“If you have high blood pressure, you may not even know about it. That's why high blood pressure is often called the ‘silent killer’. There are rarely any signs or symptoms and millions of people with hypertension don’t even know they have it.” Kepha Nyanumba - Consultant Nutritionist
Blood pressure is an essential part of the way your body works. Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients around your body and is pumped by your heart. Your blood is under pressure as a result of the pumping action of your heart and the size and flexibility of your arteries, which carry your blood. According to the World Health Organization, high blood pressure affects more than one in three adults worldwide. If you have very high blood pressure, or your blood pressure rises quickly, you may have headaches, problems with your vision etc. Making lifestyle adjustments brings blood pressure down and in other cases, you may need a combination of lifestyle changes and medication to control your blood pressure.
Facts About Hypertension
- If you have high blood pressure, you may not even know about it. That's why high blood pressure is often called the ‘silent killer’. There are rarely any signs or symptoms and millions of people with hypertension don’t even know they have it.
- If you have high blood pressure, you have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain caused by reduced blood flow, stroke, heart attack, heart failure and irregular heartbeat.
- A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of high blood pressure. Regular exercise helps your heart muscle become more efficient and keep your blood pressure under control.
- Too much alcohol can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Other lifestyle factors that increase your risk include being overweight.
- High blood pressure can damage the walls of your arteries, causing coronary artery disease and stroke. It can also damage the heart muscle, leading to heart failure.
- The majority of people with high blood pressure have primary hypertension. This means there is no single cause, but various lifestyle factors contribute, including: smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
- Some people have a known underlying cause of hypertension including: kidney disease, endocrine disease (hormone disorders) or a narrowing of part of the aorta or arteries leading to the kidneys. The is called secondary hypertension