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High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading

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High blood pressure is a silent but deadly killer. It is responsible for 60 percent of all strokes and kidney failure, 40 percent of all heart attacks, allis chalmers weights for sale and it increases your risk of Alzheimer’s by 50 percent, warned superintendent pharmacist Phil Day, on behalf of Pharmacy2U. Given the risks, it is vital that you reverse a high reading.

According to Mr Day, “your GP will let you know if you need to take medicines to keep your blood pressure under control”.

However, there are steps you can take yourself, he said.

These include:

  • Drink in moderation
  • Quitting smoking
  • Regular exercise
  • Managing your weight
  • Limiting your caffeine intake
  • Balanced diet
  • Establishing a sleeping pattern.

“As well as helping your blood pressure, these steps will also reduce your risk of a whole host of other health problems later in life. Further information can be found on the NHS website,” added Mr Day.

He singled out changing your diet, quitting smoking and increasing exercise as interventions that can have a “big impact”.

“Even just taking regular short walks or using the stairs instead of the lift can make a big impact.”

Collectively, these steps can improve sleep quality and help to lower high blood pressure, said Mr Day.

“If you’ve adopted these lifestyle changes but still see little or no improvement, your GP should be able to help with medication.”

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How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

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 five years,” explains the NHS.

“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.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is measured at two points:

  • The highest level, when your heart muscle contracts and pumps blood out through the arteries – this is called systolic blood pressure
  • The lowest level, when your heart relaxes between beats and fills with blood – this is called diastolic blood pressure.

“Your overall blood pressure reading combines these and is shown as two numbers measured in ‘millimetres of mercury (mmHg)'”, explains Bupa.

According to the health body, a reading of around 120/80mmHg is seen as healthy – above 140/90mmHg is considered high.

Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms and aren’t aware of their condition.

It’s usually discovered when you have your blood pressure measured, perhaps as part of a health assessment.

According to Bupa, if you have high blood pressure and it causes complications, you may get symptoms linked to those.

Complications include:

  • Angina
  • A heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • A stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Problems with your vision
  • Vascular dementia.

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