Having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can put an extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes which increases our risk of developing certain conditions.
Even lowering your blood pressure a small amount can help lower your risk (1).
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure it’s important to follow your GPs advice about managing your condition, and treatments they recommend. This could include lifestyle changes such as small tweaks to your diet or additional exercise. Our Pharmacist, Anshu, gives her advice:
High Blood Pressure Diet and Exercise Changes to Try:
Cutting back on salt: most people eat about 10g each day (equivalent to 2tsp) compared to the maximum recommended amount of 6g (equivalent to 1.2tsp). You can cut back by not adding salt to food during cooking or at the table and using fresh unprocessed food.
Cutting back on fat: there are three main types of dietary fat. Saturated fats are the most damaging to your health as most of the bad cholesterol in your body is made from the saturated fat in your food. These are usually found in animal products such as meat, butter, milk and cheese, so choosing lean cuts of meat and switching to low fat dairy products will help to reduce the amount in your diet. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are referred to as ‘healthier’ types of fat. They are a better choice of fat as they can help to lower your blood cholesterol levels and reduce the tendency for blood to clot. They are usually found in oils and fish.
Regular exercise: improves the condition of the heart muscle and can lower blood pressure. 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, e.g. brisk walking is recommended.
Atrial Fibrillation and High Blood Pressure:
Atrial Fibrillation, also known as AFib, is a heart condition. It causes an irregular heart rate, often unusually fast. This can cause problems such as feeling dizzy, having shortness or breath and fatigue. It isn’t exactly known what causes atrial fibrillation, but it has been linked to causes and triggers such as: age, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes.
For more information about atrial fibrillation, click here.