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High Blood Pressure - The Silent Killer

With high blood pressure being linked as a cause or contributing factor of more and more health problems, affecting your heart, kidneys and even your brain, knowing your blood pressure has never been so important.

It's true what they say, "knowledge is power", or at least it is in this example. If you know you have high blood pressure you then have the opportunity to lower it, and the sooner you take that first step the better.

High blood pressure isn't usually something that can be cured, but it can be treated and controlled. Evidence from many studies show that lowering your blood pressure does greatly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and other illnesses, so I think you'll agree it is a number, like your height or weight, that you should know. You should always consult your doctor regarding medical issues but, by simply adopting a healthier lifestyle, high blood pressure can often be treated without the need for medication.

So what is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force that your heart produces in your arteries as it pumps blood around your body. High pressure puts you at a far greater risk of developing narrowed arteries, which can lead to heart problems, kidney disease and strokes.

What are the symptoms?

Because having high blood pressure doesn't present any symptoms (hence the nickname of "the Silent Killer") this means it can easily go unnoticed. The only way to know how high your blood pressure is is to have it measured.

How do I find out what my blood pressure is?

You can easily find out your blood pressure by asking your doctor for your blood pressure measurement, or you can take a blood pressure measurement yourself at home using a blood pressure monitor. It's quick and painless, but it could potentially save your life.

How do I know if my blood pressure measurement is too high?

If your pressure is not being measured by a medical professional you can use this blood pressure chart, developed by the World Health Organisation and the International Society of Hypertension to, see the varying classifications of blood pressure. But as a general rule, if your blood pressure were 140/90mmHg or higher, you would be considered to have high blood pressure.

Can blood pressure affect anyone?

Yes, and although it can be hereditary or be part of an underlying illness, high blood pressure is more commonly caused by the below factors, and the really good news is you can change or improve all of them:

  • Being overweight
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Poor diet, excessive amounts of salt and fats
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress or emotional upset

So make the next number you learn your blood pressure, it could save your life.

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Further Information about Blood Pressure

www.bloodpressureuk.org Blood Pressure UK

www.bhsoc.org British Hypertension Society

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