Every adult should have their blood pressure checked.
If your blood pressure is ‘normal’ and you have no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and no personal or family history of high blood pressure, a check every two years and during routine visits to your doctor is recommended.
If your blood pressure is ‘high–normal’ (or higher), or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, it is best to have it checked more frequently as recommended by your Doctor.
If blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious health problems. You will be more at risk of these problems if you smoke, are overweight, are physically inactive, have diabetes, have high blood cholesterol, are socially isolated or have depression.
Lifestyle changes are very important to help to control high blood pressure and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Suggestions include:
* Reduce your excess body weight. Know your BMI ( if you do not know what this means then it is time to find out!)
* Be physically active – the recommendations for your age are in the eDoc members section.
* Limit your alcohol intake
* Quit smoking – now, today, immediately!
* Decrease your salt/sodium intake
* Increase your potassium intake through eating a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, plain unsalted nuts and legumes.
Some people may also need medicine to control high blood pressure, but it is still important for them to make lifestyle changes too.