BLOOD PRESSURE Information – (Hypertension)

If we have sent a letter to you with typed links in the letter, the below will help to access the websites via the links.  Also link to our new post on MAY the month of Measurement Month for Blood Pressure https://www.wellingtonpractice.co.uk/may-measurement-month-blood-pressures/

Before you measure your blood pressure

Avoid things that can raise your blood pressure in the short term.
Don’t measure your blood pressure within half an hour of eating, smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, or exercising. These can all raise your blood pressure temporarily. If you need to use the toilet, go before you measure your blood pressure.

Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Wear a short-sleeved t-shirt or something with sleeves you can push up easily, nothing tight. This is so that you can fit the cuff around your arm.

Rest for five minutes before you take your reading.
Sit down somewhere quiet, ideally at a desk or table. Have your back supported with your arm resting on a firm surface and your feet flat on the floor. Stay in this position while you take your blood pressure.

Make sure your arm is supported and at the same level as your heart.
Position yourself so that your arm is resting on a surface and is at the same height as your heart. Keep your arm and hand relaxed, not tensed.

Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable.
If you are anxious or uncomfortable, your blood pressure will rise temporarily.

How to measure your blood pressure at home using a home monitor

Follow the instructions that came with your monitor.
Make sure you place the cuff around your arm as described in the instructions.

Place the arm cuff just above your elbow. 
The cuff should be about 2cm above your elbow to make sure it can detect the artery in your arm, just under the skin.

Keep still and quiet while you take your reading.
Moving, chewing, talking and laughing can affect your reading. Make sure you don’t cross your legs, as this will raise your reading too.

Take two or three readings, each about one to two minutes apart.
If your first reading is much higher than the next, ignore it and take an extra reading. Once you have two to three readings, you can work out the average.

Keep a record of your measurements.
Record all your readings in the memory of your monitor, on your computer or phone or on paper – whichever you prefer. Write them down exactly as they appear on screen.

Tips for measuring your blood pressure at home

Measure your blood pressure in both arms when you first start.
They will give slightly different readings. From then on, use the arm that gave you the higher reading each time.

Always use the same arm.
If possible, use the arm that your doctor or nurse uses when they measure your blood pressure.

Take readings at the same time each day. 
For example, first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Your blood pressure can vary throughout the day and with different activities, so this will mean you’re comparing like with like. It’s good to have a routine – like measuring your blood pressure before breakfast.

Don’t round your measurements up or down.
Record your readings as they’re displayed because it could affect the treatment you’re prescribed.

Don’t worry if you get an unexpected high reading.
A one-off high reading is usually nothing to worry about, rest for five minutes and take the reading again. If it’s still high, measure your blood pressure again another day. If it remains high for long, around two or three weeks, see your doctor or nurse.

Don’t worry about small changes. 
It’s normal for there to be small changes in your blood pressure.

Don’t check your blood pressure too often.
Some people find that they become worried or stressed about small changes in their readings if they take them too often. Worrying can also raise your blood pressure in the short term, making your reading higher than it should be.

Don’t stop taking your medications if your blood pressure falls. 
Always talk to your doctor before stopping your medications, even if your blood pressure has fallen to a healthy level according to your home monitor.

Speak to your doctor or nurse if you’re worried. 
If you have doubts or concerns about your readings ring the practice. If you think you may be having a stroke or heart attack call 999 immediately.

How often should you measure your blood pressure?

When and how often you take your readings will depend on your blood pressure. Speak to your doctor or nurse about what’s suitable for you.  It can be useful to monitor your blood pressure closely to begin with, then less often but at regular intervals.

When you first start using your home monitor

When you first start using a home monitor, measure your blood pressure in the morning and evening, every day for a week.

Take three readings in the morning, one to two minutes apart, and the same again in the evening, and record all the readings. Take an average of the readings, but discard the first one if it’s much higher than the others.

Ignore the first day’s readings altogether, because they might not be accurate as you’re not familiar with your monitor yet.

You will have a useful picture of what your blood pressure is normally like after doing this for a few weeks / months.

After the first week

Once you have a record of your blood pressure over a week, you can take readings less often – once every one to two weeks perhaps. Your doctor or nurse can talk to you about this, there’s no need to measure it too often.

There might be times when you want to measure your blood pressure more often. For example, if you are given a new medicine or a higher dose of medicine, to see if the change is having an effect. It’s also helpful to record your numbers for four to seven days before a clinic visit so you can show your doctor.

Keeping a record

Keeping a record will help you and your doctor to see how your blood pressure is responding to treatments and lifestyle changes, and if you need a change in your treatment. Take your record along with you to your appointments.

You can record your readings in the memory of your monitor, on your computer or phone or on paper – whichever you prefer. If you share your monitor with someone else keep a record elsewhere so that your readings don’t get confused.

You can email your readings to us at nehfccg.wellington.practice@nhs.net

Just quote your full name, date of birth, NHS number if you can in your email and the readings.  It’s helpful to keep a diary of your blood pressure readings. Ideally write down the time and date, and the time you took your blood pressure medications. It’s also helpful to note anything that might have affected your blood pressure, for example changes in treatment, episodes of illness, symptoms you have at the time such as headaches or feeling dizzy or any stressful reasons.

 

If reading this letter electronically LINK CLICK HERE

This is the actual web address below
https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/your-blood-pressure/how-to-lower-your-blood-pressure/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home/how-to-measure-your-blood-pressure-at-home/?msclkid=7bcffa0ab1ba11ec8f52df70acc1e4f1

High blood pressure (hypertension) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Contents

      1. Overview
      2. Causes
      3. Diagnosis
      4. Treatment
      5. Prevention

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it.  The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.

Coronavirus advice

 What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.

The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

As a general guide:

      • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80)
      • ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg

Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.

Risks of high blood pressure

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:

If you have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower your risk of these health conditions.

Check your blood pressure

The only way of knowing whether you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.

All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years.

Getting this done is easy and could save your life.

You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:

      • at your GP surgery
      • at some pharmacies
      • as part of your NHS Health Check
      • in some workplaces

You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.

Find out more about getting a blood pressure test

Things that can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure

It’s not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but there are things that can increase your risk.

You might be more at risk if you:

      • are overweight
      • eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
      • do not do enough exercise
      • drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
      • smoke
      • do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
      • are over 65
      • have a relative with high blood pressure
      • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
      • live in a deprived area

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.

Treatment for high blood pressure

Doctors can help you keep your blood pressure to a safe level using:

      • lifestyle changes
      • medicines

What works best is different for each person.

Talk to your doctor to help you decide about treatment.

This patient decision aid (PDF, 132kb) can also help you to understand your treatment options.

Lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure

These lifestyle changes can help prevent and lower high blood pressure:

Some people with high blood pressure may also need to take 1 or more medicines to stop their blood pressure getting too high.

Medicines for high blood pressure

If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend taking 1 or more medicines to keep it under control.

These come as tablets and usually need to be taken once a day.

Common blood pressure medicines include:

The medicine recommended for you will depend on things like how high your blood pressure is, your age and your ethnicity.