Blood Pressure and Family History

Ifyou have a family history of high blood pressure, it is important that you have your blood pressure checked regularly.  A text book reading of a normal blood pressure would be 130 over 70.  Doctors tend to treat blood pressure when pressures go over 140 over 90.  Your doctor may monitor your blood pressure over a period of time and then decide whether it needs treating.

It is important however to also adopt a healthier lifestyle by incorporating the following advice:

  • Stop smoking (if you do).  Smoking 20 cigarettes a day makes you twice the normal risk of a heart attack and five times higher risk of a stroke
  • Reduce excess body fat.  High blood pressure is twice as common in people who are overweight
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Get more aerobically active.  Physical exercise can lower blood pressure
  • Eat less salt.  Change to low sodium products, don’t add salt to your meal.  Try using herbs and spices rather than salt.  Most processed foods contain high levels of salt. 
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid stress.  Stress is a major contributing factor to hypertension.
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