Health Care Areas
Chronic Conditions
General Health
Gastrointestinal
Ear, Nose & Throat
Eye Care
Skin Care
Women's Health
Mental Health
Nutrition
Infant & Child Health
Self Help
Medicine Informations

 

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood against the blood vessel walls and normal blood pressure is important to stay alive via a healthy lifestyle. But having high blood pressure is dangerous and it can be treated with some specific medicines.

What is the signs and symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

Most people with high BP feel well and show no signs and symptoms. But having constantly high BP over time can cause heart and blood vessel disease which can lead to problems such as brain damage (eg. stroke and dementia), heart damage (eg. heart attack and heart failure), kidney damage and eye damage (eg. blindness).

How often should I have my BP measured?

Everyone’s blood pressure varies with their daily activities. For eg., our BP is usually lower during sleep and higher when we are excited or anxious. However, BP that is constantly higher or lower than the normal range can cause serious problems. So having BP measured more frequently is important if you have high BP especially if you have other factors that increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

If your blood pressure is normal and you have no other factors that increase your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease, the Heart Foundation recommends a blood pressure check every one to two years.

Blood pressure is usually measured by wrapping an inflatable pressure cuff around the upper arm. The cuff is connected to a pressure–measuring device. Blood pressure is always recorded as two numbers, written one on top of the other (e.g., 120/80 mmHg):

•The top number represents systolic blood pressure – the pressure inside arteries when the heart beats

•The bottom number represents diastolic blood pressure – the pressure inside arteries as the heart relaxes between beats.

Who is at risk of high BP (hypertension)?

Our lifestyle can significantly affect our blood pressure and also the health of our heart and blood vessels.

Lifestyle factors that can contribute to high blood pressure and to heart and blood vessel disease include:

•Too much salt &/or fat &/or alcohol in diet

•Being overweight

• Not enough physical exercise

• Smoking

• Stress.

The risks of high blood pressure and heart and blood vessel disease increase with age and are also higher for people who:

• Have a family history of hypertension

•Have certain medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea)

• Take certain medicines (e.g., oral contraceptives)

What lifestyle changes we can make to reduce or control our BP?

1. A healthy lifestyle is very important that includes eating a healthy and balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes and grain-based foods.

2. Limit/avoid highly salted foods or adding salt to food and use flavourings instead eg. herbs, spices, vinegar, lemon juice, onion, garlic.

3. Limit high fat foods especially those that are saturated and trans fats. You can have moderate amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

4. Aim for a health body weight.

5. Limit alcohol to no more than 2 standard drinks per day.

6. No smoking.

7.  Exercise regularly with at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on all/most days of the week but check with your doctor first as to what exercises to avoid if you have hypertension.

8. Learn & practice relaxation techniquest to manage stress if you get stressed easily.