For most people who suffer with hypertension, there is no obvious cause why their blood pressure is high. This condition is called essential hypertension and it is especially important that it is kept under control.
Because the origin of essential hypertension is not known, treatment is based on keeping the blood pressure within normal limits. However a definition of a "normal" limit can be very subjective and is connected to a person's age, race and sex.
A lot of factors can combine to elevate someone's blood pressure, and hereditary factors are also particularly important, as high blood pressure does tend to run in families. At one time it was thought that high blood pressure was more obvious in nervous or highly-strung people or caused by a demanding lifestyle, but currently it's thought to be more mundane causes, such as obesity, and a general lazy lifestyle.
If you have high blood pressure, it is essential you visit your doctor who can arrange for you to have more investigations and the care you need. He may decide you need to have your blood pressure taken over a 24 hour period on a special blood pressure device, which is strapped to your body, this ensures he gains a real reading of what your blood pressure is over the 24 hour period.
Treatment High blood pressure is not really curable, however it can be controlled very well by an effective regime of drugs and changes in your general lifestyle. Sometimes once you have made the needed changes to your lifestyle, i.e. lost weight and started taking some exercise, then you may well find your blood pressure has dropped to within normal limits of its own accord and the necessity for drug therapy is gone.
However if this is not the case then there are some remarkably helpful drugs available out there which will lower your blood pressure and keep it within the preferred limits. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the right balance or combination you require, but your doctor should be very experienced in this area and quickly find the correct dosage for you.
There are now many effective treatments for high blood pressure, and there will be one drug or a combination of drugs that will be able to suit you without causing side effects. If you do get side effects from any drugs you are taking, it's worth mentioning this to your doctor as he should be able to find you an antihypertensive drug that is better matched to you and which will have less side effects. A fundamental detail to remember is any kind of treatment you take to lower your blood pressure could only stay effective as long as you persist with that treatment. Once you stop taking your medication, then your blood pressure will rise once again.
Further ways you can improve your blood pressure include
Stop smoking - Smoking increases your risk of cardiac disease and trebles your risk of dying before you get to retirement.
Decrease your alcohol intake - Alcohol can be fine for you but only in very moderate amounts. Large amounts of alcohol puts a strain on the heart raise your blood pressure and damage your liver.
Lose some weight - Being obese is one of the worst factors for raising your blood pressure. It also puts added strain on your joints and can affect your breathing. It's also a good idea to lower your salt intake as well.
Regular exercise is important to keep your blood pressure down.
However don't make the mistake that many people make of exercising to strenuously, because all they need to do is begin walking cycling or swimming.
By following the advice of your doctor and implementing a few easy changes in your life style it is usually possible to get your high blood pressure under control and enable you to lead a perfectly normal life.
Our blood pressure chart will show you if your blood pressure is high, low, or normal.