Blood Pressure Check

Last updated: June 17th, 2024

Blood pressure testing
Photo by cottonbro on pexels.com

The term "blood pressure" refers to the strength with which blood pushes on the sides of arteries as it is pumped around the body. A blood pressure test is therefore conducted to check if your blood pressure is within expected bounds, i.e. to see if it's either "too high" or "too low".

Is it "too high" or "too low"?

Wait a second. In order to understand the blood pressure reading we need to understand what the numbers mean. Blood pressure is measured in mmHg (millimetres of mercury) and is given as two figures:

  • systolic pressure, the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • diastolic pressure, the pressure when your heart rests between beats

Let's take 140/90mmHg as an example; 140mmHg is the systolic pressure and 90mmHg is the diastolic pressure.

So, what is "too high"?

As a general guide, high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.

Normal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg:

Understanding the Blood Pressure Test result
Understanding the Blood Pressure Test result.

A blood pressure reading between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you're at risk of developing high blood pressure if you don't take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, can put a strain on arteries and organs, which can increase the risk of developing serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Some lifestyle changes can keep high blood pressure in check: * if you're overweight, lose weight, no surprise there * reduce the amount of salt in your diet * exercise, ideally including weight training * cutting back on caffeine and alcohol

If lifestyle changes are not enough, a referral to a cardiologist (heart specialist) to discuss further treatment options might be required.

And what is "too low"?

As shown in the image above, a reading of 90/60mmHg or lower implies low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, while not usually as serious as high blood pressure, it does cause dizziness and fainting in some people.

The causes for blood pressure to be low include:

  • some medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • particular medicines
  • being pregnant
  • genetics, i.e. having inherited it from your parents

Some people simply develop low blood pressure as they get older. Lifestyle changes to address low blood pressure include:

  • avoiding sudden changes in posture when getting up from bed or a sitting position
  • replacing heavy, infrequent meals with more frequent, smaller meals
  • avoiding sitting or standing for long periods
  • drinking MORE water
  • and as in the case of high blood pressure, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol (damn!)

Blood pressure test: A Lifesaver

Blood pressure varies depending on the time of day, the current season, and what you're doing. As a general rule though, it gradually increases throughout the day.

Measuring your blood pressure at the GP or at a clinic might skew the result as being stressed out after waiting or the commute doesn't help the test's accuracy.

Nowadays blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own digital blood pressure monitor.

Since a blood pressure test is the only way to determine whether the blood pressure is too high or too low and is so quick and easy to do, a blood pressure test can save a life.

Pharmacies providing blood pressure checking

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Anici Pharmacy

Triq Aniċi, Qormi

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Beta Pharmacy

50/52, Triq Santa Marija, Għaxaq

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Brown's Pharmacy

Triq San Pawl, Naxxar

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Brown's Pharmacy

Shop 10, Yacht Marina Apartments, Triq il-Marina, Pietà

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Brown’s Pharmacy

135, Central Business Centre, Spinola Bay, San Ġiljan

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Brown's St. Anne Pharmacy

24, Misraħ Sant’Elena, Birkirkara

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Brown's St. Louis Pharmacy

Shop 1, Bohemian Courts, Vjal L-Independenza, Mosta

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Central Pharmacy

6, Triq San Ġużepp, Luqa

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Coora Pharmacy

18, Triq L-Imrieħel, Birkirkara

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Cosmed Pharmacy

Soccors, Triq Villambrosa, Ħamrun

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De Rohan Pharmacy

24, Triq Sant’Antnin, Żebbuġ

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Distinction Pharmacy

32, Pjazza Antoine De Paule, Paola

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Evans Pharmacy

96/98, Triq San Bastjan, Qormi

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Fatima Pharmacy

82, Triq il-Ferrovija, Santa Venera

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Frontline Pharmacy

121, Burmarrad Road, Burmarrad

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JV's Pharmacy

Wied is-Swieqi, Swieqi

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O'Hea Pharmacy

115, Triq Manoel De Vilhena, Gżira

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Pasteur Pharmacy

Triq it-Tellerit, Safi

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Polymer Żabbar Pharmacy

30, Triq tal-Ħofra, Żabbar

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Rational Pharmacy

74/75, Triq il-Wied, Birkirkara

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Reeds Pharmacy

191, Vjal il-21 ta’ Settembru, Naxxar

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Remedies Pharmacy

Triq Tumas Fenech, Birkirkara

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Remedies Pharmacy

Triq it-Tabib Nikol Zammit, Siġġiewi

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Rotunda Pharmacy

7, Triq il-Kungress Ewkaristiku, Mosta

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Safi Pharmacy

St. John Street C/W Bieb il-Garra Street, Safi

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Spiżerija Carmen

1, Misraħ Suffara Street, Dingli

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St. Bartholomew Pharmacy

230, Triq Fleur-De-Lys, Santa Venera

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St. Paul's Bay Pharmacy

504, Triq il-Kbira, San Pawl il-Baħar

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St. Philip Pharmacy

Triq iċ-Ċeppun, Għaxaq

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Tarxien Pharmacy

59, Triq Ħal Tarxien, Tarxien

Clinics providing blood pressure checking

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