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Dr Hilary Jones Discusses High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension means that your blood pressure level has been found on many separate occasions to be above normal. This requires treatment to prevent the possibility of developing serious and potentially life threatening complications as a result of that high blood pressure.

How Common is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood Pressure is extremely common with 10-20% of the UK population affected. The older you are the more likely it is that you have developed it. Currently there are 7 to 10 million people in the UK living with Hypertension.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

There are many causes all of which play a part in causing High Blood Pressure. To some extent you may inherit a predisposition to it but a diet which is high in salt and alcohol can certainly contribute. Your ethnic background is relevant and other conditions such as being overweight and diabetes may play a role. Insufficient regular exercise will only compound the above issues. Stress is well known to raise blood pressure and the longer people live with unresolved stress the more likely it is that their blood pressure will become permanently raised.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is actually a symptomless disease. The vast majority of people will be blissfully unaware they have developed high blood pressure until that is it has already done serious damage to your body. That is why having your blood pressure checked on a regular basis and taking steps to control it once it has been identified is so vital. Keeping your blood pressure under control can minimise your risks of developing serious and potentially life threatening complications such as heart attacks and strokes.

Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure

The diagnosis of high blood pressure is easy as a special cuff placed around the upper arm will tell the Doctor whether the blood pressure is raised and if so permanently on several occasions. Even so further investigations are required for example testing cholesterol levels and to exclude other underlying disease such as kidney problems. Everybody with Hypertension should have a simple urine test to rule out diabetes a blood sample and an ECG. It does no harm to check somebody’s weight at the same time. A physical examination can rule out most serious underlying conditions. An Electro Cardiogram can point to any enlargement of the heart and also rule out any signs of narrowing of the coronary arteries. Only a few patients will need to be referred to a specialist clinic for further tests.

Treating High Blood Pressure

First of all the lifestyle needs to be altered. A reduction in salt intake, normalising weight, drinking alcohol in moderation and taking plenty of regular exercise are important. Stress counselling can be useful for those in whom it is appropriate and on top of these things medications can help control blood pressure. There is a huge variety of anti-hypertensive drugs all of which are equally effective or there abouts. Some people will need more than one drug to control their blood pressure but the good news is that modern medicines have few side effects.

Living With High Blood Pressure

Provided the blood pressure is regularly checked and kept under control with treatment, most people can enjoy a very normal life. However, some lifestyle changes will be required and some people will have associated conditions such as heart disease or diabetes to contend with. These can sometimes impinge on people’s independence and general health. Telecare24 Careline Services could prove invaluable for these people as they enable them to stay living independently and safely in their home whilst remaining in touch around the clock with their loved ones or if necessary the emergency services. Their highly trained, polite and helpful operators work 365 days a year 24 hours a day and provide the fastest response times compared to other providers. Telecare24 Careline Services come highly recommended.

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