Blood Pressure and Your Health.

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'You just need to have a realistic understanding of how limited a role the contents of your medicine cabinets play compared to the contents of your refrigerator'
DR Michael Greger, MD

I was recently taken back by how many people did not know what constitutes a high blood pressure, and worse still what their blood pressure normally is. When I thought about it, I do not recall my doctor ever having told me (without being asked) what my own blood pressure was during routine checks.

How can the medical profession expect people to take a vested interest in their own health when they don't actually involve us?

I thought I would do some digging and bring you some facts about high blood pressure and how it affects your health.
I found this video from the great Dr Micheal Greger MD, personally, I like listening to his voice, but I appreciate it can take some getting used to. Check this video out, it comes from his well respected and hugely informative website https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how...lood-pressure/

High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for having a heart attack, heart failure and kidney disease. In fact a 3rd of all adults in the UK have high blood pressure, that is 1 in every 3 adults that are at a greater risk of developing heart disease.

Those people with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke and twice as likely to die compared to those with normal blood pressure. Sadly, these preventable statistics are already a reality for some, with 62,000 people dying of stroke and heart attack due to poorly controlled blood pressure.

A shocking 90% of people with high blood pressure who are receiving treatment are NOT controlled to 140/90 (this is the lowest value given to high blood pressure) and most people taking medication to control their blood pressure need to take two or more to ensure their blood pressure is lowered to 140/85 (the highest value give to normal blood pressure).

Between the age of 40 and 70 for every rise of 20mmHg systolic (the higher number) or every 10mmHg diastolic (the lower number) the risk of heart disease and stroke doubles.

I think it is important to remember that high blood pressure is preventable and based on the evidence seen in the video, it would suggest that the best way to prevent it is through a whole food, plant based diet, your life really is in your own hands.

Information available from Blood Pressure UK
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  1. Daisy82's Avatar
    The video from Dr Michael Greger was really interesting (once you get past his weird voice), I think it clearly proves that diet has a huge impact on our health and the diseases we fall prey to.

    What is interesting is the first line treatment for high blood pressure appears to be medication and not dietary advice, and the treatment offered has a minimal beneficial affect on the blood pressure, rather the individual is more likely to suffer consequences of taking the medication through side affects, then gain any benefit.
    Would should generate a culture where we should be held accountable for our own healthcare, and not rely on prescription drugs as a first line treatment.
  2. Megan's Avatar
    Thanks for this post, it has never crossed my mind to ask the doctor what my blood pressure is.

    I was quite surprised by how ineffective drug treatments are, and find myself questioning why doctors don't insist patients change their diet as the way to bring down their blood pressure.
  3. guv-ner's Avatar
    What is the benefit to people knowing their blood pressure? Isn't it good enough that the doctor knows?
  4. Louise's Avatar
    The benefit is to help people make decisions about caring for their own health, if you know your blood pressure 10 years ago was low and year on year your Blood pressure is rising then this is a wake up call to change their eating habits.

    It it also helps medical professionals to care for you if you are ever admitted into hospital.
  5. lifesaball's Avatar
    I just had to do a double take then.... the picture suggests that a blood pressure of 121 - 139 systolic is Pre-high. I thought that was the normal healthy range and what about the 'or less' bit? surely there is a cut off point for that? otherwise very less would in fact be dead.
  6. Bumblebee's Avatar
    My ex husband has high blood pressure and has just had a heart attack. He ignored his rising blood pressure and he has been seriously ill so a definite wake up call for him

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