Learning to Read Blood Pressure and Treat Hypertension

Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure which can result in damage to your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. Hypertension is one of the leading preventable causes of death which can lead an individual to face heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia. In Canada, roughly 7.2 million people have hypertension while about 7.5 million have high blood pressure that overtime can lead to hypertension if no action is taken.
If you are an individual who faces high blood pressure, checking your blood pressure can be important to see your readings to ensure you take the right action to lower your blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading comes from 2 types of measures called systolic and diastolic. The systolic measure (top number) represents the pressure placed in your arteries when your heart muscles contract. The diastolic measure (bottom number) indicates your blood pressure based on your heart muscles when it is in between beats (e.g. 120/80 mmHg). If your reading is over 140/90 mmHg this can indicate that you have high blood pressure. However, if you have diabetes, your reading may be different as your blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. In addition, if you are facing other chronic illnesses or conditions, your reading may be different compared to what the targeted normal values. If your blood pressure is out of range it can place an individual at potential risk of falls as well.
There are different ways to lower your blood pressure which can include making changes in your lifestyle. Some examples can include conducting physical activities, limiting your salt intake and eating heart healthy food. However, sometimes it can be difficult and people may resort to prescribed medication to aid them lower their blood pressure. There are also different classes of medication that can be used such as diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers. Diuretics are used to remove the excess salt and water that is present in the body to aid control blood pressure. Some examples of diuretics include indapamide, chlorothiazide and furosemide. Beta-blockers are medications used to lower one’s heart rate which can aid to lower blood pressure. Some examples include atenolol, bisoprolol fumarate and acebutolol. Another medication that can be prescribed is Angiotensin II receptor blockers which works by blocking the effects of angiotensin that is a chemical that results in the arteries to constrict. Some examples of medication can include Candesartan, Irbesartan and Telmisartan.
Despite hearing the various medications that can be prescribed, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider or contact our pharmacist team at Guildview Pharmacy to learn more about the medications and its possible side effects.

For more information: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw62787https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/types-of-blood-pressure-medications

Written by: Shenen Sivakumar

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