The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Symptoms of hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. However, if left untreated, it increases the risk of serious problems such as heart attack and stroke. About a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many are unaware of it. The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is to undergo a blood pressure check.
What is high blood pressure?Blood pressure is recorded by two numbers. Systolic pressure (the higher number) is the force with which the heart pumps blood around the body. Diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels. Both values are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). As a general guide:
- High blood pressure is considered 140/90 mmHg or higher (or 150/90 mmHg or higher if you are over 80 years old)
- Ideal blood pressure is usually between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
- Blood pressure between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg can mean that you are at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.
- you are overweight
- you consume too much salt and don't eat enough fruits and vegetables
- you are not getting enough exercise
- Drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
- you smoke cigarettes
- do not sleep much or have sleep disturbances
- are over the age of 65
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- They are native to black Africa or the black Caribbean
- they live in a poor area
- Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of hypertension and help lower blood pressure if it is already high.
- reduce your salt intake and follow an overall healthy diet
- reduce alcohol consumption
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- exercise regularly
- restrict caffeine
- Stop smoking
- Some people with high blood pressure may also need 1 or more medications to prevent blood pressure from getting too high.