Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heartpumps blood into blood vessels, which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, to stroke, kidney disease, and to heart failure.
A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80. It's read as "120 over 80." The top number is called the systolic, and bottom number is called the diastolic. The ranges are:
If your blood pressure is above the normal range, talk to your doctor about how to lower it.
Risk factors can be divided into three main categories:
1. Risk factors you cannot control. These include your parents (determining your ethnicity, your genes and therefore your family history) and your age.
2. Risk factors you can control. These include overweight, lack of exercise, smoking, wrong food choices, use of the contraceptive pill, use of anti-inflammatory drugs, and the use of certain recreational drugs.
3. Associated diseases or organ damage can also increase your total risk. These include high blood cholesterol levels, existing heart disease, angina, heart failure, diabetes, previous stroke (including so-called mini-strokes), kidney damage, damage to the retina of the eye, and damage to the blood vessels.
High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.
One high reading does not mean you have high blood pressure. It is necessary to measure your blood pressure at different times, while you are resting comfortably for at least five minutes. To make the diagnosis of hypertension, at least three readings that are elevated are usually required.
Treatment consists of self care and diuretics
Eating a healthier diet with less salt, exercising regularly and taking medication can help lower blood pressure.
Aerobic activity for 20–30 minutes 5 days a week improves cardiovascular health. If injured, pursuing an activity that avoids the injured muscle group or joint can help maintain physical function while recovering.
Pursuing an enjoyable activity or verbalising frustration to reduce stress and improve mental health.
Quitting smoking tobacco.
Home blood pressure monitors
Regular monitoring of blood pressure can help diagnose high blood pressure.
Low sodium diet
A diet that restricts salt (sodium chloride) and other forms of sodium to no more than 2,000 mg per day
Relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and prevents diabetes-related kidney damage.
Increases urine production to get rid of excess salt and water.
Slows heart rate and decreases blood pressure. When taken in eye-drop form, it reduces eye pressure.
Lowers blood pressure.
Calcium channel blocker
Relaxes blood vessels.
Widens blood vessels.
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables andlow-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet