If you’re still young then the dangers of high blood pressure will probably feel like a distance rumble. Being young does mean you are less at risk; however you are still at risk. 19% of young adults in the UK suffer from high blood pressure. As the years roll by in a flash, the seriousness of the condition will become even more apparent. To understand the phenomenon we must first ask ourselves of what exactly is high blood pressure, and what causes it?
Blood pressure is the measure of blood in the circulatory system which is effected by the elasticity, and diameter of your arteries, as well as the force and rate of your heartbeat. The high condition occurs, when your blood strains your artery walls with high pressure. Your lifestyle and diet have a huge effect on whether you develop the condition or not. Even factors sometimes out of your control like stress, or age can affect your blood pressure. The risk on you developing heart problems, or strokes becomes compounded. Out of the factors you can control, the familiar instructions to lay off the cigarettes, and alcohol are a common instructions
You may be wondering what symptoms you should look out for as a warning sign. The problem with that is there are no symptoms, and the only way to tell is via regular checkups. Regular checkups are important because a single reading is not an accurate measurement. Factors throughout the day such as stress, or caffeine consumption can have a significant effect on it. Coffee and tea drinkers don’t need to panic however as the increase is only short, and usually harmless. Well unless you drink more than 4 cups a day, then it’s best to start cutting down. If the measurement is regularly high then it needs to be managed. Like most things prevention is better than treatment, and finding the early warning signs is important.
Measuring your blood pressure is as easy as putting a cuff around your arm, and giving the ominous rubber ball a few squeezes. The cuff is equipped with a gauge that uses a scale called millimetres of mercury to measure the pressure in your blood. The measurement is taken in 2 numbers, systolic that measures the pressure as your heart beats, and diastolic which does the opposite and measures the pressure when your heart rest. The normal range is considered 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. 140/80 is high and at risk for developing health problems.
Being aware of the importance of your blood pressure is the first step to increasing your well being. The problem is no small issue, in the UK for instance 1 in 6 men, and 1 in 10 women suffer from coronary heart disease. It can also lead to peripheral artery disease, which is the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries. It leads to restrictions of blood supply into the legs. Chronic kidney disease is one you should be especially worried about if you’re of South Asian origin. If you feel you may at risk, then watch out for our next piece where we will be examining who is most at risk from blood pressure complications.