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Do you know enough about blood pressure?

Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, and many may not know it. The health risks associated with high blood pressure are extensive and potentially serious, which is why it is important to understand what the numbers mean and when you should see you GP.

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers, a higher and a lower number. The higher number is the pressure exerted when your heart contracts, and the lower number is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. Blood pressure is said to be high if it is 140/90, or higher. The ideal hovers between 90/60 and 120/80.

If blood pressure is too high, it's put extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs. If left untreated, then it can open the door to conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks and stroke, so it is vital it is diagnosed and managed accordingly.

There are risk factors to having high blood pressure, and these include:-

  • being overweight

  • eating too much salt

  • insufficient exercise

  • excessive alcohol and caffeine intake

  • smoking

  • poor sleeping patterns

  • over 65 years old

  • familial disposition

Treatment for high blood pressure is usually through lifestyle changes and medication, and individuals must take responsibility for their own health. Be sure to get tested at your local GP surgery or pharmacy and see your GP if it is too high. Did you know your local Osteopath is also trained to take blood pressure and conduct a cardiovascular examination?


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