High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the biggest known cause of premature death through stroke and heart attack in the UK. It is very common with 1 in 3 adults having elevated levels and can also lead to heart and kidney disease.
As an osteopath I take the blood pressure of every new patient, regardless of symptoms, and record the readings in the case notes.
Blood pressure is not usually something you can feel or notice and is sometimes referred to as the silent killer. The only way to find out your blood pressure is to have it measured, your osteopath is trained to take your blood pressure and explain the readings to you.
A single high reading does not necessarily indicate that you have high blood as many things can affect the pressure through the course of a normal day. However consistently high readings over a period of time probably mean you have high blood pressure and your osteopath will refer you immediately to your GP if high readings have been recorded.
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known but there are several well recognized factors that can predispose you to high blood pressure, including:
- High salt intake
- Lack of exercise
- Too much alcohol
- Family history
- Ethnic origin, African-Caribbean and South Asian communities are at greater risk
- Age – as you age the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure
There is a wide range of medicines available for high blood pressure and your GP is the person to advise you on appropriate medication.