An introduction to high blood pressure
The normal blood pressure range is considered to be between 90 over 60 and 120 over 80. The top number is known as the systolic pressure and it refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscles. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure and refers to your blood pressure between your heart beats. Anything that is consistently higher than 140/90 is considered to be high blood pressure.
High blood pressure puts an extra strain on our body, heart and blood vessels. This extra strain can cause arteries to become weaker and less flexible meaning that they will become narrower and prone to blood clots. Over time, high blood pressure can cause heart and kidney disease and is closely linked to some forms of dementia.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is often known as the ‘silent killer’ because it rarely has any noticeable symptoms and yet it has such a detrimental effect on our health. There is no direct link between a body symptom and high blood pressure so the only way to know for sure is to have your blood pressure tested by a doctor.
If you have extremely high blood pressure breathlessness, dizziness and fatigue are sometimes associated with the condition. However, it is extremely important to get checked by a doctor if you think you could have high blood pressure rather than waiting to see if you have symptoms because they often don’t appear.
What causes high blood pressure?
The exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown however, several lifestyle habits are known and have been scientifically proven to lead to higher blood pressure. The following are some of the most common factors that can contribute to higher blood pressure:
• Being overweight
• Lack of physical activity
• Getting older can increase our blood pressure
• Long-term sleep deprivation
• Some medications
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Treating high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure the good news is that there are a number of health and lifestyle changes you can make to help lower it again. Blood pressure medication may also be recommended by your doctor depending on how high your blood pressure reading is. Doctors also recommend lifestyle alterations for high blood pressure regardless of whether they prescribe medication or not.
There are a number of lifestyle changes you can do to lower high blood pressure including:
• Losing weight
• Exercising more
• Eating a more balanced diet that is low in fat and salt
• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
• Effective stress management
• Taking blood pressure medication
• Reduce your caffeine intake
For more information easy lifestyle changes to help reduce high blood pressure click here.