High blood pressure is a common health condition that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. The condition is also referred to as hypertension and occurs when the heart is working too hard to pump blood around the body due to a limited space within blood vessels. Most people do not experience any noticeable symptoms, which is why many UK adults don't realise they have it and start to develop other problems as a result.
In general high blood pressure tends to affect people who are older, but factors such as diet, lifestyle, other health conditions, some medications and genetic predisposition can also contribute to the development of high blood pressure. Luckily this condition can be treated with prescription medications and a healthy diet. Treatments for hypertension may include ACE inhibitors, Beta-blockers, diuretics and calcium channel blockers.
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High blood pressure can be defined under two types: primary and secondary, which is largely defined by the suspected cause.
Primary hypertension is diagnosed when there is no specific cause that can be associated with a patient developing symptoms. However, there are still risk factors that need to be taken into consideration such as a person's unhealthy eating habits, a lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, genetics or even high stress levels.
Secondary hypertension is diagnosed when a specific health problem or medication can be directly attributed to it.
It's not common for hypertension patients to experience noticeable symptoms, which is why you are unlikely to know that you have it unless you go to your doctor to have your blood pressure monitored. This is why it's very important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, especially if you are older.
However, the body can sometimes provide subtle signs to look out for, which can be an indication that your blood pressure is higher than it should be. A person with hypertension may for example, on rare occasions, experience headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, blurred vision or sexual dysfunction.
When a doctor suspects that you may have high blood pressure, they do a pressure test, which measures the strain that is exercised on the walls of blood vessels. They may choose to measure your blood pressure over a few visits to eliminate the possibility of white coat hypertension. This is when a patient exhibits higher than normal levels in the doctor's office but not at home, usually indicating nervousness and tension during their appointment.
If high blood pressure isn't treated, it can lead to serious health complications. These include heart problems, strokes, blood clots or aneurysms, which are all conditions with a high fatality rate. If a woman develops high blood pressure during pregnancy, which is also known as pregnancy induced hypertension, it can lead to a condition known as pre-eclampsia which is very dangerous for both mother and baby.
It's important that hypertension should be treated correctly once it has been diagnosed. Initially, depending on how high your blood pressure is and the current state of your health, your doctor may suggest that you try to eat healthier, avoiding too much salt and fat in your diet and that you become more active.
However if these lifestyle changes don't help or your health is at serious risk, you may be prescribed medication in conjunction with better lifestyle choices. Widely prescribed treatments include: Amlodipine, Bendroflumethiazide, Lisinopril and Ramipril. These treatments help ease the flow of blood around the body by either widening arteries or by reducing blood volume.
Amlodipine, Bendroflumethiazide, Lisinopril and Ramipril are all treatments that are available to order online at 121doc if you have already been prescribed them. Ordering is simple. You'll be asked to complete a consultation so that our partner doctor can ensure that you can safely use this treatment. This consultation will be checked by our partner doctor who will issue a prescription, which will be passed on to our pharmacy, from where your treatment will be shipped for delivery the next day. All consultations are free and items are dispatched for next day delivery at no additional charge.