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Do you know your numbers?

Do you know your numbers?

It’s Know Your Numbers! Week this week and we’d like to make sure you have an understanding of blood pressure and how important it is to really know your numbers.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around the body. You need a certain amount of force to get the blood moving around your body so making sure your blood pressure isn’t too high or too low is important.

Blood pressure goes up and down throughout the day, increasing when you’re active and decreasing when you’re resting.

High Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure increases your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, so knowing your blood pressure could literally save your life.

The cause of high blood pressure isn’t always identified but most people could develop it because of their diet, lifestyle or medical condition. The risk of getting high blood pressure can be increased by lifestyle choices;

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Having too much salt in your diet

There are some cases where high blood pressure can be identified and this is called secondary hypertension. The causes include;

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Some medicines such as herbal medicines and oral contraceptives

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure is less common than high blood pressure and normally is a side effect of an underlying medical condition. You should get your blood pressure checked if you have any of the following symptoms;

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling sick
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision

How to check your blood pressure

Checking your blood pressure is very easy. You can either get your pharmacist to do it, your DP or you can even check it yourself at home using a home blood pressure monitor.

If your blood pressure results show a reading of around 90/60mmHg or less then it is showing you have low blood pressure, so it would be worth contacting your GP. If your reading shows the figures of 140/90mmHg or more, it’s signalling high blood pressure which you should also contact your GP about as soon as possible.

To find out more about your blood pressure reading and what it means, head over to the NHS website.

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This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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