Heart Health Bloods
- Full Lipid Bloods: Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
- Diabetes Check:
- Fasting Blood Glucose
- Glucose Tolerance Test
- Kidney Function Test
- Liver Function Blood Test
Fast from 9pm the night before your blood tests. You may take water and any tablets you regularly take.
12 Lead ECG
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test which measures the electrical activity of your heart to show whether or not it is working normally.
How is an ECG carried out?
An ECG (electrocardiogram) is a safe and painless test which normally only takes a few minutes.
Leads from an electrocardiograph machine are attached to the skin on your arms, legs and chest using sticky patches. These leads read signals from your heart and send this information to the electrocardiograph. The machine then prints the reading on a paper strip or on a screen.
What is blood pressure?
When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.
How can you tell if you have high blood pressure
Having high blood pressure (hypertension) is not usually something that you feel or notice. It does not tend to produce obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to know what your blood pressure is, is to have it measured.
Blood pressure is measured in ‘millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg) and is written as two numbers. For example, if your reading is 120/80 mmHg, your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’.
Have your Blood Pressure checked by your GP or Practice Nurse. Book an appointment: Tel: 045528088
Top Tips on lowering your Blood Pressure
1. Blood Pressure Diet - Eat less salt
Too much salt raises your blood pressure, so it is important to eat as little as possible. In fact, some people with high blood pressure may be able to avoid blood pressure medicines by cutting down on salt.
2. Blood Pressure Diet - Eat more fruit and vegetables
Eating more fruit and vegetables helps to lower your blood pressure. Adults should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. A portion is 80 grams, or roughly the size of your fist.
3. Blood Pressure Diet - Keep to a healthy weight
Losing weight, if you need to, will help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of health problems. The best way to lose weight is to choose more low-fat and low-calorie foods, and increase your physical activity.
4. Blood Pressure Diet - Drink less alcohol
If you drink too much alcohol, this will raise your blood pressure over time. The current recommended limits are 21 units of alcohol a week for men, and 14 units a week for women. A unit is roughly half a pint of beer or cider, a small glass of wine, or a single pub measure of spirits.
5. Blood Pressure and Exercise - Get more active
Being moderately active for 30 minutes five times a week can keep your heart healthy, and can lower your blood pressure. If you can’t find 30 minutes in your day, increasing your activity by even a small amount can help.
24 Hour ABPM
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (APBM) involves measuring blood pressure (BP) at regular intervals (usually every 30 minutes) over a 24-hour period while you carry on with normal daily activities. ABPM has the additional advantage of measuring your BP during sleep and it is now known that nighttime BP may give much valuable information.
Your ABPM is measured with a small monitor, worn in a pouch on a belt, and the monitor is connected to a cuff on your upper arm. This cuff inflates and deflates regularly measuring the systolic (upper) and the diastolic (lower) blood pressure as well as your average blood pressure and heart rate.
ABPM is safe and free of complications, apart from occasional discomfort when the cuff is inflating. Occasionally there may be slight bruising of the arm. Modern machines are light, quiet and easy to wear but can sometimes disturb sleep.
Why ABPM rather than the usual BP measurement?
A single BP measurement can be very misleading because it only gives a snapshot of BP behaviour and BP can vary greatly over the 24-hour period. ABPM is the most reliable way of recording blood pressure and is better than self-measurement of blood pressure. Night time blood pressure gives valuable information and predicts potential problems associated with high blood pressure. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence UK (NICE) now recommends ABPM for all people who are suspected of having hypertension (high blood pressure) and especially if they have had a high blood pressure recorded at any time.
24 Hour ABPM measurement involves 2 visits to the surgery. The nurse will fit the monitor for you and give you instruction on how it works. You will then be free to go home and carry out your normal daily activities. You will return to the surgery the next day and the nurse will remove the monitor, download the information to your health care record and discuss the results with you and any interventions needed.
Private Patient: €80
Medical Card: Covered by GMS
7 Day HBPM
What is home blood pressure monitoring?
Home blood pressure monitoring is when you measure your own blood pressure at home using a blood pressure monitor.
What are the benefits of monitoring my blood pressure at home?
Measuring your blood pressure at home while you go about your everyday life can help to give you and your doctor/nurse a more accurate picture of your blood pressure over time. Everyone's blood pressure naturally rises and falls over the course of a day and some people can be stressed or anxious when having their blood pressure taken by their doctor or nurse, making their blood pressure higher than it normally is (known as white coat effect). This means that a one-off reading taken at your doctors surgery or the hospital may not accurately reflect your real blood pressure. Home blood pressure readings can avoid these problems and can help doctors and nurses to:
- Establish whether you have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension)
- Identify whether your blood pressure is higher when taken at the GP surgery or hospital than at home (white coat effect)
- Decide if blood pressure medication is required
- Decide whether any changes to blood pressure medication are required
- See how well your blood pressure medication is controlling your blood pressure
- Further investigate people whose blood pressure is hard to control.
- Monitoring your blood pressure at home can also help you to see how the medication you are taking is working and gain a better understanding of your condition.
Is home blood pressure monitoring suitable for everyone?
Home blood pressure monitoring is suitable for most people. However, pulse irregularities (such as the condition atrial fibrillation (AF)) can affect the accuracy of blood pressure readings and you should therefore speak to your doctor or nurse about home monitoring if you have such a condition. There is also little known about the benefits of home monitoring for children, pregnant women and patients with vascular problems (such patients should speak to their doctor or nurse before commencing home blood pressure monitoring).
Nurse Roisin or Nurse Lynne will organise 7 Day Home Blood Pressure Monitoring for you. They will provide full instruction and demonstration on carrying out home BP monitoring. They will provide you with the loan of a BP monitor, written instructions on taking the BP readings and a blood pressure diary to record the readings.
You will be contacted by the doctor or nurse 1-2 days following completion of the monitoring period with your results.