Blood Pressure Checks Dunfermline
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries. The higher your blood pressure the greater your risk of developing narrowed arteries which can lead to heart problems, kidney disease and strokes. The good news is that if your blood pressure is high, it can be lowered by making changes to your lifestyle, for example changing your diet , exercising and losing weight, and when needed, with tablets. This will reduce your risk of developing heart and brain problems that might otherwise occur if your blood pressure is not treated.
Your heart pumps blood around your body through a network of tubing called arteries. Every time your heart pumps it forces blood through these arteries and into smaller blood vessels called capillaries. The force that your heart produces in your arteries when it pumps is called your blood pressure. When the heart contracts and forces blood through the arteries your blood pressure goes up, when the heart relaxes it goes down.
Why is blood pressure important?
High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia. This means that if you have high blood pressure you are at greater risk of developing these conditions than someone who does not have high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high it causes strain on the vessels carrying blood around your body. This strain can cause vessels to become clogged up or to weaken, and this in turn can lead to narrow blood vessels and clots which can cause damage to the heart or brain. More rarely, it can lead to the blood vessels bursting.
Having high blood pressure can also cause heart failure. Heart failure is when your heart cannot pump blood around the body as well as it should, and this can cause you to become short of breath and can cause your ankles to swell. High blood pressure can cause kidney failure, some eye conditions, and there is some research that shows that by lowering blood pressure you may be able to prevent some kinds of dementia.
Whether you have high blood pressure, or normal blood pressure, it is important to realise that the higher your blood pressure, whatever it is, the higher your risk of heart disease or stroke. This means that all of us should be adopting a lifestyle that will help to lower our blood pressure whether we have high blood pressure or not. For all of us, leading a healthy lifestyle means taking regular exercise , eating a diet low in fat and salt and high in fruit and vegetables, being the right weight for our height, drinking sensibly and not smoking.
What causes high blood pressure?