There’s a reason vital signs include the word vital. Their measurements provide critical information about our bodies.
So, if vital signs are so important, why are so many Americans ignoring them?
Vital signs can be monitored in a medical setting, such as by a doctor or nurse practitioner. However, people can also observe their health levels at home using vital signs monitoring equipment.
Why should vital signs monitoring be at the top of your priority list? We have four reasons. Let’s explore.
1. Assess Your Wellbeing
Your vital signs measure your body’s basic functions. Vitals display a snapshot of what’s going on inside your body. They provide crucial information about your organs.
Therefore, the importance of vital signs monitoring is that it allows medical professionals to assess your wellbeing. Based on the results, a doctor may conduct further tests, diagnose a problem, or suggest lifestyle changes.
The most common vitals checked are body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and height and weight.
Irregular body temperature is an early sign of an infection. Even if you feel fine, ensure you are maintaining a healthy body temperature by checking your vitals. Abnormal fluctuations in body temperature are cause for concern.
A normal body temperature is 98.6°F, although anything between 97°F to 99°F is okay. Age, gender, weight, the surrounding temperature, and overall health impact body temperature.
The hypothalamus is a region of your brain that adjusts body temperature. When there is a virus in your body, your immune system sends signals to the hypothalamus to increase body temperature and weaken the infection.
Sweating, clamminess, and other disruptions to your body temperature are early signs that your body is fighting off a virus. Monitoring body temperature allows you to take preventive measures to detect problems and prevent spreading an illness to others.
Blood pressure measures the force in which blood is pushed against artery walls when your heart contracts and relaxes. Monitoring blood pressure allows you to assess heart health.
Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure. The higher number displays the pressure inside the artery when the heart pumps blood to the body. The lower number represents artery pressure when the heart is at rest. When these numbers are too high, the arteries have a difficult time resisting blood flow, which makes the heart work extra hard.
Abnormal blood pressure signals underlying problems (like heart disease) and can lead to a medical emergency (like a stroke). Keeping an eye on your blood pressure can determine if you need to make lifestyle adjustments or require medicinal treatment.
Your heart rate is a snapshot of your fitness level, emotional wellbeing, and heart health. It measures how many times your heart beats per minute. A healthy resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Vital signs monitoring devices allow you to track your heart rate and determine the average heart rate for your body. Fluctuations in heart rate are due to:
- Chronic stress
- Air temperature
Recognizing when your heart rate is high and taking measures to keep it at a healthy level reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and other medical problems.
Your respiration rate is the number of times you breathe in one minute. It’s calculated by counting the number of times the chest rises. Normal respiration rates for adults range from 12 to 20 breaths a minute.
Monitoring respiration rates can detect early signs of a respiratory illness or allergy. Respiration levels also increase due to an infection. Tracking your respiration levels can help you detect an illness before it infects the rest of your body.
Height and Weight
Your height and weight are the best physical ways to evaluate your overall health. Abnormal changes in height and weight tell us something isn’t right.
Height fluctuations signal bone loss and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis as you age. Weight increases or decreases indicate a wide range of problems, from an underlying medical problem (like thyroid disease) to poor lifestyle habits.
Knowing the normal height and weight for your age and gender can help you make healthy changes and enhance your overall wellbeing.
2. Prevent Misdiagnosis
When you aren’t feeling well, you tell a doctor how you’re feeling and describe your symptoms. But many medical ailments have overlapping or similar symptoms. Therefore, we rely on vital signs to give medical experts a better insight into what the problem is.
Tracking your vital signs provides medical professionals with concrete information that they use to assess your health and form a correct diagnosis. Without vital signs, misdiagnosis can occur and lead to incorrect treatment.
3. Detect Underlying Health Problems
The scary part about our bodies is sometimes it’s hard to notice when something isn’t right. Silent symptoms of diseases cause medical problems to go undetected for years, making them harder to treat.
But when you know what your normal vital levels should be, it’s easier to identify a problem.
Regularly checking your vital signs allows you to understand what “normal” means for your body. When there are fluctuations, you can take action immediately. Early action leads to more successful treatments.
4. Motivate Lifestyle Changes
Keeping an eye on your vital signs can be the push you need to establish a healthier life.
It’s easy to think your body is fine because it looks good in the mirror or you feel okay. But when you track your vitals, those numbers can motivate you to make healthy lifestyle changes to keep your vital signs in check.
Vital signs can signal too much caffeine consumption, high stress, and dehydration. After you acknowledge these problems, you can fix them by replacing bad habits (like drinking four cups of coffee) with healthy alternatives (like substituting coffee with herbal tea).
Vital Signs Monitoring Designed for You
Vital signs monitoring is crucial for living a long and healthy life. Vitals gives us a glimpse into our overall well-being. They signal early signs of an infection, prevent a misdiagnosis, detect symptom-less medical problems, and encourage us to make better choices.
Are you ready to monitor your vital signs? We can help.
Start tracking your vitals in the comfort of your living room. Learn more about options for vital signs monitors.