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                                                                                HOW TO GET YOUR BLOOD
                                                                                PRESSURE UNDER CONTROL
                                                                                  Your doctor may prescribe you
                                                                                with a blood pressure medication
                                                                                straight away or, if identified at
                                                                                an early stage, he or she may
                                                                                advise you to try to change
                                                                                your lifestyle first before using
        WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?                   DID YOU KNOW?                   Even if you are prescribed
        Your heart pumps blood away                                             blood pressure medication, called
                                             High blood pressure is on
        from the heart to the rest of the                                       anti-hypertensives, you should
                                             the rise in Ireland – the
        body, in vessels called arteries                                        also try lifestyle changes to
        and it returns to the heart          Institute of Public Health         reduce your blood pressure levels.
        in vessels called veins. Blood       (IPH) predicts that there          Here are a few ways to bring your
        pressure is a measure of the force   are now 1 million cases of         levels down – you can take a
        blood exerts on the arteries as it   high blood pressure in             closer look at some of them in the
        is pumped around the body.           Ireland and this will grow         next chapter.
           When the heart contracts,         to almost 1.3 million cases
        during each heartbeat, it is called  by 2020. It is not too late
        systolic blood pressure. When the    to buck the trend though!          ● Lose weight
        heart relaxes, between beats, it is                                     ● Increase physical activity
        called diastolic blood pressure.    and be completely unaware of it.    ● Stop smoking
        When you have your blood            The best way to tell is by having
                                                                                ● Cut down your alcohol
        pressure taken, there will be a     regular checks with your GP,
        reading for the systolic pressure   practice nurse or pharmacist.
        (the higher number) and for the       If you want to keep track         ● Manage your stress levels
        diastolic pressure (the lower       of your blood pressure more
                                                                                ● Eat a healthy diet
        number).                            regularly, it is possible to buy a
           Blood pressure can go up and     blood pressure cuff, use it at      ● Reduce your salt intake
        down during the day. A normal       home and record the results you
        blood pressure reading for a        get. It is still vital though to get
        healthy adult is around 120         checks done with your doctor
        systolic/80 diastolic.              when you visit him or her.            REMEMBER
                                                                                  Keeping your blood

        HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE                 HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND               pressure down is one
           The main cause of high blood     KIDNEY HEALTH
        pressure is narrowing of the          High blood pressure can cause       of the most
        arteries and this can occur as we   damage to the blood vessels and       important – if not
        get older or because of our eating  filters in the kidneys and can        the most important –
        and lifestyle habits. However,      put undue pressure onto the           aims for people who
        high blood pressure can also run    cardiovascular system. People         have kidney disease.
        in families.                        who have kidney conditions have
           Having high blood pressure       an increased tendency to have
        often shows no symptoms, so         high blood pressure and must
        you could have it for a long time   take steps to try and reduce it.

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