When your heart beats it pumps blood throughout your body. As blood moves, it pushes against blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is the blood pressure. When blood pressure is too high, it puts strain on your arteries and can lead to health problems.
Understanding The Numbers
Blood pressure is measured using millimetres of mercury and results in two numbers (ie: 124 over 84 or 124/84). The first number is called the systolic number (SBP) and is a measurement of your hart contracting. The second number is a diastolic number (DBP) and is a measurement of your heart relaxing.
Your blood pressure should be less than 140/90. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have high blood pressure, and your blood pressure should be less than 130/80.
Blood Pressure Monitors
Blood pressure monitors are available for sale at Conway’s Pharmacy and Healthcare, and we have in-pharmacy testing while you wait for your prescription. We strongly encourage people to make a habit of checking their blood pressure. We even provide a wallet-sized card that allows you to keep track of your blood pressure over time. You will also have a record of your blood pressure results to discuss with your family doctor.
In-Home Blood Pressure Checking
The following are some tips to ensure you get the best possible reading from your monitor:
1. Buy a good quality blood pressure monitor
- When purchasing a blood pressure monitor ensure it is endorsed by Hypertension Canada. A Conway’s pharmacist can assist you in recommending the proper monitor.
2. The time of day is important
- Measure your blood pressure when you are relaxed. Do not measure your blood pressure if you are sick or stressed.
- Measure your blood pressure after your bowels and bladder are emptied.
- Wait 2 hours after eating a large meal before you take your blood pressure.
- Wait 30 minutes after drinking caffeinated beverages and smoking before you take your blood pressure.
- Take your blood pressure in the morning and evening before your blood pressure medications
3. Good technique is essential
- Sit in a chair that supports your back and sit beside a table that supports your arm.
- Your arm should be positioned so the center of the cuff is at heart level.
- The cuff should be the appropriate size for your arm.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- The cuff should be placed against your skin and not a sleeve.
- Rest for 5 minutes prior to taking a reading.
- Take two readings approximately 1-2 minutes apart.
- Record your readings and bring them to your doctor’s office.
Talk To Us
For more information about monitoring your own blood pressure, or for assistance while in the pharmacy, please talk to your Conway’s pharmacist.