What Is High Blood Pressure, What Are The Causes Of Hypertension And When Should You Be Concerned?

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WHEN your heart beats it moves blood around your body and, as it flows, the blood pushes against the sides of the blood vessels.

The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. Here is what a normal reading should be and what to do if yours is too high or too low…

Getty – Contributor Blood pressure can be measured using a sphygmomanometer

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

The ideal blood pressure should be below 120 and over 80 (120/80) and most UK adults have blood pressure in the range 120 over 80 (120/80) to 140 over 90 (140/90).

The higher number is the systolic pressure, which is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body, and the lower number is the diastolic pressure, the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

You can request a blood pressure reading at your local GP – it only takes a minute or so.

Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called a sphygmomanometer, where a a cuff is placed around your arm and inflated with a pump until the circulation is cut off.

Then, a small valve slowly deflates the cuff, and the doctor measures blood pressure.

Getty – Contributor You can get a blood pressure reading from your GP – it takes minutes

What are the risks if it is too high or too low?

If your blood pressure is too high (know as hypertension), it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

For the most part, the lower your blood pressure the better.

However, if you experience symptoms of dizziness, nausea, fainting and dehydration, then low blood pressure may be a problem.

If you experience any of those symptoms, it’s best to see your GP.

Getty – Contributor Bloody pressure can be reduced with a healthy diet and exercise

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

High blood pressure can present a serious risk of heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.

Some symptoms can include severe headaches, fatigue or confusion, vision problems and chest pains.

Sufferers of high blood pressure could also experience difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine and pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.

If you feel any of these symptoms, it’s best to get it checked with your GP.

Getty – Contributor Symptoms of high blood pressure include severe headaches and fatigue




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