Is your blood pressure too high? Find out here

Is your blood pressure too high?
Is your blood pressure too high?

It’s thought around 30% of people in England have high blood pressure, and many don’t even know it. Though more than half of them are over 60, a large number are younger. Could you be one of them?

High blood pressure is common and often has no symptoms.

Check your blood pressure

High blood pressure is often referred to as a “silent killer” – the only way to know if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked. Health professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and GPs can check your blood pressure with a simple test.

If this check shows raised blood pressure, you may be given a blood pressure kit to take home so you can monitor your blood pressure throughout the day. This will confirm whether you have consistently high blood pressure.

High blood pressure increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, but there are things you can do to lower your blood pressure.

Keeping blood pressure healthy

“There are lots of different ways you can have a significant impact on your blood pressure,” says Dr Mike Mead, a GP in Leicester.

“Reducing your blood pressure can make a massive difference to your health. It can prevent you from having a stroke or heart attack. There are so many benefits to making sure your blood pressure stays at a reasonable level.”

The following steps towards a healthier lifestyle will help lower your blood pressure and keep it at a healthy level.

Exercise

Do at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, such as walking, dancing, cycling, or swimming.

If you’re not used to exercising, don’t start too quickly. Talk to your doctor about how much exercise will suit you, and build up slowly.

Find out more about how to start:

walking

cycling

swimming

running

You can find out more about health and fitness, including 10-minute home workouts.

Healthy eating

A healthy balanced diet will help reduce your blood pressure. A healthy diet includes eating:

less salt

less saturated fat

five portions of fruit and vegetables a day

Aim to eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Don’t add salt to food. Read food labels when you’re shopping to help you buy healthier foods. Many foods – including breakfast cereals, bread and soup – contain added salt.

Saturated fat is found in butter, ghee, lard, meat pies, fatty meat, sausages, cakes, biscuits, and food containing coconut oil or palm oil.

“Many people know to avoid butter because it’s high in saturated fat, but if you have three biscuits with your morning coffee, you’re still getting saturated fat,” says Dr Mead.

Fruit and vegetables are good for health, whether they’re fresh, tinned, frozen, dried, or in juice.

Lose weight

Exercising and eating healthily will help you lose weight. Obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure, so it’s important to be a healthy weight.

To find out if you’re a healthy weight and get advice on losing weight, use the BMI healthy weight calculator.

Get more tips on losing weight, and have a look at the 12-week weight loss guide.

Limit your alcohol intake

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks:

men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week

spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week

One unit of alcohol is roughly half a pint of regular-strength lager or a 125ml glass of wine.

Regularly drinking more than the 14 units a week limit puts you at risk of a number of health problems, including high blood pressure.

Find out more about the risks of alcohol and how you can cut down.

You can use the Drinkaware unit calculator to find out how many units there are in different measures and brands of alcoholic drinks.

Find out about the calories in alcohol.

Smoking

Although smoking doesn’t cause high blood pressure, it raises the risk of heart disease. Stopping smoking reduces this risk, and is especially important if you have high blood pressure.

Get information and tips to help you stop smoking.

Can High Blood Pressure Affect Your Brain Health?

Can High Blood Pressure Affect Your Brain Health?
Can High Blood Pressure Affect Your Brain Health?

High blood pressure is very common among adults. The blood pressure measured above 120/80 mmHg is considered to be higher than normal blood pressure. The statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 1 in 3 adults in the United States have high blood pressure. High blood pressure usually doesn’t have symptoms. However, sometimes the people with high blood pressure may experience headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

If high blood pressure usually doesn’t have symptoms, then what should you do? I guess I don’t have to tell you about it. You need to get your blood pressure checked every now and then. There are people who just ignore their high blood pressure, and due to their carelessness, it leads them to various diseases, which are caused by uncontrolled blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, then you should better get it under control. In this article, you will get to know about how high blood pressure can affect your brain health.

How high blood pressure can have an adverse impact on your brain health?

It is very crucial to control your blood pressure to reduce the chance of suffering from brain diseases. There are many things, which can lead to high blood pressure like smoking, stress, overweight, salty foods, and others. You should modify your lifestyle to minimize the chances of having blood pressure. When you minimize your chances of having high blood pressure, you automatically minimize the chances of suffering from brain diseases as well.

Some of the brain diseases are dementia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others. The statistics show that 5.4 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer and 1 million Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, the numbers are expected to further increase in the upcoming years. With the high prevalence of brain diseases, it is necessary to take good care of your brain health. In addition to controlling your blood pressure, you should also consume best brain foods for improving your brain health.

