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Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure and How to Prevent Hypertension

Commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension is a condition that’s usually diagnosed by a doctor measuring systolic pressure (the force of blood being pumped around the body by the heart) and diastolic pressure (blood vessel resistance to blood flow). If your blood pressure readings are too high, you could be more at risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke and heart failure. With around 1 in 3 adults in the UK suffering from high blood pressure and approximately 5 million people going undiagnosed, what are the common symptoms to look out for and what can you do to control your own blood pressure?

Common symptoms 

Some relatively common symptoms of hypertension to look out for include regular headaches, feeling dizzy, nosebleeds, blurred vision, chest pain and breathing difficulties. High blood pressure can also lead to erectile dysfunction in men and excessive sweating during the night. Unfortunately, high blood often does not present too many noticeable symptoms, which means you may have to be extra vigilant and watch out for overall changes in your physical health. Always consult with your doctor or medical professional if you’re concerned about the symptoms of hypertension.

Common causes 

There are a number of factors that can put you more at risk of developing hypertension, such as where you live, your age, your weight, your genetic background, your family’s medical history and even your sleep pattern. You’re also considerably more likely to develop high blood pressure if you’re highly stressed, smoke, follow a poor diet and drink too much coffee or alcohol. Luckily it’s easy to start making changes to your lifestyle to reduce the risk of hypertension-related health risks. 

Treatment and prevention 

The best way to avoid hypertension is by sticking to a healthy lifestyle. This includes giving up those harmful habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and too much caffeine, as well as following a healthy balanced diet, getting plenty of regular exercise and taking steps to manage your weight. If you’re diagnosed with hypertension, you may be prescribed medicines for high blood pressure and you’ll have to make some significant changes to your lifestyle in order to stay healthy. It’s worth noting that some older patients may be more at risk of complications when taking blood pressure medication - always consult with your doctor to learn more about the best treatment options for you.

Because around half of the people suffering from high blood pressure are unaware that they’ve got the condition, it’s essential that you stay on top of your health and look out for the warning signs. If you’re in an ‘at-risk’ group, always monitor your general physical health and investigate any unexplained changes that could indicate high blood pressure. Most importantly, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay safe!

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