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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension

Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries as it is pumped around your body by your heart. It shows the amount of work that your heart has to do to pump blood around the body. If this pressure is too high it puts a strain on your arteries and heart, increasing your risk of certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

Blood pressure is recorded as 2 figures:

  1. Systolic pressure: the pressure of your blood when the heart beats to pump blood out (top number)
  2. Diastolic pressure: the pressure of your blood when the heart relaxes and allows blood to flow back into the heart (bottom number)

You are said to have high blood pressure (or “hypertension” as it is medically known) if blood pressure readings on separate occasions show your blood pressure to be 140/90mmHg (“140 over 90”) or higher. 140 refers to the systolic pressure, and 90 refers to the diastolic pressure.

Your chances of having high blood pressure increase as you get older. In over 90% of cases the cause of high blood pressure is unknown, however high blood pressure is more common in people:

  • Of African-Caribbean origin
  • From the Indian subcontinent
  • With a family history of high blood pressure
  • With certain lifestyle factors:
    • Overweight/ Obese
    • Eating a lot of salt
    • Not eating a lot of fruit and vegetables
    • Not exercising enough
    • Drinking a lot of alcohol
    • Stress

10% of cases are the result of an underlying medical condition or cause such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Lupus
  • Hormonal conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, or thyroid problems
  • Medications such as steroids
  • The oral contraceptive pill
  • Recreational drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine
  • Herbal supplements such as arnica, ginseng and guarana

High blood pressure can be reduced by simple lifestyle changes, although some people may need to take medicines as well.

Lifestyle changes

  • Try to reduce daily salt intake to less than 6g (which is about a teaspoonful)
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Be active - exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Drink less caffeine - which can be found in coffee/tea/cola
  • Stop smoking
  • Try relaxation therapies such as stress management, meditation, yoga or cognitive behavioural therapy

These steps can be started today, regardless of whether or not you are taking blood pressure medications.

Medications

There are many different types of medications used to lower blood pressure. You may need to take more than one type of medication to successfully treat high blood pressure, and different treatments work better for different patients.

What types of medicines are available via this service?
Please note, that we are only able to issue prescriptions for patients on a single treatment. We are not able to issue prescriptions for patients taking more than one medication to control blood pressure. (This can be arranged via a video consultation).

  • ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors
  • ARBs (angiotensin receptor blocker)
  • CCBs (Calcium Channel Blockers)
  • Diuretics

Who is this service for?

This service is suitable for patients who:

  • Have been diagnosed with high blood pressure by a doctor
  • Have been prescribed medication to reduce blood pressure by their doctor and would like a repeat prescription for this medication
  • Are stable on their current medication for at least 12 months

This service is NOT suitable for:

  • Patients not on established treatment currently
  • Patients who have been on treatment for less than 12 months
  • Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • Patients seeking calcium, magnesium or potassium supplements as a method for reducing blood pressure
  • Patients seeking a prescription for more than 1 blood pressure medication

How the service works

  • Just €25
  • Prescription sent to your chosen pharmacy via secure email (Healthmail) within minutes of approval
  • No risk, 100% refund if our Doctors cannot help you
  • Online consultations with Irish based doctors
  • Valid in any Irish pharmacy to buy your medication


    Note: We can only ever prescribe for this treatment for patients that are at least 17 years of age.

    The information that you provide is covered by the same patient-doctor confidentiality as in a normal face to face consultation.

    Dr. Sylvester Mooney

    BSc, LRCS & PI, MB, BCh, BAO, DObs, DCH, DFSRH(RCOG)

    Clinical Director