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Helens Blog

Helen's July Blog - Jul 5, 2024

The GWT team work hard to support Gamekeepers and their families, from starting out as trainees to retirement and beyond. Having recently introduced health checks at events such as BASC Gamekeepers meeting, NGO Golden Grouse, Game fairs and local venues arranged with Estates, Gamekeepers and Shooting organisations. I have carefully selected, registered nurses from different backgrounds, including Community, Cardiac, Emergency, Mental health Nurses and Social workers to help with health and welfare of the Gamekeeping community. At a recent event over 50 Keepers came forward for the health check which included taking Blood pressure, Heart rate and Blood oxygen levels. Findings from these health checks were that keepers may have high blood pressure without having any symptoms. This month’s health theme will focus on blood pressure and health promotion, as the saying goes ‘Prevention is better than cure’.

What is Blood Pressure?

When your heart beats it pumps blood into your arteries. Blood Pressure is the force of your blood pushing on the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. The diastolic pressure (lower number) the pressure when your heart rests between beats and blood is pushed around the heart.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is considered to be from 140/90mmHg or more if your reading was taken at a pharmacy, GP surgery or clinic (or an average of 135/85mmHg if it was taken at home). (NHS.UK)

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts strain on your blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. Persistent high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart failure, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, peripheral arterial disease, aortic aneurysms, kidney disease, vascular dementia. High blood pressure does not usually have any symptoms, the only way to find out if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked. (NHS.UK)

You can ask to have your blood pressure checked, this can be done at GP surgery, pharmacies, in some workplaces, at a health event, you can also test your blood pressure at home using a home testing kit.

There are some lifestyle changes we can do to help achieve a healthier blood pressure.

  • Reduce the amount of salt in your diet to less than 6g a day.
  • Eat healthy, low-fat, balanced diet- including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Getting more exercise.
  • Cut down on alcohol.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Drink less caffeine – found in tea, coffee, cola
  • Stop smoking

If you have any concerns regarding your blood pressure, contact your GP for further advice. Some people may need to take medication to lower their blood pressure, this would be under the guidance of a doctor.

For further information regarding blood pressure visit NHS .UK and British Heart Foundation websites.

If you would like any health topics for the GWT to cover or if you would like to know where the health checks are or arrange a health check in your area please contact me.

TOP TIP – It’s a good idea to know where your local Defibrillator is, this could be in a old telephone box, next to the village hall, school, pub, GP surgery, if you ever need it call 999 and ask for the access code, you will need to ask for an ambulance as well.

Uploaded by GWT: Jul 5, 2024
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