressure and give this a definite two thumbs up!