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High blood pressure, the medical term being Hypertension, is when the pressure in your blood vessels is unusually high. It is estimated that up to 7 million people have high blood pressure in the UK and are unaware they suffer from it.
When we are active, it is normal for our blood pressure to rise. If your blood pressure is consistently high, even when you are stationary, then you might want to consider seeking medical advice or support.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
Many people with high blood pressure have no ongoing symptoms. Blurred vision, headaches, shortness of breath and nosebleeds are a few common symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, your GP practice will offer you a health check once you reach forty and every five years following that. During these consultations, they will measure your blood pressure and assess for any future risks.
What is high blood pressure?
Normal healthy arteries are stretchy to cope with your blood pressure going up and down whilst pumping blood and carrying it to your organs. If you have high blood, your arteries become stiff and narrow. This narrowing makes it easier for fatty material to build on their walls and clog up arteries. Clogged arteries can lead to heart attack and strokes occurring.
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to heart and circulatory diseases, heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, sight problems and heart failure. If you have high blood pressure, reducing it by even a small amount can help lower your risk of developing these conditions.
What lifestyle changes can help prevent and lower high blood pressure?
Reduce the amount of salt you eat and have a generally healthy diet