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Blood preassure a4 x3.indd

SMOKING AND HYPERTENSION
You should reduce your salt intake to about 6 grams Smoking has no direct effect on blood pressure but, a day (one teaspoonful); most people eat at least like high cholesterol, is another important risk factor 12 grams daily and this has a direct effect on blood in heart disease and stroke. Smoking increases the pressure. At least _ of the salt we eat is “hidden” in amount of narrowing in your arteries and stopping processed foods and you should cut down on these smoking will reduce your chance of a heart attack and always read the labels. Food high in salt includes by 50% in the first year. Clearly, stopping this habit bread, breakfast cereals, processed meats, soups, may be very difficult and requires a great deal of sauces and pre-prepared and instant meals. will power. A genuine desire to stop is essential and often “cold-turkey” is best but treatments for EXERCISE AND WEIGHT REDUCTION
nicotine addiction are available such as nicotine gum, Being overweight increases blood pressure and leads patches and sprays. The drug Zyban (bupropion) and to many other health problems such as diabetes, specialist clinics, hypnosis and acupuncture may also heart disease and some cancers. Weight reduction by dieting and regular exercise is essential to the management of hypertension and may prevent or postpone the need to take blood pressure medication. ALCOHOL AND HYPERTENSION
The best guide to your weight is the BMI (body mass Regular, heavy drinking may cause your blood index, calculated from your height and weight), which pressure to be too high and more difficult to control should ideally be less than 25. Anybody can lose if you are on medication. A small amount of alcohol weight by reducing the number of calories they eat may be beneficial, however, and may increase your or burning off more calories by exercise. Crash diets HDL cholesterol (the “good” type of cholesterol.) The or meal replacements are usually difficult to sustain recommended maximum weekly intake of alcohol is and it is better to begin a healthy diet and aim for a 21 units for men and 14 units for women (one unit is target of about 1 lb (0.45 kg) per week. Weight lifting equivalent to _ pint of beer, a small glass of wine or and vigorous sports such as squash are not advised if a single tot of spirits.) This should be spread over the you have hypertension and if you are very overweight week and binge drinking should be avoided.
you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise programme.
HOW SHOULD I CHANGE MY DIET?
Your doctor at the Roodlane Medical will be happy to You should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day and reduce your salt intake. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of fibre and also of potassium, which has the opposite effect of salt and may help reduce your blood pressure. They FURTHER READING:
are also full of anti-oxidants such as vitamins C and E, which help prevent heart disease.
The Blood Pressure Association www.bpassoc.org.uk WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD
treatment. Once the decision is made that you need Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your PRESSURE?
drugs it is likely that these will have to be continued arteries. The systolic pressure (“top” reading) is the Since it usually causes no symptoms, hypertension for many years, if not for life. Modern hypertension pressure at which blood is pumped around your body is often called the “silent killer” but a few people drugs are effective and safe but most people would when your heart contracts and the diastolic pressure with high blood pressure may notice headaches, prefer to try to control their lifestyle than start long- (“bottom” reading) is the pressure while your heart is dizziness and nose bleeds. Low blood pressure is not relaxing and filling with new blood from your lungs. generally important in otherwise healthy people with Normal blood pressure varies greatly but average WILL I NEED TO TAKE TABLETS?
readings are between 110/70 and 130/80.
In many people lifestyle changes are difficult to achieve or do not reduce the blood pressure WHAT INVESTIGATIONS MAY BE NEEDED?
adequately and drugs become necessary. There WHY IS BLOOD PRESSURE IMPORTANT?
Your doctor will take a personal and family history are many different types of anti-hypertensive drugs High blood pressure (“hypertension”) is diagnosed from you and give you a physical examination. He will and the initial choice depends on several factors, when the blood pressure is consistently above also do urine and blood tests to check for any kidney which your doctor will discuss with you. He will 140/90. Hypertension increases the chance of problems or other causes of secondary hypertension. also monitor your response closely to begin with to developing hardening of the arteries and subsequent He may also do an ECG (electrocardiograph), which ensure that the blood pressure is responding and strokes, heart and kidney problems. Since blood checks the electrical activity of the heart and may that you are having no side effects from the pills. pressure varies greatly through the day a single show changes if the blood pressure has been elevated If your initial response is not satisfactory he may slightly high reading is not necessarily a cause for for some time. Increasingly, home monitoring is used increase the dose or change the medication to find concern. Many people get “white coat” hypertension to assess whether blood pressure elevations are one that suits you. Whichever medication you are on when visiting their doctor and home blood pressure sustained. Good quality digital home blood pressure it is still important that you continue to modify your monitoring may be useful to exclude this. monitors are accurate if used correctly and it is often lifestyle as mentioned above. Low dose aspirin and useful to take a written record of your blood pressure statin treatment to lower cholesterol may also be recommended if your doctor thinks you have a high WHAT CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
In most people with hypertension the cause is unknown (“essential hypertension”) but a few HOW WILL MY HYPERTENSION BE TREATED?
The British Hypertension Society recommends that people have “secondary” hypertension due to Unless your blood pressure is extremely high when medical therapy be started if the systolic blood problems with the kidneys or adrenal glands (small hypertension is diagnosed, the initial treatment is pressure is sustained above 160 mmHg and the glands near the kidneys). Hypertension can affect invariably by modification of lifestyle. Reduction of diastolic blood pressure is sustained above 100 anyone, but is more common in people with a family weight, taking more regular exercise and cutting mmHg. Treatment in people with levels of 140- history of hypertension, strokes and heart attacks. down on salt and alcohol intake all help to reduce 159/90-99 depends on whether other risk factors Being overweight, eating too much salt, drinking blood pressure. The incentives to achieve these are present such as evidence of heart disease or too much alcohol and taking too little exercise are lifestyle changes should be great since, apart from a high-risk assessment. In diabetics, treatment is all likely to increase your blood pressure and these lessening the possibility of severe, or even fatal heart started if the blood pressure is sustained over 140/90. factors, unlike your family history, are all modifiable.
attacks or strokes, the only other alternative is drug Treatment goals should be to reduce blood pressure treatment. Once the decision is made that you need to less than 140/85 mmHg (130/80 in diabetics.)

Source: http://www.roodlane.co.uk/assets/pdf/RLM_Blood_Pressure.pdf

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