Are you worried about high blood pressure?
In the UK, an estimated 1 in 3 people suffer from high blood pressure, a health problem that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Often referred to as a “silent killer,” developing high blood pressure can happen to anyone but is a lot more common in people with a poor diet and lifestyle or those with a pre-existing medical condition.
Find out what is the normal blood pressure below. Plus, how to find out what your blood pressure reading is and what to do if it is too high.
What is a normal blood pressure reading?
A normal blood pressure reading should be under 140/90 mmHg. This means that the systolic reading should be lower than 140mmHg, and the diastolic reading should be lower than 90mmHG.
A low blood pressure reading is 90/60 mmHg which doesn’t always indicate a health problem but can be a sign of another illness or condition.
Possible high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, gives a systolic reading of between 140 and 180 mmHg and a diastolic reading of between 90 and 110 mmHg.
A blood pressure reading that is higher than 180/110 mmHg means that you have severe hypertension.
How can I get my blood pressure checked?
If you think you might have high blood pressure or you simply want to check that your blood pressure is as it should be, then there are several services that you can utilise:
- An NHS GP
- Some UK pharmacies
- Some UK workplaces
- At an NHS health check
It is worth noting that an estimated 5 million adults in the UK have undiagnosed high blood pressure, and the only way you can find out yours is by having it checked.
If you don’t want to see a health professional to have your blood pressure checked, you can buy blood pressure monitors to use at home. These are also a good idea for those who need to check their blood pressure regularly.
What happens if I have a high blood pressure reading?
As mentioned above, hypertension can increase your risk of serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Therefore, if you have a high blood pressure reading, it is crucial that you book an appointment with your GP.
There are lots of ways to treat high blood pressure, including eating a better diet, giving up smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake. If the blood vessels in your heart, kidney, brain, or eyes are damaged, then your doctor may offer you medication to treat your high blood pressure. They are also likely to offer medication if you have already developed heart or circulatory disease or if you have diabetes.
There are also a number of support services, both online and face-to-face, that you can reach out to if you have high blood pressure, such as Heart Helpline and self help service, which can give you more information about how to manage your condition.
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