High blood pressure symptoms? This chart will determine if you have hypertension

High blood pressure is a condition that affects more than one in four adults in the UK. 

But many symptoms go undetected - the only sure way to find out if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked. 

All adults over 40 are advised to have theirs checked at least every five years, and this can be done at your GP surgery, at some pharmacies, as part of your NHS Health Check and in some workplaces. 

You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a blood pressure monitor at home. This chart can tell you what your reading says about your blood pressure. 

Blood pressure is recorded in two numbers - the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. 

The systolic pressure is the higher number and indicates the force your heart pumps blood around the body. 

The diastolic pressure is the lower number and is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. 

Both numbers are measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). 

A chart by Blood Pressure UK shows ranges of high, low and healthy blood pressure readings. 

High blood pressure is considered to be between 140 over 90mmHg or higher. 

Ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90 over 60mmHg and 120 over 80mmHg. 

Low blood pressure is considered to be 90 over 60mmHg or lower. 

What happens if you have high blood pressure? 

The NHS advises: “Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make healthy lifestyle changes. 

“Whether medication is recommended depends on your blood pressure reading and your risk of developing problems such as heart attacks or strokes. 

“Your doctor will carry out some blood and urine tests and ask questions about your health to determine your risk of other problems.” 

What can you do to reduce high blood pressure? 

The NHS also recommends: 

  • Cutting your salt intake to less than 6g a day
  • Eating a low-fat, balanced diet - including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables 
  • Being active 
  • Cutting down on alcohol 
  • Losing weight 
  • Drinking less caffeine 
  • Stopping smoking 
  • Getting at least six hours of sleep a night if you can  

If you’re a caffeine addict, studies have also shown that switching to decaf coffee can help lower high blood pressure. 

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