Hypertension

Did you know... 9 of 10 Canadians will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime? It has no warning signs - you may not feel sick at all. That’s why it’s key to keep it checked - and in control.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure (BP) is the force of your blood pushing against your arteries. This force moves the blood throughout your body. If you have high blood pressure, the force is putting too much pressure on your arteries and this may cause damage and health problems such as heart attacks, stroke, heart or kidney failure.
 
Anyone can develop high blood pressure but it does become more common as you age. In fact, 50% of Canadians over the age of 65 have high blood pressure.

What’s my BP target?

Your BP target depends on where you measure it, and your health status
 
For most healthy adults:
BP target = Less than 135/85 mmHg if measured at home, or less than 140/90 mmHg if measured in your doctor’s office.
 
For adults with diabetes:
BP target = Less than 130/80 mmHg, measured at home or in your doctor’s office.
 
For adults with chronic kidney disease:
BP target = Less than 130/80 mmHg, measured at home or in your doctor’s office.

 
 

How often should I check my BP?

A healthcare provider should check your BP at least once every 2 years. If you are diagnosed with high BP, you should check it more often.
 
You may also want to check your BP at home or at Walmart Pharmacy. The Pharmacist at Walmart can give you advice on how.
 
Taking an average of 3 or more results will give a more accurate picture.
 
Tracking your BP will help you manage it. A list of approved home BP monitors may be found at: http://www.hypertension.ca/en/hypertension/what-do-i-need-to-know/how-to-measure-my-blood-pressure/918-public/landing/249-devices-endorsed-by-hypertension-canada

 
 

How can I manage my BP?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important:
  • Consume a healthy diet:
    • Low in salt and fat
    • High in fibre (you may want to consider a fibre supplement – ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information)
    • High in fruit and vegetables
    • Limit fast food and prepared foods
  • Participate in regular physical activity for 30 to 60 minutes most days. Walking is a good place to start
  • If you are a smoker, quit smoking
  • If you consume alcohol, don’t exceed 14 drinks per week for men and 7 drinks per week for women
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce stress in your life

 
 

Do I need medication?

There are a number of medications that may be prescribed by your doctor to help you manage your blood pressure. Not all of these medications are effective for everyone. You and your doctor will decide which medication works best for you. You may need to take a combination of medications to achieve the most benefit.
 
The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you with any questions you may have about your blood pressure medications.

 
 

Healthy food choices

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is a useful resource when planning healthy meals. You may download aFREE copy at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-eng.php
 
Read food labels when choosing from among several different varieties of the same product. Look for the one that has the lowest salt content.

 
 

Reducing salt

It is recommended that you consume less than 2,300 mg of salt per day. The following is a list of foods and the sodium content in each, in mg:
 
1 slice of bread – 110-175
125 mL vegetables (fresh or frozen) cooked without salt – 1-70
30 mL cream cheese – 87
50 g partly-skim mozzarella – 323
1 small bag potato chips (plain) – 229
250 mL microwave, low-fat, reduced-salt popcorn – 39
75 g fresh meat, fish, poultry – 30-90
3 oz. lean, roasted ham – 1,020
15 mL ketchup – 169
15 mL prepared mustard – 180
1 medium dill pickle – 833
15 mL soy sauce – 1,038

 
 

Important information

If you have questions about your blood pressure readings or your blood pressure management plan, the Pharmacist at Walmart can help. Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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