High blood pressure It is a condition in which the pressure inside the arteries is higher than it should be, and if left untreated, serious complications including heart attack and stroke may occur. Many people are unaware that they have the condition because symptoms are rarely noticeable.
The best way to find out if you have a high reading is to have your blood pressure regularly checked by your local family doctor or pharmacist or by using a home blood pressure monitor.
It is also important to understand how to prevent high blood pressure to prevent complications and, as part of it, what causes the disease.
It is not clear exactly what causes high blood pressure, but there are nine things that can increase your risk.
The NHS lists these as:
- Age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
- High blood pressure family history
- Being of African or Caribbean origin
- A high amount of salt in your food
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight
- Regularly drink large amounts of alcohol
- Long term sleep deprivation
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How to prevent high blood pressure
High blood pressure can be prevented or reduced with some simple lifestyle changes such as healthy eating.
Bupa advises: “Eat a healthy and balanced diet, including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
"It's also good to eat at least one serving of oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel every week."
Eating less salt, reducing alcohol and drinking less coffee and other caffeinated beverages like cola are also recommended.
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Being active and exercising regularly can also lower your blood pressure, keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
The NHS advises: “Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.
“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or brisk walking, every week.
"Physical activity can include anything from sports to walking and gardening."
Weight loss has also been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure.
The body of health adds: “Being overweight forces the heart to work harder to pump blood around the body, which can increase your blood pressure.
"If you need to lose weight, remember that just losing a few pounds will make a big difference in blood pressure and overall health."
Quitting smoking does not directly cause high blood pressure, but it can put a person at much greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
This is because smoking, such as high blood pressure, causes the arteries to narrow.
So if you smoke and have high blood pressure, the arteries narrow much faster.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Most people with high blood pressure show no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
But the Mayo Clinic advises: “Some people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms are not specific and usually do not occur until high blood pressure reaches a serious or risky condition. life. stage."