High blood pressure and a healthy lifestyle

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With its repercussions on the kidneys, heart, brain and blood vessels, arterial hypertension (AHT or high blood pressure) is a serious threat to life expectancy.

It is essential to follow the appropriate treatment carefully, particularly as nowadays there are drugs available that can achieve excellent results.

However, treatment must often be accompanied by a regime aimed at reducing risk still further. This is nothing too serious and a long way from the punitive regimes of the 1970s.

 For example, the salt-free diet has had its day. Patients are now advised to reduce their salt intake and to avoid foods containing large amounts of salt, such as cold meats, cheeses, tinned foods and … carbonated mineral water;

 It is also important to keep an eye on your weight: being overweight exacerbates the risks, increases resistance to treatment and encourages complications;

 It is also important to lower your cholesterol level, as this increases the risk of cardiovascular complications;

 You should also remember that alcohol increases blood pressure, worsens the effects of hypertension and can affect your treatment;

 But take heart: tea and coffee are permitted … but as they can increase blood pressure if consumed in excess, drink them in moderation – no more than 2 cups per day;

 And finally, although smoking may not affect blood pressure, it is important to remember that it plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis (the build up of plaque in the arteries) and vascular degeneration. This means that for those suffering from high blood pressure, it can increase the risk of arteritis (inflammation of the artery walls).

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