Your brain needs sufficient blood supply to function properly. High blood pressure could cause severe damage to your brain if it is not controlled. Here are the ways how high blood pressure can affect your brain health.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA): TIA is also called mini stroke. It is simply a temporary obstruction of blood supply to your brain. The root cause of TIA is high blood pressure. TIA is generally caused because of a blood clot or atherosclerosis, which are caused because of high blood pressure.

Damages and weakens your brain’s blood vessels: Uncontrolled blood pressure will damage and weakens the blood vessels in your brain. This will further lead in narrowing, rupturing, or leakage. When this happens, you are likely to suffer from stroke. Moreover, uncontrolled blood pressure will also form a blood clot in your arteries, which blocks the blood from getting to the brain, which will lead to stroke.

Dementia: Dementia is simply a brain disease, which causes thinking, reasoning, memory, and other problems related to functions of the brain. There are various causes of dementia, and one of the causes is high blood pressure. As high blood pressure results in obstruction in arteries, which is responsible for providing blood to the brain, it causes vascular dementia.

Mild Cognitive Impairment: You need a good memory to smoothly carry out your day to day activities. However, with cognitive impairment, you will not be able to smoothly carry out your day to day operation. Mild cognitive impairment may be caused due to aging, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure. The obstruction of blood flow to your brain caused because of high blood pressure does not allow your brain to function properly, which may lead to mild cognitive impairment. You can try some of the top brain supplements like Geniux to improve your memory.

Conclusion

You are now well aware about the risks of not controlling your blood pressure. It is absolutely critical to control your blood pressure to improve your overall health. Your brain is a central processing unit of your body, and you don’t want to be careless regarding your brain health. You should seek for every possible way to improve your brain health; however, the first step is to control your blood pressure. You can also try some of the top memory aids for improving your memory.

I hope you will modify your lifestyle after reading this article. You can modify your diet, and do some physical workouts enhance your overall health. The study shows that exercises can also enhance your overall brain health. You don’t need to panic; you just need to take necessary actions to improve your health and lifestyle.

Author Bio:
Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and an independent researcher by profession. She had completed her studies from university of Arizona and lives in Wasilla, Alaska.  She has experience researching as a passion as well as profession. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

How to Lower your Blood Pressure. Some great tips!

A few years back when our son was being diagnosed with autism I suffered from very high blood pressure. Indeed my Doctor kept me on constant supervision.

So I wanted to share this very useful infographic which give some great a simple ideas you can use to reduce blood pressure.

Infographic – Tips to Lower your Blood Pressure

Check out the infographic “Infographic – Tips to Lower your Blood Pressure“. Share it on your website using this embed code.

<img src="http://www.belmarrahealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/blood-pressure-tips-1.jpeg" alt="Infographic – Tips to Lower your Blood Pressure" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Check out the infographic "<a href="http://www.belmarrahealth.com/infographics/infographic-tips-to-lower-your-blood-pressure/">Infographic – Tips to Lower your Blood Pressure</a>". Share it on your website using this embed code.</p>

Be Aware of Early Warning Signs of a Stroke

stroke2

Have you or a loved one ever had a stroke? It can be a frightening thing to experience. Strokes are the leading cause of death and the risk of permanent disability for many in the United States. When it comes to your health and well-being, it is important to be aware of signs of a potential danger. There are ways to prevent a negative outcome and even death. Being aware of the factors that lead to a stroke as well as preventative measures is very important to keep in mind.

The Side Effects & Risks

Not only are strokes the leading cause of death for thousands of patients each year, they can also lead to permanent brain damage. The major cause of strokes is clogging of an artery in the brain, low blood pressure, and blood clots. The risk factors include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol abuse, and heart disease. Unhealthy habits and even stress can affect the immune system leaving room for sickness and disease.

It is important to be aware of the signs of a stroke so that you can be prepared to take immediate action if needed. As a patient, you have the right to be informed and have a level of control over your health to prevent a stroke that can have potential permanent adverse effects on your health and future, especially in the case of a delayed medical diagnoses. Seeking legal advice along with medical assistance can prove to be beneficial and even preventative.

Physical Signs of a Stroke

The following are early warning signs of a stroke:

Numbness of the face or arm. The loss of voluntary movement or sensations is a sure sign of a stroke. Usually these are followed by heart palpitations. It is important to be aware of these signs in order to take immediate action.

