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Sunrise Senior Living Blog

Sunrise Senior Living Blog

Dangers of High Blood Pressure and How to Avoid Them

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure and How to Avoid Them High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health condition that can have long-term effects on the body unless blood pressure levels are maintained at a healthy level. According to Blood Pressure UK, hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. The condition is particularly dangerous because there usually aren't any symptoms involved.

What effects can high blood pressure have?

High blood pressure puts a lot of extra strain on the heart and the surrounding blood vessels. If untreated, hypertension can cause your heart to become weaker and the blood vessels to endure serious damage. The higher your blood pressure is, the more at risk you are of many life-threatening diseases and illnesses. Even if you're in perfect health now, if you have high blood pressure for many years, your risk of developing these conditions in the future is much higher than someone with healthy blood pressure levels.

Hypertension can have negative effects on everything from your heart and brain to your kidneys and limbs. Blood Pressure UK says that high blood pressure can cause heart attacks and heart failure. It's also the leading cause of strokes and has been linked to the onset of some forms of dementia. Kidney disease and peripheral arterial disease are also common side effects of high blood pressure. According to the NHS, hypertension can lead to very serious cases of kidney disease that require dialysis - a treatment procedure where waste products are artificially removed from the body - or a kidney transplant. Peripheral arterial disease can also have serious, long-term effects on your lungs if untreated. 

See your GP regularly to ensure your blood pressure levels are healthy.See your GP regularly to ensure your blood pressure levels are healthy.

People with chronic high blood pressure may also experience an embolism, which occurs when a blood clot or air bubble blocks blood flow in the vessels and prevents the blood from reaching the areas it needs to get to. Aneurysms are another side effect of hypertension. This is when the walls of a blood vessel burst, causing internal bleeding. High blood pressure may also prevent blood from reaching the brain, leaving certain areas damaged. This can result in vascular dementia, a serious memory-loss condition that impacts thousands of people across the UK.

How can you prevent hypertension?

Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels can be achieved by living a healthy lifestyle. For example, your diet plays a major role in how high your blood pressure is. The NHS recommends cutting down on your salt intake and consuming your 5 A Day of fruit and vegetables. For guidance as you plan your daily diet, the NHS provides a chart of the foods people eat and how many portions of each are required for a well-balanced diet. 

"Stop smoking if your blood pressure is high."

Exercising for at least 2.5 hours each week will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, there are certain habits to avoid. Stop smoking if your blood pressure is high and cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than about 14 units of alcohol per week spread out as much as possible is highly recommended if you're trying to avoid hypertension. It's also best to lower your caffeine intake to no more than four cups per day.

At Sunrise Senior Living, our dedicated staff works hard to ensure that our residents are eating healthily and staying as physically active as possible. We offer a nutritious menu and provide regular opportunities to engage in exercise and social groups. To find out more about how we can help, contact us today. 

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