High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it.
The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.
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What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
They're both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg😎
As a general guide:
high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you're over the age of 80)
ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you're at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.
Everyone's blood pressure will be slightly different. What's considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.
Risks of high blood pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
peripheral arterial disease
If you have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower your risk of these health conditions.
Check your blood pressure
The only way of knowing whether you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years.
Getting this done is easy and could save your life.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
at your GP surgery
at some pharmacies
as part of your NHS Health Check
in some workplaces
You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.
Find out more about getting a blood pressure test
Things that can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure
It's not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but there are things that can increase your risk.
You might be more at risk if yo😍
eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
do not do enough exercise
drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
are over 65
have a relative with high blood pressure
are of black African or black Caribbean descent
live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it's already high.
Treatment for high blood pressure
Doctors can help you keep your blood pressure to a safe level using:
What works best is different for each person.
Talk to your doctor to help you decide about treatment.
This patient decision aid (PDF, 132kb) can also help you to understand your treatment options.
Lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure
These lifestyle changes can help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
reduce the amount of salt you eat and have a generally healthy diet
cut back on alcohol
lose weight if you're overweight
cut down on caffeine
Some people with high blood pressure may also need to take 1 or more medicines to stop their blood pressure getting too high.
Medicines for high blood pressure
If you're diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend taking 1 or more medicines to keep it under control.
These come as tablets and usually need to be taken once a day.
Common blood pressure medicines include:
ACE inhibitors – such as enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril and ramipril
angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARBs) – such as candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, valsartan and olmesartan
calcium channel blockers – such as amlodipine, felodipine and nifedipine or diltiazem and verapamil
diuretics – such as indapamide and bendroflumethiazide
beta blockers – such as atenolol and bisoprolol
alpha blockers – such as doxazosin
other diuretics – such as amiloride and spironolactone
The medicine recommended for you will depend on things like how high your blood pressure is, your age and your ethnicity
Thanks for the information
Indeed, this was very very insiteful. It's good to be aware of the dangers of some of these issues and how to go about it.
In this light I wish to share a post I came across yesterday... It's goes along this line and I would want it to also help drive home this point
It is a chat with Dr. Abdullahi Oluwalogbon (Heart and Utility Specialist😎 The transcript of the chat is given below. Useful for everyone.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
*Question 1:* What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his or her heart?
1. Diet - Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise - Half an hour's walk, at least five days a week; avoid lifts and avoid sitting for a longtime
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control BP - Blood pressure and Sugar
*Question 2:* Can we convert fat into muscles?
*Answer:* It is a dangerous myth. Fat and muscles are made of two different tissues - fat is fat, ugly and harmful. Muscle is muscle. Fat can never be converted into a muscle.
*Question 3:* It's still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?
*Answer:* This is called silent attack. That is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.
*Question 4:* Are heart diseases hereditary?
*Question 5:* What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?
*Answer:* Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything and everyone in life.
*Question 6:* Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?
*Answer:* Walking is better than jogging, since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints.
*Question 8:* Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?
*Answer:* Extremely rare.
*Question 9:* Does cholesterol accumulate right from an early age or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?
*Answer:* Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.
*Question 10:* How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?
*Answer:* You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body's enzyme release for digestion gets confused.
*Question 11:* How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?
*Answer:* Control diet, walk and eat walnut.
*Question 12:* Which is the best and worst food for the heart?
*Answer:* Fruits and vegetables are the best and oils the worst.
*Question 13:* Which oil is better - groundnut, sunflower, olive?
*Answer:* All oils are bad.
*Question 14:* What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?
*Answer:* Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.
*Question 15:* What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?
*Answer:* Help the person into a sleeping position, call for help and rush him or her to a coronary care unit, since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.
*Question 16:* How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?
**Answer:* Extremely difficult without ECG.
*Question 17:* What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 years of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.
*Answer:* Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.
*Question 18:* Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120/80 and yet be perfectly healthy?
*Question 19:* Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child. Is it true?
*Answer :* Yes, c👎sanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities and you may NOT have a software engineer as a child.
*Question 20:* Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many a times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart? What precautions would you recommend?
*Answer :* When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as you grow older, respect the biological clock.
*Question 21:* Will taking anti-hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short/long term)?
*Answer :* Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are extremely safe, especially Natural Medicine.
*Question 22:* Will consuming more coffee/tea lead to heart attacks?
*Question 23:* Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?
*Answer :* No.
*Question 24:* How would you define junk food?
