Your heart pumps blood around the body through the arteries, by contracting and relaxing. The pressure of blood flowing through the arteries varies at different times in the heartbeat cycle.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms and rarely makes people feel ill. It is sometimes called a ‘silent threat’ because there are usually no symptoms, and it very often goes undiagnosed. If not treated or kept under control it is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
- Be physically active.
- If you’re overweight, try losing some weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Cut down on salt.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables.
- If you drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Reduce stress.
Your Haven pharmacist can provide you with information and resources to help keep your blood pressure under control.
If you are prescribed tablets by your GP for blood pressure, always take them as prescribed and never stop taking them without telling your GP
- Your blood pressure is written as two numbers. One number records blood pressure when pressure is at its highest as the heart muscle contracts and blood is forced from the heart. This is called the systolic blood pressure.
- When your heart relaxes between each beat and allows blood flow back to the heart this is called diastolic blood pressure.
- The normal level of blood pressure is usually 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic).
If you are over 30 you should have your blood pressure checked every 5 years. If your blood pressure is borderline high (around 140 over 90) then it should be checked more regularly
The higher your blood pressure the higher your risk of health problems. If your blood pressure is 140/90mmHg or above when it is measured ( 140/80mmHg if you are diabetic), you may have high blood pressure. One high reading may not mean you have seriously high blood pressure but your pharmacist will refer you as appropriate. The more readings you have the more accurate your diagnosis of high blood pressure.