Everything you need to know about high blood pressure

High blood pressure and heart disease are two of the leading causes of death worldwide.  Having  consistent high blood pressure levels can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and heart and kidney failure.  The conditions have even been linked to dementia and sexual dysfunction.

These problems can be prevented if they’re well treated and controlled. We take a look at what blood pressure numbers mean and what you can do to keep yours under control.

THE BASICS

Blood pressure is measured with two numbers, namely the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is your highest blood pressure measurement and is recorded when your heart contracts. Diastolic blood pressure is your lowest blood pressure measurement and is recorded when your heart relaxes and fills with blood. The higher your systolic or diastolic pressure is, and the longer it stays high, the more damage is done to your blood vessels. Remember, strokes and heart attacks are caused by damaged blood vessels.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

While there are a number of treatments available to help you manage high blood pressure (hypertension), the best way in which to deal with it is to follow a healthy lifestyle and keep a watchful eye on your health as you get older.  Follow these handy tips to help manage and prevent hypertension:

  • Use your Resolution Health Preventative Care benefits to have your blood pressure monitored regularly, particularly as you get older.  Zurreal Platinum* members are able to earn cash back rewards that are paid into your Zurreal Healthcard when you have your blood pressure check done.  Click here to find out more.
     
  • Stay active and schedule at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine.  Are you not active?  Start slowly and build up to a regular routine. Zurreal Platinum* members are able to earn thousands of Rands in rewards that are paid into your Zurreal Healthcard when you visit the gym or take part in select sporting events.  Click here to find out more.
     
  • Eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and other foods that are low in fat and salt.
     
  • Reduce the sodium in your diet. 
     
  • Cut down on your alcohol intake.
     
  • Keep your body weight within a healthy range.  Losing just 5 kg will make a significant difference to your blood pressure levels. 
     
  • Stop smoking if you have high blood pressure. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart problems and others diseases.

The best way in which to prevent high blood pressure is to ensure that you go for regular tests at your nearest healthcare provider.  Be sure to peruse your Resolution Health plan to find out where you can have your blood pressure tested. If you have yet to sign up for a reliable health scheme, be sure to take a look at the various options from Resolution Health – you are sure to find a plan that suits your budget, and your needs.