The OK Guide to Living Well

The OK Guide to Living Well

We are committed to providing our patients with reliable information to help you live well. You may be receiving this information because you have been diagnosed with (or are at risk of) heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes. We hope the following information helps you lead a longer and healthier life.



Physical activity is very beneficial for both mental and physical health. Regular exercise can reduce your blood pressure, improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of some cancers. You should try to be active every day if you are able. Any activity is better than none and even a walk around the block is better than nothing! Strength training using weights (you can even use tins/bottles of water) can also improve your strength and decrease the risks of falls. NHS inform have great information about the benefits of exercise and how to get started - Keeping active | NHS inform

Greater, Glasgow and Clyde have a range of services designed to provide you with support to increase your physical activity.  Please call 0141 232 1860 to speak to an advisor or visit the following website - Get Active - NHSGGC



Eating a health balanced diet can help improve your health by giving you the energy and the nutrients you need plus helping you maintain a healthy weight. This link gives you information about what constitutes a healthy diet - Eatwell Guide - Food and nutrition (

Losing just 5kg (11lbs) could lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. It may also improve your mobility and reduce aches and pains. If you have a BMI of 25 of above and would like to get help losing weight you can use the free, online 12 week weight management programme found here - 12 Week Weight Management Programme | NHS inform

If you have diabetes, heart disease or have previously had a stroke and would like to lose weight you can self –refer to the Glasgow weight management programme here - Community Weight Management Service - NHSGGC



Many people consider themselves to be moderate drinkers but in reality they are drinking more than the low-risk guidelines. An easy mistake is to think that one drink = one unit but it doesn’t. Cutting down alcohol has huge benefits for your physical health (weight, liver, blood pressure, blood sugar) and mental health (anxiety and depression).

“Low risk” guidelines suggest no more than 14 units of alcohol per week which should be spread over 3 or more days with regular alcohol free days. 14 units = 6 pints of beer OR 6 medium sized glasses of wine OR 7 double measures of spirits

For more information about alcohol, calculating units and support for reducing alcohol please visit this link - Alcohol - Healthy Living | NHS inform



Stopping smoking is arguably the best thing that you can do for your long term health. Most people are aware of the risks of smoking including lung disease, cancer, heart attacks and strokes. It can also save you money! If you’re smoking 20 cigarettes a day, you’re likely to be spending about £3,500 a year, based on the average cost of £9.60 for a pack of 20 cigarettes. This calculator (Calculate my savings - Stopping smoking | NHS inform) helps you work out the financial cost of your smoking which can be a good motivator to stop.

It can be difficult to stop but there is lots of support out there. Local pharmacies run free stop smoking service which is local, convenient and flexible. Please speak to your local pharmacist for more information.

This link takes you to lots of information about stopping smoking - Stopping smoking | NHS inform



It is important that you take your prescribed medications regularly. There are some medications that it is important to temporarily stop if you are feeling unwell, particularly with diarrhoea and vomiting, or if you are not eating and drinking. These medications are:

  • ACE inhibitors: medicine names ending in “pril” e.g Lisinopril, perindopril, Ramipril
  • ARBs: medicine names ending in “sartan” e.g losartan, candesartan, valsartan
  • NSAIDS: anti-inflammatory pain killers e.g ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen
  • Diuretics: sometimes called “water pills” e.g furosdmie, spironolactone, bumetanide
  • Metformin: a medicine for diabetes
  • SGLT-2 inhibitors: medicine names ending in “gliflozin” e.g canagliflozin. Dapagliflozin, empagliflozin. There is a risk of a condition called keto-acidosis with these medications. It is important to seek urgent medical attention if you develop nausea and vomiting abdominal pain, extreme tiredness/drowsiness or over breathing. It is also important not to follow a “keto” diet.

For more information about your medication you could speak to your local pharmacist.