HYPERTENSION ( high blood pressure) Your blood pressure is too high. If it is left this high you are more at risk of having a heart attack, a stroke or kidney failure. There are some measures you can take yourself to help reduce your blood pressure, which include: stopping smoking moderating your alcohol intake cutting down your salt intake taking regular exercise The practice nurses can give you more advice and information about these. Almost 1 in 4 middle-aged people have hypertension, and this is higher in the over 65s. Most need medication to control it. Less than half of people with hypertension have their blood pressure controlled on one type of medication, and 30% of people with hypertension need at least three different kinds of medication to control it. Many of the medications used to treat high blood pressure are started on a small dose and increased steadily as we monitor your response to them. Initially you will receive a monthly supply of these tablets – you need to remember to re-order them each month. Once your blood pressure is under control you will need to stay on treatment for life, unless you are able to modify your lifestyle and thus reduce or stop treatment, BUT do not do this unless advised to do so by your GP or the practice nurse. You may need regular blood pressure checks when you first start treatment. You will also have some baseline blood tests and an ECG (heart tracing). Depending on what medication you are taking, you may need some additional blood tests when you first start treatment – the GP or the practice nurse will advise on this. Once your blood pressure is at an acceptable level, continue on your medication and have a blood pressure check with the practice nurse every 6 months, with a blood test every year. If your blood pressure remains stable, the Practice Nurse (or your GP) will update your prescription. You will only need to see your GP if there is a problem.
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