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High blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a very common condition. One in three adults will suffer from it at some point in their lives but many will never know they do. The risks of high blood pressure are serious and include heart attacks.


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Do I have high blood pressure?

The only way to find that out, is to measure your blood pressure. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 or under. These numbers refer to your systolic pressure and diastolic pressure; the first is the pressure of your blood when the heart pushes blood out and the latter is the pressure of your blood when the heart rests between beats. If yours is higher than 120/80, you might have a high blood pressure and should consult your GP. Please realise that your blood pressure will fluctuate during the day, a good reading in the morning does not automatically mean your blood pressure will be normal all day long. Home testing kits give you the opportunity to monitor your blood pressure when and where you like.

High blood pressure can cause symptoms such as headaches or nosebleeds. Some patients may also experience blurred or double vision, dizzyness or breathing difficulties. If you experience these symptoms, make sure you consult you GP to rule out other conditions before starting high blood pressure treatment.

Causes of high blood pressure

Many people are suprised to find they have high blood pressure. While it might explain some of the symptoms you experience, many people wonder what has brought it about. Of course all bodies are different and it can be difficult to predict whether someone will get high blood pressure, these factors may play an important part.

  • age (people over 40 are more likely to get high blood pressure)
  • a family history (the condition often runs in the family)
  • being overweight

Sometimes high blood pressure occurs as the result of an underlying physical condition. If you suffer from kidney disease or diabetes, this might be the cause. High blood pressure has also been linked to the use of oral contraception pills or (illegal) drugs such as cocaine.

These lifestyle choices may also have a negative effect on your blood pressure:

  • alcohol use
  • using too much salt on your food
  • a lack of exercise
  • smoking
  • stress

High blood pressure treatment with Amlodipine

Amlodipine relaxes your blood vessels, therefore allowing bloodflow to the heart and other vital organs to occur more fluently. The blood vessels relax because the Amlodipine blocks certain calcium channels by binding to a subunit. Therefore less calcium flows into the smooth muscle cells, thus the tone of the muscle is reduced. As a result, the heart muscle cells contract less powerful and consume less oxygen. The muscles relax more, which dilates the blood vessels and blood flow gets easier. In a normal dosage Amlodipine affects most of the coronary arteries.

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