Confusion. If a person finds themselves unable to process thoughts or speak coherently this could be a sign of a serious problem. It can be accompanied by a slurring of words and even foaming at the mouth. Make sure to ask them questions to see if they respond back to you. If they are unable to respond clearly or coherently it is a clear sign that the person is in need of immediate help.

Blurred vision. An inability to see clearly or even losing focus in one eye can be a sign of an issue. If the person complains of vision impairment, it can be a sure sign that they are in danger of experiencing a potentially life-altering stroke.

Trouble with walking or balance. If a person seems off balance or suddenly loses their step, it could be a signs of an impending stroke. If you notice irregularity in your movement it is important to seek the advice of a physician. Don’t wait to seek a medical checkup.

Be well-informed about your medical condition and ask your physician key questions about your health. One can never go wrong with preventative measures that add to their quality of life and prevent potential life-threatening disease. Often heart conditions will lead patients to make life-changing decisions like changing their eating habits, exercising or walking regularly, and cutting healthy habits from their lives.

It is important to be an active participant in your health and well-being. Take control of your health! Be well informed.




Abdominal aortic aneurysm – what are the signs, symptoms, causes and treatments of an Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Abdominal aortic aneurysm – what are the signs, symptoms, causes and treatments of an Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Welcome to the first in our series of posts in conjunction with NHS Choices were we look at the signs, symptoms, causes and treatments of a particular medical condition.  Today we will focus on abdominal aortic aneurysms.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a swelling (aneurysm) of the aorta – the main blood vessel that leads away from the heart, down through the abdomen to the rest of the body.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Abdominal aortic aneurysm

The abdominal aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body and is usually around 2cm wide – roughly the width of a garden hose. However, it can swell to over 5.5cm – what doctors class as a large AAA.Large aneurysms are rare, but can be very serious. If a large aneurysm bursts, it causes huge internal bleeding and is usually fatal.

The bulging occurs when the wall of the aorta weakens. Although what causes this weakness is unclear, smoking and high blood pressure are thought to increase the risk of an aneurysm.

AAAs are most common in men aged over 65. A rupture accounts for more than 1 in 50 of all deaths in this group and a total of 6,000 deaths in England and Wales each year.


This is why many men are invited for a screening test when they turn 65. The test involves a simple ultrasound scan, which takes around 10-15 minutes.

Symptoms of an AAA

In most cases, an AAA causes no noticeable symptoms. However, if it becomes large, some people may develop a pain or a pulsating feeling in their abdomen (tummy) or persistent back pain.

The following video gives an excellent overview of the condition – in particular who AAA is screened and treated.

An AAA doesn’t usually pose a serious threat to health, but there’s a risk that a larger aneurysm could burst (rupture).

A ruptured aneurysm can cause massive internal bleeding, which is usually fatal. Around 8 out of 10 people with a rupture either die before they reach hospital or don’t survive surgery.

The most common symptom of a ruptured aortic aneurysm is sudden and severe pain in the abdomen.

If you suspect that you or someone else has had a ruptured aneurysm, call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Read more about the symptoms of an AAA.

Causes of an AAA

It’s not known exactly what causes the aortic wall to weaken, although increasing age and being male are known to be the biggest risk factors.

There are other risk factors you can do something about, including smoking and having high blood pressure and cholesterol level.

Having a family history of aortic aneurysms also means that you have an increased risk of developing one yourself.

Read more about the causes of an AAA.

Diagnosing an AAA

Because AAAs usually cause no symptoms, they tend to be diagnosed either as a result of screening or during a routine examination – for example, if a GP notices a pulsating sensation in your abdomen.

The screening test is an ultrasound scan, which allows the size of your abdominal aorta to be measured on a monitor. This is also how an aneurysm will be diagnosed if your doctor suspects you have one.

Read more about diagnosing an AAA.

Treating an AAA

If a large AAA is detected before it ruptures, most people will be advised to have treatment, to prevent it rupturing.

This is usually done with surgery to replace the weakened section of the blood vessel with a piece of synthetic tubing.

If surgery is not advisable – or if you decide not to have it – there are a number of non-surgical treatments that can reduce the risk of an aneurysm rupturing.

They include medications to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and quitting smoking.

You will also have the size of your aneurysm checked regularly with ultrasound scanning.

Read more about treating AAAs.

Prevention

The best way to prevent getting an aneurysm – or reduce the risk of an aneurysm growing bigger and possibly rupturing – is to avoid anything that could damage your blood vessels, such as:

  • smoking
  • eating a high-fat diet
  • not exercising regularly
  • being overweight or obese

Read more about preventing aneurysms.

[Original article on NHS Choices website]

Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Abdominal aortic aneurysm