Lifestyle Adjustments for High Blood Pressure
You frequently come across the term ‘blood pressure’, but do you know what it actually is? Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure, or force, that your heart uses to pump blood. Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries that then flows throughout your body. Without this pressure, your blood wouldn’t be able to carry oxygen and other nutrients to your organs and tissues.
Most of the time your heart can handle this process without any issue. However, if your arteries are narrowed or clogged, your heart will have to exert extra pressure to pump blood. This is called high blood pressure. The longer your heart is under this increased strain, the more damage your body will experience.
It's normal to have occasional periods of higher than usual blood pressure. Your blood pressure doesn’t always stay the same. It fluctuates based on what you’re doing. For instance, when you’re exercising, nervous, or excited, your blood pressure goes up. When you’re resting or sleeping, your blood pressure goes down.
It's only when your blood pressure is consistently at high levels that you must start worrying. If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, it will most likely be one of two types: primary hypertension or secondary hypertension.
Complications of Hypertension
The increased pressure on artery walls caused by high blood pressure damages blood vessels and organs over time. The higher the blood pressure and the longer it goes untreated, the greater the damage.
Potential complications of unmanaged high blood pressure include:
- Heart failure: High blood pressure puts a lot of strain on the heart and weakens it. If the heart can’t pump blood, it enters heart failure.
- Heart attack or stroke: The hardening, narrowing, and thickening of the arteries caused by high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
- Aneurysm: Increased blood pressure can weaken a blood vessel and make it bulge, creating an aneurysm.
- Kidney problems: High blood pressure can also weaken the blood vessels in the kidneys, causing kidney damage.
- Eye problems: Vision damage and vision loss can occur because of the damage to the blood vessels in the eyes.
- Confusion and cognitive impairment: Uncontrolled high blood pressure may affect the ability to think, remember and learn.
- Dementia: Your brain needs blood to function properly so if the blood vessels carrying blood to the brain are damaged, your brain won’t get enough blood.
Types of High Blood Pressure
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it will most likely be one of two types: primary hypertension or secondary hypertension.
Primary hypertension, also called essential hypertension
For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure is called primary hypertension or essential hypertension. It tends to develop gradually over many years. Plaque build-up in the arteries, called atherosclerosis, increases the risk of high blood pressure.
This type of high blood pressure is caused by an underlying condition. It tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. The underlying conditions and medications linked to secondary hypertension are:
- Adrenal gland tumours.
- Blood vessel problems present at birth, also called congenital heart defects.
- Cough and cold medicines, some pain relievers, birth control pills, and other prescription drugs.
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.
- Kidney disease.
- Obstructive sleep apnoea.
- Thyroid problems
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
The symptoms of high blood pressure are usually hard to detect until the condition has become severe. This is why so many people have the condition without realising it. If they are diagnosed, it’s usually because it was part of routine check-up or screening.
People who are symptomatic may experience:
- Intense headaches.
- Irregular heartbeats.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Chest pain.
- Blood in your urine.
- Pounding in your chest, ears, and neck.
- Facial flushing
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Managing your blood pressure isn’t a quick fix. Instead, it’s a process that mostly involves adopting healthy lifestyle choices. We’re not saying you must give up all your favourite foods or spend all your free time in the gym. Just find a balance that works for you and for your blood pressure.
The first step is eating a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure your plate is full of whole grains, leafy greens, and other fresh produce. If you eat meat, leaner meats like chicken and turkey are a better option than red meat and processed meats. Avoid overindulging in fatty foods, foods high in sodium, and processed foods.
While the occasional glass of red wine is thought to improve heart health, drinking too often can increase your blood pressure. Drink alcohol in moderation whenever you have a tipple. You should also cut back on caffeine, sugary drinks, and fizzy drinks.
If you’re a smoker, look into ways to kick the habit. Cigarettes are one of the worst things you can introduce to your body because of how many serious health conditions it can cause- including high blood pressure. Your GP and local pharmacy can provide you with stop smoking treatment and advice if you aren’t sure where to start.
Some other ways to lower your blood pressure are getting a good night’s sleep, reducing stress, and giving yourself some down time. You can easily keep track of your blood pressure with a home monitor.
High Blood Pressure Medications
Many people also take high blood pressure medication to regulate their blood pressure. For these medications to work properly, you will still need to make healthy choices when it comes to food, drinks, and other habits.
If you’ve been prescribed high blood pressure medication, you can buy Accupro and Amlodipine tablets online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet. In our online pharmacy, you can also buy Bendroflumethiazide and Accurate Tablets Online in the UK.
All our medications are competitively priced and are shipped swiftly and securely right to your doorstep. Whatever medications you may need, Pharmacy Planet can help.