Many healthy people have Hypertension (which is the disease where BloodPressure, BP is persistently raised), and it is important to spot this condition and treat it to prevent damage to the arteries (blood vessels supplying oxygen to the body). Untreated, it can lead to Heart Disease, Kidney Disease and Stroke.
Once diagnosed, reduction in salt in diet (check diet with your GP if you have other conditions) exercise, weight loss and BP medicines are essential in order to reduce the chance of more serious problems like Heart and Circulatory diseases.
There are two readings measured. The first is the Systolic, the maximun pressure generated by the heart as it pumps out the fresh red blood. The second lower reading is the Diastolic, which is the forward pressure remaining in the arteries, when the heart relaxes, giving the blood momentum to keep flowing, and preventing the blood simply flowing back into the heart!
Ideal=120/80 Vaguely acceptable is 140/85.
Sustained Systolics over 150, or Diastolics over 90, are quite dangerous.
Because it is normal for the heart to pump faster when someone is suddenly stressed or upset, this builds up pressure in your arteries (the elastic pipes supplying red blood to your body). Some if someone comes to the doctor and his/her BP is measured to be high, it might not necessarily mean that the BP doesn't drop right back to normal the minute you leave the room!
To get a better idea of your BP outside the surgery, some people buy a simple reliable elbow cuff sphygmomanometer from Lloyds, and take multiple readings, and put the on a BP graph to bring to show the GP (along with their machine, to have it checked against the doctor's machine). The reading that you enter on the chart should be the lowest of 2 readings.
Omron are the most accurate type of machine, but LLoyds do their own brand, which is often discounted from £25 to £15. (ring and check price with Lloyds pharmacy 79 Banstead Rd, Carshalton SM5 3NP, 020 8642 0928). Varying readings is normal. It's finding the best or lowest of 2 or 3, and making multiple readings over a week.
Monitoring Hypertensive Disease
If you find it difficult to get to surgery to have your twice yearly BP taken, then several chemists will do it for you. Let us know the result on your repeat prescription request.
Salmina next door are open til 7pm weekdays,
and open all day Saturday. (2pounds)
Lotus (Gasometer) also open 830-130pm Saturdays. (2pounds)
HE Matthews (140 StanleyPkRd, next to Total petrol station 86472079) also open Sat 9-5pm, will take BP for 1 pound.
Barai (Butterchurn Pub) BP free for customers for the
moment. 9-5pm, except Wed 1pm close. Sat 9-1pm
Crumps (opposite Sutton PostOffice) incl Saturday. 1 pound.
SuperDrug (Sutton HighSt) 8.30-6pm, excpt Sunday. Free.
MountElgon (WrytheGreen, next MelvynClarkes).Free.
9-6pm M-Fr, but 9-5pm Sat.
Salmina Chemist (next door) and Lloyds Chemist, 79 Banstead Rd, Carsh Beeches 8642 0928, are selling elbow BP machines for Ten Pounds. Make sure you choose the right size cuff! Bring in your graph to show the doctor.