Understanding High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?

  • Blood pressure tells us how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.
  • Blood pressure readings are made up of two numbers separated by a line – the top number is called the “systolic” blood pressure and the bottom number is the “diastolic.” A normal or “good” blood pressure is less than 120/80.
  • High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is diagnosed at a point where your blood pressure readings are at least 140/90 for most of the time.

Why is having high blood pressure bad?

If you have high blood pressure, this means that your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body. Over time, this can weaken your heart and lead to problems like stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, vision changes, and even death.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure usually has NO SYMPTOMS. That is why it is important to have your doctor and pharmacist check your blood pressure often, at least once a year – you can even check it at home with your own monitor!

What can I do to prevent or manage high blood pressure?

Luckily, there are some things you can do to control your blood pressure!

  • Eat heart-healthy foods that are low in fat and high in fiber, such as…
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Lean proteins, like skinless chicken or fish
    • For more information about eating right for a health heart, you can learn more at “Eating Heart Healthy“.
  • Limit…
    • Saturated fat, like that found in fried or processed foods
    • Salt (called sodium on the food label) – keep daily salt amount to less than 1,500 milligrams (mg)
    • Alcohol – 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men
    • Caffeine
  • Get moving! Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week, as long as your doctor agrees you are healthy enough.
  • If you smoke, quit! Quitting can be very hard, but there are many resources available to help. The American Heart Association has great tips on how to quit and how to remain smoke-free.
  • Check your blood pressure regularly. You can even keep a record of your blood pressure readings to look for trends with your numbers.
  • Take your blood pressure medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you are having side effects from them, let your pharmacist know!

I already have high blood pressure. How can Bremo Pharmacy help?

Bremo pharmacists can help you control your high blood pressure in many ways!

We can…
  • Check your blood pressure for you. Ask our pharmacists about our health screenings.
  • Provide blood pressure monitors for you to purchase for at-home monitoring
  • Help you quit smoking if you are a smoker and wish to stop
  • Find ways to make remembering to take your medications easier, including our SyncRx program and organizing your medications, especially if you are taking a lot of them!

For more information, talk to your Bremo pharmacist!

Come in or call us at 804-288-8361.

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