Blood Pressure Checks
It is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, yet many people suffering from high blood pressure may not be controlling or managing it properly. High blood pressure generally doesn’t show any symptoms, which is precisely why we strongly recommend having yours tested – how frequently will depend on your personal circumstances.
Blood pressure is the force of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body and is measured as two numbers, e.g. 120/80.
The first number is the systolic measure. It records the pressure in your arteries as blood is pumped out of the heart as it contracts. The lower number is the diastolic measure, which records the pressure of the blood flow as your heart relaxes between beats.
High blood pressure damages the arteries, as your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body, increasing your risk of a heart attack, stroke and developing eye and kidney problems. The risk of developing problems linked to high blood pressure increases for people who have diabetes, are smokers, overweight or high blood cholesterol.
Your ideal blood pressure will be determined by your doctor, who will also take into account any other risk factors.
Tips to achieve and maintain a healthy blood pressure:
- Daily physical activity (eg go for a walk)
- Eat a healthy diet
- Losing weight will improve your blood pressure
- Reduce your salt intake
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Don’t smoke
General advice only – this information should not replace the information provided to you by your health care professional. If symptoms are severe or persist, please speak to your health care professional. Information current as of date of publishing.
Always check with your pharmacist or medical professional before starting any new medications or supplements, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, are taking any medications currently, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or researching therapies suitable for infants or children.