Blood pressure is the amount of strength it requires for the heart to pump blood around the body through our blood vessels. Our blood pressure goes up and down throughout the day but when it stays high over a long period of time, it becomes high blood pressure or hypertension. This means that the heart has to work hard to pump the blood, which in turn puts stress on the heart. The constant high pressure can harm blood vessel walls and organs, such as eyes and kidneys. It’s common not to notice any symptoms, which is why it often goes unnoticed. The only way to find out, is to get your blood pressure checked by your doctor.
The exact cause for high blood pressure is unclear. However, many factors have been known to increase your risk of developing high blood pressure: genetics, body weight, stress, old age, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking and activity levels.
What can you do?
When diagnosed, your doctor may suggest you to take medication in order to control your blood pressure. Aside from taking medication according to your doctor’s instructions, some healthier lifestyle choices such as dietary changes or increasing your activity levels is something that you could do to improve your blood pressure.
How a dietitian can help you
- Maintain the right balance of nutrients to reduce blood pressure
- Understand food labels to discover hidden salt in food products
- Achievable and sustainable weight reduction
- Develop healthy eating behaviour and habits
- Recipe modification/ suggestions