High Blood Pressure is a condition where the physical pressure within your blood vessels is raised.
High Blood Pressure is caused by underlying medical or hormonal problems in some cases, but is most often what is called “essential high blood pressure” meaning that the exact cause is not known.
High Blood Pressure cannot be felt and so must be measured.
High Blood Pressure is measured using a machine called a sphygmomanometer. These are used by doctors and nurses but you can get home-use machines too. Because blood pressure varies from moment to moment and day to day it is really important that several measurements are taken before making a diagnosis.
High Blood Pressure can often be managed with lifestyle changes including weight control, regular exercise, low-salt and low-fat eating, adequate rest and effective stress management.
High Blood pressure may require medical treatment and a vast array of medications are available today. Finding the best medication or combination of medications can take some time and a bit of “trial and error”.
When high blood pressure is left untreated it increases the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, poor circulation, eye problems, and more.
When high blood pressure is treated and well controlled, the risk of medical complications is significantly reduced.
There are several additional risk factors that should always be considered alongside high blood pressure. These include weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, smoking, stress, and exercise habits.
The biggest mistakes regarding High Blood Pressure are:
- Believing you can “feel” or “sense” your blood pressure and so not having it checked
- Seeing High Blood Pressure as “bad news” whereas knowing about it is actually good news (you can do something about it, but only if you know about it)
- Wanting to avoid medication but failing to make adequate lifestyle changes
- Abdicating responsibility completely to your doctor rather than seeing Blood Pressure management as a partnership that involves you.