blood pressure is top priority

HEALTH
MOVEMENT
For a healthier
Finland
ONE LIFE
BLOOD PRESSURE
IS TOP PRIORITY
A guide to blood pressure that
includes home monitoring
instructions and a monitoring chart
Protect your brain,
know your blood
pressure
MEASURE YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE
AND TAKE ACTION
ACCORDINGLY
Elevated blood pressure can be
Our brain cells regenerate throughout
our lives. The brain’s ability to adapt and
recover from various forms of damage has
proved to be greater than once believed.
There is one thing, however, that the brain
cannot withstand, and that is high blood
pressure.
treated. It is important, therefore, to know where your blood
pressure stands. If you know
your blood pressure numbers,
you can act accordingly.
If your blood pressure is high,
it must come down. There are
ways to do so: lifestyle changes
and, in some cases, medication.
If your blood pressure is normal or can be controlled with
High blood pressure does not cause detectable
medication, it is still important to
symptoms, but it relentlessly stresses the brain, 24
monitor your blood pressure reg-
hours a day, and in the worst-case scenario, for years.
ularly. This will keep you in the
The pressure causes brittleness and a build-up of
know as you get older and your
fatty matter in the blood vessels of the brain.
life situation changes.
If there is no relief, somewhere in the brain a blood
vessel will reach its limit and rupture. Or, the pressure will cause fatty deposits to collect on the walls
of the blood vessel, eventually blocking it entirely.
This is how cerebral infarctions and strokes, the greatest risk factor for which is elevated blood pressure,
occur. Seven out of ten people who have suffered
a cerebral infarction have had a blood pressure reading higher than the recommended level.
If you do not measure
your blood pressure
yourself, have it done
at a health-care centre.
At-home monitoring
Avoid intense physical activity and cigarette smoking, and do not drink coffee, tea,
cola or energy drinks 30 minutes before
taking your blood pressure.
Do not take your blood pressure right after
a meal; wait 30 minutes after eating.
1. Sit at a table.
2. Rest your arm on the table at a 90
degree angle.
3. Slide the cuff onto your bare arm,
just above the elbow. The cuff is
sufficiently tight if you can fit a finger
in between the cuff and your upper
arm.
4. Relax for 5 minutes and press the
start button to begin the reading.
5. Do not talk or move during the
reading.
6. Repeat the measurement 1–2 minutes after the first reading.
Write down the numbers.
7. Calculate the average of the two
measurements if you wish.
8. Measure day and night! Initially,
measure every day for a full week;
thereafter, four days at a time is
enough.
If your blood pressure is often
higher than 135/85 mmHg when
you measure it at home, be sure
to tell your health nurse, occupational health nurse or doctor
about it.
You can lower your
blood pressure
yourself
Recognise the
symptoms of cerebral
infarction and stroke:
Important in home
monitoring:
•• Don’t do hard work or eat just before measuring.
•• Slurred speech or difficulty finding the right
words.
Reduce your sodium
intake.
Opt for unsaturated
fats.
•• Drooping on one side of the mouth.
•• Impaired movement or sensation in the
limbs on one side of the body.
•• Impaired vision.
Be active every day.
Quit smoking.
Lose weight if you are
overweight.
If you or someone close
to you displays one or more
symptoms, call 112 immediately.
Take blood pressure
medication if you
need it.
Eat at least half a kilo
of vegetables, fruit
and berries a day.
•• Set the cuff around your upper arm, with a
finger’s width of space in between the cuff
and your skin.
•• Do not talk or move during the reading.
•• Measure a second time after 1–2 minutes.
•• Sudden and severe headache.
112
Drink alcohol
in moderation.
•• Rest your arm at a 90 degree angle.
Blood pressure
monitoring chart
DATE
1st
reading
pulse
2nd
reading
pulse
korvaamatonkovalevy.fi
If your blood pressure is often higher than
135/85 mmHg when you measure it at
home, be sure to tell your health nurse,
occupational health nurse or doctor about it.