Do you know if you have High Blood Pressure?

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For such a potentially dangerous condition, it can remain undiagnosed for some time.  It is possible that you could have high blood pressure and not know!  One of the reasons why high blood pressure is so dangerous is because it does not seem to have any obvious symptoms and if left untreated, it increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease or some other serious condition(s).

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is by having your GP check your blood pressure.  Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries as it is pumped around your body by your heart.  If your blood pressure is too high, it puts a strain on your heart and arteries.  There can be a family tendency to high blood pressure.

There are steps one can take to prevent high blood pressure, these include:-

• Regular exercise
• A healthy balanced diet
• Cutting down on salt and caffeine
• Stop smoking 
• Cutting back on the alcohol

If you have any concerns, some chemists offer free blood pressure checks, or you can see your GP.
It is generally a good idea to have your blood pressure checked annually – just to keep things in check.  
I found the website really helpful in providing additional information about High Blood Pressure.

Ellen Browne-Marke
Clinical Negligence team

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