What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood moving through your arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
What is a “good” blood pressure reading?
Blood pressure lower than or equal to 120/80 is ideal.
For people with diabetes or kidney disease, blood pressure lower than 130/80 is good. Lower than 120/80 is ideal.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is the technical term for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
It’s like a car tyre with too much air in it. If the tyre pressure is not lowered, there is risk for tyre damage. If your high blood pressure is not lowered, there is risk for damage to your eyes, brain, heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.
You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Am I at risk of having High Blood Pressure?
If you belong to any of the following categories, you should have your blood pressure checked at least once every 6 months:
(A) Age above 45
(C) Frequently consume alcohol
(F) Family history of High Blood pressure
(G) Sedentary lifestyle – very little, or no, exercise
(H) Stress – Whether at work and/or home
(I) Too much salt in the diet – adding table salt to cooked food; pickles
Steps to reduce High Blood Pressure
(A) Reduce salt intake
(B) Exercise regularly
(C) Lose weight
(D) Eat healthy – avoid salty snacks: choose fruits / salads instead
(E) Avoid butter & full-cream dairy products: Take skimmed / toned milk
Do I need medication?
Let your doctor decide this.
Please do not self-medicate!
(This article first appeared on Practo and is authored by Dr. Aseem Dewan https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/everything-you-must-know-about-high-blood-pressure-8358/post)