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Controlling High Blood Pressure Hypertension

by Margaret Wardhaugh(more info)

listed in heart, originally published in issue 241 - October 2017

 

Often called ‘the silent killer’ Hypertension or High Blood Pressure can be incredibly dangerous because it can occur with no visible symptoms. Persistently high blood pressure dramatically increases the chances heart attacks and stroke, in addition to several life-threatening diseases such as kidney disease, heart disease and vascular dementia. The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured by your Healthcare Professional (HCP), and then consistently monitor it at home. The good news is that a healthy lifestyle has a preventative effect, and combined with medications can also help lower high blood pressure. Look for a balanced diet with enough fruit and vegetables. Get enough sleep, try to get at least six hours of sleep a night, and cut down on your caffeine consumption. Lose weight if you are obese or overweight, if you drink excessive alcohol, limit your drinking.

Cardiovascular exercise can strengthen the heart and lower blood pressure. Just thirty minutes of cycling, walking, or light yoga can lower blood pressure. In addition to exercise, relaxation exercises and meditation with a focus on breathing technique help to reduce stress, which can exacerbate high blood pressure. With a proactive attitude towards managing your blood pressure and the right medical treatment, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Together with Blood Pressure UKMyTherapy created an infographic that provides information on high blood pressure and helpful tips on managing hypertension, lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure, apps that can help manage treatment.

 hypertension_infographic_uk

Bibliography

Brook RD, Appel LJ, Rubenfire M, et al. Beyond medications and diet: alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension. 61(6):1360-1383. 2013.

Forette F, Seux M, Staessen J. Prevention of dementia in randomised double-blind placebo controlled systolic hypertension in Europe (Syst-Eur) trial. The Lancet 352:1346-51 1998.

Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2015 Update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation.29-322. 2015.

Palar K, Sturm R. Potential societal savings from reduced sodium consumption in the U.S. adult population. Am J Health Promot.24:49–57. 2009.

Turner JR, Viera AJ, Shimbo D. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in clinical practice: a review. Am J Med. 128(1):14-20. 2015.

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About Margaret Wardhaugh

Margaret Wardhaugh is a Community Manager for smartpatient gmbh, a Munich based start-up. Their MyTherapy app available on Android and iOS has won several awards in the European digital health scene. When not working at her day job she enjoys running, yoga, cooking and clean eating. She may be contacted at wardhaugh@smartpatient.eu

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