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High Blood Pressure & Heart Failure

BP_reading1High Blood Pressure

At Penryn we have a nurse led clinic for people with High Blood Pressure. The clinic is an opportunity to try and improve the management of your condition. Usually you will have blood tests taken a week or so before your clinic appointment. The blood tests will check your kidney function, check your cholesterol and your glucose level.

At the clinic, the nurse will check your blood pressure and will usually check a urine sample to see if the kidneys are working normally. The nurse will try and answer any questions you might have about high blood pressure or your medications. 

What is it?

High blood pressure is also called “hypertension” and is a common condition. Having high blood pressure usually does not make you feel any different to normal but if your blood pressure stays high then you are more likely to develop other problems later in life, such as with your heart, eyes and kidneys and it increases your chance of having a stroke.

Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers, for example 150/80. Ideally the top number should be below 140 and the bottom one below 90. We do not worry about a one off reading above these levels but if several readings are high over a month or so then it is likely that you suffer with high blood pressure. How is it treated? High blood pressure can be brought down by improving your diet, exercising, stopping smoking and reducing your alcohol intake. If this does not help enough you may need to take one or more tablets to control your blood pressure. Usually you will need to continue taking the tablets long term.

Penryn Surgery runs a nurse led clinic for patients who suffer with angina and/or have had an heart attack in the past. The clinic is an opportunity to try and help improve the management of your condition.

What is Heart Disease?

Angina is a name for the pain coming from the heart when the blood supply to the muscle in the heart is inadequate. If the blood supply is so poor that part of the heart muscle dies, this is called a heart attack (or myocardial infarction).

What happens at the Clinic?

At the clinic, the nurse will try and answer any questions you have about your condition. The nurse will also be able to provide advice about how to improve your condition. Diet, exercise and stopping smoking are all very important in the management of heart disease.

You will usually have a blood test a week or so before coming to the clinic. The blood test is used to test your cholesterol level, your kidney function and your sugar (glucose) level.

At the clinic the nurse will check that your blood pressure is not too high and will discuss how well you are managing and your current medication. Sometimes a urine sample is taken to assess how well your kidneys are working.

It is important to try and attend the clinic so that we can try and keep your heart in the best health possible.

Heart Failure

The heart pumps bloods around the body. Overtime the pump can become less and less efficient, sometimes following damage from a heart attack.

If the pump is not working well this can cause a build up of fluid on the lungs and in the legs. This can make people short of breath and is called “heart failure”.

At Penryn we have a nurse who specialises in heart failure. If a GP refers you to the heart failure nurse she can either see you at home or in the surgery. She can discuss ways to improve your heart failure.


British Heart Foundation - What is a heart attack?

There are more videos available on all aspects of BHF and heart disease on the BHF video site

Audio MP3 Downloads

British Heart Foundation Now you can download and listen to podcasts free from the BHF - either on the move or in the comfort of your own home.  Choose from the following list of podcasts, right-click on links of the titles you want, select 'Save Target As' and save to your computer.

A Mother's Story - The realities of life when your child has a heart condition

Controlling Cholesterol - The five best things you can do to lower cholesterol s

Giving Up Smoking - The five best things you can to do give up for good

Risking It   - How do you know if you are at risk of heart disease?

Keeping Your Heart Healthy Top tips on how to exercise and eat for a healthy heart

"The British Heart Foundation is Britain’s leading charity fighting heart and circulatory disease – the UK’s biggest killer. The BHF funds research, education and life-saving equipment and helps heart patients return to a full and active way of life. The charity relies on donations to continue its vital work." 

Useful Links

CHD - Healthtalkonline
Healthtalkonline Healthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people's experiences of health and illness. An excellent resource compiled after interviewing a wide range of people suffering from heart disease.

An excellent resource with useful video, audio, images and references relating to CHD. 

NHS Choices
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of CHD.

British Heart Foundation
Our vision is of a world in which people do not die prematurely of heart disease. We will achieve this through our pioneering research, our vital prevention activity and by ensuring quality care and support for people living with heart disease.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advic

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