HIGH blood pressure can be dangerous and puts you at risk of developing serious health conditions.
It rarely has noticeable symptoms and those who are most at risk include older adults and people who are overweight.
As there are no major signs of the illness, it's important that if you think you have high blood pressure then you get it checked out.
The NHS recently introduced free blood pressure check services in community pharmacies in England.
This service is also available at over 650 Boots pharmacies across the country, for people over the age of 40 who have previously not had a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension.
If you are found to have the condition though, one expert has revealed how you can lower your levels in minutes.
Speaking to The Sun, Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots says the illness is particularly dangerous as it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
"If high blood pressure is persistent and left untreated, it can increase the risk of serious health conditions, such as heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
"There may be some lifestyle changes, such as eating healthily, taking regular exercise and stopping smoking, which can help to reduce it, but some people need to take medication as well".
Here's Marc's top tips on lowering your high blood pressure fast.
Table of Contents
Stress will raise your blood pressure and Marc explains that if you're stressed, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause and remove yourself from that environment, if possible.
He says: "Your body produces a burst of hormones, like adrenaline, and when you're feeling stressed or in a stressful situation, these hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, making it harder to circulate blood around your body."
Dealing with stress is hard and one easy way to do this is to take a deep breath.
"By introducing deep breathing exercises you can help to reduce the surge of stress, which can cause a spike in your blood pressure", Marc says.
Learn to cope
To help cope with this you could try some tools like mindfulness, mediation or a yoga class, Marc suggests.
He also said that finding time to chat with your friends or family can really help, as well as getting fresh air.
“If you are feeling stressed regularly and you feel that you are unable to cope with your stress, you should speak to your GP who can help you with ways to manage stress," he says.
Assess your diet
When trying to manage your condition on a day to day basis, Marc says you should try and eat a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre and plenty of fruit and vegetables, aiming to eat five portions of a day.
"It’s important to make sure that your daily intake of salt is less than six grams a day, which is about a teaspoonful, as this is a known cause of high blood pressure," he says.
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Marc says staying within the recommended intake levels reduces the risk of developing the illness.
The NHS states that men and women are not advised to drink more than 14 units per week.
One unit of alcohol will depend on the strength of the drink.
For a pint of beer that is four per cent, this would be 2.3 units and a single sprit, such as gin or vodka would be one unit.
Regular exercise can lower blood pressure and is great for your heart and blood vessels.
Marc says that regular exercise, meaning 30 minutes of exercise per day, can include anything from a brisk walk or gardening to sport.
Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day can cause an increase in your blood pressure.
Marc explains: "If you're a big fan of coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks, including energy drinks, consider cutting down or opting for caffeine-free alternatives.
"Ensure you are drinking plenty of water too, with the recommended six to eight cups or glasses per day to help stay hydrated.”
Marc says that if you are a smoker, you should stop.
He says: "It doesn’t directly cause high blood pressure, but if your blood pressure is high, smoking will narrow your blood vessels much more quickly and your risk of heart or lung disease in the future if increased dramatically.
"Your GP or pharmacist will be able to provide you with stop-smoking support.”
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