We will check your blood pressure as often as necessary either during a surgery attendance or when you see the Practice Nurse. You are also more than welcome to use our (free) Height, Weight and Blood Pressure monitor that is located in the lobby. If hypertension (high blood pressure) is diagnosed then we might prescribe some routine blood pressure treatment. Before starting on treatment which may be lifelong, we take great care that treatment is indicated. It is very sensible when attending for a blood pressure measurement to sit quietly in the waiting room for ten minutes or so to allow the pressure to settle. This might help in reducing “white coat” hypertension which we all suffer from in a greater or lesser degree.
We would always advise dietary means of reducing blood pressure along with regular exercise. Your doctor might give you a handout with suggestions to consider and follow. Needless to say, cessation of smoking, reduction of weight and a reduction in alcohol intake to the recommended limits are often all that is needed to reduce blood pressure successfully along with some regular exercise. Increasingly the role of salt in the diet is becoming a factor and pressure groups are encouraging supermarkets to add less salt to the processed food. All persons and especially hypertensives should be encouraged to stop all added salt with their food especially at the table. A salt substitute may be helpful in reducing the intake of salt although occasionally this has been known to be a cause of an excess of potassium in the blood.
Blood pressure monitors
To help with the diagnosis of hypertension the practice has a 24 hr ambulatory blood pressure monitor which gives patients can be referred for by your GP if it is thought necessary.
The Practice Nurse will also monitor blood pressures during the normal surgeries. The frequency of these checks depends upon many factors but we would wish all patients on medication to have at least an annual check of their blood pressure. Certain drugs will need a regular blood test to monitor any side effects.