*Answer :* Fried food like Kentucky, McDonalds, Samosas, and even Masala Dosas.
*Question 25:* You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food?
*Answer:* Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately, Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease.
*Question 26:* Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?
*Question 27:* Can a person help himself during a heart attack (Because we see a lot of forwarded e-mails on this)?
*Answer:* Yes. Lie down comfortably and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up.
*Question 28:* Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low hemoglobin count lead to heart problems?
*Answer:* No. But it is ideal to have normal hemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity.
*Question 29:* Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as a substitute for exercise?
*Answer:* Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot.
*Question 30:* Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?
*Answer:* Yes. A strong relationship since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics.
*Question 31:* What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?
*Answer :* Diet, exercise, drugs on time, Control cholesterol, BP, weight.
*Question 32:* Are people working on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers?
*Question 33:* What are the modern anti-hypertensive drugs?
*Answer:* There are hundreds of drugs and your doctor will chose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugs and go for natural ways of controlling blood pressure by walk, diet to reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles.
*Question 34:* Does aspirin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks?
*Question 35:* Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women?
*Answer:* Nature protects women till the age of 45. (Present Global census show that the Percentage of heart disease in women has increased than in men )
*Question 36:* How can one keep the heart in a good condition?
*Answer:* Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for health checkups if you are past the age of 30 ( once in six months recommended😎
Please, don't hoard knowledge. It takes sharing of knowledge to discover and understand the world in which we live.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly. Avoid quacks, don't engage in self medication
**Don't be a good student and a bad teacher.**
There are various reasons behind the causes of hypertension.
Like depression and stress is also another way of increasing our blood pressure.
But there's one cause of hypertension we keep ignoring which is the intake of too salt.
When there's excessive salt in your body system, it could eventually raise the blood pressure to a higher level.
Causing the part through which the blood passes to be thick.
Thereby limiting the movement of oxygen to some part of the body.
@Samuel23: I totally agree with you as this is quite impressive educating and informative I have actually learnt a lot and this topic that you posted that is what causes hypertension and The cure so there are many things we overlook and our daily lives that leads to high blood pressure or hypertension as it might be called.
But we overlook all these believing that all is well and because this actually builds up with time so we feel like there is no problem at all and I think part of the problem is because of the culture of the Africans and the blacks generally.
Once we feel we are fine we do not go for check up with do not go for medical diagnostics we don't know what really take into consideration our medical health as it's supposed to be taken care of but with this I feel if one can put in place all this lessons the guide will be able to reduce the occurrence of high blood pressure or hypertension as it might be.
. Thiis happens more among the elderly ones majorly right from age of 50 and above and as they get older they keep on manifesting all the symptoms and some can just collapse maybe while they are working or while they are bathing or why they are working in their passage or one way or the other so we just miss their step and that is all it's the end or the other side of the story.
So I feel that one is to really take care of yourself consider balanced diet food then also take appropriate blog as prescribed by the medical doctors that use the qualified medical personnel and as you do this will find out that will be having a better health lifestyle so thank you very much this is my take on this topic.
**Help the needy and love everyone**
Hypertension has turned out to be a disease that has taken the lives of a lot of people.
One of the various ways to prevent hypertension is by doing proper exercise, at least three times a week.
By eating good food, you don't live to eat, you eat to live.
Stay away from bad habits like drinking, smoking and taking hard drugs. These are major causes of hypertension.
If you can keep up with these habits there is a little chance of you having diabetes.
@lilcent: you're right about the excessive in take of salt as most of the meals we eat contains some grams of salt.
Even the ones that taste sugary.
@Osaroj😍 Alot needs to be said about self medications as it has been a problem in this part of the world.
Alot of people have died out of taking self medications.
Despite the warnings from doctors about self medications.
I think we need more orientation on the effect of self medications.
It's so sad how a lot of people have lost their live to series of heart diseases, like cardiac arrest, hypertension etc.
There are various ways one can prevent the occurrence of these ailments which are:
1. Medical checkup: For one to stay healthy and free from heart diseases, he has to maintain a proper medical body check up, at least once in every 3 months.
With proper medical checkup one can be able to trace one or two faults in the body system before it occurs.
2. Eating balanced diet; maintaining proper balanced diet is necessary if one want to be healthy and prevent the occurrence of heart diseases like hypertension, cardiac arrest etc.
Make sure you eat like your life depends on it.
What you feed your thoughts with is another important factor in being healthy as well as negative thoughts could also have adverse effect on your health.