Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood Pressure screening available in all McCartan’s Pharmacies without prior appointment.

WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries (large blood vessels) as it is pumped around your body by your heart. If this pressure is too high, it puts strain on your arteries and your heart which makes it more likely that you will suffer a heart attack, a stroke or kidney disease.

Blood pressure is recorded as two figures:

 

  • Systolic pressure: The pressure of the blood when your heart beats to pump blood out. (BP is at its highest)
  • Diastolic pressure: The pressure of the blood when your heart rests between beats. (BP at its lowest)

 

Your blood pressure reading will be given as two numbers, with your systolic reading first, followed by your diastolic reading. If your systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg, and your diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg, your blood pressure is 120 over 80, which is commonly written as 120/80.

As a general guide, the ideal blood pressure for a young, healthy adult is 120/80 or less. If you have a blood pressure reading of 140/90, or more, consistently and on separate occasions you are said to have high blood pressure (hypertension). This puts you at greater risk of serious health conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks.

Prevention and Treatment

If your blood pressure is high you can take steps to reduce it by:

 

  • Reducing the amount of salt in your diet
  • Eating a healthy diet i.e. choosing fruits, vegetables and eating less saturated fats
  • Lose weight if you need to
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit Smoking

 

To ensure an accurate blood pressure reading, please read the following guidelines

 

  • Do not eat for one hour prior to blood pressure test
  • Do not drink any caffeine containing drinks for at least one hour prior to the blood pressure test
  • Do not exercise for at least one hour prior to the blood pressure test
  • Do not smoke for at least one hour prior to blood pressure test
  • Ensure that you empty your bladder before the test
  • Wear a short sleeved garment to ensue the cuff can be secured around the arm so that an accurate reading can be obtained.