High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition whereby the long-term force of the blood pushing against your artery walls causes them to narrow and constrict. Over time, this can restrict the blood flow to vital organs, such as the heart. To ward off the threat of serious complications, it’s therefore imperative to reverse a high blood pressure reading.
“If you’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have your blood pressure checked more often, ideally once a year.”
Blood pressure testing is available:
- At your GP surgery – by a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or self-service machine
- At some pharmacies
- At an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults aged 40 to 74 in England
- In some workplaces
- At a health event.
You can also test your blood pressure at home using a home testing kit.
“There is a wide range of home blood pressure monitors available, but it is important to be sure that the blood pressure monitor you choose is accurate and the right one for you,” explains the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
It is also vital to cut down on salt because salt raises your blood pressure.
According to Action on Salt, a group concerned with salt and its effects on health, based at Queen Mary University of London, a high salt diet disrupts the natural sodium balance in the body.
“This causes the body to retain water, which increases the pressure of the pushing of blood against the vessel walls,” explains the health body.
It has been estimated that a reduction in salt intake from 10g a day to 6g would reduce blood pressure and could prevent approximately 2.6 million stroke and heart attack deaths each year worldwide.
Reducing salt is one of the quickest ways to reduce your blood pressure, particularly if you already have high blood pressure.