Hypertension (more commonly known as high blood pressure) is something we have all heard of but how much do you actually know? What actually is hypertension? What can cause it? And how can it be treated? Healthy blood pressure is a vital aspect of a healthy body and something we all need to be wary of!
What is Blood Pressure?
Most of us have had our blood pressure measured but do we know what they are taking a measurement of? The NHS describe blood pressure as ‘the force against the arteries from the blood when it is pumped from the heart’. The measurement is given as 2 numbers shown like below;
The top, systolic pressure, is the force when the heart has is beating and the blood is being forced through the arteries and diastolic pressure is the force in between heart beats.
What is a Healthy Blood Pressure Level?
When taking your blood pressure level the ideal number should be 120/80, anything close to that is a healthy level. Your blood pressure can be affected by your activity level or emotional state so your level may differ depending on when you take it so don’t worry if the odd reading is a little high.
The Dangers of High Blood Pressure
The high force of blood being pushed against the walls of your arteries can critically damage them and lead to life threatening conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease. Many people don’t even realise they have hypertension because it rarely shows any symptoms which is why it can be so dangerous and why it has been given the nickname the ‘silent killer’.
Because of the lack of symptoms, it is vital for you to track and measure your blood pressure regularly. Remember it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your health.
How to Reduce and Control Your Blood Pressure
The People most at risk of suffering from high blood pressure are over 55’s, overweight, inactive, consumers of a lot of alcohol, smokers and those who have a diet high in sodium. The positive thing about those causes are that all of them apart from age can be addressed easily by making simple lifestyle changes.
The Dangers of hypertension cannot be ignored, the effects of it can be killer but it isn’t something you need to be constantly worrying about. Blood pressure is easy to monitor from your home with your own blood pressure monitor to ensure you are at a safe level and never become another victim of the silent killer!