It is far better to have low blood pressure than it is to have high. Known as the silent killer because its symptoms aren’t obvious, around thirty per cent of us in the UK have high blood pressure.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It’s something that should be checked every five years.
If after you’ve had two or three readings and your blood pressure measures 140/90 or higher, you are said to have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). A normal blood pressure reading should be below 130/80.
Anyone with a family history of high blood pressure can be at risk, but as we age, our chances of having high blood pressure increase.
Other factors include:
- Being overweight;
- Consuming too much alcohol;
- Being over sixty-five;
- Consuming too much salt;
- Not eating enough fruit and vegetables;
- Not exercising enough.
To bring high blood pressure down to a controllable level, we must maintain a better lifestyle, introduce more exercise, consume less salt and cut back on alcohol. It’s usually a poor lifestyle that triggers it. Anyone with a consistently high reading must be closely monitored, until their blood pressure is brought back under control.
Medication is not always necessary if high blood pressure can be controlled by a better lifestyle. A better lifestyle is something we should all be striving to achieve.
A doctor or other healthcare practitioner can advise.