What is it?
The heart continually pumps blood to all the parts of the body. As the blood flows, it exerts pressure on the sides of the blood vessels. Everyone has this blood pressure. However, it sometimes exceeds normal levels or come short of it. Hypertension is defined as a systolic (top number) blood pressure reading consistently above 130 or diastolic (lower number) reading of over 85.
Signs and Symptoms
People with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, or dizziness but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.
Whilst others have no signs or symptoms, even if the blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
Lifestyle changes can help you control and prevent high blood pressure, even if you’re taking blood pressure medication. Here is what you can do:
- Decrease the salt in your diet– salt tends to stiffen the blood vessels, causing them to be less elastic, hence constricting blood flow. By decreasing salt intake, studies have shown that people can markedly lower their systolic blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy weight.Keeping a healthy weight can help you control your high blood pressure and lower your risk of related health problems
- Increase physical activity.Regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, manage stress, reduce your risk of several health problems and keep your weight under control.
- Limit alcohol.Even if you’re healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home.Monitoring your blood pressure can help you keep check on your blood pressure, show if medication is working, and even alert you and your doctor to potential complications.