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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is suffered by one in four UK adults. It is often symptom-less which is why approximately one third of these do not know they have it. The only way for people to know if they have the condition is to have their blood pressure measured. An ideal range for blood pressure is 90 (systolic)/60 (diastolic) mmHg to 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 mmHg and above.
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes. High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart attacks, heart failure and kidney disease. There is also increasing evidence that it is a risk factor for vascular dementia, caused by the gradual death of brain cells due to reduced blood flow into the brain.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with blood pressure problems, the mainstream’s first line of defence is to handout drugs like angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and calcium channel blockers. But these drugs all come with a lengthy list of side effects and the potential to interact with other drugs – making them even more dangerous, especially if you are already on a cocktail of different drugs. Lifestyle changes, vitally important in the control of chronic diseases, can often be enough to help prevent or lower your blood pressure. These include, naming just a couple, quitting smoking, regular exercise, more sleep and a reduction in heavy alcohol consumption.
The Daily Health aims to equip you with all the information you need to help prevent or reduce the impact of high blood pressure. Offering safe alternative measures as well as information on common prescription medication, effective help to get your blood pressure under control is at hand.
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