I think most people understand that high blood pressure is not a good thing, but many people ask ‘is high blood pressure really that bad?’
The answer is absolutely 100% yes! Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a danger to your health; it can cause serious disability and death if ignored. If blood pressure becomes too high it puts strain on your arteries and heart which puts you at far greater risk of having a heart attack, a stroke, developing kidney disease or eye damage/loss of vision.
For example people with high blood pressure are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease and 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke than people with normal healthy blood pressure. In fact high blood pressure is considered the most
important risk factor for strokes...
Aside from the illnesses it can cause the main concern relates to high blood pressure’s nickname - “The Silent Killer”. The problem is high blood pressure rarely causes any symptoms. This means unless you are active with your health care it can go unnoticed for years and unfortunately it is sometimes only diagnosed down the line when it causes a heart attack or stroke.
There are many factors which increase the likelihood hood of developing high blood pressure, the common ones being obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and lack of exercise. The problem is that whilst these factors can fast-track you to high blood pressure or make existing high blood pressure far worse, just because you avoid these factors and you are fit and healthy doesn’t mean you won’t develop high blood pressure. This is because for 95% of people with high blood pressure, there is no root cause, there is just a predisposition towards higher blood pressure. This is called ‘primary ‘or ‘essential hypertension’ (hypertension is a medical term for high blood pressure).
Note: the other 5% of people with high blood pressure have what’s know as ‘secondary hypertension’. This is most commonly caused by various kidney diseases, endocrine tumours, hormonal disturbances and chronic alcohol abuse.
The problem this creates is that it means that even if you consider yourself very fit and healthy, you may still have high blood pressure. People assume only overweight and inactive people suffer from high blood pressure but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The vast majority of people with high blood pressure are predisposed to it. You can do many things to make it worse or improve it, but don’t think that as you workout or play sports you are fine because this is a dangerous assumption, as in many ways it is the fit healthy person who doesn’t visit the doctor for years and never gets their blood pressure checked who is more at risk than the person with poor health with diagnosed high blood pressure which is under control.
If you haven’t had your blood pressure measured in the last few years I would urge you, whoever you are, go along to your doctors and have the doctor or nurse measure it for you. It will take you 20 minutes, it’s got to be worth 20 minutes of your time, as those 20 minutes could affect the rest of your life!
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.