Once again we are working with Blood Pressure UK and getting our patients involved in their annual Know Your Numbers! campaign
This year’s theme: ‘Living well for longer’ – encourages people to have their blood pressure measured so they can take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduce their risk of debilitating strokes and heart attacks. With many of us living well into our 70s, 80s and 90s and with so much life to look forward to, these years need to be healthy and happy for everyone, free from disease and disability.
All our practitioners are qualified to take blood pressure and can provide information and advice on keeping blood pressure under control with Blood Pressure UK’s guidelines. We are happy to take your BP anytime so please just ask when you are next in clinic. It only takes a minute and can be a great indicator of health.
What is Hypertension or High Blood Pressure?
Known as the silent killer as there are no symptoms, high blood pressure is THE biggest single cause of death in the UK which is WHY it’s important that people have their blood pressure checked. If it is high, a healthcare professional can advise on the necessary lifestyle changes to help manage it.
With unhealthy lifestyles and poor diet contributing to more young people in their 30s, 40s and 50s being diagnosed with hypertension, around 1 in 3 people in the UK are now living with high blood pressure – with 6.5 million people still remaining undiagnosed.
Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not enough exercise.
Hypertension typically develops over the course of several years and usually you don’t notice any symptoms. But even without symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys which is why early detection is important. Know Your Numbers! Week is the perfect opportunity to have your blood pressure taken for free, put you in control of your health and live well for longer.
Hemini Bharadia, Know Your Numbers! Campaign Manager
Facts about blood pressure from Blood Pressure UK:
- High blood pressure has no obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have a blood pressure check.
- Untreated high blood pressure is the major risk factor for strokes, heart attacks and heart failure. It is also a major risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.
- A healthy blood pressure is a level of 120/80mmHg or less.
- A blood pressure of 121/81mmHg to 139/89mmHg is on the high side and lifestyle changes such as eating less salt, more fruit and veg and losing weight if necessary should be advised.
- If readings are consistently at or above 140/90mmHg, high blood pressure is diagnosed, and action should be taken to lower it by leading a healthier lifestyle, and, if necessary, by taking medication as directed by your doctor.
Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Top five tips for a healthy blood pressure’:
Cut down on salt – Reducing your salt intake it the quickest way to lower your blood pressure. Don’t add it when cooking or at the table, avoid using stock cubes, gravy and soy sauce, check food labels and avoid processed foods high in salt – aim to eat less than 6g a day.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day.
Watch your weight – try to reach the right weight for your height.
Exercise regularly – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal. If you are unsure about taking up exercise, ask your GP.
Drink alcohol in moderation – up to 14 units a week for both men and women – a glass of wine or a pint of beer is 2-3 units.