Why you should get your blood pressure checked today

Pharmacist Sunit Rupareliais encouraging locals to get their blood pressure checked. Photo: Melinda Jane.
Share this story

Despite being preventable and easy to check, high blood pressure remains the single largest risk factor for stroke.

This month, as part of Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check, local pharmacists are encouraging everyone to do their part.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries as it flows through the circulatory system. When the force of blood is consistently too high, this is known as high blood pressure, or hypertension.

According to Sunit Ruparelia from TerryWhite Chemmart Penrith Compounding, getting your blood pressure checked regularly is incredibly important, because though it often has no symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart, and other organs over time, increasing the risk of serious health complications.

“If left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss,” he said.

“Blood pressure is also essential as it can give your doctor an idea of your heart health. For some people, it would give them an idea of their medications’ effectiveness and if any changes are required.”

Though he said that awareness about the importance of blood pressure monitoring has increased over the years, there is always room for improvement.

“We still see young athletic people present to the pharmacy with prescriptions for blood pressure medications, and they never thought that they would have high BP,” he said.

“We have seen people say that they do not want to check their BP because they do not want to get on blood pressure medications, which is a misconception.”

Ruparelia said that everyone, including adolescents, should be getting their blood pressure checked at least once a year. However, those with risk factors should be monitored more frequently, with these including a family history of hypertension, older adults, obesity or being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet high in sodium, smoking, alcohol consumption, chronic stress, and any type of chronic disease.

Thankfully, the process is quick and easy, and can be done by your GP, at a pharmacy, or even by yourself at home if you have a good blood pressure monitor.

“Come to TerryWhite Chemmart Penrith Compounding and ask us which one is best,” Ruparelia said.

“We will explain why we recommend particular ones.”

TerryWhite Chemmart Penrith Compounding will be hosting the Stroke Foundation’s Australia’s Biggest Blood Check on Friday, May 31, and are hoping to screen as many people as possible.

Those getting their blood pressure checked will also receive a complimentary jar of their lab-made moisturising cream, and a discount on their current range of blood pressure machines.

“We invite everyone in the Penrith community to come down, check their blood pressure, and take the first step towards a healthier future,” Ruparelia said.

“You may not know that you have high blood pressure until you check it. You check your car tyres every couple of months; why not your blood pressure?”

Cassidy Pearce

Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.

Share this story