High blood pressure affects many people in our community. During ‘Know Your Numbers!’ week, some may have found out they have high blood pressure and didn’t even know it. But what do you do with that information? Well, the first step to managing high blood pressure is knowing that you have it!
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure affects 1 in 3 people in the UK and many of them don’t know they have it. It is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure can also cause health issues such as kidney disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, vascular dementia and heart failure. Roughly 1 in 20 cases of high blood pressure are a result of an underlying health condition, but in many other cases, it’s not clear what caused high blood pressure. However, there are certain factors that can put you more at risk such as smoking and eating too much salt. Making small changes to your lifestyle can help manage your blood pressure.
What can I do to manage my blood pressure?
- Cut down your salt intake – Eating too much salt is closely related with high blood pressure. It’s an easy way to manage your blood pressure. check how much salt is in your food and try to cut down on the amount you consume.
- Switch to a balanced, low-fat diet – Maintaining a healthy diet is key in managing your blood pressure. Making sure you eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables as well as grains will help manage your blood pressure. Keep an eye on your portion sizes as being overweight can increase your risk of high blood pressure.
- Make sure to exercise – Keeping active can help lower your blood pressure over time. Exercise is the go-to option for anyone trying to live a healthier lifestyle and as little as 150 minutes of exercise a week can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health.
- Cut down on alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and be bad for your health overall. Alcohol can also reduce the effectiveness of your medications so make sure you speak to your GP if you have concerns. However, moderate amounts of alcohol, in some cases can help lower your blood pressure slightly. You can read the whole article about alcohol consumption and blood pressure on WebMD by clicking here.
- Quit smoking – Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for a while. The more cigarettes you smoke a day, the more you are at risk of high blood pressure. Quitting smoking can help regulate your blood pressure and improve your health.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home – Home monitoring helps you keep track of your blood pressure and let you know if certain life changes are helping. Checking your blood pressure at home can also help alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. It’s important that you speak to your GP if you’re Blood pressure is often above 120/80.
Here’s a reference chart from Blood Pressure UK:
Want to know more?
To find out more information and advice about high blood pressure and how to manage it, visit the NHS website by clicking here.
For more information about Heritage Healthcare Epsom and the services we provide, visit our services page by clicking here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our team through your preferred contact method here.
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