High Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is the pressure at which your heart pumps blood around your body. Your blood pressure reading is made up of two measurements: the pressure when your heart is pumping, and the pressure when it’s resting.

High blood pressure is called ‘hypertension’ and can be caused by poor eating, being overweight, smoking, a lack of exercise, stress, too much alcohol or diabetes. In some circumstances it may be hereditary. It can cause your blood vessels to harden and narrow, and increase your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke as well as affect the eyes, kidneys and brain.

Your chances of developing high (or low blood pressure) increase as you get older. By the age of 55, one in 3 men will be on medication for high blood pressure.

However, it is no longer just prevalent in older men. Unhealthy lifestyles, stress and poor diets are causing more young people to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.Worldwide there are around 7.5 million deaths resulting from high blood pressure annually.

On the upside, high blood pressure is almost entirely preventable and there are a number of positive steps you can make yourself.

  • Be more active – start your day with a walk around the block, swap the lift for the stairs, do more gardening.
  • Eat better – try reducing the number of sugars in your coffee, refrain from too many sweets, eat a few more fruits and vegetables
  • Drink better – change out soft drinks for water, reduce your alcohol consumption
  • If you smoke, stop!

If you are over 30, it’s good to get your blood pressure checked every year. Generally speaking 120/80 is a perfect reading, but a healthy reading can be within a range of about plus or minus 20.

You can get your blood pressure checked by your doctor or our nurse. They willalso askabout your lifestyle, how stressed you are, whether you smoke, what you eat and how much you exercise.

If your blood pressure reading falls outside the normal range, your doctor may arrange to test your blood pressure a few more times to see if there is pattern of high blood pressure. Alternatively, your doctor may provide you with a blood pressure monitor, or you can purchase one yourself from the pharmacy, to re-test. (Make sure you take your blood pressure at approximately the same time of day and when rested).

Dependent on how high your blood pressure is and your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke (age, weight, and lifestyle factors) you might be given medication.

Whatever the outcome, together you can come up with a plan.

If you have any concerns or simply want to check your blood pressure give us a call and we can arrange to see you.

Tel: 09 309 9577

Email: reception@ssmc.co.nz

For more information on high blood pressure go to;

NZ Heart Foundation www.heartfoundation.org.nz
Mens Health NZ www.menshealthnz.org.nz