Health & Wellness Wellness Wednesday

Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check

May 18, 2022
Blood pressure check with the doctor

When was the last time you checked your Blood Pressure? Do you understand the importance of knowing your blood pressure stats and regularly checking them?

High Blood pressure (hypertension) is still the single largest risk factor for stroke and it can be prevented.

4.7 Million Australians live with High Blood pressure but you can do something about it. Medication and/or lifestyle changes can help to keep blood pressure under control.

Recently, I went to the Doctor for my annual checkup and blood tests. I have had some very stressful times and also felt stressed because the Doctor was running over an hour late with her appointments. I had not been to this doctor before so I was also probably anxious. Of course, when she took my blood pressure it was ‘sky high’! This can also be a result of the ‘White Coat Syndrome’ which can result in a higher BP reading at the doctor’s compared to when you take it at home.

Normally, my blood pressure is good. I have had high blood pressure in the past and taken medication. Through weight loss, healthy eating and regular exercise I have been able to control my blood pressure and eventually was able to stop taking the medication. But I need to be aware and regularly check that my blood pressure is still within the recommended parameters. Having my BP checked by the doctor was a wake up call not to become complacent.

I have a BP monitor at home so over the next week I took my BP daily and the readings were normal, thank goodness. Of course, these home monitors are convenient but you do need to have your BP checked by a professional – doctor or even an pharmacist.

Blood pressure testing
Checking your blood pressure at home can be a good way to monitor between GP visits

Blood Pressure Chart By Age – Understand Your Normal Range (idealbloodpressureinfo.com) this is interesting information but again consult your doctor for your own specific requirements.

What is a stroke?

A stroke in simple terms, is when there is a sudden interruption of the blood supply to the brain. The abrupt blockage of the arteries is known as an Ischemic Stroke. The blockage can be due to a clot, plaque or bleeding when an artery bursts.

Strokes can be largely be prevented and treated.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

There are two types of blood pressure or hypertension as it is known. Primary and secondary each with their own causes.

Primary hypertension can take years to develop and causes include:

  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Ageing – more common over 50
  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising
  • Too much salt
  • Smoking and alcohol

Secondary hypertension can be caused by factors such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Thyroid or adrenal gland problems
  • Birth control pills

Note: You should always seek professional medical advice on any health-related matters.

Ways you can lower the risk

  • Be informed of the risks of high or even low blood pressure
  • Know what your blood pressure is – The best way is to make an appointment with your GP to have your blood pressure checked. You can also purchase a blood pressure monitor which you can use at home just to keep tabs.
  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy and reducing salt intake
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Meditation, yoga, mindfulness combined with breathing exercises helps to relax your mind and body
  • Quality sleep

Foods that help to lower blood pressure

  • A variety of vegetables including leafy greens and beetroot – Eat a rainbow of different coloured fruits and vegetables
  • Berries
  • Wholegrains and high fibre cereals such as rolled oats
  • Reduced fat dairy

During May, the Australian Stroke Foundation is promoting Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check and encouraging everyone to join in and have their blood pressure checked.

Test your knowledge

You can test your knowledge about Blood Pressure and Stroke by taking the Australian Stroke Foundation quiz HERE

Download the High Blood Pressure and Stroke Fact Sheet HERE

You health is your wealth so will you take control of your health today? Get your blood pressure checked as the first step! The GP or a Pharmacist can check your blood pressure for you.

Additional reading:

Stroke – signs, symptoms, medication, the FAST test | healthdirect

High blood pressure (hypertension) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

White Coat Syndrome: Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis and More (healthline.com)

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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8 Comments

  • Reply Toni Pike May 18, 2022 at 10:49

    Very important advice, Sue. Toni x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 18, 2022 at 11:59

    This is great information, Sue, and a great reminder.
    I’m so sorry that you had a blood pressure scare and am relieved to know that your blood pressure quickly returned to normal.
    On your advice, I also recently had a checkup (including) BP with my family doctor. Thankfully, all was well.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:56

      Oh good for you Donna, we need to know these stats at any age don’t we? x

  • Reply Janine May 18, 2022 at 19:22

    This is a really good reminder – I go through phases of checking my BP and haven’t done it for a while, so I will get my home monitor out! Mine does tend to shoot up when I’m stressed.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:55

      Mine does too, Janine and it is handy to have a home monitor just to keep an eye on your BP levels. x

  • Reply Debbie May 21, 2022 at 12:16

    Thanks Sue, this is great information and I’m going to look at the links you’ve shared. I am now on medication for my high blood pressure and it is under control. It is hereditary in my family so I know I have to be aware. I checked my BP this morning after reading your reminder to do so and all was good. I also get anxious when waiting to be checked at the doctor’s and she got me to check it at home for a month and looked at my results rather than what it’s like when I have appointments with her – so I’m pleased about that! Such useful reminders for us all.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:06

      I’m glad you found the post useful, Deb and BP is something that many of us don’t have checked but it can provide so much health information.

  • Reply Valentina May 26, 2022 at 15:26

    Great post and very informative! It’s so important to watch for your health.

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