Advice for people managing High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) at home

It is not clear why people with high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing complications if they contract COVID-19, so it is important to follow all the recommended advice on staying safe and take any heart medication your doctor has prescribed.

You have high blood pressure when your blood pressure readings are more than 140 over 90 consistently over several readings. When on treatment for high blood pressure the target for most people is to have a blood pressure below 130/80mmHg particularly if you have had a cardiac event or stroke; have other risk factors; or have diabetes.

High blood pressure is very common in Ireland and by taking control of your blood pressure you can make a positive step towards reducing your overall risk of having a heart attack or stroke. You can do this following the medical advice you are given by your doctor, having regular check-ups, taking your medication as prescribed and making positive lifestyle changes.

Many people also like to monitor their blood pressure themselves using a home blood pressure monitor. The British & Irish Hypertension Society publishes the only independent, validated blood pressure monitors for home use, not governed by commercial interest. For a list of these validated blood pressure monitors, click here.

The following video outlines how to measure your blood pressure using a validated monitor to ensure it is recorded accurately.

For more information on High Blood Pressure, click here.

 

FREE Heart Health Checks in Ballina for 65+ year olds

The Key to Healthy Ageing is a Healthy Heart says Croí – Announcing FREE Heart Health Checks for 65+ year olds

Date: Wednesday, November 13th
Location: Great National Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo

The key to healthy ageing is a healthy heart. Understandably, ageing naturally causes changes in the heart and blood vessels and these age-related changes often increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. People aged 65+ are much more likely than younger people to develop heart problems, but many of these conditions, if detected and treated early, can be managed so as to significantly reduce their impact on health and longevity.

In today’s world, thanks to medical and technological innovation, we are living longer. By the year 2050, 1 in 5 people worldwide will be over the age of 60 years of age. In fact, for the first time in human history we are close to a time when across the world there will be more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 15. The Croí Third Age Programme is focused on our increasingly ageing society and the aim is to ensure that as we live longer we also maintain our health and quality of life. The greatest barrier to this is age-related cardiovascular diseases. That’s why on June 19th, local heart and stroke charity, Croí, is offering free heart health checks at the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle, Galway.

So, if you are over the age of 65Not attending a cardiologist, and have Not had a heart health check in the past 6 months (e.g., blood pressure check / your heart listened to), then Croí invites you to this special FREE heart health check.

Places are limited and you must register in advance.
Time slots are available from 10.00am – 5.00pm.

Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

 

Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

FREE High Blood Pressure Check

Do you or someone you know have high blood pressure or are you taking medication to manage blood pressure? If so, you are invited to a FREE Blood Pressure Check and Public Talk by heart expert Dr. Faisal Sharif on Wednesday, July 10th in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre, Newcastle, Galway.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart problems and stroke. Because there are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, very often people assume it’s nothing to worry about. However, high blood pressure needs to be treated and managed so as to avoid a serious heart event or catastrophic stroke.

The Clinical Research Facility, Galway (CRFG), have teamed up with local Heart & Stroke Charity, Croí and the Department of Cardiology, GUH to provide FREE Blood Pressure Checks for those with known high blood pressure or those taking medications to manage their blood pressure. In addition, there is an opportunity to attend a talk by an expert on blood pressure management and treatment, and the opportunity to be involved in clinical trials.

Places are limited – call Croí now on 091-544310 to book your free appointment.

A collaborative initiative by the Clinical Research Facility, Galway (CRFG), supported by Croí, the Department of Cardiology, GUH; and the National University of Ireland, Galway – Supporting research and public education.

Cajun Salmon Salad

Salmon and other oily fish such as mackerel, herring, trout and sardines are a great source of polyunsaturated fats which can help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. You should try to include some oily fish in your diet at least once or twice a week. This recipe for Cajun Salmon Salad is a quick and easy lunch or dinner option!

 

 

 

Ingredients – Serves 1:

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • Cajun spice
  • Handful Mixed leaves
  • Handful Green beans
  • 4-5 Asparagus spears
  • ¼ Avocado
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 baby potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped parsley

 

  • Sprinkle some Cajun spice onto the salmon fillet and rub in.
  • Wrap the salmon in tinfoil and bake in the oven at 180C for about 12-15minutes or until cooked.
  • Boil the baby potatoes. When cooked, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and chopped parsley.
  • Boil the green beans and asparagus for a few minutes until cooked.
  • Chop the avocado and tomato into bite size pieces.
  • Mix your salad ingredients together and place your cooked salmon fillet on top.

 

Aisling Harris

Croí Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian 

Chickpea, Avocado and Mango Salad

This is a lovely fruit summer salad, perfect for those hot summer afternoons or evenings. Avocados and nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats which can help to increase levels of our good cholesterol (HDL). Chickpeas are a good source of soluble fibre which can help lower levels of our bad cholesterol (LDL). Too much bad cholesterol and not enough good cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • A few basil leaves
  • 1 dessertspoon olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 Handfuls mixed leaves
  • ½ Avocado
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ Mango
  • 1 Grilled Red Pepper
  • Dessertspoon of toasted nuts and seeds (dry fry some cracked hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds on a frying pan until lightly toasted).

In a bowl, mix together the chickpeas, olive oil, chopped basil leaves and a light sprinkle of sea salt.

Chop the avocado, mango and grilled red pepper into bite-sized chunks.

Assemble all the ingredients together and top with the toasted nuts and seeds.

 

Aisling Harris

Croí Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian 

Salt and Blood Pressure

Salt and Blood Pressure

Question: This is probably a silly question, but if I have low blood pressure do I have to worry about salt? I love salt and use way too much!

 

Answer: Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart beats.

Current guidelines identify normal blood pressure around 120/80mm/Hg. This can vary up and down depending on what you are doing, how you are feeling, whether you are well/unwell, the medications you are taking, what you are eating/drinking, your hydration levels (dehydration can cause low blood pressure) and the time of day.

For many people low blood pressure causes no problems and may be desirable. For some, abnormally low blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting. Most doctors only consider low blood pressure too low if it causes symptoms because what is low for one person may be normal for another.

Without knowing any medical background it is difficult to advise but in general we don’t advocate excessive use of salt as there is plenty already in foodstuffs.

In general, guidelines recommend that we should consume no more 4-6g of salt per day. However, it is estimated that on average, Irish people currently consume about 9g per day which is a lot more than they need.

The main sources of salt in our diet are packaged foods and meals eaten out of the home at restaurants or takeaways (65-70%),salt added to home cooking or at the table (15-20%) and salt found naturally in food (15%). Foods that are naturally high sources of salt include cheese, processed meats such as ham and salami, bacon, bread, jars of sauce, crisps, salted nuts, salted crackers, soya sauce etc. It is important that people consume these foods in line with an overall healthy balanced diet. Your GP will be able to advise you about whether you need additional salt in your diet and how this can be achieved safely.

 

For more information on blood pressure see here and other resources are www.HSE.ie and www.INDI.ie