Preventing high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition which affects many adults especially those aged 40 and above.
But it is largely preventable.
We know that family history plays a part. If someone in your family has or has suffered from high blood pressure then you are at increased risk of developing this. But, this is by no means automatic.
The important thing to remember is that uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to all sorts of health problems. These include heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, diabetes, vascular dementia and so on.
So, if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure then you will need to take action to lower it in order to reduce these risks.
This and other information relating to high blood pressure is covered in greater detail throughout this guide.
The risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older but this does not mean that you can’t take steps to reduce the risk. You can stop yourself becoming another statistic. So, how can you prevent yourself from developing high blood pressure?
The following tips are designed to prevent high blood pressure: but they equally apply if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and need ways to reduce it.
- Eat a low fat diet: review your diet and swap any high fat, sugary foods for healthier alternatives.
- Reduce your salt intake: experts advise us to consume no more than 6g of salt a day. But some foods have hidden levels of salt. Check food labels carefully and look at how much salt and/or sodium is contained within (in mg). Choose unsalted or salt-free foods.
- Take regular exercise: this doesn’t have to mean the gym but find something which you enjoy and will stick to and do this on a daily basis (around 30 minutes).
- Keep at a healthy weight: being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. Speak to your GP or practice nurse about this.
- Stop smoking: this increases your risk of many serious health conditions which includes high blood pressure. Plus it can shorten your life expectancy as well. Ask your GP’s advice about smoking cessation programmes. Alternately, visit our stopping smoking guide.
- Limit your alcohol intake: stick to the recommended limits and try and have a few ‘alcohol free’ nights. Moderate amounts of alcohol are fine but excess drinking leads to serious health problems. One of these is high blood pressure.
- Have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis: this is particularly important if you are aged 40 or older.
- If you suffer from diabetes then ensure that you control your blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a risk factor for high blood pressure so control this to prevent this risk as well as complications.
- Monitor your blood pressure: if you have high blood pressure then work closely with your GP to keep it under control. This means leading a healthy lifestyle, taking your blood pressure medication and having regular check ups with your GP.
Adopting these tips will help prevent high blood pressure as well as ensuring that you lead a healthier, longer life.
High Blood Pressure
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