Understanding High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Blood pressure is the measure of force needed for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. You need a certain amount of pressure for blood to move from your heart to your brain and to the rest of your body.
Your blood pressure naturally goes up and down throughout the day and night or when you’re doing certain activities. Higher blood pressure only becomes a problem when it’s consistently high. Your arteries are flexible enough to cope with your blood pressure undergoing natural everyday changes but cannot do so indefinitely. If they are constantly dealing with higher blood pressure, your arteries can lose their elasticity and become stiffened, narrowed, or clogged.
This condition is called hypertension, or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is serious because of how much strain it puts on your heart, arteries, and body. If you ignore it or allow it to go untreated, you can end up with serious complications like heart attack and stroke. Hypertension can also lead to heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke. It can also cause kidney failure, heart failure, vision loss, and dementia.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
It’s often difficult to tell if you have high blood pressure because any symptoms aren’t noticeable until the condition has progressed to a more severe state. If you are not symptomatic and are diagnosed with hypertension, it’s usually because it was caught by a GP, nurse, or other healthcare practitioner during a routine blood pressure check.
If you do experience noticeable symptoms, they can include:
- Severe headaches
- Irregular heartbeats
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Blood in your urine
- Pounding in your chest, ears, and neck
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Facial flushing
Because these symptoms can sometimes be attributed to other conditions or just to the stresses of everyday life, a person may not know they have hypertension. This is why regular blood pressure screenings are so important.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Since high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, knowing your blood pressure levels could save your life. Getting regular blood pressure checks with your GP or at a pharmacy can help you prevent and treat potential issues with your blood pressure.
The most common cause of high blood pressure is poor diet and a lack of exercise. However, there isn’t always a clear cause of high blood pressure because even people with healthy lifestyles can develop it. This may be due to genetics, age, or having a family history of hypertension.
Other risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Alcoholism or heavy drinking
- A history of kidney disease
- A history of thyroid disorders
- Eating too much salt or sodium
There is some evidence that high blood pressure is more common in people of African descent, Caribbean descent, and in those who live in deprived regions with limited access to a balanced diet.
Prevention of Hypertension
Even if you’re at a higher risk of hypertension, you can keep your blood pressure in a healthy range by having a healthy and active lifestyle. You should eat a balanced diet full of whole grains, superfoods, fruits, and veg. Make sure your diet is low in processed foods, refined sugars, and sodium. You don’t have to completely deprive yourself, but instead should eat less healthy foods in moderation. Even small changes can have a major impact on your blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce your risk of high blood pressure especially when it’s combined with a good diet. If you’re unsure where to start or can’t spare the expense for a gym membership, moderate exercise like walking can do wonders for your weight, blood pressure, and heart health.
Another way to manage your blood pressure is by getting enough sleep at night. Easier said than done, but a good night’s sleep is important for your blood pressure levels and overall health. Getting poor sleep on a regular basis has been linked to heart disease, stroke, stress, and high blood pressure.
You should also quit smoking and cut back on your alcohol intake. Both alcohol and cigarettes have immediate effects on your blood pressure, but the good news is your blood pressure levels will drop the longer you go without these vices. While there is no amount of cigarettes that’s considered healthy, when it comes to alcohol men should limit themselves to two drinks max per day. Women should limit themselves to one.
If you’re at a higher risk of high blood pressure or have concerns, you can buy a home monitor to help you keep track of your blood pressure. That way you can catch any potential issues as soon as possible and get treatment.
Treatment of High Blood Pressure
Like most illnesses and diseases, maintaining your blood pressure is an ongoing process that involves continuous healthy lifestyle choices and/or medications.
Many people also take high blood pressure medication to regulate their blood pressure. For these medications to be effective you will still need to make positive choices when it comes to food, drinks, and other potentially harmful habits.
Two effective high blood pressure medications are Accupro and Accuretic. Available only on prescription, these high blood pressure drugs work by relaxing the walls of your arteries to facilitate better blood flow throughout your body. This can help prevent stroke, heart attack, and other complications of high blood pressure.
- Accupro is a medication used for regulating blood pressure by dilating or widening the blood vessels in the body. Its active ingredient is Quinapril, a type of drug known as an ACE inhibitor, a medication that relaxes veins and arteries.
- Accuretic is a high blood pressure medication that combines the effects of Quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide to cause blood vessels to widen and relax which decreases blood pressure.
You can buy high blood pressure drugs like Accupro and Accuretic online in the UK from pharmacy Planet. Visit our website or contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your blood pressure.