A diagnosis of high blood pressure is not usually made from just one or two isolated readings and immediate drug treatment is only considered for severe high blood pressure. Your GP was talking about ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which is when you are fitted with a blood pressure cuff that is wrapped around your arm and is connected to a small device on a belt or strap worn on your body for 24 hours.

The monitor is set up to automatically measure your blood pressure at regular intervals throughout the day, so that your average blood pressure can be calculated.

While you are having this type of monitoring you can carry on with all your usual activities apart from having a bath or shower or going swimming.

A diagnosis of high blood pressure will be made if your average daytime ambulatory or home blood pressure is 135/85mmHg or above.

If your blood pressure is found to be high your doctor will decide if medication is appropriate and will also tell you about lifestyle changes that can help. Doing more physical activity and cutting down on salt is beneficial and if you’re overweight, losing some weight can also help.

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