Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
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High blood pressure means your heart is having to work extra hard to pump blood around your body. As a result it not only puts extra strain on the heart and blood vessels, but other organs, like the brain, kidneys and eyes. So aside from the well known complications that can arise such as heart attack and stroke, hypertension can also lead to kidney disease.
According to NHS Inform, high blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in your kidneys and “stop them from working properly”.
If this happens it is likely you will feel more tired than usual.
And other symptoms of this will include:
- Swollen ankles, feet or hands (due to water retention)
- Shortness of breath
- Blood and/or protein in your urine
- Urinating more often, particularly at night (nocturia)
- Itchy skin
It explains: “Kidney disease can be treated using a combination of medication and dietary supplements.
“Cases that are more serious may require dialysis (a treatment where waste products are artificially removed from the body) or a kidney transplant.”
It is “rare” a person will experience symptoms of hypertension alone.
However, they can occur if someone has “very high” blood pressure.
These can include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Regular nosebleeds
- Shortness of breath
NHS Inform advises people to see their GP “as soon as possible” if you display these symptoms.
Hypertension can also lead to blood clots, also known as thrombosis.
This is a “serious condition” that is caused by blood clots within the blood vessels
Or it can lead to an aneurysm, which is caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall, which forms a bulge in the blood vessel.
There are a number of lifestyle changes that can work to prevent high blood pressure.
Among these are eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine and avoiding smoking.
Some patients with high blood pressure are prescribed different medications to keep it under control.
Blood pressure is measured with two numbers – the systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
And the diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, while high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
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