Keys to Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home

Man checking blood pressure with bp cuff
Image Source: iStock.com/lionvision

High Blood pressure affects more than 40% of adults over 25 years of age. In addition to visiting your doctor to ensure your blood pressure is under control, you should be doing out of office monitoring as one to two times per week.  The key to out of office monitoring is that you are consistent in the method of how you take your blood pressure.

Rest for 10 Minutes

If you have a blood pressure monitor at home, be sure to give yourself 10 minutes of resting time prior to taking your reading.

Avoid Caffeine and Tobacco

Avoid caffeine and tobacco 30 minutes prior to taking a reading as well.

Sit in a Relaxed Position

When taking your blood pressure, you should sit relaxed with both feet on the ground.  Arms should be supported at the heart level and free of constrictive clothing. At home blood pressure readings are also ideally taken at the same time every day and in the same arm.

Check Your Cuff Sizing

It is also important to consider the size of the blood pressure cuff when using an at home monitoring system.  Depending on the circumference of the arm, you may need a smaller or larger cuff to ensure accurate readings. Talk to your pharmacist about what the right cuff size is for you.

 

Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health Help Desk!

Phone: 1.888.799.8742

Email: support@triahealth.com

February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association. This month is designed to raise awareness about heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. One in three deaths in the US is caused by heart disease and stroke.

Your friends at Tria Health want you to understand your personal risks, and what you can do to prevent heart disease in yourselves and your loved ones.

Know Your Personal Risk Factors

Knowing your numbers could potentially save your life! We encourage you to talk to our clinicians or another healthcare provider about your personal risk factors for heart disease.

  • Blood Pressure Below 120/80
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood Sugar fasting blood sugar of less than 100
  • Body Mass Index less than 25

You Have the Power to Control Some of Your Risk Factors

There are many risk factors for heart disease, some within your control and others outside your control. The risks you CAN control include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Lack of regular activity
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Diabetes

The risks outside your control are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family History
  • Race
  • Previous heart attack or stroke

How to Live Healthy

The American Heart Association recommends that to live a healthy lifestyle, you must:

  • Eat Smart: Make healthy, delicious choices wherever and whenever you eat.
  • Add Color: Make life more colorful with fruits and vegetables.
  • Move More: Infuse more movement into your life for optimal health.
  • Be Well: Create balance, vitality and wellbeing through self-care.

If you would like more tips from the American Heart Association, visit: https://healthyforgood.heart.org/

This month, and always, we hope that you better understand your risks of heart disease, and what you can do to take better care of your heart.

Tria Health: February Ask a Pharmacist Edition

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
Image Source: iStock.com/macrovector

Tria Health would like to thank our followers for such positive feedback from our last “Ask a Pharmacist Edition.” Since then, we have seen even more questions coming through to our Help Desk. To better serve our audience, clients and patients, we will continue answering some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Because it’s cold and flu season, this month we’re going to focus on the questions that will help you get through these next few months.

Question: What basic items should be stored in a well-stocked medicine cabinet?

Answer: Here are a few essentials to stock your medicine cabinet to treat common problems.

  • Pain relievers
    • Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve.  Remember the generic versions work just as well and will save you money.   If you have children in the home be sure to have children’s formulations as well, ask your pharmacist if you need help calculating the right dose for the little ones.
  • Over the counter medications for minor stomach ailments
    • Products like Pepto-Bismol can treat a variety of minor stomach symptoms. Medications like Tums or Rolaids can help with periodic heartburn symptoms. Mild laxatives, such as Colace or Senna, can help with constipation.
  • Cold, Flu and Allergy Relief
    • Antihistamines and cough suppressants are good to have on hand for common cold and flu symptoms. To make sure that you are targeting the right symptom with the right medication consult your pharmacist. Some common brands we recommend include Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra.
  • First Aid Kit
    • It’s always important to be able to treat household injuries, be sure to have Band-Aids and Neosporin available for cuts and abrasions.

Please don’t forget the importance of checking expiration dates on over-the-counter medications. Expired medications can lose their effectiveness. Additionally, remember the importance of properly disposing any expired medications.

Question: Why don’t I need antibiotics when I have a cold?

Answer: The common cold is almost always caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics and they typically run their course after a few days. Your best course of action is symptom management, pushing fluids, and rest—these are key to combating a virus. Additionally, over-use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance which makes true bacterial infections harder to treat.

Question: Is it true that you can alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen for fevers?

Answer: That is true. If you are combatting a high fever, alternating doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen every 2-3 hours is an effective way to keep the fever down. Always talk with a healthcare professional to ensure you are using the proper doses at the proper interval.

Question: Why do I have to take all my antibiotics if I feel better after a few days?

Answer: The symptoms associated with a bacterial infection will almost always resolve even before the bacteria is completely out of your system. While you may feel significantly better after only a few doses of an antibiotic, it is crucial to complete the full course of treatment. If the bacteria is not completely eliminated it can return and develop resistance to antibiotics which will make it harder to treat the second time around.

Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?

 If so, please comment below or call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742, and we’ll gladly answer in next month’s “Ask A Pharmacist Edition.”