Blood Pressure: Know The Facts
Blood pressure is one of the most widespread topics of discussion among medical professionals today. We at Life Pharmacy would like our patients to know the facts about blood pressure, as maintaining a healthy blood pressure can be key to maintaining a healthy life. So what is blood pressure?
Blood pressure can be defined as the pressure of blood against the inner walls of the blood vessels, varying in different parts of the body during different phases of contraction of the heart and under different conditions of health, exertion etc. Blood pressure is monitored as it gives medical professionals an insight into your risk of further health problems. High or low blood pressure readings may indicate the risk of a cardiovascular-related disease.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure measurements, usually carried out by a doctor or pharmacist, are performed using a special cuff. The process is completely painless and non-invasive. The cuff, containing a pressure gauge, is placed around the arm and inflated with air. After the cuff is inflated the healthcare professional will let air out, while measuring a patient’s pulse and recording the pressure observed on the gauge. Blood pressure is then presented as a two number pressure with systolic (beating) pressure over diastolic (resting) pressure. The pressure units involved in this reading are millimetres of mercury or mmHg. A normal blood pressure reading averages 120/80.
What are the effects of high and low blood pressure?
Hypotension is the medical term used to describe low blood pressure. For the most part, low blood pressure in healthy individuals is not concerning. This is not true for elderly people as hypotension could signify inadequate blood flow to vital organs. A sudden drop in blood pressure in people of all ages could also be dangerous, as the body may not recover from initial shock. Low blood pressures average 90/60.
High blood pressure, or in medical terms hypertension, affects about 40% of people in Ireland. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to heart attack, stroke vascular disease and kidney failure. According to the Irish Heart Foundation, 10,000 people a year die from cardiovascular disease in Ireland, which is induced by high blood pressure. High blood pressure measurements average 140/90. At Life Pharmacy, we are on a mission to inform the public about the dangers of high blood pressure and how it can be reversed. For more information visit the HSE page on blood pressure.
Am I at risk of high blood pressure?
Some characteristics of people that are at risk of hypertension are as follows:
- Heavy drinkers/smokers
- Have an unbalanced diet
- Have a high salt diet
- No exercise
- Family history of high blood pressure
How can my Life Pharmacist help my high blood pressure issue?
If you are concerned about having high blood pressure, do not hesitate to speak with your local Life Pharmacist. High blood pressure can be treated through minor lifestyle changes alongside medication. Some services that our pharmacists provide to treat your high blood pressure are as follows:
- Free BP Checks: Firstly, our Life pharmacists are on hand daily to check your blood pressure and inform you about your personal wellbeing. Having your blood pressure checked regularly and identifying anything of concern is the first step in treating high blood pressure.
- Lifestyle Analysis: If you wish to get advice on how you can lower your blood pressure, through changes in lifestyle, please schedule a free consultation with your Life Pharmacist. We can provide tips on how to reduce your alcohol intake and consumption of cigarettes.
- Nutritional Advice: Your Life pharmacist can provide you with free advice on how changes in diet and exercise can reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Supplemental & Medications Advice: Taking supplements and medication has been proven as the most effective way to treat high blood pressure. We can provide you with a medicines review to help you take the right doses at the right time and inform you on any possible side effects.
- GP referral: Our pharmacists can refer you to a GP for further examination if you are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated blood pressure could be the first sign of an unhealthy heart.
- Repeat Prescription: Once suitable medications have been determined to best fit your medical needs, we can have prescriptions ready in advance to save you time upon collection.
Visit your local Life Pharmacy for more information about blood pressure or have your blood pressure checked in store by a Life Pharmacist. Find your local Life Pharmacy here.