Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. High blood pressure can put an extra strain on the kidneys, blood vessels and the heart it is important to have your blood pressure checked. There are a number of ways to get your blood pressure checked including: your GP surgery, at some pharmacies, as a part of your NHS Health Check and in some workplaces. You may have a blood pressure machine at home where you can check it.

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As a general guide your blood pressure should be below 140/90 or the ideal would be 120/80, if it is constantly over then it is recommended that you should go see your GP as soon as possible. Everyone’s blood pressure is slightly different however it is still always best to get it checked for your own heart health.

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The causes of high blood pressure can be from a range of factors including: if you are over the age of 65, are overweight, don’t do much exercise, smoke, eat a lot of salt, drink alcohol in excess, don’t get enough sleep, are of African or Caribbean descent or have a relative with high blood pressure. Making healthy and sensible lifestyle changes can help to reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and if it is already high then they can help to reduce it.

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If it is constantly high, it can lead to potentially life threatening health conditions such as: heart disease, vascular dementia, strokes, heart failure, heart attacks or kidney disease. The lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure can be: to increase exercise, stop smoking and to cut down on caffeine and alcohol. If you are still worried about blood pressure then your doctor will advise you more and may provide medication if lifestyle changes are not helping. For more advise visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/ .