High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can result in serious problems if left untreated.
When a blood pressure reading is taken, two numbers are produced – the systolic pressure (the higher number) which indicates the force at which your heart pumps blood around the body, and the diastolic pressure (the lower number) which records the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
Too high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
Heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease are just a few of the potentially life-threatening conditions caused by hypertension.
But because symptoms are rarely noticeable, how can you tell you’ve got it?
Boots Web MD advises: “The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get your blood pressure measured. All adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.
“Regular checks are especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.”
If your blood pressure is extremely high there may be certain symptoms to look out for.
The pharmacy chain says these include:
- Severe headache
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical advice immediately.
You could be having a hypertensive crisis that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Regular exercise, reducing your sodium intake and drinking less alcohol are just a few of things studies have found to help lower high blood pressure.
Alongside these, scientists have suggested eating sardines could also help – and here’s the reason why.