How pharmacists can help Canadians manage their blood pressure health.
Empowering Canadians to Manage their Blood Pressure: Insights from a Pharmacist
Interview with Gianni Del Negro, Pharmacist
How Pharmacists Support Blood Pressure Health | Your Questions Answered by a Pharmacist
As dedicated healthcare professionals, pharmacists play a pivotal role in helping individuals maintain their overall well-being. In this short and insightful Q&A session with pharmacist Gianni Del Negro, we will address some of your questions and explore the diverse ways in which pharmacists can guide and support you in managing your blood pressure proactively and effectively. With their extensive knowledge and expertise, pharmacists play a crucial role beyond medication dispensing. From offering personalized consultations to guiding lifestyle modifications and discussing natural health products, pharmacists are committed to helping Canadians achieve optimal blood pressure health.
Many people are unaware that pharmacists can help patients with screening for hypertension and overall management of their blood pressure health. Can you share the different ways in which a pharmacist can provide this type of support, and do patients need to make an appointment to receive this type of consultation?
Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals. Depending on the individual’s needs, most patients do not need to make an appointment with a pharmacist to get support about screening and blood pressure health. If patients have questions about what a healthy blood pressure is, or why it is important to maintain a healthy blood pressure, a pharmacist can provide that information during a short consultation. Patients can always come into the pharmacy, provide readings from their home blood pressure monitor, and get information about how they are doing and what they can do to better their blood pressure health. Even if the patient does not own their own blood pressure monitoring device, most pharmacies have sit-down blood pressure kiosks where a patient can measure their blood pressure and have a discussion with their pharmacist. If a patient wants a more in-depth review of their medications, has multiple questions about diet or medication, or how their current readings may be affecting their blood pressure health, a specific appointment time where the pharmacist can spend more time with the patient may be more appropriate.
Do you recommend patients use the blood pressure measuring kiosks in-store to get a reading and then share results with the pharmacist to discuss options to manage their blood pressure accordingly?
In-store kiosks have a role to play for patients that either do not have their own blood pressure monitor or for those individuals who just want to test occasionally. These kiosks are extremely convenient and easy to use for the customer and the patient can share their results immediately with the pharmacist. As with any decision making, the more information or data available, the more accurate the recommendation. Since blood pressure is not static and can fluctuate frequently throughout the day, home blood pressure monitors are ideal because the patient can take multiple readings throughout the day. Utilizing a home monitor can provide the pharmacist with valuable information about trends and most new models also have irregular heartbeat detection and other valuable functions. However, utilizing the proper technique when taking a blood pressure measurement is the most important way to get an accurate reading no matter the method used. Patients should consult their pharmacist to learn the proper technique for taking a blood pressure measurement.
Do you have patients that are not yet in need of medication for their blood pressure that come to you for advice? These may be patients with a family history, or with mild elevated blood pressure for example. What kind of advice does this population tend to receive?
Yes, I do have patients that seek advice even though they may not need blood pressure medication but may have a family history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease. First, they should be commended for being proactive about their health as most people do not monitor their blood pressure regularly especially if they have not been diagnosed with hypertension. In general, these individuals are told to monitor their blood pressure regularly, eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, and finally get plenty of exercise. Fortunately, there is finally another option for patients in the form of a natural health product that contains bioactive marine peptides, which have been clinically proven to help lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure*. Together with the recommendations above, it may be an excellent choice for anyone that has mild elevated blood pressure and/or a strong family history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease that may not need or want to start prescription medication.
*International Journal of Hypertension, Article 2345042
What do you look for in a natural health product for blood pressure health to feel confident in recommending it?
A natural health product needs to be proven to be safe, effective, and have low potential side effects or interactions with other medications. In addition, it should have clinical studies to back up these claims.
Pharmacists can offer a wealth of information and support when it comes to managing your blood pressure. From lifestyle modifications to medication management, pharmacists can provide a comprehensive approach to your blood pressure health. By working closely with your pharmacist, you can take steps towards achieving and maintaining optimal health.
For more expert advice on blood pressure health, and overall health and wellbeing, visit our growing library of articles at precardix.com/blog.
Always consult with your health care provider before making changes to your blood pressure management plan. PreCardix® does not treat, cure or prevent medical conditions. Measure and monitor blood pressure regularly. Know the signs of heart attack and stroke. Do not take PreCardix® if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have renal artery stenosis, history of angioneurotic edema or shellfish allergy.