There are several different lifestyle factors that can influence your blood pressure. Smoking, sustained stress or eating a lot of salt can raise the blood pressure. “When your blood pressure is high a few checks in a row, I always advise a patient to take a look at their lifestyle,” De Vaal explains. “Try to eat healthily, lose some weight and exercise enough.” When the changes to someone’s lifestyle don’t have any effect, a doctor can prescribe medicines.
Long term health risks
The longer you have high blood pressure, the narrower your blood vessels become. Because of this, your heart needs to work harder to be able to pump your blood around your body. Your heart will end up getting thicker and stiffer. Its pumping force will decrease and this can lead to heart failure. Kidney damage, aneurysms and T.I.A.s are also among the possible consequences of high blood pressure. From the time you become 40, the risk of getting high blood pressure increases. “My advice to people above 50 is to take the initiative themselves. Make an appointment with your doctor or doctor’s assistant to have your blood pressure checked. That way, there won’t be any surprises later on,” De Vaal says.
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