Blood Pressure

When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body and it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. 

What do I need to know about blood pressure?

If your blood pressure is too high, this is called high blood pressure, or hypertension. Over time, this can lead to a number of serious health problems if it is left untreated, including heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and some forms of dementia.

Did you know that you can have high blood pressure without even knowing it? And if you have diabetes you are more likely to have high blood pressure.

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure check.  For more information, take a look at the NHS guidance.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

The first step is to get your blood pressure checked.  

If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to lower it, including:

  • Taking medications prescribed by your GP 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Eating more fruit and veg 
  • Staying active 
  • Reducing the salt in your diet 
  • Giving up smoking 
  • Drinking less alcohol 
  • Trying different ways to cope with stress 
  • Drinking less caffeine

You can also download these tips to lowering your blood pressure

Where can I get a free blood pressure test?

Many pharmacies in Newham offer free blood pressure testing if you:

  • Are over 40
  • Haven't had your blood pressure checked by a GP or nurse in the last 6 months
  • Don't already have high blood pressure

You can view the pharmacies offering blood pressure checks in Newham – we recommend you call ahead to check the offer. 

Boots now offers free blood pressure tests in the following locations for people who are eligible. Visit the Boots website to book your appointment. 

You will also be offered a blood pressure test as part of your NHS Health Check with your GP if you are 40 of over. 

Can I test my blood pressure at home?

You can purchase your own blood pressure kit if you wish to check your blood pressure at home. 

Make sure you buy a machine that measures your blood pressure from your upper arm and not your wrist of finger.  

Let your GP know if you are going to start doing this.  

For more information on how to measure your blood pressure at home, visit the British Heart Foundation. 

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