Chronic Illness - High Blood Pressure

Overview

Having a raised blood pressure reading is very common. Blood pressure can be raised for a whole variety of reasons and will often change depending on the time of day or whether you are relaxed or anxious. This means that in order to be diagnosed with having high blood pressure it is good practice to confirm high readings over a period of time.

It is very important that those individuals who have persistently raised blood pressure are identified, as often there are no symptoms yet the risk of damage to blood vessels supplying the heart, brain, legs and kidneys becomes more likely as time goes on.

Who can check my blood pressure?

We recommend that if you wish to have your blood pressure checked, in the first instance you should get this done via our health care assistants.

New finding of raised blood pressure.

If you are found to have a raised blood pressure reading either in surgery or elsewhere it is important to get a diagnosis confirmed. There are many reasons why blood pressure can be raised and we often try to get a series of readings from you at home.

You may be asked to keep a record of blood pressure readings using a home monitor.

HBPM Leaflet and Diary.pdf

The advice is to set aside five days.

On each of the five days

  • Readings should be checked at two different times of the day.
  • At each time at least two readings should be taken.
  • The lowest reading should be noted down.

When we interpret the results we often ignore those on the first day as they tend to be artificially high.

 

If it looks like your average blood pressure is on the high side our health care assistants will arrange a few simple tests such as an ECG and some basic blood tests. This will enable our medical team to discuss the need for medication and ensure we offer you the best options for your circumstances.

 

What can I do to help lower my blood pressure?

 

The most important aspect of dealing with any condition is to first assess what changes we can make to our lifestyles. As a practice we will encourage you to look at different ways you can help yourself.

 

The Raised Blood Pressure Clinic

For those on treatment for high blood pressure

For individuals in whom it is agreed that treatment is necessary to help lower their blood pressure, an annual blood pressure review will be offered. This will take the form of a blood pressure clinic.

If you have a blood pressure machine at home, please bring some recent readings with you to the clinic.

The clinic appointments will be sent out in the post and should this not be convenient then please contact the surgery to arrange another time. With the clinic letter, you will receive a blood form, which needs to be done at least one week before the clinic date to ensure all of the results are available. The blood tests, should be performed fasting (We advise not to eat or drink anything other than water from 10pm the night before your blood test) and we are looking for

 

  • Glucose. This is a check for diabetes.
  • Cholesterol. Having raised cholesterol is a risk factor for heart problems later on in life.
  • Kidney function. This is because sometimes raised blood pressure and certain types of medicine can put extra strain upon the kidneys and it is important to check that they are working correctly.
  • Liver function. When on certain types of medication it is advised to check liver function once a year.

 

Please bring a urine sample with you to the appointment.

 

How Often Should My Blood Pressure Be Checked?

Where blood pressure readings are normal and treatment is established, then it is good practice to review the blood pressure control each year. When treatment is being started we may ask you to attend more frequently until you are stable and happy on your medication.

Keeping Healthy

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
    • Stop smoking. (Link to Managing My Health - Healthy Living - Smoking)
    • Eat a healthy balanced diet. (Link to Managing My Health - Healthy Living - Diet)
    • Exercise. (Link to Managing My Health - Healthy Living - Exercise)
  • Take medication as prescribed.
    • If you have concerns about any of your blood pressure medicines then it is important to discuss them with your doctor or nurse.
    • Please don't stop taking any medication without consulting your doctor or nurse.
    • Make sure you have enough supplies of all your medication. Our policy is to only issue repeat prescriptions when 48hours has been allowed for them to be processed.

Further Information

NHS Choices
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blood-pressure-(high)/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Forms

HBPM Leaflet and Diary.pdf