High blood pressure. It’s called the silent killer, because it has no warning signs or symptoms — until a stroke or heart attack occurs.
Yet one in 3 American adults has it — and only slightly over half have it under control. What’s more, millions of people have high blood pressure and don’t even know it.
Fortunately, high blood pressure is easy to detect — and there are even proven ways to bring it under control without medications.
(Howard E. LeWine, M.D.
Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing)
some facts on high blood pressure found at https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/blood-pressure
The exact causes of high blood pressure are often not clear. Your blood pressure may be strongly influenced by:
- family history
- eating patterns, including salty foods
- alcohol intake
- how much physical activity you do.
Some medicines can also raise blood pressure.
You can’t feel high blood pressure. There are usually no warning signs, so you can have it and not know. That’s why it’s important to get it checked.
The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor or health practitioner.
They will take your blood pressure using an inflatable bag (cuff) that goes around your arm. It’s joined to a device that measures the pressure.
Blood pressure can vary at different times of the day. Sometimes it can even go up just because someone is taking it, so it’s important to have an accurate measure of your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor or health practitioner about what your blood pressure level should be.
Controlling high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about the best way to control it.
Your doctor may recommend that you make some healthier lifestyle choices, like changing the food you eat or getting more exercise.
Find out more about important lifestyle changes to manage your high blood pressure. Keep your heart healthy
Many people also need medicine to control their high blood pressure. Your doctor will tell you if you need medicine, and monitor its effects. Blood pressure medicines don’t cure high blood pressure, but they help to control it. You have to keep taking the medicines regularly, often for the rest of your life. Don’t stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.
If you take medicine for your blood pressure, it’s still important to have a healthy lifestyle.
Monitoring your blood pressure
Your doctor may want you to monitor your blood pressure at home, or wear a monitor over a 24-hour period, to check how it varies. Read more on the tests page
Manage your heart disease risk factors
High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.