In this weeks Examiner and in advance of our next BPro Cardio Screen Clinic 29th Nov, Eamonn discusses how, by following a few simple rules, you can help yourself manage High Blood Pressure without medication
Posted by Eamonn Brady on
Reducing Blood Pressure without medicines
In over 95% of patients with high blood pressure (high BP), the cause is unknown. It tends to run in families. High BP affects up to 50% of middle-aged and older people. In Whelehans, we encounter many people who never had high blood pressure until they hit their 50s.
Can you reduce blood pressure without medication?
The answer is yes! However, with some people lifestyle changes are not enough and medication is required. The following are ways you can keep your blood pressure down.
Keeping your weight down will help prevent high blood pressure. If you need to lose some weight, start by limiting the portion size of your meals and snacks, and cut way back on high calorie foods. It is recommended to exercise at least half an hour five times a week. You will not lose any weight by cutting down food alone without exercise.
Exercise is a key factor in preventing high blood pressure. If you get very little exercise now, start slowly and work your way up to at least 30 minutes of a moderate-level activity, such as brisk walking or bicycling, each day.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Stick to low fat versions of butter and milk. Avoid saturated fats. Do not fry food.
Salt and sodium can increase blood pressure, so it is important to limit it. It is recommended to limit salt to about one teaspoon daily. On average, 75% of our salt comes from processed food. When buying canned, processed, and convenience foods, most are labelled with sodium content so buy the brands that are lower in sodium. High is more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium) and low in salt is 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium). If you salt your food at the table, try using less, or none. It may take a little while to get used to the new flavours, but you may find that food tastes better when you use less salt.
Take your medication regularly
If you are prescribed medication from your doctor for blood pressure, it is very important to take it regularly. If you do not take it every day, your blood pressure will fluctuate, increasing your risk of heart disease.
What is our BPro Cardio Screen Service?
Whelehans has a cardiovascular health check called BPro Cardio Screen. It measures stiffness of your arteries to help identify risk of blockages and risk of cardiovascular disease and circulation problems. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is completely pain free. A pulse wave reads and calculates a wave signal that indicates the elasticity of large, small, and peripheral artery walls as well as tests for stress, central blood pressure, heart rate, and more. It is now only €35 (was €50); it takes about 15 minutes. Our next clinic is Thursday November 29th from 9am to 5pm. Call 04493 34591, drop into Whelehans Pearse St or Message Whelehans Pharmacy on Facebook to book.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).